Dow jumps more than 300 points as US markets brace for turmoil

Major US indexes vault higher despite lockdowns in Europe’s major economies and US election uncertainty.

Wall Street’s major stock indexes opened higher on Monday after their worst week since March as investors prepared for an eventful week surrounding Tuesday’s presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened vaulted more than 300 points at the open of trading in New York.

The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings reports, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added also opened to the plus side.

Investor sentiment has been weighed down in recent weeks thanks to a sell-off in big tech, surging COVID-19 infections, deadlocked talks over a new round of fiscal stimulus and uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the United States presidential election.

In addition to the nail-biting election night, Wall Street will be focusing on the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting this week, the monthly jobs report that drops on Friday and earnings from about a quarter of the S&P 500 companies.

But all eyes will be glued on Tuesday night’s election climax although many expect there will not be a clear winner in the presidential race come Wednesday morning.

President Donald Trump is trailing behind his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national polls. But the race has tightened in key battleground states where the winner will likely be determined.

A ‘blue wave’ in which Democrats capture both the White House and Congress could usher in major policy shifts surrounding taxes, stimulus, trade and regulation.

A supporter poses for a picture during a campaign rally by US President Donald Trump in Rome, Georgia, United States [File: Brandon Bell/Reuters]

COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the US as the lingering possibility of another round of restrictions and lockdowns weighs on the US economic recovery.

The major European economies including France, Germany and the United Kingdom have reintroduced business-sapping lockdowns to contain spiraling infections .

Oil is under pressure over worries that the reintroduction of COVID-19 containment measures could further damage already gutted global energy demand.

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