S&P 500 and Bitcoin set record highs

The S&P 500 has once again troubled the scorekeeper, notching yet another record high. The index closed 0.33% higher in a mixed day on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones fell by 0.2%, while tech heavy NASDAQ rose by 1.05% as treasury yields eased.

The benchmark US 10-year treasury fell to 1.61%, amid concerns that the recovery might be stalled after the US government halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after blood clot reports. The US CPI index came out 0.6% higher from the previous month, against expectations of 0.5%.

In other markets, oil prices were higher by 1%, while iron ore slipped -0.8% to $US173.25 a tonne.

Bitcoin sets record high

Bitcoin has set a record high, and is trading now at US$62,935 at 8am AEDT, after surging to as high as US$63,560 overnight.

The surge is one day before US crypto exchange, Coinbase, is to float for US$100 billion on NASDAQ, being the first crypto exchange to go public.

The listing is sure to put discussions on an exchange-listed Bitcoin ETF back on the table.

Closer to home

Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) has named Meg O’Neill, the company’s current head of development and marketing, to the interim CEO role, as search for a new head continues after the retirement of long-serving CEO Peter Coleman.

Westpac is to release its Consumer Confidence index later today.

6 ASX small caps to watch today

ECS Botanics(ASX:ECS)
The cannabis company announced that it has lodged plans with the Office of Drug Control to expand its cultivation area from 2,500 sqm to 320,000 sqm, and consolidate its business model in Tasmania. The planned expansion is a first of its kind in Australia, and will continue to expand ECS’s footprint as a low cost producer.

Brainchip (ASX:BRN)
AI tech company, Brainchip, is set to rise this morning after announcing that it has begun volume manufacturing of its Akida AKD1000 neuromorphic processor chip for edge AI devices. The high-performance, ultra-low power chip was designed in partnership with Socionext, a global developer of advanced SoC solutions, which in turn has outsourced the manufacturing to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company.

Great Southern Mining (ASX:GSN)
The company has provided an update on exploration activities at the company’s 100%-owned Edinburgh Park Project in North Queensland. The geochemical signature of the Fish Creek Prospect exhibits well-defined gold, silver and base metals anomalism consistent with a High-Sulphidation (HS) system similar to the nearby Mt Carlton gold-silver-copper mine. Ongoing mapping has identified phyllic, siliceous and argillic alteration consistent with classic alteration halos around HS systems.

The data analytics company announced that it has achieved the prestigious System and Organisation Controls 2 (SOC 2) compliance designation for its core database collaboration software. This compliance certification complements IXUP’s existing ISO 27001 accreditation, and presents strong independent confirmation that IXUP’s core software-based platform is of a high standard, and reflects global best practice.

Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) and Propell (ASX:PHL) IPO today

Iceni Gold and fintech Propell will make their debut on the ASX today. Iceni has raised $20 million and will float at 20c a share, while Propell has raised $5 million and will also float at 20c a share.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Great Southern Mining is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.