Election Day Bounce: Dow Closes Up 305

Today brought the biggest Election Day rally ever for the Dow.

Nov. 4, 2008— -- NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors believing that Wall Street is on the verge of a yearend rally piled into the market Tuesday, brushing off more weak economic data while they scarfed up stocks and propelled the Dow Jones industrials up 300 points to its highest close in four weeks.

It was the biggest Election Day rally for the Dow, topping the 1.2 percent gain seen in 1984 when Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale. Prior to 1980, the market was closed on Election Day.

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Some analysts said the market rose on relief that the presidential election was about to be over. But others said investors were anticipating a yearend rally and buying to be sure they didn't miss out on its start.

Volume was light, which tends to skew price moves, but analysts nonetheless see more improvement in the market's tone after last month's devastating selling.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 305.45, or 3.28 percent, to 9,625.28. The Dow last closed above 9,500 on Oct. 6, when it finished at 9,955.50.

The broader indexes also rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 39.45, or 4.08 percent, to 1,005.75. The Nasdaq composite index rose 53.79, or 3.12 percent, to 1,780.12, its sixth straight advance and its longest winning streak of the year.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 7.47, or 1.39 percent, to 545.97.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 1.3 billion shares.