The ASX is on track for its second straight day of gains, as markets remain buoyant into the Christmas break.

This morning’s rally followed an update from the US Federal Reserve overnight, which pledged that it will keep buying at least $US120bn of bonds per month to support the economy.

There was more good IPO news, as another two ASX debutantes rose strongly after hitting the ASX boards this morning.

Meanwhile, there was also evidence that Australia’s economy is getting back in the saddle with a big November jobs print.

The data showed a monthly gain of 90,000 jobs (forecast: 40,000), as the employment growth smashed expectations for the second straight month.

In addition, nearly all of the jobs added (84,000) were full-time roles, and Australia’s unemployment dropped to 6.8 per cent (forecast: seven per cent).

While stocks and the economy are looking good, NSW health authorities are on edge after two more positive COVID-19 tests were reported this morning.

Both cases were recorded in the Northern Beaches region, bringing the state’s total to five over the past 24 hours.

With lines forming at testing stations, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the state is planning to ramp up daily testing rates to between 15,000 and 25,000.

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday December 17:

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Code Name Price % Change Market Cap
PLY Playside Studios 0.31 55 $ -
CI1 Credit Intelligence 0.033 38 $ 28,978,830.67
BRK Brookside Energy Ltd 0.009 29 $ 9,450,000.00
CGS Cogstate Ltd 1.04 25 $ 141,214,814.73
XTC Xantippe Res Ltd 0.0025 25 $ 8,149,128.80
DCC Digitalx Limited 0.098 24 $ 48,917,485.48
WPP WPP Aunz Ltd 0.695 22 $ 485,726,565.90
MLX Metals X Limited 0.125 19 $ 95,262,937.04
SCL Schrole Group Ltd 0.019 19 $ 23,570,940.21
WSR Westar Resources 0.235 18 $ 6,007,355.00
AEV Avenira Limited 0.014 17 $ 10,354,233.82
SHE Stonehorse Energy 0.014 17 $ 4,738,677.43
CBY Canterbury Resources 0.11 16 $ 8,361,424.53
TLG Talga Group Ltd 1.75 15 $ 404,531,342.35
UWL Uniti Group Ltd 1.68 14 $ 894,296,025.08
BDM Burgundy D Mines Ltd 0.17 13 $ 37,388,188.35
CVV Caravel Minerals Ltd 0.17 13 $ 43,106,986.95
SER Strategic Energy 0.034 13 $ 4,800,006.18
PGY Pilot Energy Ltd 0.043 13 $ 4,925,361.18
AYM Australia United Min 0.009 13 $ 14,740,619.88
RMP Red Emperor 0.013 12 $ 8,929,977.19

Games developer PlaySide Studios (ASX:PLY) led the pack into midday trade following its IPO. The company raised $15m from investors at 20 cents per share, and looks on track to close above 30c on day one.

Lending company Credit Intelligence (ASX:CI1) also held its gains into midday trade following a capital raising.

Elsewhere, Brookside Energy (ASX:BRK) rose by around 30 per cent after announcing it’s now producing around 10 barrels of oil per day from its Mitchell 12-1 well in Oklahoma, USA.

And after receiving a buyout offer on November 30 at 55c a share, advertising company WPP AUNZ Ltd (ASX:WPP) rose sharply this morning after announcing its global parent company had sweetened the deal with a revised offer of 70c.

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday December 17:

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Code Name Price % Change Market Cap
BAS Bass Oil Ltd 0.001 -33 $ 5,013,210.14
XPE Xped Limited 0.002 -33 $ 5,378,586.07
IKW Ikwezi Mining Ltd 0.005 -29 $ 28,455,000.00
CGB Cann Global Limited 0.0065 -28 $ 45,750,873.30
CLZ Classic Min Ltd 0.0015 -25 $ 30,536,536.61
LCY Legacy Iron Ore 0.037 -24 $ 306,114,687.33
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.004 -20 $ 17,176,065.22
FZR Fitzroy River Corp 0.15 -19 $ 15,977,229.19
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.005 -17 $ 11,971,227.23
PXX Polarx Limited 0.032 -16 $ 20,591,397.97
HAW Hawthorn Resources 0.115 -15 $ 45,024,607.76
PNM Pacific Nickel Mines 0.05 -14 $ 8,037,326.10
NET Netlinkz Limited 0.062 -13 $ 154,864,861.47
SKN Skin Elements Ltd 0.062 -13 $ 23,980,104.66
SPQ Superior Resources 0.014 -13 $ 19,054,465.31
AKO Akora Resources 0.49 -13 $ 27,745,277.84
SSM Service Stream 1.86 -11 $ 860,497,801.80
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.195 -11 $ 151,452,051.74
KEY KEY Petroleum 0.004 -11 $ 8,855,676.57