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 Link. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 61 points (+0.4%) at 15,606 as of Friday, Nov 1, 2013, 3:00 p.m. ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,211 issues advancing vs. 1,769 declining with 107 unchanged.
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Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 16-cent decline (-0.4%) bringing the stock to $44.92. Volume for Merck currently sits at 15.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.3 million shares. Merck has a market cap of $132.39 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 10.1% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.8%. 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 and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.