(RTTNews) – Stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Monday, extending the strong upward move seen over the past few sessions. The continued advance once again lifted the major averages to their best closing levels in over a month.

The major averages gave back some ground in the latter part of the trading day but remained firmly positive. The Dow advanced 250.62 points or 0.9 percent to 28,837.52, the Nasdaq spiked 296.32 points or 2.6 percent to 11,876.26 and the S&P 500 jumped 57.09 points or 1.6 percent to 3,534.22.

Technology stocks helped to lead the markets higher, as reflected by the significant advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Apple (AAPL) posted a standout gain, surging up by 6.4 percent, while Facebook (FB) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) also moved notably higher.

Shares of Twitter (TWTR) also showed a strong move to the upside after Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating on the social media giant to Buy from Hold.

The markets also continued to benefit from optimism about a new stimulus bill even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said talks will “remain at an impasse” until “serious issues” with the Trump administration’s latest proposal are resolved.

The White House has increased its offer to $1.8 billion in its latest proposal, but Pelosi still called the administration’s proposed bill “grossly inadequate.”

“The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus,” Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.

“We have other differences in terms of who benefits from the spending,” she added. “But in terms of addressing testing, tracing and treatment, what

Nikolay Storonsky is the founder and CEO of fintech start-up, Revolut.

Revolut, the biggest European digital bank with 13 million users, is close to applying for a banking license in the U.S., CNBC has learned exclusively.

The London-based fintech firm plans on applying for a charter with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and California’s Division of Financial Institutions within weeks, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The move from Revolut, valued at $5.5 billion in a February fundraising round, is the latest example of one of a new breed of digital challengers seeking to become a regulated bank. In March, payments giant Square won approval to start a bank. Earlier this year, Lending Club, a fintech pioneer, bought Radius Bank for $185 million in part to gain a national bank charter.

Even though Revolut’s bank charter will be with California, it will allow the lender to operate widely throughout the U.S. via interstate agreements, said one of the people, who declined to be identified speaking about the start-up’s private plans.

Still, its move to apply for a state banking charter rather than one through a national regulator like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency drew questions from some industry observers.

The U.S. financial regulatory regime is large and fragmented, and fintech startups have taken several different approaches to breaking into the market. The most successful so far, like Chime and Current, have simply partnered with existing banks.

Square’s bank will be an industrial-loan company based in Utah and supervised by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Last month, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken Financial won a bank license in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, state financial regulators have clashed with the OCC over its move to create a special charter for fintech firms.

Chad

Application software firm Atlassian (TEAM) has performed extremely well over the last few years. The stock is up almost 145% over the last two years, while the S&P 500 is up a far more modest 21%. Even when compared to the iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV), Atlassian has gained twice as much as the sector.

Atlassian is getting ready to report fiscal first-quarter results in the next few weeks, and the stock is trading near an all-time high ahead of that earnings report. I wasn’t able to find the exact earnings date, as the company didn’t have the event on its Investor Relations page just yet. Several websites, including the Wall Street Journal, have the earnings report coming out on October 15. Based on the fact that Q4 2020 results were released on July 30 and third-quarter results were released on April 30, I am thinking the report will be in a few weeks, not on the 15th.

Regardless of when the report comes out, analysts expect the company to report EPS of $0.27 for the quarter, and that is a penny shy of the $0.28 Atlassian reported in Q1 last year. Revenue is expected to come in at $$440.49 million, and that is an increase of 25.2% compared to last year.

Over the last three years, the company has seen earnings grow by 52% per year, while revenue has grown by 38% per year. The fourth-quarter results showed earnings growth of 25% and revenue growth of 29%. Analysts expect the earnings growth to slow down in 2021 with an estimated growth rate of 3%. Revenue is expected to grow by 18.8%.

In addition to the tremendous earnings and revenue growth, Atlassian has strong management efficiency measurements. The return on equity is extremely high at 50.6%, and the

Gladys Berejiklian knew that disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire, with whom she was in a relationship, stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a Badgerys Creek land deal that he lobbied her office to intervene in.

Appearing before the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday, the NSW premier revealed she was in a “a close personal relationship” with Maguire when he was forced to resign from parliament amid a corruption scandal in 2018.

During a morning of stunning revelations, the inquiry heard intercepted phone calls in which Maguire told Berejiklian that he potentially stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars if land owned by the racing heir Louise Waterhouse near the site of the new Western Sydney airport was rezoned.

The payment would have been enough to pay off “about half” of his $1.5m personal debt, Maguire told Berejiklian in one phone call.

Berejiklian responded: “I don’t need to know about that bit”.

In a sometimes tense exchange with counsel assisting the inquiry, Scott Robertson, Berejiklian denied she had been trying to limit her knowledge of Maguire’s activities, saying she: “probably would have firstly not regarded it as interesting to me, it was not something I paid particular attention to”.

She said if she had felt there was “wrongdoing on the part of Mr Maguire” she would have reported it.

“If I did regard anything as a concern, I would have reported it or dealt with it, and I want to make that very clear,” she told the inquiry.

The inquiry has previously heard Maguire had been lobbying government officials on behalf of Waterhouse, and had given the racing heir access to Berejiklian’s direct email address.

Another intercepted phone call played on Monday revealed that Maguire told Berejiklian that Waterhouse was going to email her, saying she

TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian shares inched close to 2-1/2-year highs on Friday as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday.

Traders work on the trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/Files

Investors are also increasingly expecting the Democrats to take back the White House, and possibly the Senate as well, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, analysts said.

A widening lead for Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden is seen as reducing the risk of a contested election and opening the way for a big economic stimulus, helping to counter investors’ wariness about a Democrat pledge to hike corporate tax rates.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.15%, inching closer to its Aug. 31 peak, which was its highest level since March 2018. China’s CSI300 index .CSI300 gained 1.68% after the Golden Week holidays.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 dipped 0.1% after hitting a 7 1/2-month high, while futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.47%.

“Markets are starting to assume a Biden victory,” said Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said talks with Congress had restarted on targeted fiscal relief, after calling off negotiations earlier this week.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence about reaching an agreement on the amount of aid in new legislation.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.80% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.5%.

The S&P 500 energy index .SPNY led sector percentage gains, rising 3.8% on the day, after a jump in oil prices due to production shutdowns ahead of a storm in