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MENAFN - AFP - 06/11/2012

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(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks closed with solid gains Tuesday as the country went to the polls to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president, with the economy the key issue in the tight election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 133.24 points (1.02 percent), closing at 13,245.68.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 11.13 (0.79 percent) to 1,428.39, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 12.27 (0.41 percent) to 3,011.93.

Wall Street has been more behind the president's Republican challenger Romney, who supports low investment-related taxes.

But most in the business world want a clear decision that will allow the government to move on fixing the extremely austere "fiscal cliff" legislation that comes into play at year end.

"The presidential race is considered too close to call. That probably means the nation is in store for a long night of political intrigue," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.

"Let's hope, however, that by this time tomorrow we at least know who has been elected president. There is a risk that we won't and that won't be a good thing."

Hewlett-Packard led Dow gainers, up 2.8 percent, followed by United Technologies, up 2.7 percent.

Charles Schwab & Co. analysts underlined a sharp rally in oil prices that stoked buying. "The bulls found some support from energy issues as crude oil prices rallied," they said.

Dow oil giant members Chevron and ExxonMobil each added 1.1 percent.

Drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager CVS Caremark fell 0.5 percent after turning in a better than expected 16 percent rise in third-quarter profits.

Rival benefits manager Express Scripts sank 12.3 percent pushed by CVS's claim that it had picked up a large number of customers after Express Scripts fell out with drugstore chain Walgreens early in the year.

Zillow, the online real-estate information company, plunged 18.1 percent after reporting a better-than-expected profit for the third quarter but forecasting fourth-quarter revenue below estimates.

AOL soared 22 percent after the struggling Internet firm stemmed a seven-year decline in revenues in the third quarter and earnings topped expectations.

On the Nasdaq, Apple fell 0.3 percent.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year US Treasury yield rose to 1.74 percent from 1.68 percent late Monday, and the 30-year rose to 2.92 percent from 2.87 percent. Prices and yields move inversely.


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