U.S. stocks rose on Friday as drug company Merck & Co Inc eased concerns about the financial impact of healthcare reform. The Dow and S&P closed a 19-month highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 69.99 points, or 0.63 percent, to 11,204.28, according to the latest available figures. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 8.61 points, or 0.71 percent, to 1,217.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 11.08 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,530.15.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Kenneth Barry)