Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs

The blue chip Dow Jones index and S&P 500 hit record highs in last night’s trading, with tech stocks leading the charge.

The Dow Jones rose 0.58%, the S&P500 up by 1.04%, while the tech heavy NASDAQ was higher by 2.52%.

Big tech names Apple, Facebook, Amazon all gained by 2% to 4%.

There have been many positive news items from the US this week that lifted the market: jobless data lower than expected, US CPI kept in check, and Biden to sign the $1.9 trillion Rescue Plan to law by today US time.

Not to mention the plan to secure an additional 100 million vaccine doses to expedite inoculation in the country.

As a result, 10-year Treasury yields have come down, weakening the US dollar. The Aussie dollar gained against the US greenback by 0.7% to trade at over 78 US cents.

Oil prices rose by 2.5% as OPEC downgraded the outlook for demand in the next two quarters, and expects to pump out only 27 million barrels a day, much lower than what it’s currently pumping.

Bitcoin near all time highs again

Bitcoin, meanwhile, is trading at $US57,698 as at 8am AEDT, pretty much on par with its all time highs.

Some on Crypto Twitter were talking about Bitcoin overtaking silver as the sixth most valuable asset in the world. It’s currently ranked eighth, with a market cap of just $US1 trillion.

Tesla Inc, which reportedly has $1.6 billion of BTC, also jumped by 4.7% overnight.

Closer to home

The ASX200 was trading sideways on Thursday, but is set to open higher this morning following the US markets.

Rating agency Standard & Poors has warned that failure to reign in the budget deficit by the Australian government could mean the loss of the country’s AAA rating.

Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) and WIN Corporation announced the signing of a new regional television affiliation agreement. The minimum 7-year agreement will result in WIN broadcasting Nine’s metropolitan free-to-air television content from channels 9, 9Go, 9Gem and 9Life into markets including Tasmania, regional Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Southern NSW.

In the agreement, WIN will pay an affiliation fee of around 50% of its regional advertising revenue to Nine.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Cirrus Networks (ASX:CNW)
IT solutions provider Cirrus announced that it has won a $13 million contract with Geoscience Australia, a public sector geoscience organisation. The initial three-year contract (with two one year options) was awarded to Cirrus after a comprehensive competitive tender process. The company described the contract as a “transformational win”.

MSM Corporation (ASX:MSM)
The online music and gaming platform advised that it has invested US$2.5 million for a significant minority interest in Rogue Games, a new kind of game company which has been successful in the free-to-play mobile gaming industry. 
This investment adds to RTE’s existing asports and gaming business interests, including Firefly Games, Galaxy Racer and OkLetsPlay.

New World Resources (ASX:NWC)
The mineral resources company announced that Antler copper deposit continues to grow with significant new deep massive sulphide intercepts. New thick intercepts of massive sulphides in the deepest holes drilled to date have shown shoots of thick mineralisation.

The industrial engineering company confirmed that Deakin University will double the size of its ManuFutures advanced manufacturing hub, and open up the Geelong-based success story to key regional centres, thanks to a $20 million partnership with the Victorian Government. LI-S Energy, who is 51.9% owned by PPL, has been named as a confirmed tenant at the expanded facility where it will build a battery testing plant to further broaden the application of the LI-S battery technology being currently developed.

ResApp Health (ASX:RAP)
Digital health company, ResApp, announced that it has secured a one year, non-exclusive licensing agreement with AstraZeneca, the Japanese subsidiary of global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC., to license its cough counting technology for use in a program to support asthma patients. Under the agreement, ResApp’s cough counting technology will be integrated into AstraZeneca’s direct-to-consumer asthma management smartphone application, to assist patients in monitoring symptoms in the home setting and support them in managing their asthma.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While New World Resources is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.