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US: Stocks surge after surprise Trump win; Dow up 1.4%


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks surged Wednesday following Donald Trump's shock win of the US presidency, with pharmaceutical and banking shares especially strong in anticipation of favorable policies.

US stocks began tentatively, but gradually pushed higher, with gains accelerating after Democrat Hillary Clinton emphasised the need for an orderly transfer of power during her concession speech.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.4 per cent to 18,589.69.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent to 2,163.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.1 per cent to 5,251.07.

Market voices on:

"The market feels the uncertainty is now over, even though many people are not happy with who won," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. "That ends up represent ating a good buying opportunity."

Shares in sectors, like drugmakers, threatened by more regulation from a Democratic administration soared. Pfizer jumped 7.1 per cent, Merck 6.1 per cent, and Novartis 4.4 per cent.

Bank shares also jumped for the same reason, with JPMorgan Chase surging 4.6 per cent, Goldman Sachs 5.9 per cent, and Wells Fargo 5.4 per cent.

Also at the top of blue chip gainers was heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, which rocketed 7.7 per cent, likely on hopes it would benefit from a Trump administration's plans to sharply increase spending on US infrastructure development.

Several analysts warned that markets could see volatility ahead as Mr Trump's administration begin to takes form and eventually take office.

"The Trump foreign policy will be a major source of market anxiety and geopolitical instability," Eurasia Group said in a note that listed several worries, including shifts in the US stance towards Russia and a potential withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

Shares of private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group soared 43.1 per cent and 21.3 per cent on expectations Mr Trump will reverse the Obama administration's move to scale back use of these firms at federal facilities.

In earnings news, TripAdvisor plummeted 16.6 per cent after it reported US$421 million in revenues, missing analyst forecast of US$436.3 million.