Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Links. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 12 points at 15,533 as of Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 216.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 583.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,505 issues advancing vs. 1,392 declining with 116 unchanged.
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Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 35-cent decline (-0.7%) bringing the stock to $47.99. Volume for Merck currently sits at 9.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 18 million shares. Merck has a market cap of $146.42 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 18.1% year to date as of Monday'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. 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.