Fresh record highs on Wall Street ahead of Fed statement

US stocks continued their strong recent run overnight, and finished at fresh record levels for the third day in a row.

All three benchmarks indexes rose – the Dow Jones rose by 0.39%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.37%, and tech heavy Nasdaq was up by 0.34%.

The best performing US stock was car rental company, Avis Budget, which jumped 108% after it reported a stronger-than-expected third quarter.

The US car rental industry has been struggling since the pandemic began, with Hertz filing for bankruptcy. Hertz has since come out of bankruptcy, and has just announced 100,000 Tesla car fleet order last week.

Other stocks that surged after announcing solid earnings include Pfizer and Under Armour.

Investors are anxiously waiting the outcome of the Fed meeting, with a statement due out tomorrow (US time).

Goldman Sachs has now tipped a US Fed rate hike by July 2022 (previous prediction was July 2023).

In other markets, spot iron ore has slipped back below US$100, after dropping 6.6% to US$96.45/t on soft Chinese demand.

Steelmaking in China’s steel hub of Tangshan city was recently ordered to cut production following a heavy-pollution alert.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin s trading at US$63,000 at 8am AEDT, slightly down from US$60,700 yesterday.

Meanwhile, New York-based blockchain data company Chainalysis on Tuesday announced it has opened a new office in Australia after partnering with a number of crypto businesses here last year.

Read all about it here on Stockhead.

ASX 200 to open higher on Wednesday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher this morning, with futures markets (December contracts) pointing up by 0.97% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the Australian bourse closed 0.63% down at 7,324 points. The best sector was property trusts which gained 1.2% but resources shed 2.1% and energy and financials both lost over 1%.

The RBA put out a statement and decided to stick with its 0.1% cash rate target for the time being, but hinted that it might rise earlier than the 2024 target.

On the IPO front, set to list at 12pm AEST is copper producer Austral Resources (ASX:AR1), followed at 1pm AEST by copper, gold and base metal explorer C29 Metals (ASX:C29).

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Argenica Therapeutics (ASX:AGN)

The brain tissue focused company has demonstrated positive efficacy results from a preclinical study of its lead drug, ARG-007. In an animal study, the results showed that ARG-007 very significantly reduced the volume of brain tissue death for HIE (hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy) compared to the control group which received a saline injection instead of ARG-007.

Zelira Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD)

The medicinal cannabis company has signed a licensing deal worth an upfront US$1m for its distillate capture and dissolution matrix (EDCDM) technology. The EDCDM technology enables the formulation and development of free flow solid oral dosage forms based on cannabinoid distillate, a result that until now had proven difficult to achieve.

Hubify (ASX:HFY)

The network solutions provider delivered a 54% increase in Q1 revenue of $5.61m. Recurring revenue grew by 67% YoY to $3.6m, while organic growth increased by 10% across all divisions compared to the last quarter.

Renergen Ltd (ASX:RLT)

The company announced a significant increase in methane and helium reserves at its flagship Virginia Gas Project. 1P helium reserves have increased by 620% to 7.2Bcf, and 1P methane reserves have increased by 427% to 215.1Bcf.

Wiluna Mining (ASX:WMC)

More high grades from Happy Jack and East Lode confirm Wiluna as a high-grade gold mine, the company said. Results include: 3.72m @ 5.31g/t and 3.60m @ 7.22g/t.