Dow adds 542 points, stocks on pace for 2nd best election week ever

Fed Chair Jerome Powell warns on COVID-19 fallout

Stocks closed higher for a fourth-straight day pacing for the second-best election week ever as investors celebrated two key themes; a divided government and the Federal Reserve's commitment to keep interest rates low.

FED KEEPS RATES NEAR RECORD LOWS, WARNS OF PANDEMIC FALLOUT

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 542 points or 1.9%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 2.5% as investors sighed a breath of relief that regulation and corporate taxes may not be as bad as feared. The S&P 500 climbed 1.9%, closing above the 3,500 level.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34649.94 -486.00 -1.38%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15591.47422 -191.36 -1.21%
SP500 S&P 500 4594.94 -60.33 -1.30%

NASDAQ, S&P 500 POST-ELECTION GAINS BEST EVER DESPITE CHAOS

GM shares rose over 5% on Thursday after the automaker reported a better-than-expected quarter due to rising demand for trucks. CEO Mary Barra, commenting during an interview, that the automaker's talks with Nikola are ongoing.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 59.86 -0.31 -0.52%
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 10.23 -0.23 -2.20%
TSLA TESLA, INC. 1,136.99 +55.07 +5.09%

Barra also said the company would invest $1 billion to bring truck production to Canada, citing surging demand.

Tesla shares were also rising on Thursday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NTDOY NINTENDO CO., LTD. 55.105 -1.60 -2.83%

Nintendo shares rose after the video game giant raised its forecast on Switch shipments to 24 million units, citing benefits of people staying at home and playing games such as "Animal Crossing.

FED IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The Federal Open Market Committee kept rates unchanged, noted that it is committed to the current policy until inflation is "moderately" above 2%.

In its statement, the Fed said the path of the economy will continue to depend on the course of COVID-19, adding that the economy and jobs have continued to recover, though they are below the levels at the start of the year.

TRUMP OR BIDEN? FED CHAIR POWELL IS STILL A RAINMAKER

ECON DATA 

Ahead of the decision, initial jobless claims showed a slight rise to 751,000 compared to economists' expectations of 735,000, for the week ending Oct. 31. Continuing claims came in at 7.285 million, as the country still grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for the election, the odds of a contested result are growing more likely.

The Fox News Decision Desk projects victories for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan one of Nebraska's electoral votes, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. The former vice president has secured 264 electoral votes.

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Meanwhile, President Trump is expected to win Kentucky; West Virginia; Alabama; Mississippi; Tennessee; Missouri; Arkansas; Indiana; Kansas; Louisiana; Oklahoma; Wyoming; North Dakota; South Dakota; South Carolina; Utah; Idaho; Florida; Ohio; Texas; Iowa; Montana; and at least four of Nebraska's five electoral votes. That represents a total of 214 electoral votes.

Up for grabs are Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, with those results still too-close-to-call.

TECH EARNINGS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
QCOM QUALCOMM, INC. 183.74 +8.00 +4.55%

Qualcomm shares soared after the chipmaker posted better-than-expected results and gave guidance that pleased investors, highlighting the effects of the coming wave of 5G-enabled smartphones.

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
EXPE EXPEDIA GROUP, INC. 166.50 +6.70 +4.19%

Expedia shares also higher after the travel services provider said its results weren't as bad as feared, despite the sharp drop in demand for travel due to the pandemic.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BABA ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD. 131.61 -1.74 -1.30%
TMUS T-MOBILE US, INC. 113.40 -0.13 -0.11%
SQ SQUARE, INC. 212.87 +0.79 +0.37%
UBER UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 39.70 -0.82 -2.02%
BKNG BOOKING HOLDINGS, INC. 2,182.01 +26.45 +1.23%
PTON PELOTON INTERACTIVE, INC. 44.39 -2.02 -4.35%

Investors will get quarterly looks at Peloton, Alibaba, T-Mobile USA, Square, Uber Technologies, Booking.com, among several others, after the close of trading.

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil dipped slightly to the $38.79 barrel level, while gold continued its march upwards closing at  $1,945.30 an ounce, the best dollar and percentage gain since April.

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