Election Day is finally here, and residents in swing states are heaving big sighs of relief at the end of robo-calls and endless campaign ads. The stock market seems happy that the uncertainty about who will occupy the White House for the next four years is finally ending: Gains in European stock markets made their way across the Atlantic, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is up 84 points as of 10:45 a.m. EST.
Among Dow components, the opening gains were very evenly spread out, with only a handful of stocks losing ground and only a few big gainers, as well. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) has gained 0.88% after releasing the fourth installment of its Xbox sensation Halo. The Xbox division has been a big success for the software giant and stands as an example of what the company can do when it manages to truly innovate. Halo 4 will go up against Activision Blizzard's (Nasdaq: ATVI ) upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 offering for the hot holiday season.
General Electric (NYSE: GE ) has gained about half a percent. The company stands to benefit from increasing production of the Boeing (NYSE: BA ) 787 Dreamliner, which made its maiden commercial flight by a U.S. airline yesterday. GE supplies engines for the aircraft, and even though some safety concerns arose after a couple of incidents involving the engines, GE has taken steps to eliminate those problems. With a massive backlog of orders for the plane, the Dreamliner could drive GE aerospace sales for quite a while.
Finally, Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) took a break from recent gains, having climbed 0.25% before slipping back to breakeven. The stock rose more than 3% last week after Hurricane Sandy hit, and it continued rising yesterday as reports of another storm that is expected to hit the Northeast later this week only worsened fears for the hardest-hit areas.
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To pick the best stocks, you need to understand their future prospects well. For instance, GE is a truly massive operation with several major divisions, but its biggest bet lately as been in energy and infrastructure. After such a massive recovery in its stock price since the financial crisis, though, is it too late to buy General Electric? Read our latest premium report on GE, in which our industrials analyst breaks down its multiple businesses and gives his arguments both for and against the stock. You'll also receive continuing updates as major events unfold during the year. To get started, click here now.