U.S. stocks halt two-day advance after presidential elections

Day After

Yet since 1984, the S&P 500 has declined an average 0.9 percent on the day which followed presidential elections, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. The benchmark measure for American equities has risen only two of seven times on the day after the polls, the data showed.

Some of the biggest companies declined today. Bank of America retreated 3.9 percent to $9.56. Apple fell 1.4 percent to $571.87. Freeport dropped 1.6 percent to $39.69.

Fertilizer producers slumped. Agrium tumbled 7.6 percent to $98.96. The fertilizer maker and the largest U.S. farm-products retailer reported third-quarter profit and revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates after Asian sales talks stalled and a plant restart took longer than expected. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. retreated 1.1 percent to $39.98. CF Industries Holdings Inc. decreased 2 percent to $202.17.

Investors also watched the latest developments in Europe’s attempt to tame its debt crisis. Greek lawmakers vote today on an austerity bill that contains austerity measures demanded by the so-called troika that oversees euro-area bailouts insists.

Frozen Aid

A 31.5 billion-euro ($40 billion) aid payment has been frozen since June as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition government haggled over the measures and a two-year extension to meet the fiscal targets in the accord.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said inflation risks are “very low” and the debt crisis is starting to hurt Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

“Germany has so far been largely insulated from some of the difficulties elsewhere in the euro area,” Draghi said at a conference in Frankfurt today. “But the latest data suggest that these developments are now starting to affect the German economy.”

Bloomberg News

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