Wall Street wanders through uncertain day


Associated Press

NEW YORK – Wall Street spent today wondering how to turn the unresolved presidential election to its advantage, but stocks still ended a choppy session mostly lower amid the continuing political uncertainty.

With the election outcome hinging on a vote recount in Florida, investors returned to their recent trading pattern, focusing on and selling high-tech issues.

The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index closed down 184.09 at 3,231.70.

The Dow Jones industrial average, unable to hold its gains, fell 45.12 to 10,907.06 after briefly hitting 11,000 earlier. The broader Standard &Poor’s 500 index fell 22.59 to 1,409.28.

Investors who have been trading carefully since Friday in anticipation of Election Day weren’t sure where to invest given the undecided presidency.

“Do you buy all service and oil stocks because of George W. Bush? Or, do you short health care companies because of Al Gore? Or, do you buy financial stocks because they’re safe? This is what’s going on in investors’ minds,” said Larry Rice, chief investment officer for Josephthal &Co.

Analysts predicted more of the same until the election results are known. Florida officials said the recount should be finished by the end of the day Thursday.

“Everyone’s going to sit and watch and wait,” Rice said.

Technology issues moved lower as investors remained uneasy about future profits. Investors began dumping tech stocks in September, before a litany of companies announced disappointing earnings and lowered their expectations for the current quarter.

Dell was off $2.25 at $30.31, while network equipment manufacturer Cisco lost $4.63, closing at $52.13.

Computer chip maker Intel, a Dow stock, fell $3.50 to $42.69.

“Investors have been getting out of tech stocks and being defensive by buying Dow and non-tech stocks,” said Dan Ascani, president and senior research director for Global Market Strategists in Gainesville, Ga.

Investors, who seemed poised by October’s end to put money back into the markets, are holding on to their cash, he said.

“We are missing some of the buy volume,” Ascani said. “Not knowing who is going to win as president means investors don’t know whether the president will be friendly to big business and corporate America. (For example), they are not certain about policies toward tobacco or pharmaceuticals.”

Drug and health care concerns built on early gains. Eli Lilly picked up $3 to close at $90.44 and Merck, a Dow component, rose $3.81 to $90.81. Health insurer Unitedhealth Group rose $1.75 to $110.50.

Food and tobacco company Philip Morris gained $1.69, closing at $36.69.

Financial firms, often considered safe buys in flat or down markets, were generally lower. Banker J.P. Morgan dropped $3.56 to $159.69. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which analysts downgraded earlier in the day, also fell $3.56 to $73.06.

Advancing issues matched decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 890.89 million shares, up from 873.61 million Tuesday.

The Russell 2000 index was down 5.33 at 500.68.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Report of downed hot air balloon turns up farmer’s tarp near Snohomish

Two 911 callers believed they saw a hot air balloon crash, leading to a major search-and-rescue response. It was a false alarm.

A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

Most Read