U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bet that a Senate race in Massachusetts could put President Obama's reform plans, especially those on healthcare, in jeopardy.
The S&P Healthcare Index <.GSPA> climbed 2.1 percent, led by Humana Inc
Pharmaceutical companies' shares also advanced, with Merck & Co
A Republican win would be a positive for the markets since it would mean increased potential for gridlock in Washington, said Carmine Grigoli, chief U.S. strategist at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.
This is probably especially true now, given the very large social agenda of the Obama administration.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 100.06 points, or 0.94 percent, to 10,709.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 12.64 points, or 1.11 percent, to 1,148.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 29.11 points, or 1.27 percent, to 2,317.10.
The Dow also received boost from McDonald's Corp
McDonald's stock gained 2.1 percent to $63.58 and was the Dow's top percentage gainer not related to healthcare.
Kraft Foods Inc
In other acquisition news, Tyco International
Semiconductor stocks helped push the Nasdaq higher, with chipmaker Xilinx Inc
The PHLX Semiconductor Index <.SOXX> advanced 1 percent.
Parker Hannifin Corp
The pace of corporate earnings builds later in the week, with IBM Corp
IBM's shares rose 1 percent at $133.11 while Google added 1.2 percent to $587.01, Goldman was up 0.9 percent at $166.74 and AmEx was up 1.3 percent at $42.92.
(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)