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Last night, everyone was trying to figure out which of the Presidential candidates won the debate. Regardless of your opinion on that score, however, the stock market seemed to like the outcome. Although investors remain nervous about tomorrow’s jobs number, better-than-expected data on manufactured goods and positive comments from the European Central Bank that it believes it can offset economic weakness, helped buoy the market. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) closed higher by about 80 points.
Among Dow stocks, Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) was the biggest winner, climbing more than 3%. Given how long the stock has been in the doldrums, the Wall Street Journal opined that many investors believe that the share price already reflects any negative news from its impending earnings report next week, leaving open the possibility for substantial upside if the company provides a positive earnings surprise. Analysts certainly aren’t expecting much from the stock, with average earnings estimates of a single penny per share.
Financial stocks also performed extremely well, lending credence to the theory that Governor Romney’s performance last night was well-received by the electorate. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) posted a better than 3% gain, while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) rose more than 2%, as signs of new life from the Republican candidate raised hopes that regulatory burdens under a prospective Romney administration would likely be far less onerous than if President Obama wins re-election.
Finally, Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) gained more than 2%. While most of the attention in the telecom space has centered on T-Mobile’s buyout bid for MetroPCS, Verizon has already accomplished many important strategic moves, most importantly, the acquisition of substantial amounts of wireless spectrum. Those resources will be invaluable in promoting Verizon’s growth well into the future.
Be a winner
A one-day event, like a Presidential debate, may have a short-term impact on your stocks but, regardless of politics, companies still have to execute on their business strategies in order to thrive. Bank of America obviously has a big stake in the election, but it’s making progress in directions that will support the bank, regardless of who wins in November. Find out more about the bank’s latest initiatives in the Fool’s premium report on Bank of America. With insight about the company’s future, you won’t want to wait. Click here and read it right now.