• The ASX is set to open higher on Monday
  • Wall Street rallied on Friday as sentiment turns bullish
  • Earnings season for large caps continues on the ASX

Local shares are set to open higher on Monday. At 8am AEST, the ASX 200 August futures contract is pointing up by 0.40%.

On Friday, shares on Wall Street rallied strongly to finish the week – with the S&P 500, Dow Jones and the Nasdaq rising between 1% and 2%.

Optimism is back on the agenda as investors grow more convinced the Fed can achieve a soft landing and the US economy can avoid a recession.

After a lower than expected headline CPI of 8.5% last week, there’s a sense of relief now that inflation might have peaked in the US, leaving some to predict that the Fed might finally pivot its policy following back-to-back 75bp increases in the last two months.

Data released on Friday showed US consumer sentiment has risen to a three-month high on more optimistic expectations about the economy and personal finances.

Apple shares gained 2% following a Bloomberg report that indicated the tech giant expects to sustain its iPhone sales in 2022 despite a market slowdown.

The VIX index, sometimes called the ‘fear index’, retreated back from the June highs to its long term average of 20 points. VIX indicates the level of implied volatility in options contracts, and measures the level of risk, fear, or stress in the market.

In other markets, Brent crude fell by 1.6% to US$98 a barrel, while iron ore also fell by 1.6% to US$108.80 a tonne.

Bitcoin was down 0.50% in the last 24 hours to US$24,322 at 8.30am AEST.

Peter Schiff, chief market strategist of Euro Pacific Asset Management, said BTC will continue falling to US$10,000 and won’t see its US$69k highs again.

“At the end of the day, the only people that are going to walk away from this crypto bubble with anything to show for it are the people who sold,” Schiff told Kitco TV.

Back home, earnings season for large cap continues.

On Monday, companies to report their earnings include Beach Energy, BlueScope Steel, Carsales, and JB Hi-Fi.

Looking ahead this week, Australia’s labour force data will be released on Thursday, while the Eurozone CPI is due out Friday (European time).

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Nearmap (ASX:NEA)
Nearmap has received a takeover interest from Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, to acquire 100% of the shares in Nearmap for $2.10 cash per share. The NEA share price closed at $1.51 on Friday.

Swoop Holdings (ASX:SWP)
On a like-for-like basis, before incorporating any adjustments resulting from a financial integration review, Swoop expects to deliver an FY22 Underlying EBITDA of $12.3m – $12.4m, which falls within previous guidance of between $12.0m and $12.5m (and materially above original FY22 guidance of $10.0m).

Bailador Tech Investments (ASX:BTI)
The tech investor reported a 22% increase in Net Tangible Asset (NTA) per share (pre-tax) up to $1.86. Net profit after tax increased 23% over prior year to $34.0m. Fully-franked dividends of 7.4 cents per share were declared, representing a 4.9% yield on BTI shares.

Hydrix (ASX:HYD)
The Health Services Authority of Singapore (HSA) has approved The Guardian to be marketed and distributed in Singapore by Hydrix Medical. The Guardian is an implantable continuous heart monitor with patient-alerting capability for Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) events.

InteliCare (ASX:ICR)
The aged care tech company has expanded its national presence after an agreement with South Australian care services and home care provider, ECH. The $59,000 plus contract includes 85 InteliCare hardware kits.


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