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) is trading down 17.0 points (-0.1%) at 16,420 as of Thursday, Apr 10, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 19.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 425.1 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,404 issues advancing vs. 1,278 declining with 257 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is sporting a 65-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $57.75. Volume for Merck currently sits at 1.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $161.85 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 14.1% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.1%.

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.

Holding back the Dow today is Chevron (NYSE: CVX), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $1.97 decline (-1.6%) bringing the stock to $117.13. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 14.91 points or roughly accounting for 87.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Chevron currently sits at 548,622 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.6 million shares.

Chevron has a market cap of $224.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 4.7% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.4%.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron 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, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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