Dow Jones (DJIA) Today: Cisco Systems (CSCO) 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 down 8.0 points at 17,644 as of Friday, Nov 14, 2014, 11:01 a.m. ET. During this time, 87.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 320.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,628 issues advancing vs. 1,284 declining with 187 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), which is sporting a 36-cent gain (+1.4%) bringing the stock to $26.04. Volume for Cisco Systems currently sits at 13.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 25.6 million shares.

Cisco Systems has a market cap of $128.57 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 14.5% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3%.

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cisco Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 67-cent decline (-1.1%) bringing the stock to $58.87. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.07 points or roughly accounting for 63.4% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Merck currently sits at 1.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.4 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $169.09 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 19% year-to-date as of Thursday'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 solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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