Wall Street pulls back as tech stocks retreat

All the major US indices fell last night. Dow Jones was down slightly by 0.3%, while S&P 500 and NASDAQ fell by 0.32% and 0.11% respectively.

Tech stocks like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook were all being sold off as US Treasury yield ticked higher by 3 basis points to 1.75%.

Growth stocks like tech generally move inversely to interest rates. Cyclical stocks have outperformed growth stocks so far this year, as 10-year yield has moved from as low as 0.90% at the beginning of the year.

In other markets, oil prices are down by around 1.5%, even as the Saudis are pushing OPEC to extend the supply cuts that are currently in place into June.

Bitcoin is rising again, trading at USD$58,700 at 8am AEDT, from the US$57,000 level yesterday. The crypto was buoyed after news that Visa will accept the USD Coin, a project of Coinbase and Circle, to settle transactions made using Crypto.com’s credit card,

Closer to home

There are reports that Brisbane may impose lockdowns beyond Easter, on fears that the infectious UK strain of the virus may spread. Qantas and Virgin have cancelled at least 75 Brisbane routes.

At the AFR Banking Summit currently underway, ANZ said that cyber attacks are currently the biggest risk in banking. An emergency wholesale loan subsidy provided by the RBA to banks last year of 0.1% is set to end in June, putting thousands of borrowers at risk of higher borrowing costs.

Suncorp (ASX:SUN) said that claims due to floods could reach as much as $250 million.

Milk producer Fonterra (ASX:FSF) recorded its biggest ever monthly increase in imports from China, which surged by 25.8 per cent in January compared to the previous  year’s corresponding month.

4 ASX small caps to watch today

NeuroScientific Biopharma (ASX:NSB)
The company announced strategic hires, to support upcoming clinical studies. The two new hires will bring experience in aspects of clinical development of Phase I and Phase II studies, as well as research work focused on anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects of dietary supplementation in the brain.

SRJ Technologies (ASX:SRJ)
The engineering company has received its first purchase order for a Woodside Energy bolting campaign, representing the first deployment of its products offshore in Australia. The agreement covers an eight-week rental period, utilising multiple SRJ BoltEx products. BoltEx is SRJ’s flange clamp product that can reduce the need for plant shutdown, and improve asset uptime while also reducing maintenance costs.

OneView Healthcare (ASX:ONE)
The healthtech announced the launch of CXP Cloud Enterprise, the world’s first and only cloud-based care experience
platform. Deployed on Microsoft Azure, this platform enables health systems to quickly adopt technology for engaging patients, reducing non-clinical demands on care teams, and optimising clinical and operational effectiveness.

Opthea (ASX:OPT)
The biopharma company studying retinal disease announced that it has received an initial Pediatric Study Plan waiver from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for OPT-302, the company’s lead product candidate currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of neovascular, age-related macular degeneration.