Local markets are down a little this morning, tracking Wall Street lower after investors in New York reacted to some significant political posturing aimed squarely at chipmaker Nvidia.

Local investors were also holding their breath this morning, ahead of a will they/won’t they call on interest rates from the RBA board today.

The big money going into the meeting was behind the RBA pushing ahead with its well-established “hurry up and wait” strategy, which fell out of favour in a very big way when lettuce began selling for $12 a head.

Current price for a head of lettuce is $1.50, according to Woolworths – so my guess is that interest rates aren’t going anywhere today.

For the word-lovers among you, there’s news out of the UK that will surely set your teeth a-grinding and your fists a-clenching, after those wags at the Oxford Dictionary announced that “Rizz” is their Word of the Year.

Like most recent winners of the accolade, it’s a stupid word that kids say too much, and as such as further proof that this Word of the Year malarkey is just a desperate attempt by a 139-year-old tome to stay somewhat relevant in a world of automatic spell-checkers coupled to the kind of wilful, youthful ignorance that makes words like “rizz” popular in the first place.

For those of you who are clearly way too unhip to know what it means, “rizz” is a shortening of the word “charisma”, and is defined by the Official Word Mutilation Team at Oxford as “Pertaining to someone’s ability to attract another person through style, charm, or attractiveness.”

I will admit that it’s highly possible that I think it’s a poor choice because my own perennial – dare I say it, terminal – lack of rizz has hung like a millstone around my neck from the moment puberty arrived three years late and turned me into a skinny-fat abomination that has haunted the nightmares of potential partners since the mid 1980s.

But it’s far more likely that it’s just a dumb choice, especially considering some of the alternatives that were shortlisted for the award this year.

Those included a genuinely interesting word, “parasocial”, defined by Oxford as “designating a relationship characterised by the one-sided, unreciprocated sense of intimacy felt by a viewer, fan, or follower for a well-known or prominent figure (typically a media celebrity), in which the follower or fan comes to feel (falsely) that they know the celebrity as a friend.”

Parasocial’s place on the shortlist is made all the more interesting by the inclusion of “Swiftie” on the list as well, a word used to describe the rabid collection of Taylor Swift fans whose feverous love of their favourite singer is matched only in intensity by the venomous nature of their response to the slightest of anti-Swift provocation.

“De-influencing” also made the short list, reminding me that I really should have worked harder on the pitch I had planned to take to Nike a few years ago, when my life was in such a catastrophic state that I figured the company might pay me sizeable sums of money not to wear their products in public.

The rest of the list is pretty boring, which is another indication of how rizz ended up taking the gong – but, considering that past winners include such gems as “youthquake”, and the crying while laughing emoji which isn’t even a f@#%ing word, it’s pretty much par for the course.



As previously mentioned, things aren’t super-great on the ASX so far today. Taking the market’s temp around 1pm, it’s Utilities out in front and doing kind-of okay, Health Care’s putting in a weak-kneed effort of sorts… and then the rest of the market is losing ground.

InfoTech has taken the biggest hit today, tracking the US market’s tech sector lower after some of the monstrously out-sized tech giants there took a beating overnight – more on that shortly.


asx winner Global
Chart via Marketindex.com.au


The gold rush of recent days has apparently come to an end, despite spot gold prices holding steady above US$2,000 an ounce. The XGD All Ords Gold Index has fallen sharply this morning, shedding a lot of yesterday’s gains to hit lunchtime 3.3% down on yesterday’s close.

There aren’t any of the mega-buck ASX players in the winner’s circle, but there’s a smattering of them taking some solid losses today.

That includes Liontown, which is apparently still bleeding heavily since the Albermarle deal fell through in early October – it’s down another 5.7% today, despite no market-moving news to report.

Similarly, Capricorn and Emerald are both reporting heavy losses today, down 6.7% and 6.4% respectively.



In the US overnight, things went south when the recently-crowned Greatest Stock in the World Nvidia got all shook up by a very stern talking-to from the government.

The chipmaker is, by some accounts, headed for a showdown with US regulators over the company’s current efforts at redesigning its products to circumvent a US government ban on selling AI-capable chipsets to China.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has fired a not-even-remotely-veiled warning shot across Nvidia’s bows, using an interview with Fortune as a platform to let the chipmaker know that any move by the company to try to weasel around the export restrictions probably won’t end well.

“We cannot let China get these chips, period,” Raimondo said. “We’re going to deny them our most cutting edge technology … If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables them to do AI, I’m going to control it the very next day.”

Nvidia responded by falling 2.7%.

That set the mood for Wall Street’s session, and the S&P 500 fell by -0.54%, the blue chips Dow Jones index was down by -0.11%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped by -0.84%.

In other stock news, Earlybird Eddy reports that Uber was up by 2.2% after S&P Global said it will include the stock in the S&P 500 Index later this month. Inclusion in this coveted index typically draws buying from funds that track the benchmark.

The biggest mover overnight was Hawaiian Airlines, which soared by 192% after Alaska Air agreed to pay roughly US$1 billion for the troubled airline.

In Asia, The Nikkei is down 1.38%, Shanghai markets are down 0.65%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is 0.93% lower in early trade and Thailand’s exchange is closed today because it’s the King’s birthday.

I was going to make a joke about that, but given that nation’s impossibly harsh lèse-majesté laws, I won’t.

15 years in a Thai prison sounds like a very raw deal.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 5 December [intraday]:

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Leading the way early this morning was Global Oil and Gas (ASX:GLV), following news of a “transformational” turnover in the boardroom that dropped after hours yesterday.

Global has shed two non-exec directors – Chris Zielinski and Patric Glovac – in favour of Invictus founder and MD Scott Macmillan and Steinepreis Paganin legal eagle Matt Ireland, who have joined the board as non-executive director and non-executive chairman respectively.

Additionally, Lloyd Flint has taken over as company secretary, following the departure of Anna MacKintosh.

The shake-up comes at a time when Global is preparing for “a future high impact exploration campaign” at its 4,858km2 offshore oil and gas block in Peru.

Another junior gassy doing well this morning was Empire Energy (ASX:EEG), rising on news that the company has spent $2.5 million to buy up AGL’s Rosalind Park Gas Plant, as a means to accelerate its own Carpentaria Pilot Project.

The purchase provides Empire with a fit for purpose facility with a design capacity of 42TJ per day, which has been surplus to requirements for AGL since the latter shuttered its Camden Gas Projecct in August of this year.

Empire says the purchase will save the company up to $30 million in future expenditure, and knock about 12 months off the time the company was expected to take to get things flowing, compared to the process of building out its own bespoke facility.

Atlas Pearls (ASX:ATP) has had a big win this morning, on the heels of a wildly successful auction in Kobe, Japan, that saw an enormous lift in YoY revenue, despite noticeable drop in volume of sales.

Atlas has reported a 272% increase in average pearl price, from $37.77 to $102.69 on pcp, off the back of a revenue bump from $12,122,852 in H1 FY23 to $26,126,523 for the same period current year, while reporting a 21% decrease in the number of loose pearls sold at auction.

SaaS logistics firm Yojee (ASX:YOJ) is up this morning on news of a 1:1 entitlement issue at 0.002 per share to raise up to approximately $2,611,970.

Reward Minerals (ASX:RWD) was rising early on news that it has entered into a binding share sale agreement with the receivers at Kalium Lakes, to acquire the Beyondie sulphate of potash project for $20 million.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 5 December [intraday]:

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