US stock futures are plunging as election results give Donald Trump an unexpected edge.
Trump is leading the total count of electoral votes by 167 to 131; 270 votes are needed to win.
The Associated Press called the key battleground state of Florida for Trump. With more than 95% of the votes , Trump leads by about 140,000 votes.
At 10:29 p.m. ET, Dow futures are down 743 points, or 4.04%. If this plunge holds, it sets the market up for an ugly start to trading on Wednesday.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oando Markets, wrote in a note:
“It’s worth noting that it’s still early days but still, we’re seeing some huge moves in the markets in response to Trump taking the lead in some important battleground states, most notably Florida and Ohio.
These are both states that typically vote in line with the eventually winner of the Presidential race so we can’t underestimate the significance of what would be a massive result for Donald Trump. The odds of Clinton securing the White House have been slashed in the last few hours and some even show Trump as now being the favourite.”
The major indexes closed higher in regular trading, adding to massive gains Monday on news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded its investigation into additional emails Hillary Clinton sent from a private server while she was secretary of state.
A victory by Hillary Clinton is considered more positive for financial markets, at least initially, given investors’ familiarity with her political career, and the sense of continuity she would likely provide.
And on Tuesday night, futures are clearly tracking the odds: surging when Clinton regains the lead in key states like Florida, and slumping when she appears to be losing ground.
Donald Trump, however, is considered more unpredictable and uncertain. Several strategists forecast an initial stock-market decline by as much as 10%, although some say this would be short-lived.
Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, said stocks could rise to all-time highs by year-end even after an initial Trump-related pullback. That’s because of the decline since early September, which signals that there’s pent-up demand from investors, he told Business Insider.
We’ll update this post with the latest reaction in stock futures as the results cross, so refresh for updates.
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