• Wall Street climbs sharply higher
  • Return of meme stocks as Reddit, Gamestop make big moves
  • Why Cathie Wood is buying more Tesla stocks


The ASX is set to open much higher on Thursday as Wall Street notched its first gain since setting a record last week. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 index futures contract was pointing up by 0.8%.

Overnight, the S&P 500 rose by +0.86% , the blue chips Dow Jones index was up by +1.22%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq lifted by +0.51%.

The rally came despite Bloomberg data suggesting that fundies sold an estimated $US32 billion in equities to rebalance their portfolio as we head into the last session of the quarter.

In focus was the return of the meme stocks.

Reddit tumbled by -11% on no specific news. Trump Media and Technology gained another +14% after rising by +16% on its first day of trading yesterday. GameStop, the original meme stock, plunged -15% after an analyst called its sales “unsustainable”.

Robinhood shares were up almost 4% after the company launched its first credit card.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Bridge incident is expected to have a ripple effect across the US economy. Cruise operator, Carnival Corp, noted the accident will impact its EBITDA by up to US10m as it seeks to move its home port. Carnival stock was down -0.5% after the announcement.


Cathie Wood buys more Tesla shares

Ark Investment’s Cathie Wood continues to buy Tesla shares this week, with data showing that her fund purchased 163,421 shares valued at US$28.21 million.

On March 14, Ark had already bought 216,682 Tesla shares worth US$35.21 million.

Tesla’s stock price more than doubled in 2023, but is down almost -30% this year.

Many analysts have slashed their price targets on Tesla, citing EV demand weakness. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi for instance cut his price target on Tesla from US$150 to US$120 earlier this week.

Wood has been a long-time fan of Tesla, and her ARK’s research team has predicted the stock will hit US$2,000 in 2027.

Wood’s enthusiasm for Tesla mainly stems from her conviction of Tesla’s AI potential, with autonomous driving and Tesla’s robotaxi business as a key driver.

“Tesla is in the pole position to be the autonomous taxi platform in the United States,” Wood had said previously.


In other markets …

Gold price keeps climbing, this time by +0.75% to US$2,194.84 an ounce.

Oil prices closed flat, with Brent now trading at US$86.31 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield fell around 5bp (bond prices higher) to 4.19%.

Iron ore futures crashed by a further -3 % to US$101.15 a tonne.

The Aussie dollar was trading flat at US65.35c.

Bitcoin meanwhile slipped -1.5% in the last 24 hours to US$69,114.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ)
Minerals explorer Horizon provided an update on the development of its Cannon Underground Project. The dewatering pipeline construction has been completed between the fully permitted Cannon mine, and the company’s Golden Ridge Mine. The pumping system has been installed in the Cannon pit and the pipeline commissioned. First ore production from Cannon is targeted in the December quarter 2024.

AIC Mines (ASX:A1M)
AIC reported an updated Ore Reserve estimate for its 100% owned Jericho Copper Deposit. Jericho Ore Reserves have increased significantly following incorporation of results from the 2023 drilling program and updated mine designs. The Reserves now total 3.2Mt grading 1.9% Cu and 0.4g/t Au, containing 61,100 tonnes of copper and 37,000 ounces of gold.

Argenica Therapeutics (ASX:AGN)
The first patient in Argenica’s Phase 2 clinical trial in acute ischaemic stroke patients has been successfully dosed. The patient was enrolled into the trial following a confirmed diagnosis of an acute ischaemic stoke caused by a large vessel occlusion (LVO) and being eligible for mechanical thrombectomy. The first assessment of patient safety will be conducted by the Data Safety Monitoring Board following dosing of the first five patients.

Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN)
EMN has received an approval of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Chvaletice Manganese Project from the Czech Ministry of Environment, and has also appointed a Project Director, Tim Kindred. Receipt of the ESIA allows the company to progress to the final determination of the Mining Lease for the Project.

Allup Silica (ASX:APS)
Latest round of sampling has identified multiple large areas of High Purity Silica Sand (HPSS). Results from 43 surface samples have returned SiO2 grades greater than 98%, with an average grade of 98.6%. Additionally, bulk sample testwork completed by CDE Global has met and exceeded industry standards for high-purity applications, including photovoltaics and high-tech manufacturing.