North American stocks held onto strong gains in midday trading on Tuesday, as Americans head to the polls in presidential elections – promsing to end one of the key sources of uncertainty hanging over markets.
Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 144 points or 1.1 per cent. The broader S&P 500 was up 12 points or 0.9 per cent, to 1429. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 21 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,374.
Within the U.S. benchmark index, investors showed a clear preference for economically sensitive stocks. Energy stocks rose 1.5 per cent, industrials rose 1.4 per cent and materials and financials rose 1.2 per cent each.
Economically defensive stocks, such as telecoms, utilities and health care stocks, lagged.
Within Canada’s benchmark index, the moves were far milder. Materials and consumer staples rose 0.2 per cent each, while financials were flat.
Among commodities, gold rose to $1,698 (U.S.) an ounce, up $13. Crude oil rose to $86.57 a barrel, up 92 cents.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.7 per cent.