Dow Today: Nike (NKE) 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 17 points (+0.1%) at 16,941 as of Monday, Jun 9, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 12.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 352.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,558 issues advancing vs. 1,114 declining with 254 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Nike (NYSE: NKE), which is sporting a 50-cent gain (+0.7%) bringing the stock to $76.73. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.78 points or roughly accounting for 22.2% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Nike currently sits at 287,684 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.6 million shares.

Nike has a market cap of $53.15 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 3.1% year-to-date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.3%.

NIKE, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, marketing, and sale of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories, as well as in the provision of services to men, women, and kids worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nike 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, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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 53-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $57.32. Volume for Merck currently sits at 387,649 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.5 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $169.79 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 15.6% year-to-date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 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, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year, 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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