On Election Day, Apple, Office Max, and Office Depot are also in the news.
The market finished with solid gains on Election Day as investors saw a light at the end of the tunnel of what has been a long and contentious presidential campaign. Handicappers have installed President Obama as the odds-on favorite due to a perceived edge in key swing states, but polling numbers have been tight over the last weeks and re-election is far from a formality. The most important thing for America is that come tomorrow morning, we know who will be president for the next four years. A protracted legal battle like we saw in 2000 could trigger volatility and turmoil in the markets.
The Dow was the strongest index on the day, finishing just more than 1% higher, while the Nasdaq lagged, gaining 0.4%. The action in gold today could also foreshadow an Obama victory. The gold ETF (NYSE:GLD) finished 1.9% higher, its first potent up move in weeks, after a multi-month rally surrounding the announcement of QE3. During the campaign, Mitt Romney criticized Ben Bernanke, and the ouster of the dovish Fed Chairman would almost certainly roil financial markets.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued its relative weakness, finishing 0.3% lower in a positive tape. The stock has acted heavy since topping out over $700. Since AAPL broke below its 21-day moving average, traders exited swing positions and treated the stock as more of a short-term trading vehicle. Most of the reward from that point has come to the short side. AAPL broke below its 200-day moving average with a potent down move on Friday, and although it found its footing yesterday, the bounce was nothing to write home about especially following the "three million iPads sold in three days" news.
Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) had a monster move today after handily topping Wall Street earnings expectations before the open. The stock gapped up sharply and continued higher during the session, closing with a 19.1% gain. The move triggered sympathy moves in similar companies like Office Max (NYSE:OMX), which surged 12.0%.
Tomorrow has the potential to be a very active session, either following the (re-)election of a president, or due to a struggle to determine a winner in a tight race. If we get resolution, we could see a gap up, but as we mentioned previously, any indecision could lead to pre-market selling.