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Wall Street holds small gain as U.S. voters head to the polls

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes clung to small gains on Tuesday after losing ground in the late afternoon on investor jitters about making big bets as they awaited the outcome of U.S. midterm

Financial markets were bracing for Donald Trump's losing control of the of Representatives, while retaining the

Gridlock between the and could hinder Trump's pro-business agenda and raise concerns about political instability, but most analysts say this may not be the worst outcome for the

"The market backed off a little bit. It may be some concern as to the extent in which the Democrats take the House: how many seats versus what the expectation is," said Ken Polcari, of the floor division at in "It's a little bit of the market trying to hedge itself. Surprises, as we know, can always happen."

At 2:43 p.m. (1943 GMT), the <.DJI> rose 57.07 points, or 0.22 percent, to 25,518.77, the 500 <.SPX> gained 4.11 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,742.42 and the Composite <.IXIC> added 6.22 points, or 0.08 percent, to 7,335.07.

Some investors have said there could be a sharp selloff if the Democrats gain control of both the and the In contrast, stocks may rally on hopes of more tax cuts if Republicans retain control of the House.

"The market's wanting the election to be done so investors can assess the implications. We're still within the rebound after the October decline. I don't know if we're out of the woods yet," said Paul Nolte, at in

Ten of the 11 sectors showed gains, led by a 1.2 percent gain in the materials index <.SPLRCM>, which was helped by earnings reports.

Shares of fertiliser company rose 9.6 gained 7.5 percent after strong results.

The trade-sensitive industrial sector <.SPLRCI> pared earlier gains but was still up 0.8 percent.

Chinese Vice said was ready to hold discussions and work with the to resolve trade disputes.

The was the S&P's weakest performer with a 0.1 percent decline. Its biggest drag was , which was down 2.7 percent.

got a boost from NV , which jumped 18.7 percent and was up 4.9 percent after their results. Mylan's shares rose after the generic drugmaker reported a bigger-than-expected third-quarter profit as it sold more products in emerging markets.

The health sector will be under the spotlight 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 by a 1.35-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Composite recorded 42 new highs and 59 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. 01:44 IST