Wall Street stocks rise as US votes; S&P 500 up 0.4%

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks posted solid gains on Tuesday, extending a rally fuelled by market expectation Democrat Hillary Clinton will win the tightly-contested US presidential race.

While votes have yet to be counted, analysts said investors believe election polls showing Clinton with a modest, but clear, edge over Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 per cent to 18,332.43.

The broad-based S&P 500 also rose 0.4 per cent to 2,139.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.5 per cent to 5,193.49.

"If all things remain the same, the consensus is we may have a Democratic administration and a Republican House," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"So it's probably status quo and the market's fine with that. Anything outside of that result will probably cause a lot of turmoil in the market." US stocks opened lower, but shifted into positive territory later in the morning, adding to Monday's advance, when US stocks snapped a nine-day losing streak by surging 2 per cent.

Monday's advance was sparked by an announcement by the FBI clearing Clinton in a probe of her email server. Markets have shown a clear preference for Clinton, given Trump's promises to shake up US economic policy and his controversial foreign policy statements.

There were other signs of increased confidence in a Clinton win: the Mexican peso gained ground against the dollar, and the Vix volatility index, a measure of market fear, fell.

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