Wall St moves higher ahead of US election outcome

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Nov 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks staged a comeback on Tuesday as the most contentious election in the country's history entered its final leg, with the odds favoring Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.

The former secretary of state is favored by investors as they see her lending greater clarity and stability to the markets, while Republican nominee Donald Trump's stance on foreign policy, trade and immigration is more uncertain.

Clinton has a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump, according to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll released on Monday.

Clinton was on track to win 303 votes in the Electoral College to Trump's 235, clearing the 270 needed for victory. She also leads Trump by about 44 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll.

The CBOE Volatility index, dubbed Wall Street's "fear gauge," reversed course to drop 4.5 percent, after having notched its biggest one-day drop since late June on Monday.

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Hillary Clinton heads to the polls
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Hillary Clinton heads to the polls
CHAPPAQUA, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters after voting at Douglas Grafflin Elementary School on November 8, 2016 in Chappaqua, New York. Hillary Clinton cast her ballot in the presidential election as the rest of America goes to the polls to decide between her and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband former U.S. president Bill Clinton depart after voting in the U.S. presidential election at the Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gives a thumbs up to the supporters gathered outside the Douglas Grafflin Elementary School where Clinton cast her ballot in Chappaqua, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Members of the public surround U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as she casts her ballot at the Douglas Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, left, smiles as she votes at Douglas G. Grafflin School in Chappaqua, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. At far left is senior aide Huma Abedin. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, votes at Douglas G. Grafflin School in Chappaqua, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton steps away from a voting booth after voting at Douglas G. Griffin School November 8, 2016 in Chappaqua, New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton fills out her ballot at the Douglas Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, bottom right, accompanied by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, top left, votes at Douglas G. Grafflin School in Chappaqua, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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"There is a general feeling that with the election ending, it reduces uncertainty for investors," said Rick Meckler president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management.

"No matter who is elected, it will end a tremendous divide and return focus to earnings and all the fundamentals that have been pushed to the sidelines in recent weeks."

At 12:10 p.m. ET (1610 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 112.82 points, or 0.62 percent, at 18,372.42.

The S&P 500 was up 12.08 points, or 0.57 percent, at 2,143.6 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 33.60 points, or 0.65 percent, at 5,199.77.

Wall Street is also coming off its best day in more than eight months on Monday after the FBI said it would not press criminal charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server.

The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF, known of late as the "Trump ETF," rose 2.25 percent. The ETF is viewed as a barometer of Trump's chances of winning the election since his policies are considered negative for Mexico.

"People are seeing a lack of major disruptors in the election process and that could be helping markets move higher, but volume is light today and it doesn't take much in order to move the prices," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments.

All the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by gains in the defensive utilities and telecom services sectors.

Among stocks, CVS tumbled 13.6 percent to $72.05 and was the top drag on the S&P after the drugstore operator cut its full-year profit forecast. Walgreens fell 3.1 percent.

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Must-win states for Hillary Clinton
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Must-win states for Hillary Clinton

Florida

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park on February 1, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by mpi04/MediaPunch/IPX via Getty Images)

Pennsylvania

Hillary Clinton campaigns for President of the United States at University of Pennsylvania on October 22, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Wisconsin

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question at a campaign event in Madison, Wisconsin, United States, March 28, 2016. (Photo via REUTERS/Jim Young)

Michigan

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Wayne State University on October 10, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. A day after the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Michigan and Ohio. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Virginia

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) speaks next to Virginia first lady Dorothy McCauliffe (L) and James Barnett (R) at a discussion on national security during a campaign event at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia, U.S., June 15, 2016. (Photo via REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

New Hampshire

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Alumni Hall Courtyard, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire U.S., October 24, 2016. (Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Minnesota

U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the American Federation of Teachers conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 18, 2016. (Photo via REUTERS/Adam Bettcher)

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Hertz's more than 50 percent slump was set to be the stock's biggest ever after the car rental company slashed its full-year profit forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,704 to 1,122. On the Nasdaq, 1,509 issues rose and 1,085 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 42 new highs and 62 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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Markets

S&P 500 2,244.07 2.72 0.12%
DJIA 19,589.04 39.42 0.20%
NASDAQ 5,413.10 19.34 0.36%
DAX 11,179.42 192.73 1.75%
HANG SENG 22,861.84 60.92 0.27%
NIKKEI 225 18,765.47 268.78 1.45%
USD (per EUR) 1.06 -0.01 -1.35%
USD (per CHF) 1.02 0.01 0.95%
JPY (per USD) 114.19 0.49 0.43%
GBP (per USD) 1.26 -0.01 -0.40%

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