Wall Street mainly higher on lower jobless claims

Most major US indices rose overnight, as US jobless data extended its downward trend to a new pandemic low.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.41%, S&P 500 climbed by 0.12%, while tech heavy NASDAQ fell by 0.01%.

Unemployment claims fell last week to 406k, from 444k a week earlier.

President Biden is set to propose a $6 trillion budget plan for 2022 this Friday, the highest US Federal spending since WW2.

In other markets, copper rose by almost 3 per cent on the LME, while iron ore fell by 1.6% to $US189.73 a tonne

Bitcoin is trading lower at US$38,800 level at 8am AEDT, from the US$39,100 level yesterday.

Some 55,900 in monthly Bitcoin options worth roughly US$2.1 billion will expire tonight and the bears appear to be in full control following last week’s crash.

Iran, which is the responsible for 4.5% of all Bitcoin mining in the world, is the latest country to crack down on cryptos, announcing a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining following power cuts in major cities.

Closer to home

The ASX 200 gained modestly by 0.03 per cent on Thursday, with Tech and Resources being the major winnners.

Victorians will undergo a seven-day lockdown, as the numbers of locations where confirmed cases have visited increased to 121.

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) said that it has received an unsolicited offer from BetMakers (ASX:BET) for Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media business for $4 billion. The Tabcorp board is yet to assess the offer.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Aussie Broadband (ASX:ABB)
The company has upgraded its full year EBITDA forecast to be between $17 million and $20 million excluding IPO costs. The company also said that its white label product and optic fibre rollout are progressing as planned.

Electro Optic Systems (ASX:EOS)
The aerospace and defence tech specialist conducted its AGM today, with the major highlight being that revenues grew by 98 per cent (CAGR) despite Covid. Looking ahead, EOS said revenue growth well above 30 per cent levels can be sustained far beyond 2023.

The toll and roads tech company reported its FY21 full year results. Revenue grew to $91.6m, up 13% from FY20, and EBITDA grew by 13% to $30.7m. The company has reiterated its FY22 guidance provided last November, and says that it is now better positioned for future growth.

Ragnar Metals (ASX:RAG)
The explorer said that diamond core drilling has commenced at the company’s 100% owned Tullsta Nickel Project in Sweden. The Tullsta Project contains the Granmuren nickel mineralisation, which is hosted within a gabbroic intrusive complex.

Los Cerros (ASX:LCL)
The mining company said that step out drilling at its Tesorito South project continues to expand. Latest drilling results of intercepted zones of higher-grade gold include: 176.8m @ 1.02g/t Au from surface, including 54m @ 1.61g/t Au from surface, and 40m @ 1.67g/t Au from 112m.