S&P 500 at fresh record high but Tech falls

The S&P 500 nudged up by 0.13% overnight, and closed the half year at a new record high.

The Dow Jones also rose by 0.61%, but tech heavy Nasdaq fell by 0.17%.

Investors are betting on a reopening of the economy, but hoping the Fed Reserve would maintain its easy policies despite rising inflation, which has jumped to 4.2% and its highest level since August 2008.

Meanwhile, trading platform Robinhood was ordered to pay a restitution fine of more than US$70 million for “widespread and significant harm” it caused to its customers.

China-based hailing giant Didi Global made its long-awaited debut on NYSE, and surged 19% on the first day of trading.

In crypto world, Bitcoin fell back down and is currently trading at US$34,700 level at 8am AEST, from the US$36,000 level on Wednesday.

Australian securities regulator ASIC is currently soliciting proposals on how it should best regulate crypto-asset exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the regulator saying it will consider the feedback and release guidelines in the third quarter.

ASIC had earlier said that Bitcoin ETF could create “real risk of harm to consumers and markets”.

ASX 200 set to open lower on Thursday

The ASX200 looks set to dip at the open, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing down by 0.43 per cent at 8:30am AEST this morning.

On Wednesday, the index rose early but dipped at the closing bell to finish just 0.16% higher.

By sector, the big resources companies performed well while travel stocks also bounced back after getting sold off heavily earlier this week.

In big cap news this morning, Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) has surprisingly maintained its full year FY21 guidance despite the ongoing uncertainty around international travel.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT)
The company said Charger Metals has exercised its option to acquire a 70 per cent interest in Lithium Australia’s Coates, Lake Johnston and Bynoe projects. LIT will retain a 30% free carried interest in these exploration projects, and will be the major shareholder in Charger Metals.

Schrole Group (ASX:SCL)
The IT software company will commence global marketing of its full HR Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite. Schrole said the global sales opportunity is significant because its direct sales team has a strong track record.

Vection Tech (ASX:VR1)
The software company has launched Mindesk for Autodesk Revit, a major software in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) market with about 11 million users and 70 per cent market share.

Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI)
The gold explorer announced results from four diamond drill holes totalling 1,060m, from its Bankan Project, located in Guinea. Drilling on section 1175020N has intersected broad zones of high-grade gold at depth. Results include 44m @ 8.0g/t Au from 265m including 17m @ 18.1g/t Au from 273m.

Talga Group (ASX:TLG)
The battery company announced the completion of the detailed feasibility study for its Vittangi Anode Project in northern Sweden. The DFS results confirm the project’s exceptional potential to deliver 19,500 tonnes per annum(tpa)  from 100,000 tpa of Vittangi graphite ore over 24 years life of mine.