Aussie markets have opened lower this morning, after a fairly profound slump on Wall Street overnight saw the major US indices down by around 1.5% apiece.

Of course, it’s because US Fed officials can’t keep their mouths shut for longer than 20 seconds – but it could also be because the US housing market is starting to look like it’s in perilous shape again, with some analysts claiming that a collapse in house prices is right around the corner… which might explain why this morning’s hot news piece took place.

For that story, we turn to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a man has been taken into custody after a real estate deal went horribly wrong.

Well… it was kind of a real estate deal – police say their suspect John Armstrong allegedly pulled a gun on his stepfather and opened fire during a game of monopoly.

Officials say the game ended the way most games of monopoly do – the board was flipped, some furniture was thrown, as per the Official Game Rules, which clearly state:

“(a) In the event of a dispute between players, The Board must be flipped over to sufficiently disrupt play to end the game. 

(b) Furthermore, a minimum of 4 (four) items of furniture must be thrown a minimum of 2 (two) feet, before a winner can be declared.

(c) Any weapons used in subsequent violence must have been declared prior to the commencement of the game. Failure to do so will result in disqualification, regardless of how many victims are injured or killed.”

Armstrong and his family were reportedly drinking and playing the board game when the fight began, ending with the alleged shooter pursuing his stepfather and stepsister down the street, before opening fire.

Police were called, and Armstrong was arrested and booked into the Tulsa County jail for assault with a deadly weapon.

Predictably, local politicians have called for a nationwide ban on Monopoly, in a bid to curb gun violence that has already claimed more than 18,000 victims this year so far.



Aussie markets have taken a bit of a hit this morning, with the ASX 200 diving 0.4% at open before scrambling to achieve break-even before it was time to unwrap the devon and tomato sauce sandwiches that mum packed you for lunch.

As the bell struck 12pm, the benchmark was a miniscule 3.5 points away from getting its head above water, and probably could have if the Energy sector wasn’t acting as a -1.60% anchor at the bottom of the sea.

Healthcare was the biggest winner this morning, up 0.72% by lunch, with Telcos (+0.5%) and Consumer Staples (0.26%) it’s nearest companions.

Up in the corporate boxes, Healthcare’s big surge was being driven by a spike from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH), up a cranking 12.6% – an enormous leap for a $12.5 billion market cap company – all on the back of a very healthy half-year report that saw FPH revenue decline, yet still exceed guidance.

At the opposite end of the health scale, however, was Healius (ASX:HLS), which has taken an absolute sponge bath, reporting a 64.2% slump in EBITDA over the same period last year.

Like patients seeing a surgeon armed with a bottle of bourbon and an angle grinder, investors have stormed the exits in search of a second opinion, and HLS is trading 5.2% lower as a result.



On the far side of the Pacific, things have not been particularly peaceful, with Wall Street having a right old strop that sent all its major indices diving – the S&P fell 1.54%, the Nasdaq by 1.58% and the Dow was down 1.45% by the end of play.

The reason why? People at the US Fed have been talking again, because those ratchet-jawed know-it-alls (maybe) secretly take delight in breaking the hearts of little investors everywhere.

Early Bird Eddy Sunarto reports that Fed Bank of St Louis president James Bullard says the market might be underestimating the probability of more and larger rate hikes, while his New York counterpart said the Fed needs to step up its game to curb inflation.

Fed vice chair Lael Brainard however was more dovish, saying: “The inflation data [last week] was reassuring, preliminarily. It will probably be appropriate, soon, to move to a slower pace of rate increases.”

Still, it’s starting to smell like a shaky plan to inflate the US out of debt, for better or worse.

Closer to home, and Japan’s Nikkei dropped a far more reasonable 0.45% this morning, on news that an employee of the Suehiro Elementary School killed a wild boar with a spear on school grounds.

The pig had it coming, though – it first made its presence known at a nearby shopping centre, where it attacked and injured two people including an 80-year-old woman, which is clearly just not on.

And things in China are looking decidedly dangerous at the moment, with mass anti-government protests gaining steam across the country.

And just in case you were wondering, these folks are not here for a haircut – the protests are fierce, with some analysts predicting that things could spiral out of control and present Xi Jinping with a bigger crisis than the rolling of the tanks into Tianenmen Square in ‘89.



#Abba #CanYouHearTheTanksFernando

Despite all that, though, the markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai are surprisingly buoyant this morning, adding 1.76% and 0.79% respectively in early trade – quite probably because there is a massive campaign underway to stop the flow of information about the protests, including a veritable flood of porn on Twitter, marked up with hashtags of the affected cities, in an attempt to obfuscate reportage.

If only Twitter had some sort of content moderation team… oh, it did? But doesn’t anymore? Who made that decision? … #ChampionOfThePeople #WeAreMovingToMars

And in crypto news, the market is bleeding digital blood as the FTX saga continues to weigh heavily on the market, leaving the crypto market cap at US$854 billion, down 2.8% since this time yesterday.

Rob “The Bandage Man” Badman has the reasons why, and all the rest of the crypto news over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for November 29 [intraday]:

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Today’s runaway winner (and yep – it’s another day with a better-than-50% spike), is Microba Life Sciences (ASX:MAP), which is trading 59.1% higher on news that Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) will invest $17.8m to acquire a 19.99% equity holding in Microba at $0.26 per share – and is seeking to acquire options for a further 5% stake to give Sonce a strategic shareholding in the company.

Microba and Sonic (the company, not the hedgehog) “have also agreed initial binding terms for a strategic alliance to deliver Microba’s microbiome testing technology into Australia, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States”, according to this morning’s announcement.

AP was trading at $0.22 per share on Friday before entering a Trading Halt yesterday ahead of the announcement, which has driven Microba shares to $0.34 this morning.

Meanwhile, tech minnow Gefen International A.I. (ASX:GFN) has spiked 32.0% this morning on no news – those supersmart computer things really know how to play their cards close to their RAM slots.

And Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL) has jumped 17.7% after announcing that it is set to merge with  The Sustainable Nutrition Group (ASX:TRN), buying up 100% of  ordinary shares and 100% of TSN unlisted options under TSN board-recommended Schemes of Arrangement.

Once completed, TSN shareholders will hold 30% of the merged group and EXL shareholders will hold 70%.

It brings to a close a bumpy 2022 ride for TSN, which has been in voluntary suspension for quite some time, following the collapse of a key supplier agreement earlier this year, which resulted in an “effective immediately” resignation of then-CEO and Managing Director Neale Joseph.

Lastli, Findi (ASX:FND) is looking more Losti than anything else this morning, after a disastrous half year report featuring some odd-looking figures.

Findi has reported a 76,723% jump in revenue (no… not a typo… that’s 76,724%) that has led to a 148% fall in profit.

The explanation for it is pretty much a moot point at the moment – investors have seen the profit freefall and bailed to the tune of 26.3% this morning.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for November 29 [intraday]:

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