Wall Street advances on strong earnings

US stocks advanced on Friday on strong corporate earnings which were highlighted by record investment banking fees.

Goldman Sachs’s beat analysts’ expectations and pulled in US$3.7bn in M&A advisory fees, up 88% from the previous year.

Record investment banking fees were seen across Wall Street, with JP Morgan also last week reporting a 52% increase in M&A fees to US$3.3bn.

On Friday, the Dow Jones index rose by 1.09%, S&P 500 climbed 0.75%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up by 0.5 – capping off the best week Wall Street had since July.

In other markets, oil prices keep climbing and rose by another 1% on Friday, with benchmark Brent crude now trading at US$84.86/barrel.

Base metals also rose across the board, with copper price soaring to a new all time high as stockpiles hit a 47-year low – trading at US$10,538/t.

To cryptos, and the US SEC has finally approved Bitcoin futures ETFs managed by ProShares, in a first for the industry.

BTC is now making a run back towards its record high of $64,869 recorded in April, trading at US$59,800 at 8am AEDT from US$57,500 on Friday.

ASX 200 to open higher on Monday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing up by 0.42% at 8:30am AEDT.

On Friday, the Aussie benchmark clocked its second straight day of gains, rising by 0.69% to 7.362, its 3-week high.

In large caps news this morning, Aristrocat Leisure (ASX:ALL) made a $3.9bn acquisition play for Playtech, a UK-based company and the world’s largest online gambling software supplier.

On the IPO front, NickelSearch (ASX:NIS), a mineral explorer that raised $10m at 20c a share, will list on the ASX today.

Also later today, Alexandra Heath, who is the Head of Economics Analysis at the RBA, will make a speech.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

PharmAust (ASX:PAA)
The biotech says it’s preparing for a Phase 3 clinical trial of lead drug monepantel (MPL) for dogs with B-cell lymphoma. Data from Phase 2 has already shown that combining MPL and prednisolone more than doubles life expectancy of pet dogs compared with standard- of-care (prednisolone alone).

Alcidion Group (ASX:ALC)
The company will expand the use of its remote patient monitoring platform, Miya Precision, after the Sydney Local Health District agreed to expand the platform’s use to remote monitoring of patients with Acute Diverticulitis. Miya Precision is ALC’s flagship product, which provides a clinical monitoring dashboard that consolidates information to support remote patient care.

Mydeal com au (ASX:MYD)
The company’s gross sales jumped 49% in Q2 to a record $69.5m. Its active customers for the quarter were also up 38% to around 930,000 users.

Audinate Group (ASX:AD8)
The audio visual networking company generated a 46% increase on its revenue to US$7.6 million for the quarter. It was a record quarter for the business despite factory closures in both Malaysia and China. AD8 also said demand for its Dante products continues to reach record highs, with the backlog of orders for chips, cards and modules amounting to US$14.8 million at the end of the quarter.

PayGroup (ASX:PYG)
The payroll tech specialist upgraded its FY22 annual recurring revenue (ARR) to at least $37m, a 36% increase on its FY21 ARR of $27.2m. The company has already generated $9.6m in new contracts in the first half of FY22.