Hello. It is Tuesday, I am dying of the ‘flu, please send soup.

The ASX is open for business, but it’s not going well so far. Maybe it, too, has the flu. It’s down about 0.1%, and wobbling about like it’s just been on the receiving end of an uppercut from an in-form Mike Tyson.

I’ll get into the details of that shortly, but first to a story from US politics, where a tarantula is at the centre of a political scandal that has cost one candidate their party’s endorsement.

Marisa Simonetti was hoping to be in the running to become Hennepin County Commissioner, which is essentially the same as someone running for local council so they can send you rude letters because the bin system they’ve designed is a) helplessly over-engineered, b) needlessly complex, and c) no one cares.

Anyway – Ms Simonetti was hoping to become the Republican candidate for County Commissioner, but that plan has been scuppered by local party members over allegations that Ms Simonetti threw a tarantula down a flight of stairs.

The incident occurred after Simonetti reportedly rented out a room to a local lawyer, Jackie Vasquez, who needed a quiet space to study for the California bar exam.

Unfortunately, Ms Vasquez seems to have taken umbrage at the state of the property, and complained to Ms Simonetti that there was a “spider infestation” in the home, according to local media.

Ms Vasquez’s complaints continued at some length, and things came to a head when Ms Simonetti asked her to move out – a step that resulted in a series of harassing messages, according to Ms Simonetti.

Simonetti responded to the messages by “blasting loud Christian music, banging pots and pans, and screaming”, and things escalated from there, culminating in Ms Simonetti throwing a tarantula down the stairs.

It remains unclear where the tarantula was acquired, or whether it was a tennant in the home – but the fact that it took an unscheduled flight down the stairs is not disputed by either party.

Ms Simonetti said that the launch of the spider, as well as several other items was “an ode to the movie Home Alone”.

“I mean, there is an element of humour to that movie, and at the end, what was I supposed to do?” Simonetti told local media outlet FOX 9.

If there was a list of things she was “supposed to do”, throwing spiders at someone is probably not going to be on it – or at least, not on the first couple of pages.

Anyway – Ms Vasquez took the hint, and fled. Ms Simonetti was arrested and is due to appear in court later in July.

And local Republican Party official Randy Sutter (no, really… that’s his name) has since put out a statement, disendorsing Simonetti as a candidate.

“In consultation with our Nominating Committee, I am announcing that the 3rd Congressional District Republicans do not endorse or recommend Marisa Simonetti for any elected office in this district,” Randy said.

“Simonetti does not reflect our values. In her representation of herself as a Republican, she has only served to embarrass the Republican Party,” he continued, without a trace of irony, as if embarrassing the party was an easy thing to do.

And on the heels of that small addition of fuel to the burning dumpster that is American politics right now, it’s probably best we take a look at the local markets to see what’s what.



The ASX was below the waterline again this morning, see-sawing between even stevens and -0.1% for while, before everyone just gave up and Tuesday became a write-off.

By lunchtime, the ASX 200 benchmark had slumped to -0.49%, which is a shame because the market really does have a lot of potential, and would probably do really well if it showered more regularly and invested in some new clothes.

A quick look at the index chart today shows that the benchmark has had several attempts to get above zero – it even briefly poked its nose over about 30 minutes into the session – but, since then, it’s been wavering around the -0.1% mark.

The index looks like the time my elderly neighbour tried to draw a picture of what he remembered from the time he was attacked by a shark in the waters off South Australia, where he worked as an abalone diver in the 1970s.

Benny, his name was. Great guy – couldn’t draw a picture to save his life, though. I think he was trying to draw teeth or something… anyway, it looked a lot like this:


asx winner (CRR)
Ol’ mate Benny was really, really bad at drawing stuff. Chart via Marketindex.com.au


In hindsight, I think Ol’ Benny might have been a drinker. He nearly died one time after setting his couch on fire in the middle of the night. It wasn’t an accident. He just really hated that couch.

But, I digress.

Shortly before midday, the RBA board released the minutes of its last meeting, as if to say “See? We were totally talking about work stuff, so that lunch was a legitimate business expense” – and, possibly, shed some light on why it didn’t move the interest rates needle from 4.35% in June.

The short version: “We talked it over and decided not to” – which looks a little bit silly in light of the red-hot inflation data that turned up last week and shocked the nation.

The minutes include some glorious quotes, such as this gem from RBA chief Michele Bullock, who said that it was “difficult to either rule in or rule out future changes in the cash rate target”.

… ahuh. That’s why you’re there. That’s, like, a huge part of your job. If it was easy to rule in or rule out future changes to the cash rate target, they’d put an idiot like me in charge of it.

I look forward to the next RBA Board meeting, where it will be determined whether water is wet.

Markets have already priced in “definitely damp”, with some analysts suggesting the board could even be prepared to raise that level to “moist” unless the job market shows signs of a robust recovery in the coming weeks.

The Energy sector was proving to be the single bright hotspot this morning, with a number of the large coal-focused companies turning in solid gains, most likely because Anglo’s Grosvenor coal mine in Queensland is still on fire.

Woodside Energy Group (ASX:WDS) was up 2.48% and Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) was up 3.32% – however, Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) was bucking the schadenfreude trend, dropping 1.01% before lunch.

