Racehorses.

Finely-tuned, if a little high-strung champions of the animal kingdom.

Graceful and powerful – and occasionally in Iowa – still able to compete when in the grip of a methamphetamine bender.

The problem here begins with a local groom in the grip of a methamphetamine bender who apparently had sticky meth hands while prepping said racehorse, doing stuff like putting a tongue tie on and – I don’t know – brushing horse teeth.

But the horse won the race, so if it was a sneaky plot to cheat it would have worked if only the state racing officials weren’t testing for trace amounts of ice.

Side note: the horse is called Drag Malibu which sounds exactly like what you’d call a horse if you were high on meth.

Brian Ohorilko of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said they see positive drug tests a handful of times a year, but a horse testing positive for meth is nearly unheard of.

“It isn’t something that we see very often,” he said.

“Meth is a class one drug which means methamphetamine has no business being in an animal at all.”

Drag Malibu is OK, if you were wondering and has been cleared to race again.

 

TO MARKETS

The ASX 200 is trading down 1.16% at lunch today, with most sectors looking sad and red. Although consumer staples managed to lift 0.74% along with health up 0.50% and Tech up 0.47%.

The materials sector was down 3.09%, despite Chinese whispers of a potential coal ban lift and coal prices smashing through US$400 yesterday.

Big boi Yancoal (ASX:YAL) fared the best, up 1.76% with Stanmore (ASX:SMR) the worst, down 6.22%.

The rest of the coal miners were all in the red too. New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC) dropped 1.18%, Bowen Coal (ASX:BCB) dipped 4.17%, Coronado (ASX:CRN) dropped 0.85% and Terracom (ASX:TER) was down 4.03%

Diversified players BHP (ASX:BHP) and South32 (ASX:S32) dropped 3.82% and 2.68% respectively.


NOT THE ASX

Looking overseas, European stocks fell in closing trade yesterday as political uncertainty in Italy and worries over weaker eurozone economic growth and soaring inflation weigh on markets.

“The EU Commission cut its [euro-area] GDP forecasts for 2022 to 2.6% while upgrading its average inflation prediction for the year to 7.6%,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

In the US of A, the S&P 500 recorded a fifth consecutive down day as earnings reports from financial behemoths highlighted concerns about the economic outlook.

JPMorgan Chase shares fell $3.91, or 3.5% to $108 after the bank’s second-quarter earnings

Report said it set aside another $428 million to cover possible future loan losses.

And Morgan Stanley shares slipped 29 cents, or 0.4%, to $74.69 after it said second-quarter profit slumped 29%.

More results from the country’s top financial institutions are slated for today and Monday.

With fears of a potential recession looming, investors are looking to what bank executives say about the state of the economy as much as their institutions’ balance sheets.

Looking ahead, in China, economic growth (GDP), retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment data are all due.

Keep an eye on Stockhead’s Christan Edwards for more deets later today.

In the US, retail sales, industrial production, manufacturing, consumer confidence and import/export prices data are all scheduled to be released.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 15 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

 

Riedel Resources (ASX:RIE) was the biggest winner at lunchtime, after assays from the Tintic zone at its Kingman gold project in Arizona, USA, have returned high-grade gold and silver results, including 1.5m at 27.5g/t Au and 37g/t Ag from 13.7m.

Chairman Michael Bohm said the blanket of high-grade gold and silver sits just below the surface at Tintic, which means that drilling toward a future resource estimation and developing a conceptual mine plan, could be simple, cost effective and quick to achieve.

“Our drilling has delivered more than just a couple of high-grade hits,” he said.

“There are now 18 holes at Tintic that have returned assay grades of plus 10 g/t gold from shallow depths. Very few holes failed to intersect mineralisation.

“We will interpret the results received from the drill program and consider the next steps, which may include a small drill program targeting the shallow high-grade mineralisation at Tintic next quarter.”

Falcon Metals (ASX:FAL)  flagged aircore results of 40m at 2.81g/t gold from 50m at the Ironbark East prospect – part of its Pyramid Hill project in Victoria.

“These results are indicative of the quality of our ground position and targets, and the potential of the Bendigo Zone to host high-grade gold mineralisation,” MD Tim Markwell said.

“Being in the fortunate position of having a strong cash balance, we look forward to completing an assessment of these encouraging results and planning for a major work program in the coming months.”

The company aims to secure two more aircore rigs for infill drilling at the Ironbark East and other key prospects at the project.

Prescient (ASX:PTX) has nabbed orphan drug designation from the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its PTX-100 treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL).

The Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the US.

It is designed to provide benefits to incentivize drug development in less common diseases and guarantees market exclusivity of seven years from granting of regulatory approval.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

 

There are no losers in the world of small caps. Just smaller caps.