Out of Pennsylvania today comes news of yet another fatal police shooting, but this one is… different.

Officers were called to a situation involving a 15-foot snake, and a man perilously close to death – unconscious on the floor with the python wrapped around his neck like a scarf from the Grace Kelly Signature Collection.

Lt Peter Nickischer of the Upper Macungie (no, really…) Township police department says his officers were taken aback by the scene upon arrival.

But – recognising the severity of the situation and the apparent difficulty they faced in attempting to negotiate with the murderous serpent – their “US cop instincts” kicked in.

That is to say, the shooting began.

The snake, Lt Nickischer said, took one extraordinarily well-placed shot to the head, causing it well, die.

The victim (the human one, clearly no one cares about the snake) was carted off to hospital, alive but clearly in pretty bad shape, after the attack caused him to go into cardiac arrest.

Police are still trying to determine a motive for the attack, and are possibly looking into whether the victim and the snake knew each other, and precisely how much money the victim owed the snake.

In the wake of the incident, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took to social media to tell the world “elephants are not ours to ride” and then tweet out a bunch of dead monkey photos. Gross.

If PETA ever says anything relevant, we’ll be sure to let you know.  In the meantime, though, let’s see what markets are up to.



Australian markets fell sharply at open this morning before staging a better comeback than Britney Spears to head into lunchtime right back where it started, baby.

Across the sectors generally though, and things are looking a bit worse for wear as we slouch towards the weekend.

Energy is outta juice to the tune of -1.48%, and the Telcos are faring even worse at -1.63%, with a slew of sectors basically mooching around like bored teenagers waiting for a ride home from the mall.

On the rise, though, are InfoTech (+0.84%), Real Estate (+1.04%), Financials (+0.65%) and – wonder of wonders – even Materials is up a little bit, (+0.20%).

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) is the only one of the Big Money movers today, adding a 6.4% gain to yesterday’s rapid climb.

In among the many big ticket losses, however, was Domino’s (ASX:DMP), which fell 6.5% on news the company had ruthlessly demolished Spongebob’s house for pizza ingredients, while Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Corporate Travel Management (ASX:CTD) both descended rapidly from cruising altitude, down an ear-popping 6.0% and 4.2% respectively.



Looking overseas, and it’s almost all good news on the major indices.

Wall Street finished its day yesterday on a high note, with the Dow up 0.51%, the S&P higher by 0.99% and the Nasdaq faring best with a 1.36% gain – but we’re not sure whether that’s because or in spite of President Joe Biden getting Covid.

Eddy the Euro Hawk reports that European stock markets were mixed following the ECB’s (European Central Bank) rate hike.

After years of cautious policy moves and dovish caveats, the ECB super-charged its tightening lift-off, exiting negative rates for the first time in 12 years.

The ECB raised its key rate by 50 basis points, the biggest since 2000, as it confronts 8.6% inflation in the Euro bloc, which was a little surprising to traders as the prior guidance given by the ECB was at 25bp.

Across Asia, it’s good news – the Nikkei has edged up 0.19%, Hong Kong added 0.81% and in Shanghai, investors said “tanks a million” to ultra-protectionist army action on behalf of several banks, putting on a 0.32% show of solidarity.

Commodities are mixed this morning, though. Oil jumped 1.34%, natural gas fell 0.95% and gold and silver were only just above flat, up 0.1% and 0.06% respectively. Copper did a bit better, up 0.91%.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 22 [intraday]:

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In Small Caps Land, it was Douugh’s (ASX:DOU) turn to head skyward this morning, climbing 29% on rumblings that there’s some sort of announcement on the way, but we’re not sure what – although the constant mention of the company’s name on The Simpsons probably isn’t hurting.

Botala Energy (ASX:BTE) climbed 21% on relatively thin trade, still floundering since its recent lukewarm launch on the ASX.

Hamelin Gold (ASX:HMG)  went back to its bouncy ways, this time in a positive direction (+20%) and Farm Pride Foods (ASX:FRM) jumped 20% as it works its way through the ramifications of its recent debt restructuring.

But taking a kicking this morning was Jervois Global (ASX:JRV), thumped in the guts by 16.3% after the market had a read of its Q2 results. They’re… not good. Production and revenue both fell, causing an outbreak of sadface among investors.



Here are the least-greatest performing ASX small cap stocks for July 22 [intraday]:

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