The entire sector was up more than 1.4% at lunchtime, waaaaaaaay ahead of the rest of the market – and is definitely the only thing standing between the ASX and a dire afternoon of moping around, licking our loss wounds and wishing things were just somehow better.

The sectors looked like this at lunchtime:


asx winner (CRR)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au


The ASX indices looked like this:


asx winner (CRR)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au


Up the top end of town, DroneShield (ASX:DRO) was up more than +6.5% this morning on no news – but there is a major military exercise underway in Hawaii at the moment, so lots of expensive stuff is going to get blown up, which is always good for business.



Wall Street had a positive session overnight, which left the S&P 500 up +0.27%, the Dow higher by +0.13% and the tech heavy Nasdaq up +0.83%.

Up the expensive end of town, Tesla stocks were a major winner, climbing +6.0% in open defiance of the mere existence of Elon Musk’s four-wheeled Cybertruck folly.

Boeing also climbed, up 2.57% on news that the company is about to acquire key supplier Spirit AeroSystems for US$4.7 billion, a move that the company says will help it stem the number of its aircraft that have bits falling off.

On the downside of Wall Street, cruiseliner companies are on the nose again, with Norwegian Cruise Line down -5.9% and Carnival Corp down -5.4%, most likely because there’s a massive storm – Category 4 Hurricane Beryl – swirling around in the sea and being all windy and gross, which isn’t conducive to cruising.

In Asian markets this morning, Japan’s Nikkei is up +0.36%, and Shanghai markets are up slightly, on +0.14%.

I would like it noted that yesterday I reported that the Hang Seng had done something, when in fact it hadn’t, because it was closed. A special thank you to everyone who emailed to let me know – I have printed out your emails and given them pride of place, stuck to my fridge door as a reminder of my foolishness, and the horrifying hubris that led me to make that appalling error.

Mea Culpa, etc.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 02 July [intraday]:

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Critical Resources (ASX:CRR) was climbing on Tuesday morning after it announced that its summer field program has reinforced the company’s recently announced Exploration Target of 18-29Mt at 0.8-1.2% Li2O at its Mavis Lake prospect, with new assays confirming “exceptionally high grades” at surface with lithium assays of up to 5.12% Li2O along the extensions of pegmatites 7 and 24.

Redflow (ASX:RFX) was moving sharply on news that it has signed an MoU with the Queensland government-owned Energy producer Stanwell, setting out out Redflow’s and Stanwell’s intention to collaborate on the development and deployment of Redflow’s X10 battery for use in a 400 MWh large-scale project, which will serve as a potential anchor order for Redflow’s planned manufacturing facility in Queensland.

Cygnus Metals (ASX:CY5) announced some pleasant news from its lithium prospect, after a ground gravity survey suggested the Pegasus spodumene pegmatite trend extends for at least 1.7km and remains open in all directions. The survey was centred around a find the company reported in February this year, which included a fabulous intersection of 43.7m @ 1.15% Li2O below 10m of glacial cover.

And Pioneer Lithium (ASX:PLN) jumped nicely on news that its 300m exploratory auger drilling campaign at its 100% owned Verde Valor Rare Earth tenements in Bahia state in Brazil has been completed, with the samples all packed carefully and sent off to the lab to be processed.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 01 July [intraday]:

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Ora Banda (ASX:OBM) has updated its resource and reserve position at the Davyhurst gold project with a +50% increase in the Riverina underground resource to 4Mt at 3.7 g/t for 468,000oz and a 176% increase in the Sand King underground resource.

The Sand King resources now sits at 3.4Mt at 2.8 g/t for 306,000oz while the global Davyhurst resource for the project coming in at a total 23.3Mt at 2.6 g/t for 1.95Moz.

Although it is still early days, OBM is encouraged by the fact that it’s been able to grow the ounce position so quickly.

“We are now seeing the deposits show significant potential along strike and at depth,” OBM managing director Luke Creagh says.

Kingsrose Mining (ASX:KRM) has been granted an exploration permit for Area 1 at the Penikat project from the Finnish national mining regulator (Tukes).

Th exploration permit is the final regulatory permit required in the process to begin drilling in Area 1.

Area 1 covers 2km2 of strike, 26 drill hole locations and 77 proposed drill pads from which staged drill programs will be implemented.

Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) has received confirmation that Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) has extended its option agreement for a further 12 month period on the South Cowal project in NSW, close to EVN’s operating Cowal gold mine.

EVN initially had a two-year option to purchase the tenement, which was due to expire later this year on 26 September.

The mega miner has now elected to extend the option period for a third and final year for the consideration of $100,000 cash, and SER says EVN continues to explore the tenement with forward activities including drilling and additional geophysics.

Neurotech (ASX:NTI) has plans to establish an internationally recognised advisory group to provide advice on children diagnosed with Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) and Paediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).

The move follows productive pre-submission meeting with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, where the company received non-binding guidance on its planned clinical and regulatory development for its lead drug – NTI164 – in PANDAS/PANS.

The condition results in a sudden, dramatic change in personality, displayed as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, tics or other abnormal movements and personality changes.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Ora Banda Mining, Kingsrose Mining, Strategic Energy Resources and Neurotech International are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.