Stocks jump as America awaits the midterm election results

Stocks rose Tuesday as the technology sector staged a recovery and as earnings season elevated Wall Street hours before polling stations were scheduled to begin closing around the US, with investors bracing for the possibility of a changing power balance in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.69%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.63%. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.64% as technology stocks recovered after iPhone demand concerns dragged the sector down Monday.

Politically-sensitive sectors were active throughout the day, with shares of firearm companies like American Outdoor Brands (+4.6%) and Sturm Ruger (+3.9%) rallying. Forecasters widely expect Democrats to take control of the House and Republicans to hold the Senate, but some see the election as not having a major impact on equities.

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"The midterms will change the political landscape but likely won't trigger big shifts in economic policy," Ian Sheperdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in an email. "Tax cuts 2.0 won't happen, and neither will a big infrastructure bill; deregulation by order will continue."

CVS reported earnings, topping analyst expectations for the third quarter and announcing expectations to close a deal to acquire Aetna before Thanksgiving. Booking Holdings, which owns, posted a jump in customers and upbeat guidance. Avis rental car company, on the other hand, missed. 21st Century Fox is scheduled to report Wednesday and Disney on Thursday.

Early Tuesday, the Labor Department said the number of job openings in the US slipped in September but still easily outpaced the number of Americans looking for work, with the gap widening to more than a million. The dollar was steady against a basket of currencies following the report, and Treasury yields climbed.

The Federal Reserve is expected to keep monetary policy steady at a meeting Thursday. The central bank increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.25% in September, and has signaled the next hike could come in December.

Oil prices fell about 1% after the US issued sanctions waivers to some of Iran’s biggest crude customers. The Trump administration reimposed sanctions against Tehran Monday, calling on buyers to trading oil with the Islamic Republic.

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