Stocks Ended Higher Before Election

U.S. stocks finished with modest gains on Monday, one day before the U.S. presidential election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.28 points, or 0.15%, to 13,112.44. The S&P 500 index gained 3.06 points, or 0.22%, to 1,417.26 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 17.53 points, or 0.59%, to 2,999.66.

National polls show President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a tight race. The two candidates are spending the final days of the campaign holding rallies in Ohio and other states considered crucial to winning the White House.

The pace of growth in the U.S. services sector slowed modestly in October, though a measure of employment improved to its highest in seven months, underscoring expectations the economic recovery will remain modest. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index eased to 54.2 last month from 55.1 in September.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday launched an investigation into post- storm price gouging after consumers flooded his office with complaints about jacked-up prices for everything from gasoline to hotel rooms. Schneiderman’s announcement came as AAA, the national auto club which tracks gas price trends, said prices in some storm-stricken zones have risen as much as 15 cents a gallon in the week since Sandy struck, even as the national gas price keeps falling.

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