Rocket scientist and brain surgeon — two professions historically deemed suitable only for members of the human populace that possess high IQs.

In turn, both jobs are used separately as colloquial barometers to describe the difficulty (or lack thereof) of a given task.

Often, they’re combined (‘it’s not rocket surgery’). Sometimes – the best times – seriously.

However, research commissioned for the British Medical Journal to assess which group is smarter suggested that general intelligence levels across both professions aren’t much different.

The study found aerospace engineers and neurosurgeons are equally matched in most fields.

In fact, workers in both jobs don’t actually show much of a Big Brainz differential compared to the general public at large. Ha.

On markets, local stocks are trading flat again following the US Fed’s big policy update overnight.

The Fed surprised markets by indicating there will be three rate hikes instead of two, and accelerating the taper of its bond purchasing program which will now conclude at the end of March.

In response to the more hawkish outlook, US stocks climbed ahead — a possible indicator that markets assessed the Fed is taking steps to contain inflation, and is thus at less risk of committing a policy error.

All three US indices rose strongly, but the ASX was unable to pick up the baton in Thursday trade.

Financials and tech stocks both rose in morning trade, but gains in the mining sector were more muted while the ASX 200 Energy index (oil & gas) fell by more than 1%.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 16 [intraday]:

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Among stocks with news, resources dominated as a total of seven mining juniors jumped on market-moving announcements.

Elsewhere, $17m gas play Oilex (ASX:OEX) jumped after announcing it had received a court order in India which removed the imposition of production curtailment at its Cambay field.

“The two currently active wells, C-73 and C-77H, will be placed back on cyclic production and the gas will be processed and exported through the existing production facilities and pipelines,” Oilex said.

In tech, family-focused photo sharing app Tinybeans (ASX:TNY) also rose strongly, after a trading update where the company said it’s on track for a record quarter in December.

Revenue is expected to come in at more than US$3.5m, an increase of 53% from the same period last year, TNY said.

“Monthly Recurring Revenues from sbscriptions are on track to double to over US$140k,” compared to US$72k in the September quarter, the company said, adding it now has over 42,000 paid subscribers on its platform.
 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 16 [intraday]:

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Pharmaceutical manufacturing company IDT Australia (ASX:IDT) got pummelled, falling by around 40% after advising that its submission to establish an onshore mRNA manufacturing capability had not been accepted by the Australian Government.