Wall Street mixed on Fed’s statement

US stock markets were mixed overnight, after the US Fed Vice Chair said he anticipates rates to increase by 2023.

“Given this outlook and so long as inflation expectations remain well anchored at the 2% longer-run goal, commencing policy normalisation in 2023 would be entirely consistent with our new flexible average inflation targeting framework,” said the central bank’s vice chairman Richard Clarida.

The Dow Jones fell by 0.92%, S&P 500 was down by 0.46%, while tech heavy Nasdaq rose by 0.13%.

The market wasn’t helped by the latest US jobs data, which showed that employment rose less than expected.

GM Motors missed its Q2 earnings and its share price fell by almost 9%, while Robinhood rose a whopping 50% to US$70.39 before being halted.

The Robinhood shares have now nearly doubled from last week’s IPO price of US$38.

In other markets, oil prices have dropped for the third consecutive day and lost another 2% overnight on concerns over the rising COVID-19 cases globally.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is rising to trade at US$39,900 level at 8:00am AEST, from the US$38,400 level on Tuesday.

US SEC Chairman Gary Gensler made positive comments about BTC this week.

“Nakamoto’s innovation is real. I really do think there’s something real about the distributed ledger technology, moving value on the internet,” he said.

ASX 200 to open higher on Thursday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.16% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the benchmark index closed at 7,503 points, 0.38% up from yesterday but 6 points behind its higher ever intraday high, with Energy and Resources the best performing sectors.

This morning, home retailer Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) reported a 100% increase in its full year FY21 NPAT to $84.2 million, beating its own guidance. The company announced a final dividend of 25c a share, with the share price closing at $12.32 on Wednesday.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
The LAG-3 focused immunotherapy company said the first patient has been enrolled and safely dosed in its INSIGHT-003 study, which seeks to evaluate the effect of a triple combination of IMU’s lead product candidate efti with chemotherapy and anti-PD-1 therapy.

Neuren Pharma (ASX:NEU)
The brain injury specialist said that its Phase 3 enrolment for the study of trofinetide in Rett syndrome (neurodevelopmental disorder), with results on track to be published in Q4 of 2021. The company is working with Arcadia (Nasdaq:ACAD) in this Phase 3 trial which will test 180 patients for 12 weeks with trofinetide or placebo.

Pharmaxis (ASX:PXS)
The fibrotic and inflammatory disease specialist has presented data from a preclinical study of PXS‐5505 in cholangiocarcinoma (liver cancer) to the Americas Hepato‐Pancreato‐Biliary Association (AHBPA) conference in Miami.

Veris Ltd (ASX:VRS)
The industrial services company says its subsidiary Aqua Tech has been awarded major upgraded contracts by BHP Western Australian Iron Ore. The scope of work spans design, procurement, and installation, and is worth around $3.7m for delivery in November.

Castle Minerals (ASX:CDT)
The gold explorer said that soil sampling has defined a broad, north-northwest trending anomalous gold corridor. Peak soil value of 202 parts per billion (ppb) of Au ,with several samples assaying above 50 ppb Au.