Markets News & Opinions

Dow Skyrockets Following Chaotic Presidential Debate

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened sharply higher on Wednesday, as investors monitored economic data and the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by as much as 260 points Wednesday.
  • The first U.S. presidential debate Tuesday night highlighted the risk of a contested election in November, as President Trump reiterated his opposition to vote-by-mail.
  • Private-sector employers added 749,000 workers to payrolls in September, according to ADP data.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded sharply higher on Wednesday, as investors dissected the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Rise

All of Wall Street’s major indexes traded higher at the open, overcoming a tepid pre-market for stock futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 260 points or 0.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded sharply higher on Wednesday. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks gained 0.6%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4%.

Ten of 11 sectors tracked by the S&P 500 reported gains, with energy leading the pack. Energy was the worst-performing sector on Tuesday.

Private Payrolls Rise More Than Expected

On the data front, America’s job recovery continued in September, as sectors tied to construction and hospitality made a strong rebound.

Private-sector employers added 749,000 workers to payrolls, much higher than the 650,000 expected, ADP reported Wednesday. The August figure was revised up tor reflect gains of 481,000 from 428,000.

Private-sector employment has increased in each of the last five months. | Chart: ADP Research Institute

ADP Research Institute vice president Ahu Yildirmaz issued the following statement:

The labor market continues to recover gradually. In September, the majority of sectors and company sizes experienced gains with trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing leading the way. However, small businesses continued to demonstrate slower growth.

Gains were spread across the goods-producing and service-producing industries. Manufacturing employment increased by 130,000. Jobs in the trade, transportation, and utility industries increased by 186,000.

The Department of Labor will release official nonfarm payrolls numbers on Friday.

Trump and Biden Square Off in First Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was marked by angry interruptions and verbal blows Tuesday evening, as both candidates squared off on a range of contentious issues.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to moderate the 1-hour and 40-minute debate, especially as President Trump interjected several times when Biden was speaking. Watch the video below:

President Trump refused to soften his stance on mail-in voting, sending a strong signal that the November election could be contested.

Biden blamed Donald Trump for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused the president of deliberately hiding its severity from the American people. Trump defended his decision to halt all travel to and from China–an initiative that Biden and other Democrats called racist.

Trump and Biden will hold their next televised debate Oct. 15.

Sam Bourgi

Financial Editor of, Sam Bourgi has spent the past decade focused on economics, markets, and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE, Yahoo Finance, and Forbes. Sam is based in Ontario, Canada and can be contacted at or at LinkedIn.