Merck, Johnson & Johnson share gains lead Dow's nearly 50-point climb

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading up Thursday afternoon with shares of Merck and Johnson & Johnson leading the way for the blue-chip average. Shares of Merck MRK, +3.53% and Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +1.78% have contributed to the index’s intraday rally, as the Dow DJIA, -0.35% was most recently trading 47 points higher (0.2%). Merck’s shares have risen $3.55 (4.2%) while those of Johnson & Johnson are up $3.80 (2.3%), combining for a roughly 48-point bump for the Dow. Other components contributing significantly to the gain include Amgen Inc. AMGN, +1.47%, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, +1.14%, and Salesforce Inc. CRM, +1.71%. A $1 move in any one of the 30 components of the Dow equates to a 6.59-point swing.