Stocks edge mostly higher ahead of midterm elections in U.S.

NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street today as campaigning winds down for midterm elections in the U.S. that will determine which party controls Congress.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% as of 9:16 a.m. Central. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 226 points, or 0.7%, to 32,634 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

Apple fell 1.2% after the company warned customers they’ll have to wait longer to get the latest iPhones after anti-virus restrictions were imposed on a contractor’s factory in China. Facebook’s parent company rose 5.3% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company plans to make a big round of layoffs this week.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.19% from 4.16% late Friday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 4.73% from 4.66%.

Tuesday’s election will decide control of Congress and key governorships. History suggests the party in power may suffer losses in the midterms, and decades-high inflation has become a significant issue for the Democrats.

Stubbornly hot inflation and the Federal Reserve’s policy of raising interest rates to fight it remains the big concerns for Wall Street. Investors will get an important update on inflation Thursday when the U.S. government releases its report on consumer prices for October.

Investors have been closely watching the latest economic reports and company earnings to get a better sense of inflation’s impact on companies and consumers. Wall Street is also trying to determine the Fed’s next moves in its fight against inflation as it risks slowing the economy too much and bringing on a recession.

The latest round of corporate earnings have provided mixed financial results and warnings from companies about inflation’s impact on operations and demand for goods and services. Several big companies will report results this week, including Walt Disney on Tuesday.

Markets gained ground in Asia amid continued speculation of a possible relaxation of China’s zero-COVID strategy, though there has been no official confirmation in China of a major change.

European markets were mostly higher.