Election & Stocks: Dow Futures Up More Than 300 Points As Nation Waits Results

A trader speaks on a phone outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following Election Day in Manhattan, New York, November 4, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

U.S. stock index futures saw a sharp increase early Thursday as the nation waited for a victor to be named in the U.S. presidential election.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 353 points, or 1.3 percent, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

As of Thursday morning, Democratic nominee Joe Biden stands just six Electoral College votes away from becoming the 46th president of the United States, according to projections by the Associated Press. Biden would need only the six electoral votes of Nevada, where he has a lead, to claim victory.

Nevada officials have said they plan to release new tallies Thursday morning.

Stocks were bolstered on Wednesday by results showing Republicans had broadly held off a blue wave in Congress, as Republican wins in key races narrowed Democrats’ path to gaining control of the legislative body. If Democrats had swept the Congressional races, it could have had a detrimental effect on the market, particularly Big Tech, experts say. 

The Dow closed on Wednesday with a 1.3 percent gain of 367.63 points. At its session high, the 30-stock average gained 821 points. The S&P 500 grew 2.2 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 3.9 percent.

While stocks have seen a post-election surge, strategists have warned a contested election could lead to a sharp drop in stocks in the short-term, according to CNBC.

“More than anything, the market is looking for a peaceful transition of power. Social unrest or a contested election could trigger a significant increase in volatility,” Don Calcagni, chief investment officer of Mercer Advisors, told CNBC.

With votes still being counted in a number of states, the Trump campaign has already filed lawsuits in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan over vote counting and has said it will demand a recount in Wisconsin.

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