Local markets started the day higher, after Wall Street and Nvidia had a party – everyone was invited, of course, but I just checked and the tickets are still selling at around US$785 a head.

That put upward pressure on local markets, and we had a couple of big techies having solid mornings of their own today – and at the time of writing, that was enough to drive the benchmark up to 0.6%, before slumping slowly to +0.3% when the sandwiches were wheeled out.

Details on that shortly, but first – some lightning quick news from the margins of the US tech world, after social media platform Reddit filed paperwork to go public with an IPO, confirming rumours that have been circulating for years about the future of the site.

Typically for Reddit, opinion among users is heavily divided – because it wouldn’t be Reddit unless there are two red-faced balls of cantankerous pudge threatening to throw hands in the virtual parking lot over something inconsequential.

Reddit, if you don’t know it, is probably best avoided. If you’re foolhardy enough to wander in, you’ll find a gleaming, semi-polished monument to the power of echo-chambers, and more power-tripping unpaid moderators than you could shake even a moderately-sized stick at.

It is, in turns, brilliant, stomach-churning, aggravating and hilarious – and, full disclosure, it’s been my online ‘home’ for a bit over 13 years, so I can tell you with full confidence that it has some massive problems that are going to make the move to being a public company quite fraught.

Tellingly, in the paperwork the company filed to get the wheels turning on the IPO, the company revealed what it’s been paying its top executives, and I’m not gonna lie – it’s a stupidly massive amount of money for running what is essentially an enormous, self-governing internet message board.

But the most interesting part of the news is a peek under the bonnet to see how Reddit plans to turn a buck – because advertising on the site is loathed by the tech-savvy userbase who are, for the most part, gleefully enjoying a completely ad-free experience with a few simple tweaks to how we interface with the site as a whole.

Reddit announced today that it’s done a deal with Google, that will see Google cough up US$60 million a year to get access to everything that’s posted to the site to use in training its AI.

So it’s only fair that I warn you now that anything Google’s AI touches from this point on is probably not going to work 100% as intended – because there’s no way on earth Google’s AI is going to come away from the site with much more than some highly questionable extremist political viewpoints, a hatred of furries and a rock-solid understanding of how to sh-tpost on the internet for maximum karma.

Nothing about this is going to end well… but it’s going to be fun to watch while it burns.

 

TO MARKETS

As I mentioned earlier, there are a couple of big-ticket techies making waves this morning, dragging that entire sector well out in front of the rest of the market – but still declining towards lunch.

 

asx winner Calmer
Chart via Marketindex.com.au

 

As you can see there, it’s been a bit of a one-horse race out in front this morning, with the Consumer sectors providing back-up and moral support.

The rest of the pack is putting in a thoroughly mediocre performance, with the bottom couple of rungs once again playing host to resources, and Energy copping the worst out of everyone today.

 

asx winner Calmer
Chart via Marketindex.com.au

 

The banner headlines were all coming from Afterpay owner Block this morning, which has surged around 16% on  news that the company has managed to bust through its sales projections for December,  and that it is planning to integrate Afterpay with the Cash App offering it provides for customers overseas.

On the wrong side of history, though, was Latitude Finance – it posted its half-yearly and the story there is that the financial impact of the company’s egregiously massive data breach is still being dealt with.

Latitude posted a significant loss for the prior financial year, shedding a horrifying $158.5 million after tax in the 2023 financial year, which looks even worse alongside last year’s profit on pcp that came in at $57.9 million.

 

NOT THE ASX

In the US overnight, investors were waiting on predicted good news from chipmaker Nvidia, which stepped up to the plate and delivered a batch of great news instead.

Nvidia reported impressive revenues totalling US$22.103 billion, easily above projected revenues of around US$20.550 billion.

On top of that, the company’s earnings per share came in well above expectations, reaching US$5.16, compared to the expected US$4.61.

All of that added up to Nvidia rising to become the fourth most valuable company in the world, with only Microsoft, Apple and… I can’t remember the third one.

I think it was The Wiggles… but that might have been a fever dream I had last night.

Anyway – the Nvidia-led boom has helped get US investors all gee’d up, which in turn left both the Dow and the S&P 500 in the rarified air of record highs by the end of last night’s session.

When the dust had settled, the S&P 500 had surged by +2.11%, the Dow Jones index was up by +1.18%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq had rocketed by +2.96%.

On a completely unrelated note, the next person to say “bubble” is gonna get thumped in the nards. Nvidia is, we’re told, different to the vaporware stocks that cost a lot of people their hides the recent times Wall Street started behaving like this.

