By Noel Randewich
Shares on Wall Street rallied on the eve of the U.S. presidential election, as Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's prospects brightened after the FBI said it would not press criminal charges against her over the use of a private email server.U.S. stocks on Monday were set for their biggest one-day percentage gain since March 1, while a volatility measure was set for its biggest drop since late June. The IShares MSCI Mexico ETF (EWW.P), known of late as the "Trump ETF," soared 5.3 percent and was on track for its best day in more than five years. The ETF is viewed as a barometer for expectations that Republican Donald Trump could win the election since his policies are considered negative for Mexico.The FBI said on Sunday it stood by its July finding that Clinton was not guilty of criminal wrongdoing, after announcing on Oct. 28 it was reviewing additional emails relating to her use of a private server while secretary of state.While polls last week showed Trump had been closing the gap, at least five major polls on Monday showed Clinton still had the lead in the race for the White House.Wall Street closed lower for nine days in a row through Friday, its longest losing streak in more than 35 years.
Investors have tended to see Clinton as a more status quo candidate. On the other hand, Trump's stance on foreign policy, trade and immigration has unnerved the market."I don't see another 5 percent bump on a Clinton win, but I could see a 5 to 7 percent pullback on a Trump win," said Jeff Carbone, co-founder of Cornerstone Financial Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina. At 2:02 pm ET, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 1.97 percent at 18,241.18 points and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 2.12 percent to 2,129.33.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 2.36 percent to 5,165.46.The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, dubbed Wall Street's "fear gauge," tumbled 17 percent, on pace for its biggest one-day fall since June 28, just after Britain voted to leave the European Union.The financials' .SPSY 2.5 percent rise led the gainers among the 11 S&P sectors. Investors expect a Clinton victory to not hinder a potential U.S. interest rate hike next month.
Biogen (BIIB.O) jumped 6.18 percent after the drugmaker and Ionis (IONS.O) announced positive interim trial data. Ionis shares soared 18.54 percent.Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 6.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 4.82-to-1 ratio favored advancers.The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 61 new highs and 58 new lows. (Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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