After months of uncertainty, hopes are high that the results of the presidential election will finally put an end to a major roadblock that has paralyzed Washington for far too long. With pressing issues including the fiscal cliff needing immediate attention, putting the election behind us will at least raise the possibility of forward motion from lawmakers. Despite relatively low trading volume, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained 133 points, or just over 1%.
Just two Dow stocks dropped on the session. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) fell half a percent on concerns that its chips might get removed from the popular Macintosh line of computers. Given Intel's dominance in the PC market, its long failure to gain traction in the fast-growing mobile area has been a big source of disappointment for investors, but with mobile-device makers using ever-more powerful chips, the idea of having one class of chips for both laptops and mobile devices may eventually make sense. Unless recent initiatives to get its foot in the mobile door are successful, Intel could find itself facing slow but inevitable decay in its once formidable leadership position.
AT&T (NYSE:T) also fell fractionally on the session. The company set prices of $50 to $100 on Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) Lumia line of Windows-based smartphones, aiming to compete by offering a cheaper alternative to other companies' smartphone lines. A failure to produce blockbuster sales wouldn't be fatal to AT&T, but for Nokia, it could spell the final nail in the coffin for the long-struggling mobile giant.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) wasn't a loser today, but it gained only about a quarter percent. Both it and AT&T have suffered from the impact of Hurricane Sandy on their cellular networks, and given that the Northeast is a traditional bastion of strength for Verizon, it stands to lose more if it can't convince customers of its ability to get things up and running quickly.