A split vote for stocks
Stock futures point to mixed open as investors await results from closely watched mid-term election to determine control of Congress.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As Americans go to the polls in one of the most fiercely fought and closely watched mid-term elections Tuesday, investors looked poised to give a mixed vote for stocks in the early going.
Stock futures, were slightly higher in early trading but a comparison to fair value, which predicts the direction of equities at the open, points to the blue-chip S&P 500 opening slightly higher while the tech-heavy Nasdaq may open a bit lower.
Polls have suggested that Democrats are poised to take control of the House of Representatives, but the control of the Senate is considered too close to call at this point. Some experts have suggested that if the Republicans hang onto both houses it could be a short-term lift for stocks, particularly in the health care sector, but that a Democrat victory could lift stocks longer term because Wall Street likes the gridlock that results when different parties control the legislative and executive branches.
Just having the uncertainty of the election behind it could help the market, according to some strategists, who said the closeness of the election was one factor helping stocks to end a six-session losing streak Monday.
Treasury prices were slightly higher, trimming the yield on the 10-year note to 4.68 percent from the 4.69 percent level reached late Monday. The lower yield came even after Cleveland Federal Reserve President Sandra Pianalto warned Monday evening that another hike in U.S. interest rates might be necessary to battle inflation.
The dollar was lower against the euro and the yen in early trading.
In corporate news, Verizon Communications (Charts) is in advanced talks with video sharing Web site YouTube, which was recently agreed to be purchased by Google (Charts), to bring the popular site's videos to cell phones and television sets, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Toll Brothers (Charts) said revenue in the just completed quarter missed forecasts and it cuts its guidance for homes it will deliver to customers in the fiscal year that began Nov. 1 as its chairman warned that he sees no end of the deep slump in home building in the near term.
Toyota Motor (Charts) posted a better-than-expected 44 percent rise in quarterly operating profit on strong U.S. sales as it raised its full-year guidance. Shares of Toyota closed at a record high ahead of the report that was released after the market close in Japan. Stocks in Asia closed higher, with the Australia's benchmark index closing at a record high. Stocks in Europe also were higher in early trading.