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US stocks rise after first national presidential debate

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to the first of three presidential debates, on September 26, 2016 at the Trump headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa. (photo by AFP)

US stocks have undergone a surprising increase after Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, faced off in the first US presidential debate.

The controversial debate on Monday marked the first of the three to come, giving a boost to major US industrial markets on Wall Street the next day, with technology and consumer sectors receiving the highest gains despite a fall in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a 0.7-percent increase, closing at 18,228.30 and the American financial services company, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) rose 0.6 percent to 2,159.93. The NASDAQ Composite Index underwent a 0.9-percent jump, amounting to 5,305.71.

"The number came in much better than expected, so consumer stocks seem to be catching a bit after having a hard time for probably a month or two," said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds in New York.

US economic analysts have attributed the boost in stocks to “increased investor confidence” following Clinton’s possible victory in the November election.

“Investors have a better idea about policies of Hillary Clinton, so any sign she is closer to the presidency is a boost for markets,” said Diane Jaffee, senior portfolio manager at the Los Angeles–based TCW Group.

Most experts declared the Democratic nominee the winner of the first debate, expressing hope that Clinton would be of benefit to the US economy, as compared to her Republican opponent.

"From a market perspective, rightly or wrongly, there is an understanding that Mrs. Clinton would be a safe pair of hands, that there's very little uncertainty there," said Brad McMillan chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“Debate performance gave investors a little more confidence about this election, and I think today’s move came as consumer confidence came in better than expected,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

“I think that’s what’s behind [higher stocks] given that oil is down,” he added.

The first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York, was viewed by more than 80 million people in the United States, hailed as the most-watched debate ever.

The next two debates of the US presidential candidates are scheduled for October 9th and 19th.

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