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Industrials, tech lead stocks higher ahead of elections

Trader Jeffrey Vazquez works on the floor of

Trader Jeffrey Vazquez works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 26. Photo Credit: AP/Richard Drew

Stocks rose Tuesday as industrial and technology companies recovered some of the big losses they took over the last month. Strong company earnings also contributed to the gains, but stocks stayed calm as traders waited for results from the midterm elections in the U.S.

Industrial and basic materials companies made some of the biggest gains following reports from fertilizer maker Mosaic and granite, limestone, sand and gravel seller Martin Marietta Materials. Bond prices dipped, sending yields higher. Oil prices continued to fall, extending four weeks of losses. 

Alicia Levine, chief market strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said some of the most dramatic reactions to the elections might be seen in the health care sector, as Republicans could make another attempt to eliminate the 2010 Affordable Care Act if they keep control of the House and Senate.

"If the Democrats take the House, the Affordable Care Act is not under threat of being repealed," she said, which could help health insurers and hospitals. "If we see the Democrats take the governors houses, you could also see the expansion of Medicaid."

The S&P 500 index rose 17.14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,755.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 173.31 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,635.01. The Nasdaq composite picked up 47.11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,375.96. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 8.59 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,556.10.

Drugstore and pharmacy benefits manager CVS Health rose 5.7 percent to $77.90 after its third quarter results topped Wall Street forecasts. It was helped by a large bump in prescriptions.

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