Things are “mostly good” on the market this morning, with the ASX 200 benchmark up by around +0.5%, and most sectors doing okay, except for Industrials, which is not.

That’s all happening against a backdrop of a solid upswing in New York on Friday night, and a slew of quarterlies coming in that are painting a fairly rosy picture of what life must be like at the top end of town.

I’ll get into all that in a minute, but first some news out of Seattle on the weekend, when a child’s birthday party jaunt to the zoo turned into a brutal lesson of how things work in the wild.

A woman, identified only as “Rachelle” had taken her daughter and some friends to the Woodland Park Zoo for a nice birthday outing, when they stopped to marvel at one of the zoo’s star attractions, a young female bear called Juniper.

Rachelle told local media they were thrilled to see Juniper “looking so active”, but when it became apparent that the bear was really only interested in a bunch of ducklings that had wandered into her enclosure, things went south pretty fast.

I’ve been advised to give you plenty of warning on this one, so… here’s plenty of warning. If you don’t want to see what happens when some cute, innocent ducklings get coldly, methodically hunted down and eaten by a very hungry bear, scroll on past.

If you are keen to see it, you’re a monster… and here it is.



Probably the most remarkable part of this story is that this isn’t even the first time Juniper’s performed her Amazing Disappearing Duckling trick – video posted from the same pond last year showed that the bear has form when it comes to this sort of thing.

Rachelle did tell local media that she wanted to stress that her children were not traumatised by the event, but the video shows quite clearly that Rachelle might have been stretching the truth.



There’s a bit happening this morning, so a quick recap is all anyone’s going to get I’m afraid.

I’ll start with Qantas (ASX:QAN), where the ghost of Alan Joyce has risen once again from the grave to fill the national carrier’s hallowed halls with the foul, fetid stench of terrible decision making.

Qantas has “apologised” for its devious practice of selling tickets on flights that it had already cancelled – so-called “ghost flights” – and agreed to pay $20 million in compo to affected passengers.

I don’t know how they’ve arrived at the sums, but it works out to $225 to domestic ticketholders and $450 to international ticketholders, on top of whatever they’d been given by the airline already… so, $225 and a meal voucher that doesn’t work at any of the shops at Sydney Airport is all you’re gonna get for the aggravation of a ruined holiday.

Sky News has exclusive footage of the fallout from this morning’s events.



Meanwhile, Telco giant Optus has announced it has a new CEO – you could tell by the colour of the smoke coming out of the top of the Optus building in North Sydney – naming Stephen Rue as the new boss.

Rue has been in charge of the NBN since 2018, so Optus customers might want to get used to the idea of a few more years of ‘close enough is good enough’, because nothing sends the message of “excellent service with zero outages” like Australia’s Amazing 100% Future-proof Internet Backbone™.

Optus chairman Paul O’Sullivan said Rue’s appointment to the role followed a “rigorous process”, which I am told involved a written maths test and an obstacle course that was all muddy and gross, so he’s definitely earned the gig.

And Westpac (ASX:WBC) delivered a half-yearly result this morning, slamming it down on the table with a triumphant smirk, as if to tell both National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) and Macquarie (ASX:MQG)This is how you do it, beeyatches.”

Westpac has managed to turn around its fortunes somewhat, posting an above-expectation cash profit for the half of $3.34 billion and that, coupled with a bunch of other banking gobbledygook, left the bank able to pay out a better than expected divvy of $0.75 and extend its buyback program by a cool billion dollars.

To the nuts and bolts of the ASX this morning, and it’s smoothish sailing across the board today, with the benchmark up more than 40 points and everything except  Industrials at least treading water.

Real Estate and InfoTech are leading the way today, but Health Care is best described as in a serious but stable condition. The only thing holding it up this morning is large cap Mesoblast, doing all the heavy lifting with a +8.5% lurch on no news.


asx winner (1TT)
Chart via


On a more granular level, it’s the Banks that are leading the charge, thanks to Westpac’s shockingly good result that has bumped its stock +2.5% higher since the start of the day.


asx winner (1TT)
Chart via



On Friday, Wall Street rallied once again after a softer-than-estimated non-farm payrolls number, which left the S&P 500 up by +1.26%, the blue chips Dow Jones index up by +1.18%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq surging ahead by +1.99%.

US non-farm payrolls rose by 175k jobs in April, versus the 240k consensus in the Bloomberg survey – boosting expectations of a September Fed rate cut.

“…The market is fully discounting a 25bp September interest rate cut once again, with a second one before the end of the year,” said ING’s chief economist, James Knightley.

“The payroll miss hands the baton to the bulls,” said Jose Torres at Interactive Brokers.

In US stock news, Apple surged by 6% following its announcement of sales exceeding expectations in the previous quarter, and a forecast of resurgence in growth for the current quarter.

Biopharma Amgen jumped by +11% following the CEO’s optimistic remarks about early findings from a study of the company’s potential obesity treatment, MariTide.

