US markets rise after midterm elections produce split Congress
Wall Street opened higher Wednesday and continued to climb throughout the morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.36 percent shortly after midday after Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives and the Republicans held on to their majority in the Senate .
At 12.20 pm, the Dow was up around 350 points at 25,983, while the S&P 500 index had advanced roughly 42 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,797.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posted a steeper climb, up around 146 points to 7,522.
Gains were seen across the board, with health care, technology and pharmaceutical stocks leading the way.
The market reacted positively to the new political developments, with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, set to face stronger headwinds from Congress in the last two years of his first term, particularly with regard to spending increases or potential new tax cuts.
It remains unclear how the changed political landscape will affect Trump’s agenda or how investors will respond, but analysts believe a greater balance in Washington between the two major parties could benefit the markets.
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, a managed health care company, was the biggest gainer among the Dow components, up 4.24 percent.
Microsoft Corporation was up 3.88 percent, while Pfizer and Merck & Co. rose 3.19 percent and 2.56 percent, respectively.