By MATTHEW CRAFT
NEW YORK -- Major stock-market indexes climbed Tuesday as investors waited for the finish of a closely fought U.S. presidential election.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 146 points at 13,259 just before 1 p.m. EST.
"We're on pins and needles," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, a money management firm. Orlando, who backs Republican Mitt Romney, said he thought the gain reflected optimism that Romney could win.
Companies that investors believe would benefit under a potential Romney administration had some of the biggest gains. They included United Technologies and Boeing, which do substantial business with the Defense Department.
Four financial companies -- Travelers, American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America -- were among the 10 biggest gainers in the 30-stock Dow average.
Other investors say that they simply want the election behind them. That will allow Wall Street and Congress to focus on the so-called fiscal cliff, the tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
In other trading Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points to 1,431, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 20 points to 3,020.
Among other winners, Computer Sciences leapt 15 percent, the largest gain in the S&P 500, after its earnings blew past analysts' estimates. The stock was up $4.72 at $36.18.
In the market for government bonds, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 1.69 percent. The price of oil climbed 82 cents per barrel to $86.47 in New York trading.
Even with the early surge Tuesday, it figured to be a quieter Election Day for the stock market than last time.
On Election Day 2004, the prospect of a close election led to a late sell-off, and the Dow finished down 18 points, snapping a five-day winning streak. John Kerry didn't concede to George W. Bush until the following day.
Among other stocks making big moves:
• Weight-loss company Medifast rose $2.14 to $28.96 after reporting that its third-quarter earnings increased more than 40 percent as expenses fell and the company got strong responses to its ads and new programs.
• Express Scripts dropped $8.23 to $54.65. The pharmacy benefits manager warned that persistently high unemployment and economic uncertainty would hurt its business next year.
• NYSE Euronext fell $1.40 to $24.20. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange reported Tuesday that its quarterly earnings fell by nearly half. A drop in the number of transactions it handles pulled down revenue.