Wall Street’s major stock indexes kicked off November on a high note on Monday as investors prepare for an eventful week surrounding Tuesday’s United States presidential election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up more than 423 points or 1.6 percent at 26,925.05 – firmly in positive territory but off session highs.
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The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings reports – closed up 1.23 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 0.42 percent. Both indexes also closed off session highs.
Investor sentiment has been weighed down in recent weeks due to a selloff in big tech, surging COVID-19 infections in the US and Europe, deadlocked talks between the White House and Congressional Democrats over a new round of fiscal stimulus and uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the US race for the Oval Office.
In addition to a nail-biter of an election, Wall Street will be focusing on the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting this week, the monthly jobs report that drops on Friday and earnings from about a quarter of the S&P 500 companies.
But all eyes will be glued on Tuesday night’s election climax although many expect there will not be a clear winner in the presidential race come Wednesday morning.
President Donald Trump is trailing behind his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national polls. But the race has tightened in key battleground states, where the winner will likely be determined.
A “blue wave” in which Democrats would capture both the White House and Congress could usher in significant policy shifts surrounding taxes, stimulus, trade and regulation.
COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the US as the lingering possibility of another round of restrictions and lockdowns weighs on investor sentiment.
The major European economies including France, Germany and the United Kingdom have reintroduced business-sapping lockdowns to contain spiralling infections.
Among stocks making headlines on Monday:
Shares of Clorox Co closed up 4.23 percent after the company reported its strongest quarterly boost in net sales in more than 20 years and raised its full-year revenue forecast.
The maker of cleaning products and rubbish bags has seen sales surge during the coronavirus pandemic.
And shares of cosmetics and skincare giant Estee Lauder Companies Inc gained around 1.9 percent after the company quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, thanks to strong online orders and healthy demand for its products from China.