US stocks ended a volatile week in mixed territories

Wall Street was dragged down by financial stocks on Friday, but the loss was offset by gains in tech stocks.

The S&P 500 was up by 0.08%, the Dow Jones fell by 0.56%, while tech heavy Nasdaq was higher by 0.59%.

It was a gloomy day for financial stocks, with heavyweights like JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Blackrock all falling after a missed fourth quarter result from the latter.

It was a volatile week after the the highest US CPI print since the measure was established in 2010.

Combined with annual CPI growth of more than 7% (the highest level since 1982), the prospect of tighter monetary policy this year is now firmly accepted by markets. Economists are predicting rate rises of between three to five times in the US this year.

In other markets, oil prices were higher by 2% while iron ore was down 1%. Bitcoin fell 0.5%, and was trading at just below US$43,000 at 8am AEDT.

David Angliss, an analyst with Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, shares the fund’s weekly take on what’s happening in the fast-changing and volatile cryptocurrency space.

You can read that story here on Coinhead.


ASX 200 to open higher on Monday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher this morning, with futures markets (January contracts) pointing down by 0.17% at 8:30am AEDT.

On Friday, the benchmark index suffered a 1.08% loss, after tech stocks were belted as the IT index fell by almost 4%.

Banks and miners also fell along with energy stocks, and even defensive health stocks didn’t escape the selling as the ASX 200 Healthcare index fell by 1.46%.

On the IPO front, set to list today is BeforePay (ASX:B4P). Beforepay operates in the pay on demand industry. It helps to manage individuals’ cashflow by providing access to a proportion of their upcoming pay, which can be used for any purpose. The company raised $35m at $3.41.

Also listing today is Vertex Minerals (ASX:VTX), a minerals explorer that raised $5.5m at 20c a share.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Prophecy International (ASX:PRO)
The software company reported strong sales growth in H1 FY22, with the $7.33m in new business achieved during the half-year, a 141% growth compared to H1 FY21. The results were underpinned by new customer activity for eMite, the company’s SaaS-based customer experience and contact (call) centre analytics platform.

Step One Clothing (ASX:STP)
Step One has launched a women’s innerwear line in Australia and the United Kingdom. Around 40% of STP’s customers are women, and the launch follows significant demand from its female customers who, as purchasers of men’s Step Ones, requested a similar innovative innerwear product for women.

Veris Limited (ASX:VRS)
Veris’ subsidiary Aqura is set to deliver high-performance private 4G LTE solution for ConocoPhillips Australia (as downstream operator for APLNG) at Curtis Island, Queensland. The 5-year $1.2m program signed with ConocoPhillips will include design, procure and commissioning work.

Askari Metals (ASX:AS2)
Askari will expand its lithium portfolio through exploration licence applications within the Pilbara region. The new project area is called the Yarrie Lithium Project, covering an area of 1,711km2 and is highly prospective for lithium-tin-tantalum.

Hastings Tech Metals (ASX:HAS)
The company has been given an approval from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to enable the continuation of early works infrastructure site activities at its rare earths Yangibana Project.