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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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.

9:33 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

We're off to the races: Stocks open higher

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

America does not yet know who the next President will be -- the supposed "nightmare scenario" for the stock market. Yet US stocks nevertheless opened decidedly higher Wednesday morning.

Market analysts believed a delayed election outcome would cause widespread uncertainty, which is typically the enemy of Wall Street. The market isn’t showing signs of panic, though, perhaps because it had already priced in the fact that the election may not be decided anytime soon.

Growth stocks have performed well under the Trump administration and a second term could herald more of the same fruitful environment. At the same time, betting markets are still very clearly favoring Joe Biden to win, which would likely lead to more government stimulus.

9:12 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

DraftKings stock pops after more states legalize sports betting

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Legal betting on sports is coming come to more states after voters in Louisiana, South Dakota and Maryland passed measures to allow such gambling.

Shares of several sports-betting companies spiked in early trading Wednesday: DraftKings (DKNG) and Penn National Gaming (PENN), the casino company that owns a significant stake in Barstool Sports, as well as the London-based shares of Flutter Entertainment which owns FanDuel.

All three stocks have surged this year thanks to strong demand for sports betting once the basketball and hockey playoffs resumed and the baseball season got off to a later start this summer following delays brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said he was happy to see that the votes in Maryland and Louisiana appeared to be both "clear" and "decisive."

Unlike, of course, the outcome of the presidential election.