U.S. stocks surge after midterms, led by health care

NEW YORK — The outcome of the U.S. midterm elections was good for the stock market in general, mostly because it didn’t produce any big surprises, but it was especially good for health-care stocks and several other industries and companies.

Investors were relieved to see that the elections went largely as they expected. Democrats won control of the House of Representatives while Republicans kept a majority in the Senate, as most polls had suggested.

It’s not clear how the divided Congress will work with Republican President Donald Trump, but if the possibilities for compromise and big agenda items seem limited, Wall Street is fine with that because it means politics is that much less likely to crowd out the performance of the strong U.S. economy. Historically markets have performed well after midterm elections and with split control of Congress.

The S&P 500 index climbed 58.44 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,813.89 Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 545.29 points, or 2.1 percent, to 26,180.30. The Nasdaq composite climbed 194.79 points, or 2.6 percent, to 7,570.75.

Here’s a look at industries and companies that were affected in various ways by the outcome of the election.

Health care: Health insurers, hospital operators and companies that run Medicaid health programs all rose Wednesday. Democrats’ victory in the House means Republicans won’t be able to pass legislation repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, a goal for the party ever since the law was passed during President Barack Obama’s first term. The bill expanded health-insurance coverage, and the election results mean more stability for insurers and more reimbursement for hospitals.

Voters in Idaho and Nebraska approved expansions of the federal-state Medicaid program, which provides benefits to poor and disabled people. Winning gubernatorial candidates in Maine and Kansas also support expanding Medicaid benefits to more

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