S&P 500 hovers at record high as COVID-19 cases soar

Wall Street closed out a choppy trading session on Tuesday, as the S&P 500 broke a four-day winning streak and closed within a whisker of its all-time high.

The S&P 500 index finished the day 0.10% lower, the Dow Jones rose by 0.26%, while tech heavy Nasdaq was down 0.56%.

Global COVID-19 cases hit a daily record, with more than 1.45 million infections worldwide reported in a single day on Monday.

Oil prices are at a one-month high, with Brent crude trading at US$79.03/barrel, while spot iron ore was down 3% to US$119.44 a tonne.

To cryptos, where Bitcoin has dropped by almost 6% to US$47,800 at 8am AEDT today.

There’s a number of institutional investors in Australia that are invested in the crypto space, and Stockhead has reached out to them to get their take on what to expect in the new year.

Read that story right here on Coinhead.


ASX 200 to open higher on Wednesday

The ASX 200 looks set to open higher this morning, with futures markets (January contracts) pointing up by 0.34% at 8:30am AEDT.

On Friday, the local index closed for the Christmas break on a high, with its biggest weekly gain since the first week of November.

Despite being a shortened trading day, the ASX gained 0.50% on Christmas Eve, taking its weekly gain to 1.66%.

Victoria has recorded around 2,000 Omicron cases while NSW is rising towards 1,000 cases.

No IPOs are expected on the ASX this week.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO)
Warrego has agreed to farm-out a 50% working interest in its oil exploration permit to Mitsui E&P Australia, in exchange for Mitsui carrying Warrego’s first two years of exploration costs of up to $1.5m. Located in the Coolcalalaya sub-basin, the permit covers 2.2 million acres, and is potentially the largest onshore exploration permit in the northern Perth Basin.

Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL)
AVL’s 100% owned subsidiary VSUN Energy will be installing a 5kW/30kWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for use on a trial basis at Water Corporation’s hub in Shenton Park, WA. The VRFB will initially be trialled for use on a mobile water purification unit, and will provide 100% renewable power to the system via a solar PV and VRFB standalone power system.

Bowen Coking Coal (ASX:BCB)
Bowen will acquire 100% of the shares in New Lenton Coal, which is expected to materially increase its attributable resources to more than 500Mt. Bowen says the acquisition is consistent with its stated strategy of becoming the next significant multi‐mine coking coal producer in the Bowen Basin.

LBT Innovations (ASX:LBT)
The medtech company will acquire a 50% stake of Clever Culture Systems (CCS) from a German company for $4m, taking LBT’s stake in CCS to 100% and making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. CCS was established in 2013 to fund the development and commercialisation of LBT’s own APAS technology.

Harmoney Corp (ASX:HMY)
Harmoney has entered into a $20 million corporate debt facility funded by OneVentures and Viola Credit. It is structured with 60% as term notes and 40% as convertible notes, with an exercise price of $2.40.