US stocks lifted by promise of vote outcome

US stocks climbed yesterday, the last day of trading before the US election results came to a close, as investors looked forward to a resolution to the drawn-out race for the White House.

The rally defied a string of weaker-than expected results from US companies and was attributed in part to expectations that a victor in the presidential race would be known late last night or early today, despite some fears that have nagged markets recently that the outcome could remain up in the air for days.

“The market just wants to wake up tomorrow and know for sure that there’s a winner,” said Linda Duessel, senior equity strategist at Federated Investors.

In trading on the last seven presidential election days, going back to 1984, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.85 per cent, according to Bespoke Investment Group of Harrison, New York. Yesterday’s gain of 0.79 falls pretty squarely in the realm of expected performance for the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 133.08 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 13,245.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 11.09 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 1,428.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.27 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 3,011.93.

Computer Sciences Corp jumped 17 per cent to $36.80 after the US technology services provider posted a second-quarter profit that blew past estimates as the company halved costs.

Shares of AOL jumped 22 per cent to $43.70 after it reported higher-than-expected revenue and profit on the strongest advertising growth the Internet company has seen in seven years.