Tech gains on Wall Street amid fears of COVID-19 spike

Growth stocks were the winners on Wall Street overnight, at the expense of cyclical stocks as fears about a new wave of COVID-19 cases spooked markets.

The S&P 500 and tech heavy Nasdaq closed at all-time record highs, up by 0.23% and 0.98 respectively, as shares in technology mostly rose.

The Dow Jones index meanwhile, fell by 0.44%.

Facebook gained 4% and has become a trillion dollar company for the first time, following the dismissal of antitrust lawsuits against the company that had sought to spin off Instagram and Whatsapp.

In other markets, oil prices dropped by 2% ahead of Thursday’s OPEC+ meeting.

$4.7 billion in crypto tokens missing

Bitcoin is currently trading at US$34,500level at 8am AEST, from the US$34,000 level on Monday.

Two brothers and founders of South Africa-based crypto exchange, Africrypt, have reportedly gone missing with $4.7 billion worth of digital tokens that could be exchanged for fiat.

They had told clients two months earlier the platform had been hacked, and urged them not to tell authorities for fears it could complicate matters.

ASX 200 set to open lower

The ASX 200 is set to open lower this morning, with the index futures down by 0.4 per cent at 8:30am AEST.

On Monday, the index edged slightly lower by 0.01 per cent, with the best sector being consumer staples (up 1.48 per cent) and health (up 0.92 per cent), while the listed tech sector lost 2.81 per cent.

Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) says this morning that forecast sales for full year FY21 have been downgraded, as they will be hit by a $13 million impact due the current lockdowns.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Nyrada (ASX:NYR)

The clinical stage biotech company announced encouraging efficacy results from its in vivo study of NYX-PCSK9i in a specialised mouse model.

The study showed that the drug could reduce total cholesterol by two-thirds (65%) when given in combination with the statin Lipitor (atorvastatin, Pfizer), the best-selling drug of all time.

BARD1 Life Sciences (ASX:BD1)

The test results of BARD1’s autoantibody test for early detection of ovarian cancer have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Genes.

The research-stage assay showed a predicted accuracy of 0.96 with 86% sensitivity at 95% specificity cut-off for detection of ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women compared to healthy controls.

Veris (ASX:VRS)

The industrial services company has been awarded a contract for the Sydney Metro southwest upgrade. The contract is expected to generate $2.5 million in revenue for the company over a two-year period.

PNX Metals (ASX:PNX)

The company has engaged Como Engineers to assist with fast-tracking the Fountain Head Gold Project development. Fountain Head is 100% owned by PNX and located on granted mineral leases approximately 170km south of Darwin in the Pine Creek region of the Northern Territory.

Brookside Energy (ASX:BRK)

The company said US major ExxonMobil has confirmed its participation as a 4.5% non-operated working interest partner in the Jewell DSU project. Brookside expects to retain as much as 87% working interest, with the company’s subsidiary Black Mesa as the operator.