Stocks climbed Tuesday, the last day of trading before the election results came to a close, as investors looked forward to a resolution to the drawn-out race for the White House.
The rally defied a string of weaker than expected results from U.S. companies and was attributed in part to expectations that a victor in the presidential race would be known late Tuesday or early Wednesday, despite some fears that have nagged markets recently that the outcome could remain up in the air for days.
"The market just wants to wake up tomorrow and know for sure that there's a winner," said Linda Duessel, a strategist at Federated Investors.
There was notable strength Tuesday in stocks and sectors that are seen as favorable if Romney wins, including coal, energy and defense shares. But with volume again below average, moves in those sectors could have been inflated.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 133.24 points, ending at 13,245.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.79 percent, at 1,428.39. The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.41 percent, at 3,011.93. -- Reuters