Dow Today: Merck (MRK) Leads The Day Higher, Chevron (CVX) Lags

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) closed down 33.0 points (-0.2%) at 15,750. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,108 issues advancing vs. 1,918 declining with 98 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Merck (NYSE: MRK), which sported a 59-cent gain (+1.3%) bringing the stock to $47.59. Volume for Merck ended the day at 13.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.9 million shares.

Shares are up 14.3% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.7%.

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 31.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding the Dow back today was Chevron (NYSE: CVX), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.08 decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $120. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 8.17 points or roughly accounting for 24.8% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Chevron ended the day at 4.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.8 million shares.

Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.3%.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

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