Investors want change: Dow closes up 305

Best Election Day rally in 24 years. Were traders watching the polls?

By Andrew Leonard
Published November 5, 2008 2:07AM (UTC)
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What does it mean that the U.S. stock market had its best day ever on an Election Day, at least since the New York Stock Exchange started allowing trading on presidential election days in 1984?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 305 points, or 3.26 percent. The S&P 500 did even better, closing up 4 percent.


Does it mean, as one Fox News commentator observed regretfully, that "people want change?"

Or is it just a sign that no matter who wins or loses, investors are glad the longest campaign in the history of the universe is finally over?

Or is just a simple matter of interest rates on interbank lending dropping from unimaginably high, to merely absurdly high?


I really can't tell you. Guessing why the stock market rises and falls on any given day is fraught with pitfalls. All we know is this: On a day when nearly every pollster predicted a solid victory for Barack Obama, and reports of heavy turnout across the country are legion, investors expressed themselves with a hefty dose of optimism.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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