Stocks open higher as America votes for president
NEW YORK, United States - (UPDATED)
NEW YORK, United States - US stocks headed higher in opening trade as the country went to the polls to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president, with the economy the key issue in the tight election.
Around 30 minutes into trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 76.78 points (0.59 percent) at 13,189.22.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 6.32 (0.45 percent) at 1,423.58, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 6.29 (0.21 percent) to 3,005.95.
The dollar was down slightly against the euro, at $1.2805 per euro.
Wall Street has been more behind the president's Republican challenger Romney, who supports low investment-related taxes, but most in the business world want a clear decision that will allow the government to move on fixing the extremely austere "fiscal cliff" legislation that comes into play at year end.
"The presidential race is considered too close to call. That probably means the nation is in store for a long night of political intrigue," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.
"Let's hope, however, that by this time tomorrow we at least know who has been elected president. There is a risk that we won't and that won't be a good thing."
Markets have been essentially flat for a week ahead of the vote, with corporate earnings and earnings forecasts keeping a damper on sentiment.
Drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager CVS Caremark fell 0.8 percent after turning in a better than expected 16 percent rise in third-quarter profits.
Rival benefits manager Express Scripts sank 16.7 percent pushed by CVS's claim that it had picked up a large number of customers after Express Scripts fell out with drugstore chain Walgreens early in the year.
United Technologies led Dow gainers, up 1.4 percent, and IBM picked up 1.0 percent.
On the Nasdaq, Apple added 0.25 percent.
Bond prices fell. The 10-year US Treasury yield rose to 1.70 percent from 1.68 percent late Monday, and the 30-year rose to 2.89 percent from 2.87 percent. Prices and yields move inversely. -Agence France-Presse