In Asian market news, Japan’s Nikkei has followed Wall Street higher, up +2.2%, while Shanghai markets are up 0.25% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is flat.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 23 February [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
WHK Whitehawk Limited 0.019 58% 8,513,509 $4,056,849
KNM Kneomedia Limited 0.003 50% 1,399,000 $3,066,543
NET Netlinkz Limited 0.004 33% 3,000,000 $11,635,345
ODE Odessa Minerals Ltd 0.008 33% 32,067,089 $6,259,695
MYE Metarock Group Ltd 0.18 29% 277,961 $42,913,636
AXE Archer Materials 0.41 26% 2,185,106 $82,825,279
CTO Citigold Corp Ltd 0.005 25% 20,000 $12,000,000
ASR Asra Minerals Ltd 0.006 20% 1,175,950 $8,265,812
CCO The Calmer Co 0.006 20% 22,836,820 $5,377,928
EMT Emetals Limited 0.006 20% 167,678 $4,250,000
GMN Gold Mountain Ltd 0.006 20% 18,374,361 $11,389,393
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.006 20% 298,166 $8,520,226
M4M Macro Metals Limited 0.003 20% 29,666 $7,030,194
ZGL Zicom Group Limited 0.048 20% 15,000 $8,582,400
BDT Birddog 0.065 18% 14,456 $10,617,260
JAL Jameson Resources 0.035 17% 97,854 $13,072,000
MAG Magmatic Resrce Ltd 0.035 17% 91,646 $9,170,784
BPP Babylon Pump & Power 0.007 17% 54,155 $14,997,294
CHK Cohiba Minerals 0.0035 17% 185,000 $10,764,733
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd 0.007 17% 640,343 $22,281,209
VAL Valor Resources Ltd 0.0035 17% 13,509 $13,693,754
SQ2 Block 117.74 16% 297,123 $3,591,124,734
PAA PharmAust Limited 0.345 15% 2,210,593 $115,945,964
CRS Caprice Resources 0.023 15% 756,725 $4,468,406
BSA BSA Limited 0.7 15% 61,457 $44,017,701
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There were lots of little small caps moving rapidly without news on Friday morning, with cybersecurity minnow Whitehawk waaaay out in front on close to +60% being the best of them.

In terms of newsworthy climbs, The Calmer Co has scored a huge retail win, after US giant Walmart agreed to stock the company’s Fiji Kava Instant Kava 150mg product on its shelves.

Word on the street is that Walmart approached the company after noticing how popular the product had been on Amazon.com, and – never one to miss out on getting aboard a bandwagon – Walmart wanted in on that action as well.

Gold Mountain is getting its neurology on, announcing to the market that it has managed to secure 20 new tenements with a total area of 388.18 km2 for niobium and REE in the Araxá region of Minas Gerais, located about 450 km north of Sao Paulo.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 23 February [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
KNB Koonenberry Gold 0.02 -26% 270,993 $3,233,225
TNY Tinybeans Group Ltd 0.12 -23% 8,333 $13,080,038
AU1 Agency Group Australia 0.028 -20% 241,236 $15,000,181
ATH Alterity Therapeutics 0.004 -20% 57,601,922 $21,913,774
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.002 -20% 310,350 $6,683,940
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.018 -18% 21,069 $3,602,327
DOU Douugh Limited 0.005 -17% 1,256,323 $6,492,414
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.0025 -17% 666,666 $5,072,345
PNT Panther Metals 0.04 -15% 42,768 $4,096,810
SOC Soco Corporation 0.15 -14% 81,621 $24,193,796
HHR Hartshead Resources 0.012 -14% 5,053,859 $39,321,550
IS3 I Synergy Group Ltd 0.006 -14% 76,402 $2,128,563
NRZ Neurizer Ltd 0.006 -14% 5,804,600 $10,247,376
SW1 Swift Networks Group 0.012 -14% 60,000 $9,052,042
ASB Austal Limited 1.92 -14% 2,179,203 $808,245,381
DUR Duratec 1.24 -14% 2,572,751 $357,062,377
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.02 -13% 94,855 $34,061,976
PGD Peregrine Gold 0.235 -13% 39,324 $18,246,174
AUK Aumake Limited 0.0035 -13% 1,234,529 $7,657,627
GSR Greenstone Resources 0.007 -13% 5,429,466 $10,944,908
GTI Gratifii 0.007 -13% 1,071 $10,953,781
PRX Prodigy Gold NL 0.0035 -13% 50,000 $7,004,431
BVR Bellavista Resources 0.11 -12% 5,190 $6,201,372
ARR American Rare Earths 0.37 -12% 6,095,550 $188,337,786
LIC Lifestyle Communities 15.13 -12% 1,176,685 $1,792,924,742
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