Stocks open with losses as control of Congress too close to call
The stock market opened with losses Wednesday morning as Wall Street waited to find out which party would control the House and Senate next year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of roughly 200 points Wednesday, falling 0.7 percent after the opening bell. The S&P 500 index opened 0.9 percent lower, and the Nasdaq composite sunk 1 percent after the opening bell.
The opening decline comes as election results from around the U.S. show a remarkably tight battle for control of Congress.
Republican lawmakers and candidates expected to ride a “red wave” to a commanding majority in the House. Republicans were also hopeful to win control of the Senate, though faced a steeper path to a majority in the upper chamber.
But Democrats have fared far better than forecasters had anticipated and may be able to retain control of the House, which would be a stunning setback for Republicans. While the GOP is still favored to win control of the lower chamber, the eventual Republican majority could be as small as a handful of seats in the 435-member House.
Democrats are also on track to pick up at least one Senate seat from GOP control after Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) was projected to defeat Republican candidate Mehmet Oz. The reelection races for Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) are still too close to call.
It could take more than a week until the picture is clear. Even so, the tightness of the election results makes major changes in policy unlikely and may lead to deep gridlock for the balance of President Biden’s term.