A mixed bag for US stocks

US stocks struggled for direction in overnight trade, as the S&P500 closed flat while the Nasdaq fell by more than 1% — dragged lower by a 35% slump for Netflix following its lacklustre trading update.

So far this week global markets have tracked broadly sideways, as investors digest the latest round of results in Q1 US reporting season, and bond yields take a breather following their steep recent climb.

Amid the various catalysts, local stocks have held their ground with ASX futures markets pointing to moderate gains at the opening bell this morning.

In bonds, futures markets are now fully priced for a 50 basis point hike by the US Fed at its May meeting, higher than the standard 25bp increase.

Spot gold prices edged higher overnight to ~$US1,955/oz, while iron ore futures were little-changed with prices holding above US$150/tonne.

Base metals lost ground, with sharper falls in zinc which fell by around 2%.

Brent crude oil is holding at around US$107/barrel, with investors weighing “news of the war in the Ukraine as well as data showing an 8 million barrel fall in US crude oil stocks last week”, CBA economist Stephen Wu said.

In crypto markets, Bitcoin is holding steady at around US$41,500.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL)

The Tassie-based gold play said drilling has returned “numerous high-grade intersections from the Darwin deposit” at CYL’s Henty gold mine. The results “extend the known mineralisation and will feed into a new resource estimate” at the site, which currently stands at 357,000oz at 4.5g/t. “Exploration success is particularly valuable at Henty because it will enable Catalyst to leverage the existing production infrastructure and reduce unit costs”, the company said.

Nexus Minerals (ASX:NXM)

The explorer said assay results have revealed intersections of “broad high-grade mineralisation in both shallow and deep drill holes” at its Crusader-Templar prospect. “The positive link zone drill results allow us to confidently confirm the
joining of the Crusader and Templar prospects into a single 1.6km mineralised corridor”, Nexus boss Andy Tudor said. More assay results are expected as the company’s five-drill operation continues.

Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT)

TMT said batch kiln roast – leach testwork at its vanadium processing facility in Pennsylvania had returned “high vanadium recoveries up to 96%”. The results “confirm the superior metallurgical characteristics of the MTMP orebody and the ability to deliver industry leading recoveries using standard vanadium processing technology”, the company said. MD Ian Prentice said the that leaves the company on track to update its ore estimate and accelerate “the delivery of the world’s next large scale primary vanadium mine”.

InteliCare Holdings (ASX:ICR)

The health tech company announced a number of new board appointments, including health industry veteran Dr Neale Fong as a non-executive director. The changes follow the appointment of a new CEO, Mr Daniel Pilbrow, and the company will now “undergo a thorough review of the current operations, and look to utilise the extensive health care and commercial experience of the incoming members to re-pivot the go to market strategy”, ICR said.

Musgrave Minerals Ltd (ASX:MGV) / Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN)

The two companies provided a drilling update at their West Island gold joint venture, where EVN has a 75% stake. Diamond drilling continues to deliver strong basement results with drilling confirming the potential for multiple highgrade basement gold lodes within the dolerite sil,” Musgrave MD Rob Waugh said.