Dow Today: Boeing (BA) 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 12 points at 16,545 as of Thursday, May 22, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 13.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 387.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,681 issues advancing vs. 972 declining with 279 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Boeing (NYSE: BA), which is sporting a 72-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $131.68. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.45 points or roughly accounting for 45.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Boeing currently sits at 145,814 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of four million shares.

Boeing has a market cap of $94.49 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.3%.

The Boeing Company, together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, sells, services, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Boeing as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 47-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $56.11. Volume for Merck currently sits at 679,294 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 11 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $163.65 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 13.1% 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, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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