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Dow Jumps 550 Points and Stocks Extend Rally on Election Day

Stocks finish higher Tuesday as Americans choose between Donald Trump or Joe Biden for U.S. president.

Stocks finished higher Tuesday, adding to gains from the previous session, as Americans choose their president for the next four years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 555 points, or 2.06%, to 27,480, the S&P 500 gained 1.78% and the Nasdaq rose 1.85%.

At one point Tuesday the S&P 500 had risen 2.4%, its best one-day performance since June.

Financial, industrial and tech stocks were the leading gainers Tuesday.

Most polls have indicated Democratic challenger Joe Biden will defeat President Donald Trump in Tuesday's election. But regardless of the outcome, Wall Street most of all wants a clear winner and an uncontested result.

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A Biden win could mean the U.S. enacts a stimulus package for an economy struggling through the coronavirus pandemic. House Democrats and the White House so far have failed to approve a new relief package despite months of negotiations.

With a commanding lead in national polls, and advantages beyond the margin of error in key swing states, Biden could capture the White House with a solid Electoral College majority. But early balloting likely will mean a final decision from several states may not be known until later in the week.

"The election outcome will drive all markets over the next day or two,” Torsten Slok, chief economist at Apollo Global Management, told Bloomberg in an interview. “How they move depends on the extent to which we have clarity about the results.”

Stocks finished higher Monday as investors prepared for a week filled with not only the presidential election but also a Federal Reserve policy meeting and the U.S. jobs report.

American depositary receipts of Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Report fell 8.1% to $285.55 in trading Tuesday after officials at the Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended the pending listing of Ant Group, the world's biggest initial public offering. Alibaba purchased a 33% stake in Ant Group in 2018.