Nasdaq at all time high

Tech stocks rallied in New York overnight, pushing up the Nasdaq composite index by 1.39% to its highest level ever.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.68% and S&P 500 by 0.98% (also at all-time highs), capping off a good day on Wall Street buoyed by a string of solid corporate earnings reports.

Stocks like Ford, Caterpillar and Merck all rose on higher profits, but Ebay disappointed.

The US economy is rebounding from the pandemic at a rapid pace, with the latest weekly jobless claims hitting a new pandemic-era low at 281,000 filings vs 291,000 the prior week.

Over the Atlantic, stock markets were mixed after the European Central Bank kept its interest rates and monetary policy unchanged.

“We foresee inflation rising further in the near term, but then declining in the course of next year,” said ECB president Christine Lagarde.

In other markets, global oil prices were steady, while the spot iron ore price continues its downward move, falling by another 5% overnight to US$113.15/t.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is back up over US$60k, and is trading at US60,900 at 8am AEDT, from the US58,900 yesterday.

More than 90 per cent of the top 100 cryptos by market cap are back in green territory and posting solid 24-hour gains, according to CoinGecko data.


ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing up by 0.24% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the local bourse lost ground by 0.25%, but banking and gold stocks outperformed as bond yields continued to climb.

Today the ABS issues business inflation data. Labour shortages, supply chain disruptions and the energy price crunch will be the focus, CommSec says.

Retail trade data and private sector credit data for September will also be released.

On the IPO front, set to list on the ASX today is Cooper Metals (ASX:CPM). Copper is a mineral explorer that raised $4.8m at 20c and is exploring copper and gold deposits in Queensland and Western Australia.

In large cap news this morning, Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG)’s first half net profit has doubled to $2.04bn, and it has flagged plans to raise $1.5bn from institutional investors.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Calima Energy (ASX:CE1)
The company’s oil and natural gas sales for the quarter were $17.8 million, producing a total of 3,290 boe/d. In 2022, Calima says it’s planning a capital investment program of C$35 million for continued development of the Brooks and Thorsby oil assets.

Saturn Metals (ASX:STN)
The company reported good results from the initial phase of an extensive metallurgical testing program under way at Apollo Hill. Overall gold recovery of 96.8% was obtained at typical commercial grind sizes (75 micron), while the average gravity component of the overall recovery was a very high 65.9%, demonstrating the potential for efficient physical processing and lower reagent usage.

Beston Global Food (ASX:BFC)
The new and expanded Lactoferrin facility at Jervois has continued to operate well through the first quarter of the financial year and to date. The Lactoferrin plant remains on track to produce approximately 20T of Lactoferrin milk for sale in FY22.

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
The biotech company has received positive feedback for the general clinical development program, including the planned Phase III trial in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Other regulatory engagement is ongoing, including with the US FDA.

Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT)
In the quarter, Weebit secured its first commercial deal, licensing its ReRAM technology to US-based semiconductor foundry SkyWater Technology Inc. In C22, the company intends to complete the transfer of its embedded ReRAM technology to SkyWater’s US production fab .