Markets Right Now: Dollar slides amid US gridlock concerns


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NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Technology and health care stocks are leading indexes broadly higher on Wall Street as results of the midterm elections came in largely as investors had expected.

Big retailers and other high-growth stocks also rose Wednesday.

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Health insurers were doing especially well after the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, greatly decreasing the chances that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. Several states also approved expanding Medicaid.

UnitedHealth Group rose 4.4 percent and Molina Healthcare jumped 8.5 percent.

The S&P 500 index rose 36 points, or 1.3 percent to 2,792.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 279 points, or 1.1 percent, to 25,918. The Nasdaq composite climbed 138 points, or 1.9 percent, to 7,514.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.19 percent.


9:35 a.m.

Stocks are climbing in early trading on Wall Street as results of the U.S. midterm elections came in as investors had expected.

Technology and health care companies rose broadly in early trading Wednesday, as did big retailers.

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Health insurers were doing especially well after the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, greatly decreasing the chances that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed.

UnitedHealth Group rose 3.5 percent.

The S&P 500 index rose 24 points, or 0.9 percent to 2,779.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 209 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,844. The Nasdaq composite climbed 69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,446.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.19 percent.


8:15 a.m.

Wall Street is set to open higher Wednesday after the U.S. midterm elections lived up to expectations, with the Democrats winning control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans keeping the Senate.

The election results portend gridlock in Washington — but the stock market historically has performed well when Congress splits between the two parties.

Futures show the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrials opening about a half a percent higher, while the Nasdaq is poised for a gain of about 1 percent.

Government bond yields spiked overnight but then retreated as Democrats’ fortunes improved. The yield was at 3.20 percent Wednesday morning after rising as high as 3.25 percent overnight.

The U.S. currency fell to 113.18 yen from 113.40 yen, and the euro climbed to $1.1487 from $1.1413.


5:30 a.m.

The currency was down 0.3 percent at 113.09 yen while the euro advanced 0.5 percent to $1.1485.

The decline appears related to uncertainty over whether there will be political deadlock in Washington.

Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at financial services firm ADSS, said President Donald Trump will “definitely have a tougher time getting his legislative initiatives through Congress” but that this in “shouldn’t be a dampening factor for the dollar itself in the long term.”

Potentially more important for the dollar this week, he said, will be the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate announcement on Thursday and its accompanying statement. Though rates are expected to be kept on hold, policymakers are set to signal a further increase next month.


4:20 a.m.

Share prices have closed mixed in Asia with several major regional benchmarks giving up early gains.

The retreat Wednesday followed results from U.S. midterm elections that were no surprise but raised the prospect for greater uncertainty as the opposition Democrats regained a majority in the House of Representatives.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.3 percent to 22,085.80 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index yoyo’d back into positive territory, adding 0.1 percent to 26,147.69. The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.5 percent to 2,078.69 and the Shanghai Composite index skidded 0.7 percent to 2,641.34. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,896.90 and shares also rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia.


3:40 a.m.

European stock markets have opened strongly after the U.S. midterm results came in largely as anticipated with the Democrats taking back control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans holding onto the Senate.

Among the main indexes, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 1 percent at 7,113 while Germany’s DAX also spiked 1 percent to 11,598. The CAC 40 in France was 1.1 percent at 5,131.

Though the election results raise the prospect of political gridlock in Washington, Mike Read, founder of social trading platform Pelican, said the “cloud of uncertainty from the last few weeks has lifted and we’re back to seeing trading as usual.”

As a result, he thinks many traders who have stayed on the sidelines in recent weeks will return to the markets.


1:45 a.m.

Asian shares have wavered after a strong start as Democrats appear on track to take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The outcome of the U.S. midterm election could put a check on President Donald Trump and his aggressive trade policies, although a great deal of uncertainty remains.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell back in late trading, giving up 0.3 percent, and the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent lower and the Kospi in South Korea declined 0.5 percent.

The U.S. dollar edged lower and oil prices also fell, with benchmark U.S. crude oil down 40 cents at $61.81 per barrel.


1:00 a.m.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have held steady with the Democrats looking likely to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

By midday in Asian trading on Wednesday the future contracts had showed none of the drastic swings seen with the 2016 presidential election. The mixed outcome for the midterm election, with the Republican Party still in control of the Senate, suggested a limited scope for a change of course on President Donald Trump’s polices on trade and other issues.

The future contract for the Dow rose 0.3 percent to 25,707.00 and that for the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to 2,764.80.


12:00 a.m.

Asian shares are trading higher as results come in for the U.S. midterm elections.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 22,265.05. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.3 percent higher to 5,894.30. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4 percent at 2,098.35. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.5 percent to 26,505.06, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.5 percent to 2,672.89.

The election results were being closely watched in Asia, as they could affect U.S. trade, economic and security policies.

The Democrats were gaining significant ground in the battle for House control, while Republicans held their Senate majority, according to early results.

The dollar rose to 113.21 yen from 113.18 yen, while the euro climbed to $1.1464 from $1.1427.

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