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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Election night was a melee of massive market moves around the globe and whipsawing prices across asset classes, as just about every market was turned on its head and then upside-down again.

What happened: Most of the jostling came early in the evening as betting markets flipped from favoring a victory by Joe Biden to favoring one by President Trump around 7pm ET.

  • Trump's path to victory became less clear around 10pm ET and those trades unwound with many assets returning to near where they had been at Tuesday's close.
  • As the chances for a quick and tidy U.S. election receded so did futures prices and both the S&P 500 and the Dow were closer to even ahead of Wednesday's U.S. market open.

Where it stands: We still don't know who the president-elect will be and it could be days or even weeks or months before we do, as a barrage of lawsuits and challenges to the voting tallies are expected from both sides.

  • But it appears that won't stop traders from trading, so watch out for big swings in markets between now and then.

By the numbers: The dollar tumbled to its lowest level in close to a week around 7:45pm and then rose by more than 1% by 9:40pm.

  • U.S. Treasury yields spiked and then sank as betting odds moved in Trump's favor, with the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes reaching a five-month high of 0.95% and then falling back to 0.77%. The 18 basis point swing between 8pm and 10pm was equivalent to the change in Treasury yields through the entire month of October.
  • Markets have been pricing in a "blue wave" in which Democrats take control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives and expecting that to bring significant increases in fiscal spending and debt.

What we're hearing: Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson says that odds currently favor Biden, but "Democrats’ chances of taking the Senate are low, because they appear not to have won in North Carolina, and might not win in Maine, either."

  • "That would leave them with 48 seats on the night, and then a decent chance of picking up one more in the Georgia run-off on January 5. But 49 seats is not enough."

The last word: Shepherdson expects to see a stimulus bill early next year totaling around $500 billion, far less than the $2 trillion expected if Democrats had won.

  • "What might change this story, later in the year, is the resurgence of Covid infections and, more importantly, hospitalizations. Both are now rising relentlessly, even before the onset of winter."

Go deeper

Stock market has worst week since October amid Reddit frenzy

Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street had its worst week since October as day traders bid up stocks for GameStop, AMC and others that gained popularity on Reddit.

Details: The S&P 500 fell more than 1.9% on Friday. All of the major averages fell more than 3% this week.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.