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Wall Street rises as Hillary is seen as winner of second debate

By Editor   |   11 October 2016   |   3:45 am

*Donald Trump launches ferocious attack on ex-President Bill Clinton

Wall Street rose on Monday morning amid gains across most sectors, driven by oil prices, and as Democrat Hillary Clinton was widely seen as the winner of the second presidential debate.

A Clinton presidency would be more positive for the markets because her positions are more well known than those of her Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters poll.

A CNN/ORC snap poll of debate watchers found that 57 percent thought Clinton won the encounter, versus 34 percent for Trump.

Oil prices rose 2.8 percent and touched their one-year high as speculators raised bets that prices would gain on the back of an agreement among OPEC producers to rein in record output levels.

“Investors will ponder the presidential debate and follow the events in the commodity markets, especially oil,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

Investors are also bracing for the third-quarter earnings season, which unofficially kicks off on Tuesday when aluminum producer Alcoa (AA.N) reports.

“The markets seem to be looking for a repeat of last quarter, with most companies exceeding Street consensus but obviously on a scaled back earnings growth,” Cardillo said.

Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to drop 0.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has responded to an outcry over his remarks about groping women by launching a blistering attack against Hillary Clinton and her husband.

The Republican nominee denied ever sexually assaulting women, but turned his fire on ex-President Bill Clinton in a bitter United States (U.S.) presidential debate.

“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women,” he said.

Hillary Clinton refused to address his comments about her husband.

Mr. Trump’s attack on the Clintons came after moderator Anderson Cooper asked him about a 2005 video released on Friday that revealed Mr. Trump bragging about groping women.

The 70-year-old billionaire dismissed the remarks as “just words” and “locker room talk”.

When pressed on whether he had engaged in sexual misconduct, he denied doing so and instead focused on Mr. Clinton’s previous indiscretions.

No criminal charges have been brought against Mr. Clinton in any allegations of sexual assault.

Mrs. Clinton said the explosive video, which has sparked an exodus of Republicans denying support to their presidential nominee, “represents exactly who he is”.

“With prior Republican nominees, I disagreed with them,” she added, “but I never questioned their fitness to serve.”

When the two took to the stage in St Louis for their second of three debates, they did not shake hands, striking a bitter tone that would continue throughout.

Mr. Trump said if he won, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Mrs. Clinton and she would be in prison over her private email arrangements.

“Everything he just said is absolutely false but I’m not surprised,” she responded. “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”

“Because you’d be in jail,” he interrupted.

Mr. Trump also said his Democratic rival “has tremendous hate in her heart” while criticising her for referring to his supporters as “deplorables”.

Mrs. Clinton said she apologised for the comment, adding: “My argument is not with his supporters, it’s with him, about the hateful and divisive campaign he has run.”

The two also sparred on the conflict in Syria, Russian aggression, Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and his plan for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants arriving from countries with links to terrorism.

The evening concluded when an audience member asked the candidates to say one positive thing about each other.

Mrs. Clinton said his children were a great reflection of him while Mr. Trump called his opponent “a fighter” who never gives up.

An hour before the debate began, Mr. Trump appeared at a news conference with women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.

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