Dow Jones hits fresh highs

US stocks finished in mixed territories overnight. The Dow index rose 0.59%, but both S&P 500 and Nasdaq slumped by 0.06% and 1.33% respectively.

Banks, industrials, and tech stocks led, following more evidence from the WHO that the Omicron variant caused milder symptoms.

US ‘stock of the day’ was Ford, which jumped by 11% after saying it would double the production of popular F-150 Lightning electric pickups to 150,000 vehicles a year.

In other markets, oil prices gained 1.5% after OPEC agreed to stick to its planned increased output for February.

After a 3% fall yesterday, Bitcoin has traded down again today by 0.7% to change hands at US$46,100 at 8am AEDT this morning.

The past year was crypto’s biggest yet in terms of mainstream attention, growing adoption and bulging market caps.

So what might 2022 bring?

Stockhead has been catching up with crypto-industry leaders to get their Nostradamus-like thoughts…


ASX 200 to open lower on Wednesday

The ASX 200 looks set to open lower this morning, with futures markets (January contracts) pointing down by 0.1% at 8:30am AEDT.

Yesterday, the benchmark index was up by 2% on the first day of trading in 2022. All eleven ASX sectors finished higher, with the energy and mining sectors leading the pack.

There were around 48,000 new COVID cases across all Australian states on Tuesday, a new national record. But experts believe we won’t reach peak levels until a few months from now.

On the economics data front, the ANZ monthly job applications report will be released later today.

5 ASX small caps to watch today

MMA Offshore (ASX:MRM)
The marine services provider has been awarded a number of new contracts including two significant long-term vessel contracts. The two contracts amount to a combined value of $62m for the contract firm periods, and a potential value in excess of $91m if the relevant option periods are exercised. In addition, the two survey contracts carry an anticipated contract value of $12.4m.

Decmil Group (ASX:DCG)
The mining services provider company has received government infrastructure contracts worth $27.8m. Of that, $23.3m was with Main Roads in WA, and $4.5m with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Meeka Gold (ASX:MEK)
Broad zone of gold mineralisation has been intersected at its Turnberry South project. Results include: 13m @ 2.18g/t Au from 219m, including 4m @ 3.87g/t Au.

Noxopharm Ltd (ASX:NOX)
The cancer focused biotech announced a new leadership transition. Dr Gisela Mautner has been appointed as its new CEO, and Dr Mautner, currently the company’s Chief Medical Officer, will now also serve on the Board.

Wellard Ltd (ASX:WLD)
The agribusiness company has successfully resolved its arbitration proceedings in London against the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Wellard is now entitled to receive payments plus interest amounting to approximately US$ 12m within 14 days.

MRM, DCG, MEK, NOX, WLD share price charts: