Stocks rose Wednesday despite the uncertainty surrounding the too-close-to-call presidential election between Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden.
Exactly what investors feared likely will take place: The counting of ballots could be a long and drawn out process and the winner might not be declared for several days.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 584 points, or 2.13%, to 28,064, the S&P 500 gained 2.72% and the Nasdaq jumped 3.76%.
UnitedHealth (UNH) – Get Report jumped Wednesday as investors calculated that regardless of whether Trump or Biden ends up in the White House a Senate stalemate will mean no dramatic changes for the healthcare sector.
Tech stocks including Apple (AAPL) – Get Report were rising Wednesday as investors bet on growth and pandemic stocks in advance of a possible re-election for Trump as well as Republican control of the Senate.
“We’re in somewhat of a holding pattern in the markets amid the election uncertainty, aside from the big moves in tech,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade. “We’d caution anyone from reading too much into tech’s rise as a predicator of who will take the Oval Office – could be driven by the increasing likelihood of a divided Congress, which puts a damper on hopes for increased regulation against this sector. And the victory for some of these companies in California regarding gig workers probably isn’t hurting them either.”
President Trump declared he had won a second term, without evidence, and said he would ask the Supreme Court to stop ballot counting as he claimed the election has been ridden with fraud.
Appearing at the White House early Wednesday, Trump said, “Frankly, we did win this election. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”
Biden told supporters he was “on track to win this election” and urged patience as ballots in the key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada were still being counted.
According to the Associated Press, Biden was ahead in the Electoral College count 238-213. Early Wednesday, the AP declared Biden had won Arizona, a state that Trump won four years ago.
A candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to claim victory.
The U.S. economy added far few private sector jobs than expected in October, according to Automatic Data Processing, perhaps setting up a weak reading for the official U.S. employment report to be released Friday.
ADP said private sector jobs grew by 365,000 last month, well shy of Wall Street forecasts of 650,000.
Uber Technologies (UBER) – Get Report and Lyft (LYFT) – Get Report jumped Wednesday after voters in California approved Proposition 22, which would classify the companies’ drivers as contractors rather than employees eligible for benefits and job protections.