Dow Today: Walt Disney (DIS) 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 106 points (+0.7%) at 15,546 as of Thursday, Feb 6, 2014, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 19.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 376.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,027 issues advancing vs. 661 declining with 238 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), which is sporting a $3.99 gain (+5.6%) bringing the stock to $75.75. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 30.2 points or roughly accounting for 28.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Walt Disney currently sits at two million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.7 million shares.

Walt Disney has a market cap of $124.33 billion and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are down 6.1% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.2%.

The Walt Disney Company operates as an entertainment company worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Interactive.

TheStreet Ratings rates Walt Disney as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 36-cent decline (-0.7%) bringing the stock to $53.16. Volume for Merck currently sits at 698,658 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.6 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $156.35 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 7% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.3%.

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 solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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