Wall Street continues to rebound

US stocks continued their rally for the third consecutive day, following news that three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab could likely protect against the Omicron infection.

The S&P 500 edged higher by 0.3%, while the tech heavy Nasdaq rose 0.6%.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech stocks however fell slightly, as investors already anticipated the new variant would be manageable.

Travel and casino stocks made big moves, with Norwegian Cruise Line jumping by 8%.

The Australian dollar appreciated by 0.8% overnight, and was buying 71.75 US cents, while oil prices also rose slightly by 0.6%.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is holding steady at US$50,800 at 8am AEDT, from the same level yesterday.

Payments giant Visa is launching a global crypto consulting and advisory service to help its banking clients navigate the digital-assets world.

According to Visa, the time is right to push the case for the digital economy, as it takes greater hold in the popular consciousness.

Read our crypto roundup here on Coinhead.

ASX 200 to open lower on Thursday

The ASX 200 looks set to fall at the open this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing down by 0.32% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the local index had another day of solid gains, rising by 1.25% and hitting a three week high with tech and resources leading the charge.

Later today, the ABS will release the weekly payroll data, while RBA governor Philip Lowe will be making a speech.

In large cap news this morning, Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) says competition regulator ACCC will not oppose its proposed acquisition by Sydney Aviation Alliance, paving the way for the transaction to go through.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Genex Power (ASX:GNX)

Genex has executed an offtake agreement via the Autobidder platform with Tesla, for the the 50MW/100MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project located near Rockhampton. Under the deal, Tesla will provide a minimum level of contracted revenues to support project financing for the development of Boudlercombe.

iCetana (ASX:ICE)

The video surveillance tech company signed a non-binding MoU with NEC Argentina to enhance urban surveillance offerings in the Latin American market. Under the deal, icetana will integrate its motion intelligence software with NEC’s CitySensAI platform.

hiPages (ASX:HPG)

The online tradie platform announced it’s acquired BuildersCrack for $11.8m in cash and equity. BuildersCrack is New Zealand’s leading online tradie marketplace, having completed over NZ$250m of transactions since 2007, HPG said. 
The company reckons the deal will give it access to a new addressable market in NZ.

First Graphene (ASX:FGR)
The company has filed a patent for graphene use in cement production. The patent was filed in the UK to protect the company’s intellectual property in the scale up of graphene-enhanced cement admixtures.

Elevate Uranium (ASX:EL8)
Elevate says it is now fully funded to accelerate its exploration and development activities in Namibia and Australia. Following its recent capital raising, the company now has $16.5 million to increase its existing inventory of 94.4 million JORC U3O8 mineral resources.