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Today's Rare Wall Street Rally

Today is a very unusual thing on Wall Street: an Election Day rally.

As of about 2 p.m., the Dow was trading up about 280 points, or 3 percent.

The S&P 500 was up about 3.5 percent and the Nasdaq was up about 2.5 percent.

If the markets hold their rally through the close, it will be one more piece of history made today. (Apart from the election of either the first black president or the first female vice president.)

According to Dow Jones, prior to today, the biggest Dow change on a presidential Election Day occurred Nov. 4, 1980, the day Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term, when the Dow closed up 1.37 percent.

"Dutch" was responsible for the second-highest Election Day change as well. When he was voted in to his second term, on Nov. 6, 1984, the Dow closed up 1.21 percent.

Bill Clinton is responsible for the Dow's biggest Election Day drop. On Nov. 3, 1992, when the Arkansan was elected to his first term, the Dow closed down 0.3 percent. (On Nov. 5, 1996, when Clinton was reelected, the Dow closed up 0.65 percent.)

Typically, the big Dow moves come the day after a presidential election.

For instance, the Dow closed up 1.59 percent the day after Clinton was reelected.

And the Dow dove 2.39 percent on Nov. 6, 1940, the day after FDR was elected to his third term.

-- Frank Ahrens

The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 4, 2008; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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