(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

“There is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side.”Jesse Livermore

Anyone who follows the equity market realizes that they are faced with what I described last week as a foggy outlook in the near term. When that occurs, I try not to get swayed and then sidetracked into forgetting the long-term trends that are in place.

An investor has to be reactionary waiting for the market to give them clues, then reacting appropriately. I take my leads from price action, momentum, sentiment, and other indicators. All designed for me to decipher what the market is telling me. Never drifting too far from the one key that serves as the foundation of my current strategy. That is staying focused on the major trend that is in place, and that remains without question in favor of the bulls.

Once established that trend should be followed until there is evidence that a discernible change is taking place. This bull market has been marked by the masses that keep looking for reasons to abandon this trend. As each month passes, another reason is rolled out why the equity market is filled with more downside risk than upside gains.

Sentiment as a contrary indicator has been a tailwind for anyone bullish. Excessive bullishness would imply the exhaustion of buying power. What we have witnessed for quite some time is that traders and investors appear to be subdued and cautious. The new highs recorded for the S&P just one month ago and the 42 all-time highs recorded by the NASDAQ in 2020 should have given a boost to enthusiasm for equities. Instead, it is met with a yawn.

Major market tops simply do not occur with the amount of

Norman Pearlstine is about to be out of a job and likely is breathing a sigh of relief. Having successfully run major media entities like Forbes, Time Inc. and the Wall Street Journal, Pearlstine has tried for the past two and a half years to steer the recovery of the Los Angeles Times. He’s had some positive things working for him: A supportive billionaire publisher who has supplied massive refinancing and a gorgeous new headquarters. Also an eager readership that has survived years of frustration because of mismanagement.

Nothing can be more ominous than good portents, however: Despite Pearlstine’s stalwart efforts, and a near doubling of digital readership, the Times staff has seemed bent on self-immolation with its editors and reporters delivering more apologies than news. Last month, the newspaper published a special editorial section declaring its regrets for gaps in coverage dating back to the 19th century. As for Pearlstine, the executive editor, he has decided to move on.

To some in the media business, the problems of Times ring an alarm bell: Just as the Times can’t seem to overcome the forces of divisiveness and gloom, are other corporate entities destined for a similar fate?

It is perhaps no coincidence that the Trump administration, whose statements have poisoned moves toward cohesion, last week officially suspended all government diversity training programs. According to Trump’s executive order, these programs have only succeeded in propagating “offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.”

So what is the appropriate response? “Donald Trump is about to be defeated and it’s time for people to snap out of it, stop talking about moving to New Zealand and start building on the recovery,” comments the CEO of one media company who insists on talking off the record. “We’ve got to put

We’re seeing much the same approach to monetary policy around the world. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), which has been threatening to go “full Switzerland” and start intervening in the FX market along with negative rates, briefed reporters on their possible additional policy measures. They made it clear that they’re preparing to do more. “We have a least regrets approach to thinking how much stimulus to deliver,” RBNZ Chief Economist Yuong Ha said. “We’d rather do too much too soon than too little too late.”

We heard the same line Tuesday from Fed Chair Powell. “At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery…By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller.”

That statement can help us to understand one of the key lines in the minutes from the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the US central bank’s rate-setting policy board. The minutes said, “many participants noted that their economic outlook assumed additional fiscal support and that if future fiscal support was significantly smaller or arrived significantly later than they expected, the pace of the recovery could be slower than anticipated.

The phrase “significantly later than expected” is important, as it indicates the Fed views stimulus now as qualitatively different than stimulus in three months, when former VP Joe Biden will (we assume) be president. “The pace of economic improvement has moderated since the outsize gains of May and June,” Powell noted. “…a prolonged slowing in the pace of improvement over time could trigger typical recessionary dynamics, as weakness feeds on weakness.” Weak demand triggers bankruptcies and job losses, which causes demand to weaken

For a change, investors aren’t having to count on tech stocks to deliver the goods. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained 27 points, up 0.8%, on Oct. 8. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLK) gained 0.5%, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLE) surged 4.1% higher on another strong day for crude oil. IBM (NYSE: IBM) was the sole tech giant to have a big day, with shares gaining over 5% on news it was going to spin off part of its business.

Utility and real estate stocks, segments that usually do well in a recession but have underperformed in a 2020 that’s been anything but usual, also finished up today. Every stock in both sectors closed higher, with DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) up 6.3% and Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) up 4%, leading the way.

Oil barrel and pumpjack paperweights on pile of cash.

Image source: Getty Images.

Is oil back? Investors are behaving that way

After falling sharply on supply/demand worries and the Friday announcement that President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures have surged from a low of $37 to today’s price above $41 per barrel.

Big Oil won big today, with Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) up 8.8% and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) up 7.4%, two of the S&P’s biggest gainers. More than half of today’s biggest gainers in the index operate in the oil patch, including global giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), which added 5.3% and reclaimed its place as the biggest of the U.S. big oil companies, only a day after temporarily falling behind Chevron (NYSE: CVX) in market cap size.

Today’s move higher for the oil sector came on a combination of things behind crude oil’s move higher. To start, oil prices are moving up on worries about oil and refinery production in the