S&P 500 nears record high again on prospect of US$1.8 trillion government spend

All the major indices in the US rose, after President Biden’s speech to Congress in which he spoke about a new US$1.8 trillion family aid plan. The plan will help expand educational opportunities and childcare for families.

The S&P500 rose to near its all-time high again, up by 0.68%. The Dow Jones index also rose by 0.71%, and tech-heavy NASDAQ climbed by 0.22%.

The market also got a boost as fresh data shows that the US economy grew at a 6.4% rate in the first quarter, with weekly jobless claims falling to the lowest level since the pandemic.

Earnings season is still under way in the US.

Amazon reported a 44 per cent increase in net sales for the quarter to US$108.5 billion, easily beating estimates. Twitter Q1 revenue of $1.04 billion beat estimates, but its outlook guidance disappointed.

Meanwhile, stock prices in gig-economy companies like Uber, Lyft, and Dashdoor all slumped by up to 10 per cent, after US new labour secretary said that all drivers must be treated as employees.

In other markets, oil rose by 2 per cent, while iron ore retreated slightly by 0.5 per cent.

Bitcoin has dropped again, and is currently trading at US$53,100 at 8am AEDT, from the US$54,900 level yesterday.

Closer to home

The ASX 200 finished higher by 0.25 per cent on Thursday.

In big caps news this morning, Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) has downgraded its 2021 production guidance after production rates fell in its Bauer field.

Pointsbet (ASX:PBH) announced a 236 per cent increase in Q3 revenue to $905.2 million.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB)
The infant food producer reported $11.8 million in quarterly revenue, which was down 40 per cent compared to the previous year. However, it saw accelerated growth in China, where its English label products were up by 42 per cent on pcp.

Novatti (ASX:NOV)
The fintech company reported its highest ever quarterly sales revenue of $4.15 million, which was 37 per cent higher on year-on-year. This came on the back of record payment processing revemue, and represents its eighth consecutive quarter of record payment processing revenues.

AusCann (ASX:AC8)
The cannabis play says that results for the Phase 2A Pilot study for CPAT-01, a cannabinoid-based veterinary medicine, shows that CPAT-01 improves pain, lameness, and quality of life in dogs with osteoarthritis. The company also said it’s well-funded, with over $14.8m net cash as at March 31, plus an additional $1.56m received post-quarter from the R&D Tax Incentive Program.

Playside (ASX:PLY)
The games company reported a 71% increase in Q3 revenues over pcp to $2.73 million. This brings the company’s YTD FY21 (unaudited) revenue to $7.76 million, exceeding full year FY20 revenue by $749k, and up 66% on the pcp YTD FY20.

Sezzle (ASX:SZL)
Fintech company Sezzle reached new highs in 1Q FY21 for underlying merchant sales (UMS), active consumers, active merchants, and repeat usage. UMS for 1Q increased 214.1% YoY to US$375m. Almost 400,000 Active Consumers were added during the quarter, bringing the total to over 2.6 million active  consumers.