Wall Street sinks as global COVID cases spike

All three benchmark indices in the US dropped on Friday, as coronavirus cases continue to spike around the world.

The Dow Jones was down by 0.86% , S&P 500 by 0.75%, and the tech-focused Nasdaq fell by 0.80%.

US pharma company Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) rose by 10% after news it will join the S&P 500 index starting on July 21.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been cleared for liftoff, and is set to fly into space on Tuesday July 20 (US time), carrying Bezos himself, his brother, and 18-year old Oliver Daemen, the first paying customer.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is falling again, and is currently trading at US$31,500 level at 8am AEST, from the US$31,500 level on Friday.

ASX 200 set to open lower on Monday

The ASX 200 looks set to open lower at the open this morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing down by 0.14% at 8:30am AEST.

On Friday, the benchmark index closed 0.17% higher, with most sectors in the green but only slightly. The Aussie index rose by 1% for the whole week.

In big cap news this morning, Telstra (ASX:TLS) has confirmed a media report that it was in discussions to acquire telecommunications company, Digicel Pacific in the South Pacific region in partnership with the Australian Government.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Perenti Global (ASX:PRN)
The mining services company said its joint venture in Ghana has been awarded a new ~$470 million (100% share), five-year contract at AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem gold mine in the Western Region of Ghana. Perenti’s share will increase by ~$280 million over the term of the contract.

Douugh (ASX:DOU)
The fintech company announced the launch of its native Android app in the Google Play Store, expanding its distribution in the US, and significantly expanding its market footprint to an additional 46% of American mobile users.

Data#3 Limited (ASX:DTL)
The IT solutions company said it was expecting to report another record full year result . DTL expects NPAT for FY21 to be approximately $36.8 million, an increase of 8% on the prior year.

Mach7 Tech (ASX:M7T)
The diagnostic imaging specialist announced it has licensed its eUnity universal viewing solution to Advocate Aurora Health. The license contract is valued at $4.3 million, with Mach7 expected to recognise $1.5 million – $1.7 million in FY22, with the remainder being recognised evenly from FY23 – FY27.

Wisr Limited (ASX:WZR)
The non-bank financial company has delivered its 20th consecutive quarter of growth, with its loan book growing by 342% on previous corresponding period (pcp). Total loan originations now stand at $611 million as at 30 June, a 149% Growth from pcp.