They’re a weird mob in Florida. You can tell by the incessant parade of gloriously stupid and catastrophically inept criminals that grace the headlines on a near-daily basis.

But when they’re not robbing banks with their faces disguised using marker pens, becoming world famous for stealing stuff from the US Capitol Building or having a massive strop about being raided by the FBI, America’s Fabulous Gallery of Dumbasses like to wind down with a bit of ol’ fashioned snake huntin’.

This week, Floridian snake catching enthusiasts are out in droves, competing to bag the largest Burmese Python they can find in the swampy, alligator-infested everglades – a pastime the usually involves ending up in a life-or-death struggle in the shallows… even if you can swim.

The pythons are an invasive species, which have taken to the Everglades like cane toads to a banana farm, growing to almost-incomprehensible sizes and quite capable of delivering fatal cuddles to anything – or anyone – that upsets them.

If you’re keen on making a quick US$2,500 and reckon you can out-hunt a Florida native and out-wrestle an alarmingly massive reptile, then Florida’s the place to be.

Just be sure you can handle 7 metres of snake before you leave, or at least be capable of carrying 90kg of dead weight that’s around the thickness of a telegraph pole.

Annnd, a quick follow-up to our story earlier this week: We hate to say we told you so, but we totally told you so… Meta’s new AI BlenderBot 3 has already had a few zesty things to say.

The poor little robot has delivered the inside-scoop on its Lord and Master Mark Zuckerberg, describing him as “creepy and manipulative”, and no doubt earning itself a sound beating and some time in the naughty corner of the server farm.

BlenderBot 3 has, however, is lucky in at least one sense. When asked about Australian politics, the all-seeing, all-knowing AI has completely blanked out the four years Scott Morrison spent as PM – something more than a few people here in Australia would probably like to do as well.



It looks like we’re in for an unfabulous Friday, after the ASX fell sharply this morning following a last minute slump on Wall Street last night.

The benchmark fell 51 points in early trade, recovering slightly to wobble towards lunch at a punch-drunk -0.5% for the morning.

Consumer Discretionary (-1.17%), Health Care (-1.46%) Real Estate (-1.54%) and InfoTech (-1.18%) have taken the worst of the blows this morning.

However there’s one glimmer of hope –  Energy (+1.02%) has shown great resilience this morning, so for that it gets today’s Gold Star and can pick one other sector to go with it to collect the lunch orders from the canteen for the rest of the class.

The only Top Dollar winner on the charts this morning is Stanmore Resources (ASX:SMR), which fired off a double-barrel blast of good news that sent its price up more than 10% before lunch.

Stanmore led out with a robust half-year results call which included a Consolidated half year Run Of Mine (ROM) production of 3.9Mt and saleable production of 2.8Mt, helping it to an enviable net debt of US$258 million with cash position of US$546 million.

That was followed by news that its wholly owned subsidiary, Dampier Coal, is set to acquire Mitsui’s remaining 20% stake in Stanmore SMC, which will give Stanmore complete ownership of the project after its purchase of an 80% interest in BHP Mitsui Coal in May this year.

Top of the Big Time Loser charts is Domino’s (ASX:DMP), which slumped 5.0% this morning.

There’s no clear reason why, but we suspect it might have something to do with the fact that the company has officially declared it’s bold experiment to sell awful pizzas in Italy, of all places, to be over.

Domino’s has shuttered its Italian operation, and frankly we’re surprised to learn that it lasted as long as it did, and that it hasn’t ended with someone’s head on the end of a Roman pilum, on display in the Colosseum.

And it looks like the run for Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) is over – after a massive run from $0.605 in mid-July to a high of $1.595 yesterday, profit takers look to have moved in and knocked the wind out of its sails, down 7.0% and falling this morning.

Let’s look overseas, then come back for some Small Caps goodness.



Wall Street was doing really well, right up until it wasn’t, as Earlybird Eddy reported this morning.

US stocks were unable to hold onto robust gains for the second straight day, following reports that suggest inflation has peaked.

As reported yesterday, US headline YoY inflation fell from 9.1% in June to 8.5% in July, but top Fed official Mary Daly warned that it’s too early to declare victory on inflation.

Daly also told the FT that a 50 basis-point rate increase isn’t locked in at the next FOMC meeting, saying the Federal Reserve is “far from done”.

The Nasdaq led the losses, down -0.58% with the S&P and Dow straddling the flatine -0.07% and +0.08% respectively.

In Asia today, Japan’s day off for Mountain Day seems to have done wonders, with the Nikkei surging +2.29%.

Hong Kong shares didn’t fare so well, dropping 0.2% and you could wrap the Shanghai markets result around a slab of greasy Peking Duck, 0.07% down.

Over at the Commodities desk, and they’re no doubt praying for Moses to arrive and part the red sea of indices, because everything’s down.

Oil dropped 0.61% and gas squeaked out -2.06%, while gold (-0.22%), silver (-0.36%) and copper (-0.49%) all fell too.

On the gold front, there is some breaking news out of Chile this morning – Austral Gold (ASX:AGD) says a group of armed robbers “assaulted the Guanaco-Amancaya mine complex and stole gold precipitate material equivalent to approximately 500 ounces of gold”.

To be clear – the robbers have stolen an enormous pile of dirt that still requires refining, so this is either a bold strategically-planned heist by someone who has ready access to a refinery, or we’re looking at an armed robbery of near-Florida levels of gross stupidity.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 12 [intraday]:

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Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX:MNS) is on full charge this morning, climbing 35.6% on news that commercial production has commenced at its 22,000sqm  iM3NY New York Lithium-ion Battery Plant.

At full capacity, Magnis says the plant will churn out 15,000 cells/day using green hydroelectricity, as production scales up to an annual production rate of 1.8GWh near-term and aiming at annual capacity of 38GWh by 2030.

Also enjoying some time in the sun, Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) has signed a Terms Sheet with Oz Minerals (ASX:OZL) granting an option for OZ to buy Havilah’s Kalkaroo copper-gold-cobalt project, sending HAV shares up 25.0%.

Dropping sharply, however, was med-tech minnow Avita Medical (ASX:AVH), on news that topline results from its pivotal randomised, controlled trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of its RECELL skin graft system fell juuuust short of requirements.

It’s not a total disaster, but it was enough to shake investor confidence by -15.4%.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 12 [intraday]:

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