Wall Street climbs to record levels as oil price rises

All three US indices rose again overnight, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed to their highest ever levels.

The S&P 500 rose by 0.28%, the tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.14%, while the Dow Jones also climbed by 0.37%.

The MSCI’s world stock index, which measures equity performance in 50 countries, also rose to its highest level ever.

The US job market has also improved significantly, with claims for unemployment benefits falling by 14,000 – its lowest level since the start of the pandemic.

Oil related stocks in the US were higher as oil prices rose by around 2% overnight. Brent crude was trading at US$73.03 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the spot iron ore price dropped by another 3%, after plunging 6% on Wednesday, trading now at US$139.70 a tonne.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is trading just shy of US$50k at US$49,700 at 8:00am AEST, from the US$48,500 level on Thursday.

A national YouGov survey has found that 18% of all Australian parents have bought cryptocurrency as a nest egg for their children, while 25 per cent intend to do so in the future.

ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

Following the action on Wall Street, the ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.27% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the Aussie benchmark finished in the red and was down by 0.55%. Mining stocks dragged on the broader index, as BHP (ASX:BHP) traded ex-dividend (it was a big dividend), and promptly slumped by around 7% at the opening bell.

Later today, retail sales and vehicle sales data will be released by the ABS.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK)
The cybersecurity tech company has entered into a co-sell agreement with global data analytics company, Dun & Bradstreet. Under the deal, the two companies will initially focus on selling their services to the public sector.

Orbital Corp (ASX:OEC)
The unmanned aerial vehicle tech company has delivered a second engine system to its major Singapore customer for further evaluation requirements. The first engine system was delivered earlier this year, and OEC will now continue to work on a third engine system for delivery later in 2021.

Technology One (ASX:TNE)
The SaaS company has acquired Scientia Resource Management, a UK company servicing the higher education sector for approximately GB£12 million in cash. This is TNE’s first international acquisition, and highlights the company’s strategic focus in the higher education market.

Hazer Group (ASX:HZR)
The graphite and hydrogen tech company says that its project at the Woodman Point Water Recovery Facility is progressing well. Engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction activities are all achieving forecast milestones. This is the first-of-its- kind operational production facility based on the Hazer Process, and represents the key next step in fully commercialising the Hazer technology.

Base Resources (ASX:BSE)
Pre-feasibility studies on the Bumamani project in Kenya have concluded that it is economically feasible to mine higher-grade subsets of the Bumamani and Kwale North Dune deposits concurrently with the Kwale South Dune deposit. This would extend the mine life of Kwale Operations by 7.5 months to July 2024.