U.S. Stock ETFs Rally on Hopes of an End to Political Uncertainty

U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds jumped Tuesday as investors look to an end to a divisive presidential race, along with a robust fiscal stimulus package to follow.

On Tuesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) rose 2.0%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was up 1.9%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) gained 1.7%.

The markets are positioning for a victory for Democratic nominee Joe Biden as he leads in national opinion polls.

“There is some optimism that we might have a quick resolution to the election,” Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist for LPL Financial, told Reuters. “The market is going to accept a couple of days (of delay) but if we get to Friday and it looks like it’s going to take longer than that, that could upset markets and we could lose a lot of these big gains.”

Democrats are also expected to come out of 14 contested U.S. Senate races with full control of Congress, but the final tally on a couple of positions may not be available for days or even months.

The stock market is typically more apprehensive of Democrats than Republicans, but “this is a unique year and a unique election,” Solita Marcelli, the Americas Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, told the Wall Street Journal.

Market participants have warmed up to a “blue wave” outcome where one party wins both the White House and control of Congress, Marcelli added, since it would make it easier for lawmakers to approve a generous coronavirus aid package to support the economic recovery under a new administration.

“A lot of people were very fearful of a blue wave and Biden, pricing in what it would mean for taxes and regulations,” Marcelli said. Those fears have receded though. “The market has come around quite a bit.”

Nevertheless, the uncertainty in several swing states is close enough that President Donald Trump could cobble together 270 Electoral College votes to stay in the White House for another four years.

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