Indexes up ahead of election result

Major stock market indexes have climbed as investors waited for the finish of a closely fought US presidential election.

Major stock market indexes have climbed as investors waited for the finish of a closely fought US presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 133.24 points to close at 13,245.68.

Companies that investors believe would benefit under a potential Mitt Romney administration surged ahead. They included United Technologies and Boeing, which conduct substantial business with the US Defence Department.

Four financial companies – Travelers, American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America – ranked among the 10 biggest gainers in the 30-stock Dow average.

Other investors say that they simply want the election behind them. That will allow Wall Street and Congress to shift their attention to the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled to take effect January 1.

In other trading Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.13 points to 1,428.39, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 12.27 points to 3,011.93.

The price of crude oil jumped $3 to $88.71 a barrel in New York as reports suggested that Superstorm Sandy caused a drop in gasoline supplies. That also helped lift stocks in petroleum refiners. Tesoro Corp and Phillips 66 each rose 5%.

In the market for government bonds, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note rose to 1.75%. That was up from 1.68% late on Monday.

Even with the surge Tuesday, it remained a quieter Election Day for the stock market than last time.

During the financial meltdown four years ago, big swings in the market became commonplace. On November 4 2008, the Dow shot up 305 points, easily the biggest Election Day rally of all time. Investors expected a victory for Barack Obama.

On Election Day 2004, the prospect of a close election led to a late sell-off, and the Dow finished down 18 points, snapping a five-day winning streak. John Kerry did not concede to George W Bush until the following day.

Weight-loss company Medifast rose $2.29 to $29.11 after reporting that its quarterly earnings increased more than 40% as expenses fell.

Express Scripts sank $7.73 to $55.15. The pharmacy benefits manager warned that persistently high unemployment and economic uncertainty would hurt its business next year.

NYSE Euronext fell $1.34 to $24.27. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange reported Tuesday that its quarterly earnings fell by nearly half. A drop in the number of transactions it handles pulled down revenue.

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