Early Election Day winner: U.S. markets

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as Americans went to the polls to pick a president.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 133.24 points, or 1.02%, at 13,245.68; the S&P 500 rose 11.13 points, or 0.79%, to 1,428.39; and the Nasdaq composite was up 12.27 points, or 0.41%, to 3,011.93. All numbers are preliminary.

“We’re moving closer to a definition on the election front,” said Mark Luschini, who helps manage $54 billion as chief investment strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott. “It’s offering investors reason to say: We move from the unknown category regardless of the outcome.”

The winner of Tuesday’s race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will need to address a so-called fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that take effect in 2013 unless Congress can reach a budget compromise.

The cost of health-care options jumped to a two-year high vs. the rest of the U.S. equity market, pushed up by bets that a victory for Mr. Romney would endanger Mr. Obama’s industry overhaul. Mr. Romney said in June that he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and that what the justices failed to do he would “do on my first day if elected president of the United States.”