Wall Street opened sharply higher on Wednesday, as results on Super Tuesday showed former Vice President Joe Biden notching key wins and reassuring investors of his place amid the top candidates in the Democratic pool.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the day with a gain of 620 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both up by around 1.6 percent.
Biden’s success in Super Tuesday voting appeared to buoy U.S. equity futures as the former vice president notched a flurry of victories in key southern states including Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas. So far, NBC News projects Biden’s delegate total at 453, ahead of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ total of 373.
Biden’s performance boosted stocks of health-care companies such as UnitedHealth, one of the largest health insurers in the United States and whose equity is sometimes viewed as a bellwether during political debates around the industry. The stock rose 10 percent in extended trading Tuesday night.
Investors have long applauded Biden for his middle-of-the-road tact in contrast to the more progressive policies of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Warren, a former law school professor who specialized in bankruptcy law, is not a favorite on Wall Street as she proposes detailed plans to break up big banks and technology companies and raise taxes.
“Stocks will be even more relieved at Warren’s coming concession as they are at Biden’s big showing,” Brown tweeted. “Wall Streeters have always secretly been more afraid of her than anyone else, given her domain expertise.
Wednesday’s moves come after yet another volatile session for U.S. investors as the Federal Reserve announced Tuesday an emergency interest rate cut in an effort to help pacify investors worried about the economic consequences of the coronavirus.