US Vice-President Joe Biden arrives at Sydney Airport with his granddaughters for a four day trip. Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher for the eighth session in a row.

The scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,458.50 +28.93 +0.53%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,538.90 +28.80 +0.52%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7592 +0.0013 +0.17%

The local market continued its march higher with nine out of ten sectors closing in the green. The ASX 200 has grown by 3.4% so far this month.

Today the banks and financial stocks rose while the big miners dragged.

Westpac closed 0.6% higher at $30.30 while Macquarie Bank added 0.7% to closed at $72.55.

BHP dropped 0.7% to $20.22 and Fortescue Metals lost 2.6% to $4.12. Santos added 1.6% to close at $4.85.

Among retaelrs, JB Hi-Fi gained 2.6% to close at $24.25.

Pacific Brands was removed from the ASX today after being taken over by US clothing giant Hanesbrands.

The top stories Monday:

1. Telstra re-brands as a tech company. The multi-million-dollar Telstra 3.0 campaign will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

2. Gas wars. The US-based multinational oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil has got between local player Oil Search and its dreams of a massive independent oil and gas group in Papua New Guinea.

3. Disruption in the energy business. Why Australia’s energy retailers could be facing the same profitability cliff as print media.

4. Running out of cash. Fitch Ratings issued a warning about the debt held by BHP’s joint venture Samarco mine in Brazil, now in shutdown because of November’s fatal disaster.

5. He’s back. Solomon “Sol” Trujillo, an American businessman and former CEO of Australia’s Telstra, has resurfaced on the Australian tech scene.

6. Loud and off-tune. Karaoke2U, an Australian-developed app which allows you to play, record and share your karaoke efforts, is being download at a rate of more than 1000 a week.

7. The Pokemon Go effect. Portable mobile phone charger sales on have increased by 243.51% since the game app launched.

8. Medical cannabis for pain. Australian biotech Medlab has launched a $5.36 million equity raising to fast-track human trials.

9. The cost of allowing Uber. The ride share service sells itself on the promise of cheaper fares but, for the next 250 million rides in New South Wales, passengers will be paying more.

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