Stocks Get Boost From Election's Last Day
Wall Street greeted the last day of a grueling presidential election campaign with enthusiasm, sending stocks up strongly off the market open.
Major averages popped quickly, with metals stocks soaring and tech leaders pushing up as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Averageand theStandard & Poor's 500were both holding gains of more than 1.5 percent, while the Nasdaqwas a bit lower.
Turnout for the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain was expected to be brisk. Obama voted early in his Chicago precinct and there was some talk on the trading floor of an "Obama bounce" as trading began and alternative energy stocks surged.
In technology news, Google and Yahoohaven't given up on an ad-sales deal, submitting a revised deal proposal to the Justice Department.
Traders were embracing the news, sending shares of both companies up.
In the financial sector, Mastercard shares spiked after the company posted earnings Monday that were better than expected.
But UBS slid after the bank confirmed its third-quarter profit outlook but warned that the fourth quarter would be difficult and 3,000 jobs likely would be cut.
The market also was reacting positively to continued loosening of credit, as bank lending rates again fell. The London Interbank Offering Rate, or Libor, or Libor, fell to 0.38 on the overnight rate and 2.7 percent for 3-month lending.
In earnings, shares of agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland soared after the company reported sharply higher quarterly profit that was helped by higher selling prices and an accounting change.
Net income jumped to $1.05 billion, or $1.63 per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30 from $441 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier for the ethanol producer and food processor.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 69 cents per share, excluding items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Insurer American International Group along with AT&T led the Dow industrials as all but one of the 30 stocks on the bluechip index opened higher.
Health care company Cigna was among the big drags on the S&P 500 after a downgrade Monday by Moody's.
Stocks in Asia and the Pacific were mixed, with Japan up 6 percent. But Australia ended slightly lower, trimming losses after its central bank surprise the market with a rate of three quarters of a percentage point.
Shares in Europe were mostly higher. UBS said accounting rules would hit its results for the fourth quarter, but the stock managed a slightly gain. RBS reported lower writedowns on toxic assets than expected for the last quarter, but said it faces more in the current quarter, sending shares down more than 7 percent.
Stocks had little reaction to a report showing September factory orders off 2.5 percent, more than expected.