Dow, S & P set all-time highs following GOP’s big win

by Lei Xuan

U.S. stocks' after-party following GOP's big win. Photo by Lei Xuan
U.S. stocks’ after-party following GOP’s big win. Photo by Lei Xuan

U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index both reaching all-time highs, as investors celebrated Republicans’ victories in the U.S. midterm elections and a better-than-anticipated payroll forecast.

The Dow Jones industrials Industrial Average rose 100.69 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 17,484.53.

The S&P 500 index climbed 11.47 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 2,023.57. The NASDAQ Composite Index declined 2.91 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 4,620.72.

As stocks climbed, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose slightly to 2.34 percent from 2.33 percent late Tuesday.

U.S. private sector companies created 230,000 jobs in October, according to payroll processor ADP Research Institute. The private report came two days ahead of the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly release and topped the Wall Street expectations of 220,000 jobs.

“I think the midterm election results definitely were a factor,” said Bill Lynch, investment director at Hinsdale Associates, “The ADP private payroll data was also good news. I think that portends well for Friday’s employment number.”

Economists expect Friday’s employment report to show a gain of 225,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent, unchanged from September, according to Bloomberg LP.

Energy stocks were the big gainers as benchmark U.S. crude oil rose for the first time in five days, climbing 2.3 percent to $78.96 a barrel. According to a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 500,000 barrels last week.

Devon Energy Corp. shares soared 10 percent after the company reported its earnings more than doubled, boosted by higher production and prices. Although NRG Energy Inc.’s earnings missed the analysts’ estimate, the company’s shares rose 7.8 percent to $32.27 due to a 41.2 percent increase in net income.

Time Warner’s third-quarter income fell by 18 percent but its shares rose 4 percent to $77.99 after the media company raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Wednesday’s biggest loser was TripAdvisor Inc. The stock tumbled 14.1 percent after its earnings fell far below Wall Street forecasts.