Busking – it’s a necessary evil or a nationwide scourge, depending on how much you hate watching sandal-clad hippies beat the snot out of plastic buckets like they’re channeling Keith Moon and asking for spare change.

In the US, though, busking has become a serious Major Crime problem, with a national outbreak of counterfeit buskers prompting several local police departments to issue warnings, because they’ve clearly run out of actual crimes to solve. Or donuts. We’re not clear on which.

This is, however, a matter of utmost importance that must be addressed – a musical fraud of J-Lo or even, dare we say it, Milli Vanilli proportions: America is being overrun by counterfeit violinists.

In case you’re wondering how that could even be a thing, take a look at this stunning example of citizen journalism, which not only proves we’re not lying, but is also a strong argument for how YouTube is going to ensure that the death of decent society will be widely available for viewing, as it happens.

The rash of villainous violinists reportedly started with just a trickle, but – like fidget spinners and morbid obesity – it’s taken America by storm.

As far as scams go, this one’s been pretty well thought-out. Grab a cheap-o violin off Gumtree, a CD with some truly appalling but technically brilliant playing, and then spend hour upon hour capering in the sun while pretending to play.

It’s clearly a lot less work than throwing together a gibberish white paper and fleecing unsuspecting crypto-enthusiasts.

Police in the US say they are working harder than ever to rid every Walmart parking lot of fake musicians, making it Priority Number One to round them all up, so they can get back to arresting sleeping homeless people for impersonating mimes.

 

TO MARKETS

Australian markets were almost the real deal this morning, opening slightly lower before staggering towards a flat run into lunch, after a droop on Wall Street overnight.

The BAS released Australia’s June quarter CPI, which came in at 6.1%, in line with forecasts, so it’s unlikely to play much of a role in moving the market around today.

Across the sectors, and everyone seems content to pootle along in the middle lane at a sensible speed, with the exception of the Materials heavy vehicles lagging behind in the left hand lane (-1.38%) and the Health Care ambos speeding ahead on our right, up 1.36% for the morning.

A one-two punch of positive announcements from Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) has helped it into the only sizeable surge among the large caps this morning, after the company posted its quarterly and made investors feel happy.

That came on the heels of some super exploration results across Capricorn’s Mt Gibson and Karlawinda gold projects, including a chunky drill result of 4m @ 118.74g/t Au from 142 to 146m lending a lot of credence to extending the scope at Mt Gibson beyond current resource.

Meanwhile, Champion Iron (ASX:CIA) saw its fortunes falter, as it fell more than 5.0% and gave up a week’s worth of gains.

There’s some action among the small caps, but let’s look overseas before we get into the good stuff.

 

NOT THE ASX

Over in the US, the tech heavy Nasdaq fell almost 2%, while the broad-based S&P 500 was down 1.15% overnight. The Dow did slightly better, but still fell 0.7%

Eddy ‘the all-seeing eye’ Sunarto reports that Walmart cut its profit outlook late Monday, citing reduced spending from customers due to high inflation, sending the major retailer’s stock falling 7%, driving other retailers like Macy’s and Target down.

Mega tech stocks like Amazon and Meta also fell around 4-5% ahead of their earnings announcements later this week.

In Asia this morning, and things are quiet in Japan and Shanghei, with both markets just millimetres below dead flat. Hong Kong, however, took a bit of a hit as we headed for lunch, down 1.06%.

In commodities, and things were similarly quiet. Oil fell 0.05% and natural gas slid 0.2% while gold, silver and copper all dropped, down 0.14%, 0.16% and 0.37% respectively.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 27 [intraday]:

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

Welp… anyone who had Cobre (ASX:CBE) shares in their pocket before this morning will most likely be dancing like a cartoon cowboy firing six-shooters into the air, thanks to a superb copper find at the company’s Ngami Copper Project (NCP) in the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB), Botswana.

Cobre announced that it’s drilled into some serious visual mineralisation which would be great on its own – but is even better since it shows that the deposit, first identified in historial drilling, is bigger and thicker and all that stuff that the company had hoped.

News of Cobre’s find broke, investors went bonkers and as we head into lunch, Cobre’s price was up 89.8% and still climbing.

That result is probably leaving a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of Nuenergy Gas (ASX:NGY), which could be excused to have thought that its own 71% jump this morning would have otherwise been the story of the day.

Outside of the penny stocks, and X2M Connect (ASX:X2M) has enjoyed a 21% boost on news that it’s completed the institutional component of its 1 for 3 accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer at a price of $0.085 per share to raise up to $3.97 million (before costs).

Participants in the offer will receive 1 free attaching option for every 2 shares subscribed for and issued, exercisable at $0.16 each on or before 31 August 2024.

And payment platform Sezzle (ASX:SZL) has jumped 19.44% on no super-clear market-moving news, other than telling everyone that there’s a conference call on Friday that might be worth having a listen to.

Turning today into a tyre fire this morning was National Tyre & Wheel (ASX:NTD), which fell an inexplicable 14.3% despite reasonably buoyant news in its FY22 trading update – there’s something in there worth looking at which we’ll tell you about at the end of the day.

And today’s “Thanks Heaps for the Heart Attack” award goes to Prospect Resources (ASX:PSC), which had a vote, sold off the farm and handed out the money to shareholders –  which is why when we looked at the charts this morning we saw a panic-inducing (but super-spectacular) 93% freefall, before realising why.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 27 [intraday]:

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