As America's voting got under way Tuesday, investors hedged their bets as to who they thought would win the presidential election, and what their predictions would mean for markets worldwide.
Major American and Asian stock market indexes closed slightly up on Tuesday, and finance industry analysts quickly made their opinions known as to what such a result reflects in regards to the business climate and the prospects for President Barack Obama and ex-Gov. Mitt Romney in today's election.
The outcome of the presidential election has yet to be determined, but investors, executives and traders are watching the exit polls closely in order to glean insights that will help them plan the future moves they will make with their money.
Phil Orlando, the Romney-backing chief equity strategist at money management firm Federated Investors, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he believes the gains in the stock market on Tuesday are an indication that many believe Romney can pull off a win over the incumbent president.
“We’re on pins and needles,” Orlando told the AP on Tuesday.
In American trading, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at 13,245.68 Tuesday, reflecting an increase of 133.24; The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.13 points to 1,428.39; the Nasdaq composite index closed at 3,011.93 after gaining 12.27 points, the AP reported.
However Reuters reported Tuesday that the gains could also represent a sense of relief that no matter the outcome, the 2012 presidential election is finally coming to a close.
That reflects a less-volatile day for the U.S. stock market than on Nov. 4, 2008, when the biggest Election Day stock surge of all time took place with a 305-point jump in the Dow as investors correctly expected Obama to sail to victory.
But S&P futures fell Tuesday evening, reflecting the growing feeling that Obama would beat Romney, according to CNBC's Nick Dunn.
"S&P futures sliding as Obama chances rise," Dunn tweeted Tuesday evening.
Many investors based their Election Day bets on the proposed policies of the two nominees. Romney's proposed tax plan includes big increases for defense spending, so analysts said that the big rises in stock prices on Tuesday for a number of defense companies -- including United Technologies and Boeing -- suggested confidence that the former Massachusetts governor would win the presidency, the AP reported.
Asian stock indexes also experienced jumps on Tuesday, according to the AP: "Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose less than 0.1 percent to 8,982.29. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 4,498.20. Markets in Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand also rose. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent to 1,923.64."
Despite the jumps in Asian and American markets, many analysts say that one of the most important things being watched by investors is the timing of the announcement of the winner, according to Reuters.
Pressing issues such as the so-called "fiscal cliff" will be the most important factors in the wake of the election, as financial player Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets, told Reuters Tuesday.
"If we wake up Wednesday morning and we don't know the results, that also pushes off the dealing with the fiscal cliff, which is the next most important thing in our agenda," Hogan said.
So TV screens will stay aglow until early Wednesday morning in the luxe Upper East Side townhouses of the Masters of the Universe as they eagerly anticipate the results of the election along with the 99-percenters.