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U.S. Stocks Advance in Biggest Election Day Rally Since 1984

Elizabeth Stanton
Tuesday, October 4, 2008

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks advanced in the biggest presidential Election Day rally in 24 years, led by energy and banking shares, on rebounding commodity prices and speculation the Treasury will bail out more financial companies.

General Electric Co. added 7.1 percent and CIT Group Inc. and Principal Financial Group Inc. climbed more than 16 percent after people briefed on the matter said the government may broaden the focus of its rescue program. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. led all 40 energy shares in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher as oil gained. Archer Daniels Midland Co. rose as much as 22 percent after profit more than doubled at the world’s largest grain processor.

“The market has come to the conclusion that Armageddon is off the table,” said Philip Orlando, who helps manage $330 billion as chief equity strategist at Federated Investors Inc. in New York. “The elimination of the uncertainty of the campaign typically results in an end-of-year rally and you’re starting to see that today.”



The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 33.64 points, or 3.5 percent, to 999.94 at 3:37 p.m. in New York and traded above 1,000 for the first time since Oct. 14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 268.73 points, or 2.9 percent, to 9,588.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 42.73, or 2.5 percent, to 1,769.06. Gains in Europe and Asia sent the MSCI World Index to a sixth straight advance.

Today’s advance in the S&P 500 and Dow average are the biggest for a presidential Election Day since the NYSE first opened for trading during a presidential vote in 1984. The S&P 500 advanced on four and fell on two of the previous presidential election days since then, averaging a 0.3 percent gain.