S&P 500 at record high

The US stock markets were mainly higher overnight, as investors digested new economics and corporate data.

The S&P 500 rose by 0.3% to a record high, tech heavy Nasdaq up by 0.62%, but the Dow Jones was down slightly by 0.02%.

The number of new Americans filing for jobless claims fell by 6,000 to a 19-month low of 290,000.

In corporate news, IBM shares tumbled 9.5% after its quarterly revenue of US$17.6 billion came in below estimate of US$17.77 billion.

Tesla is up again by another 3% to US$894, and is surging towards its all time high of US$900 after reporting record quarterly profits of US$2.8b yesterday.

The 5-year US Treasury yield has topped 1.2% as traders priced in two Fed rate hikes by June next year.

In other markets, the spot iron ore price tumbled by 5.6% to US$117.50/t, while other base metals such as aluminium and nickel also fell 5%.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is softening to US$62,900 at 8am AEDT after soaring to US$65,900 yesterday.

There was even a ‘flash crash’ of BTC on the Binance exchange, which the company put down to a bug in in the trading algorithm of an institutional investor.

Read all about it on Stockhead here.

ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set to open slightly higher this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing up by 0.02% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the Aussie benchmark started flat and closed just 0.02% higher, as local markets struggled for direction.

Modest gains in financials and tech stocks were offset by the ASX 200 Energy index, which has cooled off a bit this week after running hot over the past month.

In large cap news this morning, embattled software company Nuix (ASX:NXL) has just appointed Jonathan Rubinsztein as new CEO, and Chad Barton as new CFO.

Rubinsztein is the former CEO of ASX-listed Infomedia (ASX:IFM), and will replace current Nuix incumbent Rod Vawdrey.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Humm Group (ASX:HUM)

The BNPL focused fintech reported a 39.6% increase in its Q1 volume to $763.3m. Its BNPL segment, comprising humm, bundll and hummpro, showed a 44.5% increase in volume of $308.8m in Q1.

Wisr Limited (ASX:WZR)

The fintech reported its 21st consecutive quarter of loan growth, originating $132m of new loans in Q1, 113% up on last year’s Q1.

Laybuy Group (ASX:LBY)

The BNPL service provider reported that its Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) reached a record NZ$206 million for Q2, and is on track to reach the $1 billion GMV target for FY22. During the quarter, the company also secured a new debt facility with Partners for Growth of £30 million, to support its UK loan book.

Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL)

The company has updated its global Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) following completion of Phase 5 drilling at its Carolina Lithium Project. The total MRE for the project has now increased to 44.2Mt @1.08% L12O, with an indicated MRE increasing by 101% to 28.2Mt @ 1.11% Li2O.

Consolidated Zinc (ASX:CZL)

The company announced that Penoles has exercised its option to purchase 100% of the zinc concentrates produced by CZL’s Minera Latin American Zinc project at Plomosas, Mexico – for the period 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022.