Stocks Surge on Last Day Before Presidential Election

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NYSEStocks rose sharply Monday to end a nine-day slide after the FBI said it found no new evidence to warrant charges against Hillary Clinton on the eve of the U.S. presidential election.

The market?s major indexes, including the Standard & Poor?s 500, rose 2 percent or more ? their best daily percentage gain in eight months ? as the Clinton news removed one of the key elements of uncertainty that have weighed on Wall Street for more than a week.

Stocks worldwide also rallied, as did crude oil prices and yields on U.S. Treasury securities. The U.S. dollar was mixed against other major currencies.

The S&P 500 had dropped 3 percent over the last nine trading sessions, the longest consecutive losing streak for the benchmark indicator in 36 years, in large part after FBI Director James B. Comey said the agency was again reviewing Clinton?s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

But Comey said Sunday that there was still no basis for criminal charges against the Democratic candidate, removing a major element of risk to the market?s outlook should she be elected over Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The S&P 500 rose 2.2 percent to 2,131.52 and the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average went up 2.1 percent to 18,259.60. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 2.4 percent to 5,166.17.

Intel Corp. surged 3.2 percent to lead the gainers in the Dow Jones industrials, and Microsoft Corp. gained 2.9 percent. Financial stocks also climbed sharply, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. up more than 3 percent.

Tuesday?s election continues to pose a huge unknown for the markets, especially with Trump vowing big changes in U.S. trade policies and complaining about Federal Reserve policies under Chair Janet Yellen.

Despite the market?s recent setback, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrials are more than 4 percent above their levels at the start of the year.

One explanation is that most business and financial indicators are betting on a continuation of the current path in government, with Clinton being elected and generally extending the Obama administration?s policies, kept in check by a GOP-controlled House.

If Trump wins, analysts said, that might deliver a shock to the markets similar to the one in June caused by Britain?s vote to leave the European Union; at that time, stocks briefly suffered major losses.

Crude oil for near-term delivery rose 82 cents to $44.89 a barrel. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes jumped to 1.83 percent.

(Source: TNS)