Dow Today: Merck (MRK) Leads The Day Higher, United Technologies (UTX) 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) closed down 70.0 points (-0.4%) at 16,912. During the day, 380.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 305 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,194 issues advancing vs. 1,832 declining with 157 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Merck (NYSE: MRK), which sported a 61-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $58.58. Volume for Merck ended the day at 10.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of nine million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $169.94 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 15.8% year-to-date as of Monday'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 increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, 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 the Dow back today was United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.66 decline (-1.5%) bringing the stock to $107.33. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 12.56 points or roughly accounting for 17.9% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for United Technologies ended the day at 5.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.4 million shares.

United Technologies has a market cap of $99.81 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. Shares are down 4.2% year-to-date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.2%.

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Technologies 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, reasonable 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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