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 19 points (+0.1%) at 15,898 as of Monday, Jan 27, 2014, 10:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 123.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 358.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 941 issues advancing vs. 1,929 declining with 180 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is sporting a $1.51 gain (+2.9%) bringing the stock to $53.49. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 11.43 points or roughly accounting for 60.2% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Merck currently sits at 11.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.2 million shares. Merck has a market cap of $150.77 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 3.9% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.4%. 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 34.6, 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.