• ASX is set to open higher today
  • Market sentiment was positive on Wall Street, as stocks and commodities rose
  • Musk confirms a 10% staff layoff at Tesla

Local shares are set to rise this morning as Wall Street rebounded following a three-day long weekend. At 8.15am AEST, the ASX 200 is pointing up by 0.80%.

The sentiment on Wall Street was bullish as major US stocks indices bounced back from their worst week since 2020 – with the S&P 500, Dow Jones and tech heavy Nasdaq all rising by over 2% each.

Tesla jumped by 9% as Elon Musk confirmed laying off 10% of his salaried staff.

“As anyone knows who has tried to order a Tesla, the demand for our cars is extremely high and the wait list is long,” Musk told Bloomberg.

“We grew very fast on the salaried side and we grew a little too fast in some areas, and so it requires a reduction,” he said.

The bullish mood also extended to other markets like commodities and cryptocurrencies. Oil prices rose by around 0.5%, iron ore was up 3%, while Bitcoin rose 2% and is now trading at US$20,796.

Meanwhile, John Stoltzfus, co-chief investment strategist at The Oppenheimer, predicts that the S&P 500 will rise by 40% by the end of the year, arguing that the worst is over now.

“We don’t think there’s going to be a recession, we do think we might skirt it,” Stoltzfus told Bloomberg.

“It’s not an easy time, but we think this Fed is very capable of dealing with it because of experience dealing with the great financial crisis.”

Back home, RBA’s governor Dr Philip Lowe also thinks that Australia will not go into a recession. He did however warn that more rate rises were coming.

“As we chart our way back to 2-3% inflation, Australians should be prepared for more interest rate increases,” Lowe told a Sydney forum yesterday.

“How fast we increase interest rates, and how far we need to go, will be guided by the incoming data and the board’s assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market.”

5 ASX small caps to watch today

De.Mem (ASX:DEM)
The waste-water treatment company has signed a three-year service contract with Rio Tinto, to treat water at Rio’s Amrun mine on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. The three-year agreement has a value of approximately $1.7 million in revenues. De.Mem says additional revenue can be secured from the cross-sell of additional equipment, specialty chemicals and other consumables.

Xantippe Resources (ASX:XTC)
Xantippe has been granted one Exploration Licence and one Prospecting Licence in the Toomey Hills area of the Southern Cross Region of WA. This acquisition increases the size of the company’s granted licences for exploration in the region to 197sqkm.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
The engineering company has secured a specialist facades contract valued at around $30m. The contract is for the $800 million 360 Queen Street development in the Brisbane CBD.

Pure Resources (ASX:PR1)
High-grade rock chip results from the Killarney Prospect include: 19.3% Cu & 78g/t Ag, and 11.4% Cu & 26g/t Ag.  Additional reconnaissance mapping and sampling were recently completed, and an aerial gravity survey will commence imminently to delineate priority drill targets.

Thor Mining (ASX:THR)
Drilling approvals have been granted on the company’s 100% owned Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain Projects in southwest Colorado. Thor Mining CEO Nicole Galloway Warland says she was encouraged by the extent of mineralisation observed, and the project’s overall prospectivity. Drillholes are now pegged and final drilling preparation is underway.