Dow Today: Intel (INTC) Leads The Day Higher, Merck (MRK) 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) is trading up 21 points (+0.1%) at 16,278 as of Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 22.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 357.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,686 issues advancing vs. 971 declining with 265 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), which is sporting a 54-cent gain (+2.1%) bringing the stock to $26.04. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.09 points or roughly accounting for 19.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Intel currently sits at 5.7 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 31.1 million shares.

Intel has a market cap of $126.91 billion and is part of the technology sector and electronics industry. Shares are down 1.8% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. The company operates through PC Client Group, Data Center Group, Other Intel Architecture, Software and Services, and All Other segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intel 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 53-cent decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $52.59. Volume for Merck currently sits at 2.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.2 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $145.75 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 6.1% 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. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.5, 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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