US stocks higher on Friday despite consumer confidence slump

US stock markets climbed on Friday, despite the monthly US consumer sentiment index plunging to its lowest level in a decade.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.04%, S&P 500 by 0.16% – both to record highs, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.04%.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) was the highlight on Friday, rising by 1%, after it reported revenue of $17 billion, compared to $11.7 billion a year ago.

Even its theme parks reported an operating profit of $356 million compared to a loss of $1.8 billion a year ago.

In other markets, global oil prices fell by 1% on Friday while metals mainly rose by 1%.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is rallying, and trading at the US$47,000 level at 8:00am AEST, from US$45,200 last Friday.

Meanwhile, Argentinian star Lionel Messi has been partly paid with crypto “fan tokens” in his high-profile transfer from FC Barcelona to Paris St Germain.

The actual crypto portion of Messi’s two-year, US$75 million deal with PSG is undisclosed, however, it is a “large number” according to a statement made by the Parisian club.


ASX 200 to open higher on Monday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.20% at 8:30am AEST.

On Friday, the benchmark index hit another record high, closing at 7,629 points for a gain of 0.54%. All sectors save the Materials sector finished in the green, with Health leading the pack for a gain of nearly 2%.

In large caps news this morning, Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) has again rejected the upgraded takeover offer from Sydney Aviation Alliance for $8.45 a share, after rejecting the initial offer of $8.25 a share.

Steelmaker Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) reported an EBIT of $1.72 billion, up from $0.56 billion a year earlier. The company also declared a final dividend of 25c a share, tripling what it paid a year ago.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Imdex (ASX:IMD)
The drilling fluid products specialist reported a full year increase in NPAT of 45.5% to $31.7 million. The company will pay a franked final dividend of 1.4c a share, doubling its dividend payout from a year ago. It also declared a special dividend of 0.4c a share.

Nexion Group (ASX:NNG)
The hybrid cloud company said it has finalised its Blue Sky Telecom acquisition on improved terms. The previous agreement in April was for an all scrip consideration equivalent to 1x the FY21 revenue of Blue Sky at 20 cents per share, plus additional tranches in FY22, FY23 and FY24. But the revised terms signed today was for a single $2 million cash payment that will be formally settled in the coming weeks.

Fiducian Group (ASX:FID)
The financial services company reported a full year statutory NPAT of $12.2m, which is 16% higher than a year before. Both its business segments, the Platform Administration and Funds Management, have seen an increase in funds under management inflows.

Strike Resources (ASX:SRK)
The company said 35,000 tonnes of iron ore sourced from Strike’s Apurimac Project in Peru are currently being loaded onto MV Federal Nakagawa destined for China. Strike has received a further US$2.5 million from Good Importing as part of a prepayment for this first shipment, in addition to US$2 million previously received.

Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS)
More assay results have been returned from the company’s Golden Swan project in WA. Results include: 0.8m at 14.3% Ni from 178.85m, and 2.95m at 4.46% Ni from 166.85m.


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