Dow Today: Merck (MRK) Lower

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 187.0 points (-1.2%) at 14,990 as of Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 326.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 598.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 593 issues advancing vs. 2,381 declining with 93 unchanged.
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Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 76-cent decline (-1.5%) bringing the stock to $48.68. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.75 points or roughly accounting for 3.1% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Merck currently sits at 12.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 17.9 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $146.3 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 20.8% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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