Entries in Election Day (4)


On Election Day, Stocks Close with Gains

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Americans headed to the polls Tuesday, it appears the markets were bullish leading to gains for the session.  

Industrial shares and energy seemed to push the Dow up 133 points to close at 13,245.68, a one percent jump. The Nasdaq gained 12 points to close at 3,011.93, and the S&P added 11 points, closing at 1,428.38.

As the election draws to a close, stocks may trade higher for a time as the element of uncertainty is removed, says one expert.

"Any time you take an element of uncertainty off the table, volatility comes down and the market tends to look higher," Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, told the Wall Street Journal.
The price of oil rose more than $2 a barrel Tuesday the biggest one-day jump in a month.
The Labor Department says the nation's employers posted fewer job openings in September after advertising more jobs in August than first estimated.  Meanwhile, it may be hard to get a holiday job.  Employment firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas says hiring of temporary seasonal workers is up just slightly so far over last year.
Home prices jumped five percent in September over a year ago. The gain reported by CoreLogic is the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Election Day 2012 Discounts and Freebies

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From free yoga classes to patriotic wristbands, companies are offering additional incentives to cast your ballot. 

Take advantage of these deals in your area:

Boston Market: Participants can vote for their favorite Market Bowl (chicken or turkey) on this site.  On Wednesday, the winner of the vote will be announced.  The restaurant chain will also offer a free Market Bowl to customers who purchase a bowl and drink.

California Tortilla: Wear your “I Voted” sticker or say “Vote” at any location for a free taco.  No purchase is required.

Chili’s: Adults over 21 who vote for their favorite drink on Chili’s Facebook page enter for a chance to win a restaurant gift card.

Jet Blue: The airline is offering “Election Protection” to those in the country who vote for the losing candidate.  Participants cast their vote online for a chance to win a free flight.

lululemon: Yoga studios in the Washington, D.C., area are offering free classes all day Tuesday.  Check out the lululemon blog for more information.

On the Border: Claim and print the offer on the restaurant’s Facebook page for a free sopapilla when you buy one or more entrees at regular price.

Pinkberry: Fans are asked to Tweet photos of their favorite flavor with the hashtag #pinkthevote.  Ten random winners with receive a small frozen yogurt with toppings.

Purina: “Like” the Purina page and cast your vote: Team Cat or Team Dog.  For each vote cast, Purina will donate up to $25,000 to Pet Partners’ veteran programs.

Starbucks: The coffee chain will offer free red, white and blue wristbands to customers visiting the stores on Tuesday.

Taco Bueno: “Guac the Vote” at this taco chain.  Customers get a free guacamole and chips when they redeem and print out the offer from their Facebook page.   Restaurants are located in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop: With the purchase of any beverage, show your “I Voted” sticker and you’ll get a free donut.

White Castle: “Like” the company’s Facebook page and vote for you favorite fry.  You’ll get a free coupon for a small fry with any purchase redeemable for Tuesday.

Zipcar: The company is offering half off hourly rates between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. in their “Zip to the Polls” promotion.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How Did the US Economy Look on Election Day 2008?

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The last presidential election may seem as if it was just yesterday to many Americans, but it is a world away economically from the 2012 presidential election.

In 2008, the economy was in a tailspin.  Today, most economists say it is making a slow recovery -- too slow, the Obama and Romney campaigns agree.

The unemployment rate in October 2008 was 6.8 percent, with about 10 million unemployed people.  Today, the U.S. unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.  While the labor market has improved better than expectations recently, 12.3 million people remain unemployed.

"At the time of that election, if you were knowledgeable about the economy, you didn't know what the bottom was going to look like," said Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution.

On the day of the last presidential election -- Nov. 4, 2008 -- Americans did not know that the worst downturn since the Great Depression had actually started as early as December 2007.  It was only later confirmed that real GDP had declined in the first, third and fourth quarters of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009.

A couple months before, on Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers had declared bankruptcy.  It was the largest in U.S. history.

A couple of months later, in December 2008, the National Bureau of Economics Research's (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee announced that the recession began one year earlier.  The committee announced in September 2010 that the recession had ended, more than a year after the fact.

The housing market is where many Americans feel the ongoing pain most acutely.  Housing prices are still down about 7.8 percent since October 2008.  And while the foreclosure crisis has somewhat subsided, the market is still far from healthy.

In September 2008, one in every 475 housing units had foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac reported.  In September of this year, it was one in every 730 housing units.

"People whose primary asset was their house have lost wealth, especially if they live in areas where there was the biggest housing bubble prior to the recession," said Stephen Bronars, chief economist of Welch Consulting.  Hardest-hit markets include Las Vegas, South Florida, and California.

The U.S. car manufacturing industry has survived while the federal minimum wage has increased to $7.25 from the $5.85 it was in 2008.

The price of gas has fluctuated with crises in the Middle East.  The national average is now about $3.57 a gallon for regular compared to $2.66 at the end of October 2008, according to the Energy Department.

While some economic indicators seem to have improved, the fear of a "fiscal cliff" has sharpened as Election Day approaches as well.

"Inflation is still not a top concern in 2012, but because we have added $6 trillion in debt over the past four years, we are vulnerable if inflation and interest rates increase," Bronars said.

"Today we are in the midst of a slow recovery," he said.  "The static numbers look worse, in many dimensions, than they did four years ago.  The biggest difference between 2012 and 2008 is the direction of the economy.  The debate about today's economy is: Why aren't we recovering faster?"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


August Job Numbers: Last Ones Before Voting Begins

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Election Day isn’t until Nov. 6, which gives Democrats and Republicans three more monthly jobs reports to anticipate, right?

Not exactly.  Although job numbers for August, September and October will be released before Election Day, August’s jobs report, which comes out Friday, is the last one before general election voting begins, thanks to early voting.

Between Friday’s jobs report and September’s, which comes out Oct. 5, several key swing states, including Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, will have already started to vote through early and in-person absentee ballots. And while historically speaking, the majority of votes are not cast early in these states, a sizable percentage (although less than half) of the voting population still gets to the polls before Election Day. In 2008, 30 percent of the total votes cast in Ohio came in early. In Iowa, it was 36 percent, and in Virginia, 14 percent.

By the time October’s jobs report is released Nov. 2, much of the vote could have already been cast in additional swing states, such as Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina, where President Obama will accept his party’s nomination tonight.

With polling showing Romney and Obama in a virtual dead heat, these early votes in key swing states could make a difference.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio