In the final hours before the extremely tight 2012 elections finally come to a close, the markets rejoiced, bidding up stocks on the belief that there will be a definitive winner declared tonight or tomorrow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) jumped 133 points, or 1.02%, to close at 13,245.
Leading the Dow upwards was technology titan Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), surging up nearly 2.8% on the day. With HP's chips in the new Windows Phone 8, it will be interesting to see whether that alone is enough to revitalize a stock that has been the worst performer in the Dow this year.
Aerospace behemoth Boeing (NYSE:BA) was the third highest gainer in the index on Tuesday, tacking on more than 2.2% on the day. Investors may see a quick resolution to the election as a net positive for Boeing more than for almost any other stock in the index, because the impending "fiscal cliff" needs desperately to be worked out in a timely manner. As it stands now, the fiscal cliff would mean huge cuts to the defense budget, and defense contractors like Boeing would be hit extremely hard.
One of only two declining stocks in the Dow today was Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which fell more than half a percent on rumors that technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning on abandoning Intel chips in future versions of its Mac personal computers. The dissolution of Intel's alliance with Apple -- the largest public company in the world -- would be a powerful blow against the company, which has been struggling to maintain its dominance in the chip market as a shift to mobile computing changes the industry dynamics.
More than anything, the Dow's jump today means the markets think we will wake up tomorrow and know who our next president is. Given how close the race is, though, if that doesn't happen, stay tuned for a volatile few days of trading.
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