Dow surges 368 points and Nasdaq hits highest level since April as investors shrug off the undecided election

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  • US stocks surged on Wednesday as investors kept their eyes on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Healthcare stocks led the market higher on the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency and a Republican Senate stymying an overhaul of America’s healthcare system.
  • Tech shares also saw outsize gains, with the Nasdaq 100 posting its best single-day increase since April.
  • Uber and Lyft climbed on the projected passage of Proposition 22 in California.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks soared to multimonth highs on Wednesday in reaction to the ongoing tally of votes in the presidential election.

Healthcare stocks led the market higher on the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency and a Republican Senate stymying an overhaul of America’s healthcare system. Tech shares also closed sharply higher, with the Nasdaq 100 posting its best single-day increase since April.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

  • S&P 500: 3,443.44, up 2.2%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 27,847.66, up 1.3% (368 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 11,590.78, up 3.9%

Read more: Famed economist David Rosenberg told us 4 crucial trends won’t change no matter how the elections go. Here’s how to invest in them all.

The Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel said a split Congress and a Biden presidency would be “excellent” for the economy and the stock market. Wall Street analysts’ election reactions rolled in on Wednesday.

Cannabis stocks traded lower on Wednesday despite four US states voting to legalize the drug for recreational sales. Investors view a swift federal legalization of the drug as less likely with a divided government.

The prospect of a Republican-controlled Senate also led to a spike in fossil-fuel stocks and a drop in green-energy stocks on Wednesday morning.

Treasury yields dove as investors fled to the relative safety of government bonds, while the US dollar gained against a basket of other major currencies.

The billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya said the too-close-to-call election results meant Democrats needed to do some soul-searching as it becomes clear that America is as divided as ever.

Read more: Iconiq Capital, which counts some of the world’s most influential families as clients, broke down the investment implications of the US election. Here are the highlights of its 23-page presentation.

“I think in many ways the Democratic Party has shot themselves in the foot,” because even if Biden wins, it would not be definitive, Palihapitiya said.

Election results in California led to a surge in shares of Uber and Lyft. Proposition 22 is projected to pass in the state, allowing gig-economy companies to continue classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Shares of Biogen soared 47% after scientists with the Food and Drug Administration had good things to say about the efficacy of its Alzheimer’s drug.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 4.2%, to $39.25 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped 4.1%, to $41.33 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold traded lower on Wednesday, falling as much as 1.4%, to $1,883.13 per ounce.

Read more: The ‘Blue Wave’ in the US election didn’t happen. Here’s how a UBS investment chief believes investors can trade short-term market volatility and protect their portfolios in the long term

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