Wall Street gains as investors look to U.S. elections

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes closed higher on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls in U.S. midterm congressional elections and investors hoped the result would provide some relief for stocks after prolonged uncertainty.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Some stocks such as CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and Mylan NV (MYL.O) were boosted by strong earnings, but despite a late afternoon spike in buying, trading volume was relatively thin as many investors held back on making big bets in case of a surprise election outcome.

Wall Street had been expecting that President Donald Trump’s Republican party would lose control of the House of Representatives, while retaining the Senate.

“People are anticipating the results of the election and there’s a high possibility of gridlock … There could be another leg higher if we get gridlock because the existing economic agenda won’t be altered materially,” said Mona Mahajan, U.S. Investment Strategist, Allianz Global Investors, New York.

“There’s still in people’s minds the idea that there could be a surprise. Most people are waiting to see what the results are before they make any major investment decisions.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 173.31 points, or 0.68 percent, to 25,635.01, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 17.14 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,755.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 47.11 points, or 0.64 percent, to 7,375.96.

About 6.85 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 8.7 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Some investors said they would expect a sharp selloff, at least in the near term, if the Democrats gain control of both the House and the Senate. In contrast, stocks may rally on hopes

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