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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains before US presidential elections
by Himanshu Singh on Nov 06, 2012 at 03:29
Wall Street inched higher on Monday in light trading, rebounding from an earlier decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, on the day before the presidential election.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19 points, or 0.15%, to end at 13,112. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose three points, or 0.22%, to 1,417. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 18 points, or 0.59%, to close at 2,999.66.
The markets remained uncertain as U.S. voters decide today between giving President Barack Obama another four years in office or changing course with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
After the election, investors will turn to the "fiscal cliff," the $600 billion worth of tax increases and spending cuts that could hit the economy hard in 2013 unless Congress comes to an agreement that will soften the blow. On Sunday, economic leaders appealed the U.S. to avert the situation in the interest of avoiding a large-scale economic slowdown.
The residual impact of Hurricane Sandy, which has left about 30,000 to 40,000 Americans homeless, was another drag on the shares.
In Europe, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will this week battle to win political support for measures to obtain aid.
Apple Inc, the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company, rose 1.4% as the company began selling the 7.9-inch tablet in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries on 2 November.
The energy sector also advanced after a gain in crude oil futures prices and third-quarter earnings from two major energy companies. Transocean Ltd gained 5.6% a day after the company reported a higher-than-expected adjusted profit for the third quarter.
FuelCell Energy Inc. surged 13% after Posco, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, agreed to pay about $181 million for 121.8 megawatts of power plants and services beginning in May. Southern Co fell 2.5% after it posted third-quarter earnings.
Utilities shares suffered the most a week after superstorm Sandy hit New York City and surrounding areas. Time Warner Cable lost 6.4% after the company reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates.
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