Dow up 250 points, S&P 500 reclaims 3,500 as attention turns to earnings, election

U.S. stock benchmarks finished sharply higher Monday as investors bought technology giants and shifted their focus to corporate earnings starting this week. The moves come against the backdrop of the looming U.S. presidential election and stalled talks for another round of coronavirus stimulus.

Meanwhile, the bond market were closed Monday in observance of the Columbus Day holiday, also celebrated by many as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

How did major benchmarks perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.54% rose 250.62 points, or 0.9%, to 28,837.52, supported by gains in Apple Inc. AAPL, -2.65% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.65%. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.63% added 57.09 points, or 1.6%, to 3,534.22 while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.10% climbed 296.32 points, or 2.6%, to 11,876.26. It was the fourth straight day of gains for all three benchmark indexes.

What drove the market?

With less than three weeks to the presidential election, investors are now focusing on the outlook for the Democratic Party controlling both the White House and Congress.

Though analysts initially viewed a Democratic victory as an impediment to further equity gains, market participants argue a large stimulus package could be in the cards next year if former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a large lead over Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the polls, presided over a landslide win in the November elections.

“In the past two weeks this narrative has completely flipped, to the point where investors now view a Blue Wave as being a catalyst for a reflation trade,” said Solita Marcelli, Americas chief investment

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