Wall Street jumps on bets for split Congress

Investors bought stocks across the board Thursday, betting that the Republicans would keep control of the Senate. That, they figure, would block any big policy changes that could hurt corporate profits under a possible Joe Biden administration.

The markets rose for the fourth straight day, with the S&P gaining 7% and the Nasdaq up nearly 9% during that span. Once again, tech stocks were among the leading climbers.

Crossmark Global Investments chief market strategist Victoria Fernandez:

“People are going back into tech stocks that perhaps they sold in order to avoid higher gains taxes that were potentially coming, and obviously, with healthcare without a Blue Wave, there’s the sense some healthcare stocks will continue to do better going forward.”

Stocks got additional support from the Fed. The central bank again pledged to do whatever it takes to sustain an economy damaged by the health crisis.

The Nasdaq spurted 2.6% higher. The Dow and S&P 500 each gained nearly 2%.

Qualcomm jumped almost 13%, making it the top gainer on the S&P 500. The chipmaker forecast quarterly revenue that topped analysts’ estimates. The company, which invested heavily in 5G technology, said it sees strong growth for 5G smart phones next year.

Materials was the day’s top performing sector, driven by shares of Linde. The industrial gas company hiked its full-year earnings forecast and said it plans to invest in hydrogen.