Just months after it announced a $33 million Series B, Chicago-based M1 Finance today disclosed a $45 Series C.

The new financing event was led by Left Lane Capital, the same investor that led M1’s Series B. Bear in mind that so-called inside rounds are now a bullish sign in 2020, as opposed to in prior VC eras when they were viewed more cooly. Other M1 investors include Jump Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Chicago Ventures, though only the first two appear to have taken part in this round.

Per M1, the Series C comes just 120 days after it raised a Series B. A good question is why M1 has raised more capital, and why Left Lane Capital wanted to lead two rounds for the consumer-focused fintech provider. Going back to our prior coverage, we can figure it out.

Chicago’s M1 Finance, a consumer-focused fintech platform, reaches $1B under management

In February, we reported that M1 Finance had reached the $1 billion assets under management mark, or AUM.

The startup combines three different traditional fintech services into one (roboadvising, neobanking and lending), allowing it to price the package aggressively. The model appears to be working. When M1 raised its Series B a few months later in June, it had reached the $1.45 billion AUM, or about 45% growth in just over a quarter. That’s very good.

Today, the company announced that it has surpassed the $2 billion AUM mark, up more than 38% in the last four months.

M1 posted slower AUM growth in percentage terms and greater growth in raw AUM over a similar time frame heading into its Series C. But regardless of that nuance, the company’s AUM grew quickly.

M1 Finance raises $33M Series B as it reaches $1.45B AUM

That fact helps explain its new

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – International stocks rose on Friday, with all three major Wall Street indexes posting weekly gains as investors grew more hopeful the U.S. government would provide additional economic stimulus.

Gold jumped and the dollar dropped as investors focused on the probability of forthcoming U.S. coronavirus relief.

Wrangling in Washington over pandemic aid has dominated global markets this week, and although U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to hammer out a deal, talks will continue despite Republican doubts.

Trump said in an interview on Friday that he wants to see a bigger stimulus package than either Democrats or Republicans were offering, a reversal from his threats at the beginning of the week that he would halt negotiations.

“We’re in one of those periods where Washington is driving Wall Street, be it either the presidential election or fiscal stimulus and today it was about the stimulus,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.

“Markets are up on the hope that more fiscal stimulus is coming but its really just hope, as communication from Washington has become somewhat erratic,” Carter added.

Trump expressed a desire to return to the campaign trail a week after announcing he had contracted COVID-19, but aides said he was unlikely to hold in-person events until Monday at the earliest.

Reuters/Ipsos polls show Trump’s approval rating plummeting, with Americans steadily losing confidence in his handling of the pandemic, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden makes gains in several key swing states.

“Biden is rising in the polls, creating both hope that fiscal stimulus is coming and less of a chance of a contested election which could be a real problem for markets,” Carter said.

Next week, investors’ attention will shift to reporting season,

BancorpSouth Bank BXS recently announced the acquisition of the assets of Alexander & Sanders Insurance Agency, Inc. The company completed the deal through its subsidiary, BXS Insurance, Inc. The terms of deal have not been disclosed yet.

The Baton Rouge, LA-based Alexander & Sanders Insurance is a provider of risk management and insurance services to professional firms across Louisiana over the past few decades. Post the acquisition’s closure, Alexander & SandersInsurance will continue its operations from BXS Insurance’s Baton Rouge, LA office.

Markham McKnight, president and chief executive officer of BXS Insurance said, “This transaction allows us to add talented leaders and teammates to our team and provides a unique opportunity to enhance our construction practice within Louisiana and across BXS Insurance’s footprint.”

Aided by its solid liquidity position, BancorpSouth has been making strategic investments through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). In recent years, the company has maintained an acquisition spree, fortifying its footprint in various areas. In January 2020, the company completed the acquisition of Texas First Bancshares, and expanded presence geographically, while in September 2019, it completed its mergers with Van Alstyne Financial Corporation and Summit Financial Enterprises. Moreover, the company looks forward to tap similar opportunities in the future as well.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have depreciated 18.8% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 20.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

So far this year, consolidations in the banking sector have been few and far between, as the pandemic and the resultant economic slowdown have put brakes on the same. Nonetheless, a few notable deals this year include CapStar Financial Holdings, Inc.’s CSTR merger with Tennessee-based FCB Corporation, and First Horizon National Corporation FHN and IBERIABANK Corporation’s all-stock merger of

Stocks were rising on suggestions that President Donald Trump plans to leave the hospital Monday, and on optimism over a coronavirus relief package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 341 points, or 1.24%, to 28,024, the S&P 500 was up 1.29% and the Nasdaq rose 1.62%.

TheStreet’s Katherine Ross discussed breaking news in the stock market on Street Lightning. Cramer spoke about movie theater chain Regal, stock valuations and NYC shutdowns.

Regal Entertainment Suspends Operations

Cineworld Group’s Regal Entertainment Holdings said it will temporarily suspend operations at all its American and British movie theaters as crucial sales from expected fall and winter blockbuster movie releases like the next James Bond epic have been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cramer said it’s time to sell shares of Regal. “It’s sad and I feel the same way about AMC. I thought AMC could get their way out of this because they have got a better balance sheet and raised a lot of money. But these are not cruise ships which raised fortunes. I don’t think movies can (survive) because they are much less capitalized,” Cramer explained.

Shares of  (AMC) – Get Report were down 10.43% on Monday.

Stock Valuations Linked to Politics and Covid-19

Cramer said that the individual stock has so little to do with the actual fundamentals in terms of valuing them. The P/E is directly related to politics and related to the coronavirus disease. “So, if you’re not trying to work on the disease or the testing and medicines that are needed and you’re not paying attention to the President and the stimulus and Speaker Pelosi then all you’re doing is trying to figure out what a company might be worth in the abstract. And that is valueless,” Cramer explained.

NYC Shutdowns Cause For Concern

The number

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday as news that U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 put investors in a risk-off mood and added to mounting uncertainties surrounding the looming election.

Tech shares weighed heaviest on the indexes, but the blue-chip Dow’s losses were mitigated by gains in economically sensitive cyclical stocks.

Despite Friday’s sell-off, the S&P and the Nasdaq both gained 1.5% on the week, while the Dow ended the session 1.9% higher than last Friday’s close.

Trump tweeted late Thursday that he had contracted the coronavirus and would be placed under quarantine, compounding the unknowns for an already volatile market.

But stocks pared losses after the White House provided assurances that Trump, while experiencing mild symptoms, is not incapacitated.

“This injects further uncertainty into the outcome of the election,” said Roberto Perli, head of global policy research at Cornerstone Macro in Washington. “My read is that markets have demonstrated an aversion of late especially to uncertainty, not so much to one or the other candidate winning.” 

Equities also got a brief boost after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that an agreement to provide another $25 billion in government assistance to the airline industry was “imminent.”

“Markets are also paying attention to the likelihood that another stimulus package will pass soon,” Perli added. “If that happens it could offset at least in part the uncertainty generated by the COVID news.”

House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion fiscal aid package on Thursday, but the bill is unlikely to be approved in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Partisan wrangling over the size and details of a new round of stimulus have stalled, over two months after emergency unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans.

Data released on Friday showed the recovery of