We kick off today’s wrap with more sports news (though thankfully no more firecrackers).

This time it’s an Aussie success story after Australia’s Boomers basketball team knocked off the imposing US squad this morning in a warm-up match ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Star guard Patty Mills led the way with 22 points, as the Boomers closed strong to break an 80-80 deadlock in the fourth quarter.

Local markets are also off to a strong start, with all the major indexes on track for a second straight day of solid gains.

Financial stocks were mixed but the big miners rose sharply again, with plenty of strong performers at the small end of town also.

Gold prices have snuck back above US$1,800/oz, while Brent crude oil is holding above US$75/barrel.

Crypto prices eased back with Bitcoin holding just above US$33,000, ahead of all-important US inflation data for June later tonight.

Global bond yields have declined notably over the past month but markets will probably have to digest another high US CPI figure, with Westpac forecasting a strong monthly print which will take annual US inflation growth to 4.9%.

WINNERS

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As an alternative indicator, M&A activity can be a useful guide to levels of market strength.

And based on this morning’s small cap updates, deal flow is alive and well as two ASX stocks jumped sharply after receiving takeover bids at material premiums.

However, the 93c per-share offer for Brisbane-based food delivery company Youfoodz (ASX:YFZ) is likely to be cold comfort for investors who snapped up IPO shares at $1.50 when the stock listed just before Christmas.

Since listing, YFZ shares slumped to as low as ~40c and its board has backed the 93c offer from HelloFresh, which looks set to make the company’s stay on the ASX a brief and disappointing one.

Also rising strongly was Asia-based online vehicle marketplace iCar Asia (ASX:ICQ), which is weighing up a purchase offer from Singapore company Carsome Group.

And in resources, Kula Gold (ASX:KGD) led the pack after announcing some near-surface gold hits at its Airfield project near the historic WA gold mining town of Southern Cross.

LOSERS

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Spain-based Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) led the laggards with a fall of around 40%, after announcing last night that Spanish regulators had rejected the company’s application to build a uranium mine.

BKY said it was disappointed with the decision and will be exploring legal options available to it.