• ASX to test all-time high today after Wall Street resets records
  • Nvidia rises again, Meta hits new high
  • Key highlights from the just completed ASX earnings season


The ASX is poised to rise on Friday after Nasdaq and the S&P500 reset their record highs once again on Wall Street.

At 8am AEDT, the ASX200 index futures contract was pointing up by +0.6%. The ASX closed yesterday at 7,763.7, and could now test the 7769.1 high set earlier on intraday Monday.

Overnight, the S&P500 rose by +1% to an all-time high , the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +0.34%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq surged by +1.54% to a new high.

Jerome Powell gave a testimony to Congress for the second day last night, reiterating the central bank’s intentions on rate cuts, “provided inflation data continues to show continued cooling.”

To stocks, Nvidia once again rallied, this time by a +4.5% as the company edges closer to Apple’s market cap of US$2.6 trillion.

“But the strength we’re seeing in the economy and in corporate America is much broader base than just the AI trade that has captured so much attention recently,” Goldman Sachs equity analyst Ben Snider told Yahoo Finance.

Meta Platform rose +3.25% to a new record high.

Victoria’s Secret sank -30% after the lingerie retailer forecasted weak sales for fiscal 2024.

Meanwhile, gold continued to rally, hitting a fresh high above US$2,160 before pulling back slightly to US$2159.05.


Key highlights from the ASX earnings season

The earnings season has just been completed on the ASX, and Morningstar’s Director of Equity Research, Mat Hodge, gave his assessment on the most important highlights.

Firstly, there was plenty of movement in this reporting season, with changes to 40% of Morningstar’s fair value estimates in its coverage.

“In aggregate, we raised our fair value estimates by 2.3% on average, versus a 4.4% average reduction in 2023,” said Lodge.

“Building materials is doing quite a bit better than we thought. Concerns around a meaningful downturn appear unfounded and the outlook for housing construction robust given elevated immigration.”

Worries about the banks appear to have eased for now, at least from the market’s point of view. There were no nasty surprises and the shares have rallied quickly.

“For the first time in a while, the big four banks are no longer cheap and are closer to fair value,” said Lodge.

The miners are also doing well, but there are some clouds on the horizon.

“Some are feeling cost pressure in pockets, such as South32, and some commodity prices have come off from elevated levels,” Lodge added.

There are also some interesting technology stocks listed in Australia, and some are doing quite nicely.

“Looking at the sectors, some technology stocks are doing well. We upgraded NextDC by 17%, Life 360 and Pexa both by 15% and Wisetech by 5%.

“All are benefiting from strong demand, but the stories are different.

“Meanwhile, corporate activity is elevated, with proposals or takeover offers out for nearly 5% of the companies we cover,” said Lodge.


In other markets …

Gold price rose by +0.5% to US$2,159.40 an ounce.

Oil prices traded flat, with Brent now trading at US$83.00 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield slipped by around 1.5 basis points (bond prices higher) to 4.09%.

Iron ore futures climbed by +1.5% to US$116.95 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar rose by 0.6% to US66.19c.

The AUD has been lifting this week since the Chinese government announced extra infrastructure spending at the National Party Conference earlier this week.

Bitcoin meanwhile was up another +1.3% in the last 24 hours to US$67,341.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Imricor Medical Systems (ASX:IMR)
Imricor says the Ethics Committee at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) has approved its VISABL-AFL clinical trial. This is the first of two approvals required for CHUV to join the trial. The final approval required is from Swissmedic, the competent authority in Switzerland. VISABL-AFL is the global trial to support US FDA approval of Imricor’s products.

SRG Global (ASX:SRG)
SRG has secured a marine maintenance contract with BlueScope Steel (ASX:BSL) valued at ~$35m. Work will involve upgrading BSL’s wharf at Port Kembla, including the reconstruction of front service duct, concrete remediation and cathodic protection works. The contract will commence immediately and is expected to be complete in 2026.

Magmatic Resources (ASX:MAG)
MAG says a farm-in and Joint Venture Agreement has been executed with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) at the Myall Project. Fortescue will spend up to $14m over six years to earn up to 75% joint venture interest in the project. Fortescue will also subscribe for 75,946,151 shares in MAG shares at a price of $0.04884 per share to hold a 19.9% stake in the company.

Juno Minerals (ASX:JNO)
Phase 2 Priority 1 drill program has been completed with all assay results now being received. From the assay results reported, low levels of lithium, tantalum and tin were recorded, with no significant intersections of lithium encountered. The lithium pathfinder element data from the assay results will now be modelled to inform the next exploration phase on the Mount Ida Lithium Prospect.

Jade Gas (ASX:JGH)
Jade confirms it has enhanced its MOU with UB Metan (UBM), its strategic shareholder, and the largest distributor of gas in Mongolia. The updated MOU will focus on UBM’s newly built LNG fuelling station located 10km from Jade’s TTCBM Project. UBM intends to scale its LNG capabilities to displace up to 13,000 diesel haulage trucks located in the Tavan Tolgoi area.