• The ASX will open higher on Friday
  • Wall Street was up modestly overnight, with Energy leading the way
  • US initial jobless claims fell versus expectations of a rise

Local shares are set to open higher today. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 September futures contract is pointing up by 0.35%.

After whipsawing for much of the day, Wall Street ended modesty higher overnight with Energy outpacing all other sectors.

Cisco was the best large cap stock of the day, rising by 6% as its quarterly earnings beat estimates. The company also said revenue will grow between 2%-4% this quarter.

Lots of US economic data were released overnight, including initial jobless claims which fell by 2,000 to 250,000 in the past week VS survey: 265,000.

Existing home sales fell by 5.9% in July to a 4.81 million annualised rate, VS survey of 4.89 million.

Brent crude jumped by 3% to US$96.70 a barrel, but over the past month it’s fallen by 9%. Two months ago, it was as high as US$110.

Experts said that traders are pricing oil stocks not on the current oil price, but on their potential.

“What happens when China’s economy gets open in full … get past their quarantines and just get out,” said Bill Smead, chief investment officer at Smead Capital Management.

In other markets, iron ore price rose slightly to US$100.60 a tonne, while Bitcoin was steady at US$23,345.

Back on the ASX, reporting their earnings today are: AGL, Cochlear, Newcrest, and Latitude.

Latitude CEO Ahmed Fahour has announced that he will retire from the company by the end of August 2023, after joining the company in 2018 and taking the company public in 2021.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Pentanet (ASX:5GG)
For FY22, Pentanet’s revenue was $16.8 million, up 54% on FY21. Gross margin increased to 44% (vs FY21 43%), while underlying EBITDA was a loss of -$4.4 million (vs FY21 of -$2.4 million). Looking ahead, Pentanet said its three pillars strategy remains unchanged. These pillars are: introducing new technology, expanding existing network, and increasing margins.

Accent Group (ASX:AX1)
The footwear retailer reported total sales of $1.27 billion for the full year of FY22. NPAT was $31.5 million and a final dividend of 4 cents per share will be paid, bringing total dividends for the year to 6.50 cents per share. The company has not provided any guidance.

Mayfield Childcare (ASX:MFD)
Total revenue for the year was up 85% to $32.4m. Bottom line NPAT was $3.5m, up 122% on pcp. Looking ahead, Mayfield expects increase in labour costs due to educator shortages, but said it has passed on some price increases to customers.

Jade Gas (ASX:JGH)
Jade has expanded its permit footprint in Mongolia after securing a prospecting permit over the Baruun Naran coal field (BNG Project) with its Mongolian JV partner, Khangad Exploration. Baruun Naran coal field is a continuation of the Tavan Tolgoi coal basin with an existing 410Mt JORC compliant coal resource.

Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX)
Mayne Pharma’s CEO Scott Richards has announced his intention to retire following a decision by the board to relocate the CEO role to the US on a permanent basis. Richards is unable to make this commitment and wants to return to Australia for personal reasons. Richards will continue to work until the board conducts a process for a timely and orderly transition to a new US-based CEO.