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Wall Street gains as investors look to U.S. elections

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes closed higher on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls in U.S. midterm and investors hoped the result would provide some relief for stocks after prolonged uncertainty.

Some stocks such as Corp and NV were boosted by strong earnings, but despite a late afternoon spike in buying, trading volume was relatively thin as many investors held back on making big bets in case of a surprise election outcome.

Wall Street had been expecting that Donald Trump's would lose control of the House of Representatives, while retaining the

"People are anticipating the results of the election and there's a high possibility of gridlock ... There could be another leg higher if we get gridlock because the existing economic agenda won't be altered materially," said Mona Mahajan, U.S. Investment Strategist, Allianz Global Investors,

"There's still in people's minds the idea that there could be a surprise. Most people are waiting to see what the results are before they make any major investment decisions."

The <.DJI> rose 173.31 points, or 0.68 percent, to 25,635.01, the 500 <.SPX> gained 17.14 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,755.45 and the Composite <.IXIC> added 47.11 points, or 0.64 percent, to 7,375.96.

About 6.85 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 8.7 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Some investors said they would expect a sharp selloff, at least in the near term, if the Democrats gain control of both the House and the In contrast, stocks may rally on hopes of more tax cuts if Republicans retain control of the House. Others hoped that the elimination of election uncertainty would create a boost either way.

"What I've noticed over the last couple of weeks is people (are) back in the market. Once we get through the midterms, stocks usually go up, whatever the result, and you have to be a buyer," said Jason Ware, at Albion Financial in

All of the S&P's 11 major sectors showed gains, led by a 1.5 percent rise in the materials index <.SPLRCM>, which was helped by earnings reports.

Shares of fertiliser company rose 10.6 gained 8.4 percent after strong results.

The trade-sensitive industrial sector <.SPLRCI> closed up 1.1 percent after Chinese Vice said was ready to hold discussions and work with the to resolve trade disputes.

"Outside of midterms, which have been priced in, we've seen some general sign of U.S.-trade negotiations helping sentiment," said Ryan Larson, at in

got a boost from , which jumped 16 percent after the generic drugmaker reported a bigger-than-expected third-quarter profit as it sold more products in emerging markets.

Pharmacy chain Corp rose 5.7 percent after its results.

The health sector could be under the spotlight after the election as Trump's efforts to lower prescription drug prices could get more attention should Democrats gain control in

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.58-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Composite recorded 43 new highs and 68 new lows.

(Additional reporting by in and in Bengaluru; Editing by and James Dalgleish)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 03:38 IST