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Stocks rise as investors wait for election winner
NEW YORK (AP) — Major stock-market indexes climbed Tuesday as investors waited for the finish of a closely fought U.S. presidential election.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 146 points at 13,259 just before 1 p.m. EST.
“We’re on pins and needles,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, a money management firm. Mr. Orlando, who backs Republican Mitt Romney, said he thought the gain reflected optimism that Mr. Romney could win.
Companies that investors believe would benefit under a potential Romney administration had some of the biggest gains. They included United Technologies and Boeing, which do substantial business with the Defense Department.
Other investors say that they simply want the election behind them. That will allow Wall Street and Congress to focus on the so-called “fiscal cliff” — the tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
In other trading Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 14 points to 1,431, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 20 points to 3,020.
Among other winners, Computer Sciences leapt 15 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500, after its earnings blew past analysts’ estimates. The stock was up $4.72 at $36.18.
In the market for government bonds, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 1.69 percent. The price of oil climbed 82 cents per barrel to $86.47 in New York trading.
Even with the early surge Tuesday, it figured to be a quieter Election Day for the stock market than last time.
During the financial meltdown four years ago, big swings in the market became commonplace. On Nov. 4, 2008, the Dow shot up 305 points, easily the biggest Election Day rally of all time. Investors expected a victory for President Obama.
On Election Day 2004, the prospect of a close election led to a late sell-off, and the Dow finished down 18 points, snapping a five-day winning streak. Sen. John F. Kerry didn’t concede to President George W. Bush until the following day.
Among other stocks making big moves:
• Weight-loss company Medifast rose $2.14 to $28.96 after reporting that its third-quarter earnings increased more than 40 percent as expenses fell and the company got strong responses to its ads and new programs.
• Express Scripts dropped $8.23 to $54.65. The pharmacy benefits manager warned that persistently high unemployment and economic uncertainty would hurt its business next year.
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