Mar­kets sharply higher on elec­tion eve

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - – AP

STOCKS SURGED on yes­ter­day on Wall Street, putting the mar­ket on course to snap a nine-day los­ing streak. Health care and fi­nan­cial stocks led the broad rally, as in­vestors fo­cused on the lat­est turns in the pres­i­den­tial race ahead of Elec­tion Day.

The Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion an­nounced on Sun­day that its re­view of newly dis­cov­ered Hil­lary Clin­ton emails found no ev­i­dence war­rant­ing charges. That ap­peared to ease the mar­ket’s anx­i­ety, which ratch­eted up in re­cent weeks over signs that the pres­i­den­tial race was tight­en­ing.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 371 points, or 2.1 per cent, to 18,260. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex rose 46 points, or 2.2 per cent, to 2,131. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite in­dex added 119 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 5,166.

The S&P 500, a key mar­ket bench­mark, is com­ing off its long­est los­ing streak since 1980. It lost 66 points dur­ing the nine-day slide. So far, Mar­kets surges af­ter Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton cleared for sec­ond time by the FBI on Sun­day.

Mon­day’s gains have wiped out more than half of those losses. The S&P 500 was on track to notch its big­gest sin­gle­day gain since March.

Clin­ton got a boost late Sun­day, when FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey told law­mak­ers that a re­view of new Clin­ton emails did not change the bureau’s rec­om­men­da­tion that she should not face charges. The mar­ket wilted on Oc­to­ber 28 af­ter the FBI no­ti­fied Congress that it was re­view­ing newly dis­cov­ered emails linked to Clin­ton, who is seen by Wall Street as likely to main­tain the sta­tus quo. Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies are less clear, and the un­cer­tainty and un­com­fort­able close­ness of the polls caused jit­ters in fi­nan­cial mar­kets ahead of to­day’s gen­eral elec­tion.

“This is not a rational mar­ket. This is a re­ac­tion to less un­cer­tainty,” said Phil Blan­cato, CEO of Laden­burg Thal­mann As­set Man­age­ment. “In those kinds of mar­kets, peo­ple are jump­ing into stocks that they think are cheap. And what are the cheap­est right now? Fi­nan­cials and health care.”

The VIX, a mea­sure of how much volatil­ity in­vestors ex­pect to see in the mar­ket over the next 30 days, slumped 16.2 per cent Mon­day af­ter surg­ing 40 per cent last week to its high­est level since June, when Bri­tain voted to leave the Euro­pean Union. The slide in the VIX re­flected less anx­i­ety among in­vestors.

Safe haven in­vest­ments also slumped as in­vestors felt com­fort­able tak­ing on more risk. Bond prices fell, driv­ing the yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note up to 1.82 per cent from 1.78 per cent late Fri­day, while the price of gold fell US$22.60, or 1.7 per cent, to US$1,281.90 an ounce. Util­i­ties and phone stocks, two other havens in­vestors seek when they ex­pect tur­moil, lagged the mar­ket.

In the en­ergy mar­ket, US bench­mark crude oil was up 82 cents, or 1.9 per cent, at US$44.36 a bar­rel in New York at midafter­noon. The price of oil is com­ing off a six-day los­ing streak. Brent crude, which is used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, was up 56 cents at US$46.14 a bar­rel in Lon­don.



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