ASX to follow Wall Street into the red

US stocks continue their decline on Monday as the Russia-Ukraine situations remains tense, despite a glimmer of hope that Russia could pursue more diplomatic channels.

Investors also got the jitters after US Fed voter James Bullard made more hawkish comments, saying the central bank needs to “front-load” and hike rates by 100bp by June this year.

The S&P 500 fell by 0.38%, the Dow by 0.49%, but tech heavy Nasdaq closed flat despite rallying in the early part of the day.

In corporate news, major biotechs fell as Pfizer and BioNTech said they will wait on vaccine data related to younger kids before completing their EUA filing. Moderna also fell as its CEO sold some of his shares and deleted his Twitter account.

Meanwhile, oil prices have been on a way-uphill road since the talk of war began, and overnight Brent crude rose another 1% to trade at $US95.06 a barrel.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo tried to calm the markets, saying the cartel is working behind the scenes to ensure they will be able to supply oil to global markets.

Bitcoin appears to be stabilising, and at 8.15am AEDT it was changing hands at US$42,243.

But as Coinheader Rob Badman reported, there is a Fed-related reason to remain cautious in the very short term.

Read the rest of that story here.

ASX 200 to open lower on Tuesday

The ASX 200 index looks set to open lower this morning, with futures markets (March contracts) pointing down by 0.92% at 8:15am AEDT.

Yesterday, the ASX closed 0.28% higher as investors took to safety, betting on gold and oil producers on concerns that Russia may invade Ukraine this week.

In large caps news this morning, BHP (ASX:BHP) declared a record interim dividend of $US1.50 a share (up from US$1.01 a year ago) as profits soared by 144% (on pcp) in the first half to $9.44bn.

And later today, the RBA meeting minutes for Feb will be released, as well as the REINZ house prices for January.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Money3 (ASX:MNY)
The automotive finance specialist delivered a 34.5% increase (on pcp) in revenue to $91.3m for the first half, and a 29.6% increase in NPAT to $25.8 million. Money3 also declared a 6-cent fully franked dividend payable on 29 April.

Adore Beauty (ASX:ABY)
The company reported an 18% growth (on pcp) of revenues to $113.1m for the first half. Active customers increased 13% (on pcp) to 876k, but EBITDA fell 27% (on pcp) to $3.8m.

Atomos (ASX:AMS)
The video equipment specialist delivered record revenue of $40.9m for the first half, up 25% on pcp. Atomos has maintained revenue guidance of $95m+ for the full year, as well as EBITDA of 12-15%.

Beamtree Holdings (ASX:BMT)
The healthcare company reported a 91% growth (on pcp) in group revenues to $7.1m for the first half. Recurring revenue now makes up 85% of all revenues, but the company suffered an EBITDA loss of $0.5m.

Vysarn Ltd (ASX:VYS)
The company’s wholly owned subsidiary Pentium Hydro has won a three year contract with BHP Nickel West. The scope includes drilling and installation of production bores, and the company expects revenue to be approximately $2.8 million for the initial 6-month of work.