Election Day jitters in the U.S. stock market gave way to a boom on Tuesday, resulting in the best return for equities on voting day since the 2008 race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger John McCain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, 2.06% closed the session up 2.1%, the S&P 500 SPX, 1.78% ended 1.8% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, 1.85% finished the day 1.9% higher. The equity benchmarks notched their best Election Day returns since 2008 and the S&P 500 and Dow scored their best daily returns since June 5, according to FactSet and Dow Jones Market Data.
Market experts are pegging Tuesday’s rally to the belief that former Vice President Joe Biden will garner a swift and decisive victory against Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 contest that comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that has complicated the 45th president’s calling card to a second term.
Trump has taken credit for the stock market and the economy’s performance during his first four years in office, but the COVID-19 epidemic has delivered a devastating blow to both, though stocks and the economy are attempting to recover.
Meanwhile, Biden has raised questions about Trump’s handling of the pandemic in the U.S., which has the highest number of cases of the disease derived from the novel strain of coronavirus that was first reported in Wuhan, China back in December of 2019.
A sweeping victory for Biden, with the former vice president taking the White House and the Democrats also gaining a majority in the Senate, an outcome known as a “blue wave”, is expected to lead to another round of fiscal relief for American businesses and workers still swooning from the contagion and its renewed spread in recent weeks.
That scenario is viewed by many as bullish for stocks at least in the short term as the U.S. economy attempts a more lasting rebound from the health crisis.
To be sure, it is unclear how the market’s will react once the vote tallies are finally in and the timing of the 2020 election is challenged by a wave of mail-in votes due to social-distance measures invoked during the election in the wake of the pandemic.
The moves for equities on Tuesday also follow a similarly powerful rally on Monday after a sell off last week that had been colored by some fear of a growing spread of the virus inside and outside the U.S.
–Ken Jimenez contributed to this article