Dow Today: Boeing (BA) Leads The Day Higher, Merck (MRK) Lags

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) closed up 208 points (+1.4%) at 15,248. During the day, 581.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 601.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 2,094 issues advancing vs. 932 declining with 83 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Boeing (NYSE: BA), which sported a $2.72 gain (+2.7%) bringing the stock to $102.48. This single gain lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 20.59 points or roughly accounting for 9.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Boeing ended the day at 5.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of five million shares.

Boeing has a market cap of $74.72 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. Shares are up 32.4% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.9%.

The Boeing Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, sale, and support of commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Boeing as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Holding the Dow back today was Merck (NYSE: MRK), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 41-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $48.19. Volume for Merck ended the day at 17.7 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 18.3 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $147.15 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 18.7% year to date as of Thursday'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 25.2, 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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