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Stocks rally, dollar slumps

by Jonathan Adams
dollar slumps

The S&P 500 gained nearly 2%, while the Nasdaq 100 jumped almost 3%

A global equity rally looked set to extend on Friday as investors bought into technology and health-care firms on bets the U.S. election results mean no major tax hikes or regulatory changes that could derail those sectors. The dollar slumped to its lowest in more than two years.

The S&P 500 rose almost 2% and is headed for its best week since April. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 surged closer to 3%, pushing its advance this week to more than 9%. Futures in Japan and Hong Kong pointed to modest gains and Australian shares opened higher.

Federal Reserve officials kept interest rates near zero and made no change to asset purchases while stressing that the U.S. economy needs more fiscal and monetary policy support. Gold surged, while Treasuries were little changed.

We’re seeing a resumption in leadership from technology, said Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute. It appears markets really like the combination they think is most likely in terms of leadership going forward and that would be a Biden presidency with a Republican Senate.

Meanwhile, vote counting continues in a handful of key states, with Democrat Joe Biden potentially needing to win just one to unseat President Donald Trump. The president added a lawsuit in Nevada to challenges in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, but lost some initial rulings.

Illinois, Ohio and Utah reported record Covid-19 infections and New York’s new cases approached a six-month high as Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that mounting coronavirus infection rates are a risk to the recovery.

Elsewhere, Uber Technologies Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc. both fell in after-hours U.S. trading. Bitcoin climbed by more than $1,000 to over $15,000, more than doubling its value in 2020. Oil ticked lower.

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