Eddy Sunarto reported this morning that Berkshire Hathaway held its annual general meeting in Omaha over the weekend, as Warren Buffett made it clear that his empire will continue to be a major shareholder in Apple, even after offloading billions of dollars’ worth of shares in the tech giant.

At 93, Buffett has been gradually passing the torch to a new generation of leaders. Greg Abel, currently overseeing Berkshire’s non-insurance ventures, is poised to take the reins when he passes. Buffett said that when that happens, “the stock would go up tomorrow.”

But, notably, he’s making no promises about the day after that, like the wily old fox he is.

In Asia, you’ll be shocked to learn that it’s Japan’s turn to have a day off, so Tokyo’s markets are closed for “Children’s Day”, which I assume is a chance for Japanese kids to invade the exchange and write crude things about the Nikkei on the walls with crayons.

There’s a bunch of markets closed for Easter today, because someone’s calendar’s completely out of whack, and it’s a bank holiday in London today, so good luck getting anything done over there today as well.

Chinese markets are open, though, and they’re back from their recent extended holidays with some pep in their step. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up +0.15%, and Shanghai’s +1.0% higher this morning as well.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 06 May [intraday]:

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Gold minnow Prodigy Gold (ASX:PRX) enjoyed a bump on Monday morning after announcing an update from its 100% owned Hyperion deposit in the Tanami region of the Northern Territory.

The company said that  metallurgical testwork on material from the Hyperion deposit “reinforces potential for excellent gold recoveries through a conventional Carbon In Leach (CIL) plant”.

“A significant reduction in sodium cyanide consumption compared to the initial testwork did not negatively impact the overall 48-hour gold recovery, with recovery levels remaining between 96.8% and 98.0% at a P80 150μm grind size for the oxide, transitional and fresh sample material,” Prodigy said, adding that it did need to add just a touch of lime to the process to really get things cooking.

Meanwhile, security-focussed tech company IXUP (ASX:IXU) was moving on Monday morning on news that “discussions regarding the secure cloud deployment of the IXUP platform in a project involving several of the country’s largest companies, and government / educational organisations have now progressed to the commercial negotiation phase”.

The company has been developing its platform to allow for the secure sharing and analysis of sensitive information using advanced encryption technology, so the move to a commercial negotiation phase is a big step forward in bringing the tech to market.

And mineral exploration and development company Mantle Minerals (ASX:MTL) was up this morning on news that its gold exploration drilling program is about to commence on the recently granted tenements at Mt Berghaus.

This is quite newsworthy as the Mt Berghaus tenement covers an 84km2 patch of ground immediately north of De Grey’s monstrous Hemi discovery.

Mantle has 122 aircore drillholes planned, which the company says “will be drilled to refusal”, which sounds needlessly aggressive but I’m told that just how the mining industry does things.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 06 May [intraday]:

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Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) has received a cash refund of $16.1m from the Australian Tax Office comprising $15.8m under the Research Development Tax Incentive Scheme and associated interest.

The refund is related to eligible research and development activities the company carried out in FY2023 on expenditure related to the TECH nickel project in Queensland.

Proceeds have been used to repay a short-term loan of $12.6m the company had taken out against the tax refund.

Western Yilgarn (ASX:WYX) has executed a contract for an airborne electromagnetic survey of 1800 line kilometres covering 350km2 of ground over its Ida Holmes Junction project in Western Australia.

The Phase 1 survey will be run concurrently with the ongoing auger geochemistry campaign with results from both playing a key role in planning for the maiden aircore/reverse circulation drill program.

Ida Holmes Junction is ~50km southwest of Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold project and is highly prospective for copper, nickel and platinum group elements as well as lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites.

Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has appointed current chief operating officer (COO) Tim Murray as director, effective immediately.

Murray was instrumental in securing the binding offtake term sheet with LG Energy Solution and will continue to pursue offtake agreements to fulfill the initial planned production capacity of 10,000tpa for ASN’s Paradox Basin project.

ASN executive chairman and CEO Bruce Richardson says since his appointment as COO in January 2023, Murray has made a significant contribution to the company, not only on the LG agreement, but in many aspects of its growth.

“Tim’s appointment strengthens the board’s commercial skill base, particularly in relation to doing business in Asia, which is required at this stage of the company’s development.”

Iltani Resources (ASX:ILT) has begun the next phase of drilling at the Orient silver-indium project in Northern Queensland.

The explorer plans to drill 11 reverse circulation holes for 2,300m as it works its way towards establishing an exploration target at the Orient West prospect.

Results will form the basis for subsequent resource estimate drilling with the program estimated to take between three to four weeks to complete.

“We’re marking the start of what we believe will be an exciting period of drilling at Orient where we plan to extend the known mineralisation by over a 1,800m strike length,” ILT managing director Donald Garner says.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Queensland Pacific Metals, Western Yilgarn, Anson Resources and Iltani Resources are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.