U.S. Stock Futures Edge Higher On Election Day

U.S. stock market futures pointed higher on Tuesday, as Americans prepared to cast their votes in what could turn out to be a tight presidential race. Outside of politics, earnings from AOL Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. and job-openings data could provide some distraction.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJZ2 +0.20%  rose 29 points, or 0.2%, to 13,082, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPZ2 +0.30%  gained 3.5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,415.50.

Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index NDZ2 +0.42%  gained 11 points, or 0.4%, to 2,673.25.

The outcome of the U.S. presidential race will likely not be known until late Tuesday, Eastern time. Investors are hoping the decision won’t be protracted, such as what was seen in the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

The latest polls indicate a tight race, though incumbent President Barack Obama is believed to have a small lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in key swing states such as Iowa.

“The polls also suggest that the Congress will remain split, with the Democrats maintaining their majority in the Senate and Republicans keeping their majority in the House,” said analysts at Danske Research in a note to investors.

“The biggest concern in the financial market is that the Congress will not be able to agree on softening the impact from the fiscal cliff facing the U.S. next year,” the analysts said.

Wall Street stocks rose modestly on Monday, as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the elections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.15%  rose 19.28 points, or 0.2%, to end at 13,112.44.

The economic calendar was thin on Tuesday, with September job openings expected at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Within corporate news, AOL AOL +1.07%   and CVS Caremark Corp. CVS +0.15%  are due to report third-quarter results ahead of the opening bell.

Earnings from Office Depot Inc. ODP -0.40%  are also due ahead of the bell, while News Corp. NWSA +0.13%  is scheduled for after the close of trading.

Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. ESRX +1.39%  could come under pressure. The shares tumbled 14% on Monday in late trading after the pharmacy-benefit manager said analysts’ fiscal 2013 profit targets were “overly aggressive.”

European stock markets posted small gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP +0.52%  up 0.4% to 274.34, while Asia markets diverged, with gains in South Korea and weakness for Japanese and Chinese shares as investors there awaited the U.S. election outcome.


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