NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs on Wednesday as Wall Street cheered news of the GOP seizing control of the Senate.
The Dow added 0.58% to close at 17,484.53. It touched an intraday high on Wednesday of 17,486 just prior to the closing bell. The S&P 500 climbed 0.57% to finish at 2,023.57. The Nasdaq fell 0.06%.
The shift in power in the Senate is believed to herald new pro-business economic policy in the final two years of Barack Obama's presidency. Economic woes were at the top of the list of concerns for voters headed into the mid-term elections Tuesday with 70% noting that current conditions were poor, according to preliminary exit polls.
The economic recovery appears intact, though, even as citizens' confidence is shaken. The private sector added 230,000 jobs in October, according to ADP employment data, compared to analysts' estimates for a 220,000 gain. A month earlier, a revised 225,000 jobs were added to the private sector.
The ISM non-manufacturing index for October clocked in at 57.1, just shy of estimates for 58, though remaining above 50, the threshold for economic expansion. Business activity slipped to 60 from 62.9 a month earlier, and new orders fell to 59.1 from 61.
"What we are unimpressed with is the bigger picture downturn from the recent high-water mark when the composite index ran at a reading of 59.6 over the summer," Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers, wrote in a research report.
Crude oil inventories increased 0.5 million barrels in the week ending October, according to the EIA Petroleum report. Commercial oil inventories now stand at 380.2 million barrels, putting it in the upper half of the average range of the year-ago period.
The price of West Texas intermediate crude oil spiked 2.2% to $78.89 a barrel, partially recovering from a drop of more than 2% a day earlier. Commodities were crushed after Saudi Arabia slashed the price of imports for December delivery by 45 cents from a month earlier on Monday.
Energy stocks were on the rise after being pummeled a day earlier. Exxon Mobil (XOM) climbed 0.39%, Chevron (CVX) spiked 1.4%, and the industry exchange-traded fund Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) added 1.8%.
Devon Energy (DVN) was the best performer on the S&P 500 after beating analyst consensus for its third quarter by 7 cents a share. Shares added 9.9%.
Media conglomerates 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Time Warner (TWX) rose 4.3% and 4%, respectively, after each reporting better-than-expected quarters. Rupert Murdoch-run Fox posted double-digit revenue growth on the back of hit films The Fault in Our Stars and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, while Time Warner celebrated 10% revenue growth at cable network HBO.
TripAdvisor (TRIP) , the worst performer of the S&P, tumbled almost 14% after missing quarterly profit expectations by 12 cents a share, even as revenue spiked nearly 40%. A day earlier, fellow online travel site Priceline (PCLN) lost nearly 10% after issuing weaker-than-expected guidance.
Zulily (ZU) tanked 21% after issuing fourth-quarter profit guidance as much as $20.7 million, short estimates of $21.4 million. Fellow online company Coupons.Com (COUP) soared 33.2% after reporting a net loss of 1 cent a share, half the loss analysts had expected.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.