Uber, Lyft shares soar, pot stocks hang in the balance after U.S. election night

U.S. election results are sending some shares soaring on Wall Street, while others are taking a hit, as investors weigh the potential impact of different political outcomes as the vote-counting continues.

Uber and Lyft stocks, for example, jumped on Wednesday after California voters endorsed a measure known as Proposition 22, which maintains app drivers’ status as contractors. The ballot victory for the ride-sharing giants marks the culmination of years of legal and legislative wrangling over whether gig-economy workers should be counted as employees.

Uber‘s shares rose 16 per cent, while Lyft jumped 18 per cent in early trading on Wednesday.

Marijuana stocks on the other hand were losing ground in early trading as prospects dimmed of a presidential victory by Joe Biden coupled with a Democratic sweep of both the House and Senate.

While voters in a handful of states approved initiatives to lift restrictions on cannabis for either medical or recreational use or both, uncertainty about the presidency and the makeup of Congress leaves the future of federal legalization in the balance.

Still, gains for Joe Biden in vote tallies in the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan cooled initial selling of marijuana and other stocks, including those of renewable energy companies, seen as potential beneficiaries of a decisive Democrat victory.

Stocks of solar energy-based firms such as First Solar, Enphase and JinkoSolar traded between 3 per cent and 4.7 per cent lower.

On the other hand, traditional energy companies, which could enjoy a lighter regulatory and tax environment under a second term for Trump, gained.

Oil prices rose nearly 3 per cent on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory with millions of votes still to be counted.

A victory by Trump is viewed as bullish for oil because of sanctions on Iran and his support for Saudi-led OPEC oil cuts to support prices.

— With files from Global News reporter Erica Alini



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