Selling pressure eases on Wall Street

After the big tumble on Wednesday following the release of Fed’s rate cut plans, US stocks fell more modestly overnight.

All three major benchmarks were down – the S&P 500 by 0.10%, the Dow by 0.47%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.13%.

Economic data showed that weekly US jobless claims have ticked back over 200k to 207,000, as the Omicron spread caused layoffs.

The Tesla stock price keeps sliding, losing another 2% overnight. It’s lost around 11% since the year started.

This is despite news that battery start-up Our Next Energy was able to tweak its battery on a Tesla Model S to make it go 750 miles on a single charge. Currently, Model S is only built for 400 miles.

In other markets, oil prices were up again by another 1.5% overnight, taking the rally to around 5% this week since OPEC announced its decision to stick to planned increased output for February.

Spot iron ore rose 2% to $US128.25 a tonne, while Bitcoin is holding steady at US$43,200 at 8am AEDT this morning.

As part of Stockhead’s Crypto 2022 prediction series, we asked five of Australia’s top crypto traders and technical analysts to give us their forecasts for what the new year might bring.

Read the rest of that story here.


ASX 200 to open higher on Friday

The ASX 200 looks set to open much higher this morning, with futures markets (January contracts) pointing to +1.26% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the benchmark index suffered a 2.7% loss, with a huge 6% selloff in the Tech sector weighing heavily. All eleven sectors were in the red, with most BNPL stocks getting pummelled.

In large caps news this morning, cement company James Hardie (ASX:JHX) has fired its CEO Jack Truong with immediate effect, after an internal investigation concluded that his workplace interactions had breached the company’s code of conduct multiple times. The company has appointed Harold Wiens as interim CEO.

On the IPO front, set to list today is My Foodie Box (ASX:MBX). This is an ecommerce fresh food box business founded by Pitcher Partners chairman Bryan Hughes and his wife Mai. The company raised $6m at 20c.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Avita Medical (ASX:AVH)
The regenerative medicine company announced that preclinical data successfully established proof of concept in two key areas of cell-based gene therapy – skin rejuvenation and epidermolysis bullosa. Avita will now explore opportunities for utilizing its Spray-On Skin Cells product in new and broad applications, such as skin rejuvenation and genetic skin defects.

Firstwave Cloud Tech (ASX:FCT)
The global cybersecurity company announced the appointment of Danny Maher as its new CEO, taking over from executive chairman and interim CEO, John Grant. Maher has over 25 years’ experience In the IT Industry across the USA, Asia, UK and Australian markets.

Atomos Ltd (ASX:AMS)
The video technology company reported unaudited sales for the first half of FY22 of $40.9m . This compares with $32.8m in the first half of FY21, and is in line with guidance of $40m+.

West African Resources (ASX:WAF)
The company said its gold production was up 7%, with a record 87,320 ounces gold produced in December 2021 quarter. For the whole of 2021, a record gold production of 288,720 ounces was achieved.

Kin Mining (ASX:KIN)
Diamond drilling to test the deeper primary zone at Mt Flora has intersected two zones of high-grade mineralisation. This includes 5.3m at6.49g/t Au including 2.6m at 8.84g/t Au from 188.3m.