Stocks End Higher as Wall Street Awaits Vote Count

Stocks end higher as investors await the results of the too-close-to-call election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
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Stocks ended higher Wednesday as investors awaited the results of the too-close-to-call election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 367 points, or 1.34%, to 27,847, the S&P 500 gained 2.2% and the Nasdaq jumped 3.85%.

Tech stocks including Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and  (AMZN) - Get Report rose as investors bet on the sector in advance of a split government and less of an emphasis on an antitrust crackdown.

After the closing bell, television networks called Michigan for Biden, moving him closer to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. President Trump's campaign had sued to halt counting in the state.

UnitedHealth  (UNH) - Get Report jumped as investors calculated that regardless of whether Trump or Biden ends up in the White House, a Senate stalemate will mean no dramatic changes for the health-care sector.

"We’re in somewhat of a holding pattern in the markets amid the election uncertainty, aside from the big moves in tech," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade. 

"We’d caution anyone from reading too much into tech’s rise as a predictor of who will take the Oval Office - [it] could be driven by the increasing likelihood of a divided Congress, which puts a damper on hopes for increased regulation against this sector. And the victory for some of these companies in California regarding gig workers probably isn’t hurting them either."

Uber Technologies UBER and Lyft LYFT jumped Wednesday after voters in California approved Proposition 22, which would classify the companies’ drivers as contractors rather than employees eligible for benefits and job protections.

Trump declared he had won a second term, without evidence, and said he would ask the Supreme Court to stop ballot counting as he claimed the election has been riddled with fraud. Trump’s campaign said Wednesday it filed lawsuits seeking to halt the counting in Pennsylvania as well as Michigan.

Biden told supporters he was “on track to win this election” and urged patience as ballots in the key states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada, were still being counted.

Earlier in the day CNN called Wisconsin for Biden. Republicans appeared to retain control of the Senate.

The U.S. economy added far few private sector jobs than expected in October, according to Automatic Data Processing, perhaps setting up a weak reading for the official U.S. employment report to be released Friday.

ADP said private sector jobs grew by 365,000 last month, well shy of Wall Street forecasts of 650,000.