Dow jumps by more than 500 points as Sessions resigns as Attorney General amid Mueller probe
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by more than 500 points late-Wednesday, with the blue-chip gauge taking a fresh leg higher after news that Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general and is being replaced by his chief of staff Matthew G. Whitaker, President Donald Trump said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. The Dow was up 505 points, or 2%, at 26,142, already buoyant following midterm elections on Tuesday that played out as Wall Street had anticipated and dispelled one uncertainty that had weighed on investor sentiment. Trump has repeatedly expressed anger with Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian election meddling, which is being overseen by Special-counsel Robert Mueller. Sessions's departure creates some uncertainty about the status of that investigation. However, the stock market appeared to shake off those concerns to race sharply higher. The S&P 500 index was up 1.9% at 2,809, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 2.4% at 7,551. The gains for all three benchmarks put them in position for their best days in weeks. rallying on Wednesday, rising above a psychological level at 26,000 for the first time in about a month as markets staged a relief rally following midterm elections. The Dow was recently up nearly 380 points, or 1.5%, at 26,015, putting the blue-chip gauge on track for its best day since Oct. 30 and its best finish since Oct. 9, according to FactSet data. The index also was attempting to creep above a key line in the sand, trading above its short-term 50-day moving average at 25,863.29 for the first time since early last month. A rally in U.S. equity benchmarks comes after closely watched midterm elections resulted in a divided Congress, with Democrats taking the House and the GOP retaining control of the Senate. The split may result in gridlock in Washington, delaying the legislative agenda for Republican President Donald Trump but some investors were viewing the elections as at least removing one measure of uncertainty from markets that have been knocked around by a plethora of anxieties. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.