Stocks May Open Higher Following Midterm Elections – U.S. Commentary

After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks are likely to see further upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 159 points.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes as the results of the highly anticipated midterm elections on Tuesday came largely in line with expectations.

Democrats are projected to retake control of the House for the first time since 2010, as Democratic candidates managed to flip a number of suburban districts across the country.

Control of the House will give Democrats subpoena power, potentially leading to numerous investigations of President Donald Trump’s administration.

House Democrats will also play a much larger role if Trump hopes to achieve any major legislative accomplishments in the next two years.

Meanwhile, Democrats did not fare as well as in the Senate, as Republicans appear poised to expand their majority in the upper chamber.

Republican candidates won Democratic Senate seats in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota and are leading in tight races in Florida, Arizona, and Montana.

The GOP had been seen as likely to maintain control of the Senate due to the tough map faced by Democrats, who were defending 26 of the 35 seats on the ballot.

With Republicans expanding their majority, Trump will likely have an easier time pushing through more controversial judicial nominees.

Despite Republicans losing control of the House, Trump described the night as a “tremendous success” in a post on Twitter.

“Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye!” Trump tweeted. “Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media.”

While stocks are likely to see initial strength, trading activity may remain somewhat subdued head of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Thursday.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will keep a close eye on the accompanying statement for clues about an expected rate hike in December.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Tuesday but largely maintained a positive bias on the day. The major averages all moved to the upside following the mixed performance seen in the previous session.

Going into the close, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new highs for the session. The Dow advanced 173.31 points or 0.7 percent to 25,635.01, the Nasdaq climbed 47.11 points or 0.6 percent to 7,375.96 and the S&P 500 rose 17.14 points or 0.6 percent to 2,755.45.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved notably higher on the day. While the German DAX Index has advanced by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both jump by 1.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.63 to $62.84 a barrel after tumbling $0.89 to $62.21 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, after falling $6 to $1,230.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $5.40 to $1,231.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.26 yen compared to the 113.43 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1485 compared to yesterday’s $1.1427.

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