US stocks rise as midterm vote gets underway

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP New York, USA Nov 06, 2018, 09.04 PM (IST)

Wall Street stocks were modestly higher early Tuesday as the United States headed to the polls for congressional elections seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 per cent at 25,526.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 2,748.58, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8 per cent to 7,363.92.

Polls are showing that Tuesday's election is most likely to yield a Democratic win in the House of Representatives and a Republican victory in the Senate.

Tuesday's session "will prove to be a great, big guessing game with respect to the results and the stock market's response to those results," said analyst Patrick O'Hare. "Accordingly, don't be surprised if today's action has a seesaw feel to it."

"The polls might be suggesting one thing or another, yet the experience of the Brexit vote and the 2016 presidential election has diluted the value of polling data for many participants."

Companies reporting earnings were mixed, with Booking Holding gaining 6.8 per cent and CVS Health winning 2.0 per cent but Eli Lilly shedding 2.4 per cent.

General Electric climbed 1.5 per cent after announcing it had sold its Current business to American Industrial Partners, a private equity firm, for an undisclosed sum. The assets include technology for energy efficiency at commercial and municipal facilities.