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Wall Street rallies on U.S. elections; tech, health stocks lead

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) - Wall Street rose 2 percent on Wednesday, led by the technology and sectors as investors breathed a sigh of relief following the U.S. midterm elections and made bets that a divided would be good for equities.

Democrats won control of the on Tuesday, while Donald Trump's expanded its majority, pointing to the likelihood of political gridlock in

The S&P's biggest boosts came from the and the stocks, with both indexes gaining 2.9 percent. The consumer discretionary sector climbed 3.1 percent, spurred by a 6.9 percent rise in comshares. provided the single biggest boost to the 500.

"Now we're in an environment that people can understand again so they'll be willing to put some money back on the table. There was a little fear out there," said Peter Tuz, at in Charlottesville,

The rose 545.29 points, or 2.13 percent, to 26,180.3, the 500 gained 58.44 points, or 2.12 percent, to 2,813.89, and the added 194.79 points, or 2.64 percent, to 7,570.75.

The Index, the most widely followed gauge of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, finished down 3.55 points at 16.36, its lowest close in about a month.

While a divided will make it harder for to push through new legislation such as additional tax cuts, investors were not expecting a reversal of tax cuts and deregulation already enacted under Trump.

"This outcome probably provides the most for new policies," said Brian Nick, for in New York, adding that growth sectors such as tech and would continue to be strong.

"In a scenario where there's no (additional) fiscal stimulus and we're not experiencing severe growth concerns in terms of contraction, they're the best bet," he said.

Some strategists said Democratic control of the House means that Trump will have a harder time gaining support for efforts to impose new regulations on com.

But even as technology and soared, several investors questioned whether the sectors could now be at risk of additional regulatory scrutiny.

Even after Wednesday's gains, the was 4 percent below its record close in September, as investors kept their eyes on rising interest rates and the U.S.-trade war.

The Federal Reserve began a two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, but no rate increase was expected when it releases its policy decision on Thursday. The Fed is expected to raise rates in December, at its last policy meeting of the year.

Humana Inc, and jumped to record highs as voters in three states approved expanding Medicaid programs for low-income people.

jumped 10.9 percent after rejected a proposal to limit the rates that clinics can charge commercially insured patients.

rose 5.7 percent and gained 4 percent after voters rejected a tougher rule on oil and gas drilling, which spurred shares of companies operating in the state.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the recorded 67 new highs and 71 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges 8.0 billion shares changed hands compared with the 8.64 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

(Additional reporting by April Joyner, and in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by and Leslie Adler)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 22:05 IST