Wall Street higher on solid earnings

All three US stock market benchmarks rose overnight, buoyed by some strong earnings results.

The Dow Jones rose by 0.80%, S&P 500 by 0.82% to reach fresh peaks, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.55%.

Fashion retailers like Ralph Lauren and Under Armour rose by 6%-7% after raising guidance. Alibaba’s revenue’s was up by 34% to US$32bn.

This is one of the best US earnings seasons on record, with 86% of US companies having topped estimates so far, according to the Financial Times.

Robinhood shares meanwhile rose by 23% to US$46.80, higher than its IPO price of US$38 on no specific news.

In other markets, oil prices keep dropping and lost another 1% overnight on concerns over coronavirus surge in China.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin is trading lower again at US$38,400 level at 8:00am AEST, from the US$39,300 level on Tuesday.

One of the most successful crypto-projects of the first half is branching out into the hot new fields of gaming and NFTs.

Polygon (MATIC) is spinning out a US$100 million studio to help developers launch decentralised games, and assist brands and intellectual property owners launch NFTs on the Ethereum layer two scaling solution.

ASX 200 to open higher on Wednesday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher his morning, with futures markets (September contracts) pointing up by 0.35% at 8:30am AEST.

Yesterday, the benchmark index closed 0.23% lower, with Energy leading the laggards, dropping 1.39% and Resources losing 0.85%.

The market fell despite the RBA announcing an upgrade in growth outlook for 2022 from 3.5% to 4%, and lowered its forecast unemployment rate from 4.5% to 4.25%.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

CV Check (ASX:CV1)
The job references verification company has appointed a new CEO, Michael Ivanchenko, to commence work on August 30. Ivanchenko has extensive experience in the development and deployment of SaaS products within the rapidly developing B2B and B2C technology sectors. He was previously an Executive Director of Product with Foxtel Group.

Veem Ltd (ASX:VEE)
The marine propulsion tech company reported a 34% increase in revenue to $59.5 million for the full year of FY21, compared to FY20. Net profit after tax increased by 97% to $4.9m, compared to FY20.

Renergen (ASX:RLT)
The natural gas and helium producer has secured a further three take-or-pay agreements for the supply of helium for the next 10-15 years. The contracts were signed with Linde (15 years), Messer (15 years), and Helium24 (10 years).

Variscan Mines (ASX:VAR)
The minerals explorer says that assays from underground drilling have confirmed the discovery of multiple stacked lenses of high-grade zinc mineralisation. The new discovery was found in the South West Zone and Los Caracoles Trend of the San Jose Mine, separate from the Central Zone reported previously. Results include 13.2m @ 5.54% Zn.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance (ASX:GMA)
The company reported an underlying first half NPAT of $76.4 million, underpinned by strong underwriting of $87.7 million. GMA will be paying an interim dividend of 5c per share, with the share price closing at $2.12 on Tuesday.