US stocks rise sharply as election results keep trickling in

By CNN Business

Updated 1:52 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020
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1:22 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Markets are liking the gridlock: strategist

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

We still don't have a result for the election, but stocks are rallying anyway.

We have an environment where we have some gridlock, and I think the market thinks gridlock is a positive thing," Greg Valliere, chief US policy strategist at AGF Investments, told Alison Kosik on the CNN Business' digital live show Markets Now.

But the gridlock he refers to isn't the uncertainty about who will take the White House, but rather the likelihood that the Republican party will keep control of the Senate, while Joe Biden could become the next President.

For the market, this might mean moderate outcomes on the whole, and that's a positive.

"For the market, the threat of big new tax increases has dissipated," Valliere said.

1:37 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Big Techs are soaring -- just like the past 4 years

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Will it be same as it ever was for the tech giants, no matter who wins the election? The political talking heads might still be trying to figure out the election results -- but some of the Nasdaq's top stocks are rallying nonetheless.

The stocks of all five FAANGs -- as well as Microsoft (MSFT) -- were up between 4% and 8% in midday trading Wednesday. Tesla (TSLA) was not taking part in the post-election rally, with shares trading flat.

It's been a stunning four years of stock gains for Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX), Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft and Tesla.

This magnificent seven of the Nasdaq is now worth about $7.9 trillion combined -- even though Trump has often been at odds with Big Tech over issues like immigration, tariffs and the president's complaints about the growing competitive clout of some of these companies.

Four years ago, this septet had a collective market value of just $2.4 trillion.

12:36 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Dow briefly climbs more than 800 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

This rally just won't stop. It's making us wonder what might happen when we finally have a winner of the election...

But for now, we don't, and the market is on fire.

The Dow briefly climbed more than 800 points. It's now up some 780 points, or 2.9%.

Meanwhile the S&P 500 is 3.4% higher and the Nasdaq is holding its lead with a 4.4% gain.

12:11 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

It's midday and the Dow is up more than 700 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The stock market rally is still in full swing at midday. The Dow has now gained more than 700 points, or 2.7%. Phew.

The S&P 500 is up 3.2%, and the Nasdaq is still leading gains with 4.3%.

Experts' views are divided about why the market is shooting higher. Part of it might be that a delayed election outcome was already priced in, as well as continued odds in favor of a Joe Biden win in the betting markets.

Growth stocks have been doing well under the Trump administration, so another term could serve them well.

Meanwhile, either next administration would likely pass another stimulus bill.

"Overall, investors should stay patient as the vote count continues and recognize that markets may be volatile along the way," analysts at Columbia Threadneedle Investments said in a note.

12:02 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

T-Mobile fined $200 million over Sprint's phone subsidy violations

From CNN Business' Brian Fung and Clare Duffy

T-Mobile (TMUS) will pay a $200 million fine to the US government after its subsidiary Sprint was caught claiming federal telecom subsidies it wasn’t eligible to receive.  

The fine, announced Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission, caps an investigation into Sprint’s conduct from before it merged with T-Mobile earlier this year. It is the largest fixed-amount penalty to be paid in FCC history, the agency said. 

The investigation found that Sprint had claimed benefits from the US government’s Lifeline program to help cover the costs of phone and broadband service for as many as 885,000 subscribers. But in fact, those subscribers were not eligible for subsidies under the program because they were considered non-users of Sprint’s service, meaning they had not used the service in at least a month.

The Lifeline program provides eligible low-income households a $9.25 monthly credit through their telecom carriers. The discount may be used to defray the costs of cellphone or home internet service.

Lifeline is key to our commitment to bringing digital opportunity to low-income Americans, and it is especially critical that we make the best use of taxpayer dollars for this vital program,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
11:03 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

US services sector expands for fifth month in October

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Here's another piece of regularly scheduled programming this morning: services sector data from the Institute for Supply Management.

In October the non-manufacturing (i.e. services) purchasing managers' index grew for the fifth straight month -- but the PMI came in lower than expected, at 56.6 points. It was also lower than in the previous month.

Still, any level over 50 does denote growth in the sector.

The ISM data is based on a survey, and respondents were cautiously optimistic about business conditions and the economy last month -- despite uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the election, as well as capacity and logistical constraints.

10:42 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Biogen stock jumps on Alzheimer drug approval chances

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Shares of pharmaceuticals maker Biogen (BIIB) jumped more than 27% after the chances of approval for its Alzheimer's drug aducanumab shot higher based on evidence of effectiveness that the company provided to the Food and Drug Administration.

Trading in Biogen stock was briefly halted for the announcement.

10:26 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Aaaaand the Dow's up more than 600 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

If you blinked you missed it! And no, I don't mean the election outcome, because that's still uncertain.

The Dow is now more than 600 points, or 2.3%, up, and the trading day isn't even an hour old.

The S&P 500 is up 3.1% and the Nasdaq is up 4.1%.

There are still many hours left for trading to go all sorts of haywire, but right now, the only way seem to be up.

10:15 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

The Dow climbs more than 500 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

About 45 minutes into the trading day, stocks have extended their gains.

The Dow climbed 1.9%, or more than 500 points, while the S&P 500 was up 2.5%.

The Nasdaq continued to lead the field with a 3.6% gain.

We’re in somewhat of a holding pattern in the markets amid the election uncertainty, aside from the big moves in tech this morning. We’d caution anyone from reading too much into tech’s rise as a predictor of who will take the oval office—could be driven by the increasing likelihood of a divided Congress, which puts a damper on hopes for increased regulation against this sector," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*TRADE.

Elections are always volatile, but investors shouldn't forget what else is happening around them: Covid-19 infections are rising, we still don't have a new stimulus package, and the jobs market recovery is slowing.

"So when the election is finally decided, we have a heck of a lot of challenges to tackle on the way to full recovery," he said in emailed comments.