Stocks gain, bond yields jump on potential Democratic control of U.S. Senate

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global stock indexes climbed and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields topped 1% for the first time since March on Wednesday as Democratic control of the U.S. Senate following Georgia’s runoff elections appeared more likely.

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The S&P 500 and Dow were each up more than 1% as investors snapped up financial and industrial stocks on bets that a Democrat-controlled Senate would lead to more fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending.

The Nasdaq was also higher but underperforming the other two major U.S. indexes on fears of increased regulatory scrutiny of technology mega-caps under Democratic control.

“What investors are trying to figure out is how quickly the Democrats would be able to introduce their tax agenda if they take control of the Senate, and would they be more likely to act on regulation on big tech,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

Democrats won one U.S. Senate race in Georgia and led in another, moving closer to a sweep in a deep South state that would give them control of both houses of Congress and the power to advance President-elect Joe Biden’s policy goals. A final outcome is not expected until later on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 602.71 points, or 1.98%, to 30,994.31, the S&P 500 gained 55.09 points, or 1.48%, to 3,781.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 85.69 points, or 0.67%, to 12,904.65.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.36% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.14%.

Bond yields rose with prospects increasing for further economic stimulus measures. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 28/32 in price to yield 1.0473%, from 0.955% late on Tuesday.

In the currency market, the dollar edged up after sinking to its lowest level in nearly three years.

The dollar index rose 0.026%, with the euro up 0.12% to $1.2309.

Oil prices were higher, with Brent crude up 1.9% at $54.63 a barrel and U.S. crude futures up about 2% at $50.93. Spot gold dropped 2.1% to $1,907.86 an ounce.

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