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Monday, August 15, 2022

US stocks mostly rise ahead of midterm vote

US stocks mostly rise ahead of midterm voteNEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher Monday as investors appeared unconcerned by an expected split outcome in US elections, with Democrats likely to take the lower house of Congress.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a gain of 0.8 percent at 25,461.70 on the eve of the key midterm vote.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.6 percent to finish at 2,738.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.4 percent to 7,328.85.

As the midterm election campaigns headed into the final hours, most experts expected the Democrats would win the House of Representatives, while President Donald Trump’s Republican party would hold onto control of the Senate.

“There is the assumption of the markets that Democrats will take the House and Republicans will maintain control of the Senate,” said Sam Stovall of CFRA Research. “It does not worry them.”

Analysts do not expect that outcome to undo Trump’s tax cuts or regulatory rollbacks but the White House would face much more scrutiny as far as congressional investigations.

Several larger technology companies tumbled, including Amazon, down 2.3 percent, Apple, down 2.8 percent, and Google-parent Alphabet, down 1.7 percent.

But gains in other sectors suggested investors were reallocating funds to sectors that have underperformed this year.

Petroleum-linked shares were strong after the US re-imposed sanctions on Iran, even as the Washington granted waivers to eight countries, including China and Japan, sparing them from the ban on Iranian crude purchases.

Chevron jumped 3.7 percent, Apache 4.7 percent and Halliburton 2.5 percent.

The health and financial sectors also performed well.

Dow member IBM jumped 3.8 percent after Chief Executive Ginni Rometty and some other top company officials bought shares.

Besides Tuesday’s elections, key events this week include a two-day Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting concluding Thursday. Analysts expect no change this week as far as interest rates but the Fed’s statement will be scrutinized as to whether it confirms expectations for another interest rate hike in December.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018
 


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