Local markets have come back from a day off  about as well rested as you’d expect from Australia’s booziest public holiday, leaving the benchmark heavily exposed to a sell-off on Wall Street overnight.

The first 15 minutes of action this morning was pretty gruesome. The ASX 200 fell close to 90 points in very short order, before bumbling along at that level as the morning wore on.

I’ll get into more detail on that shortly, but first, to news out of Ohio where one company has come up with the ideal Christmas present for that special someone in your life whose twin passions are owning a dog, and hardcore arson.

The company is called Throwflame, and – as the name suggests – it exists to fill a necessary gap in the US market, putting flamethrowers in the hands of ordinary citizens, where they clearly belong.

Indeed, the company website very clearly states that in the US, “Flamethrowers are federally unregulated and not even considered a firearm by the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms)”.

That means that there’s virtually nothing in terms of rules, regulations or paperwork needed by anyone with the burning desire to own a potentially horrific weapon – if you’ve got the cash, you can start setting everything on fire to your heart’s content, once the company has shipped the product to your home.

But it’s the company’s latest product, called The Thermonator, that is making the news this week – because it is genuinely the stuff of cyberpunk nightmares – a robotic dog, with one of the company’s fire fountains mounted on its back.



Needless to say, I want one of these things in the worst possible way… I imagine it would come in extremely handy during confrontations with Kevin, my meth-enthusiast neighbour whose penchant for breaking into houses to steal all the doorknobs is becoming less cute as time wears on.

Or having this thing standing guard over the backyard to stop every goddamned cat in the neighbourhood descending on my backyard whenever Kevin’s 100% not desexed cat is in heat, which invariably prompts a feline fight club/cat orgy that usually kicks off around 11pm and continues until someone – usually me – heads outside armed with a rake and a garden hose to break up the party.

Unfortunately, Australia has actual rules about owning a robotic flamethrower dog that will prevent me from ever having my own fiery hellhound standing guard, ready to turn intruders into blackened, crispy warnings to anyone else dumb enough to invade my home.

But in the US, if you’ve got a mere US$9,420, the company will ship one of these bad boys right to your door – no charge for shipping, either, which is the kind of customer service that the semi-automated arson industry has really been lacking in recent years.

If that’s a little out of reach financially, fret not – the company also sells The Wasp, which is  a US$1,599 drone-mounted flamethrower, so you too can deliver burning hot death from above from the comfort of your own unmarked van parked across the street.

There’s no possible way this can go wrong, especially given how relentlessly responsible the American public has proven to be with their unfettered access to firearms in the past.

And speaking of stuff that is clearly on fire to a worrying extent, it’s time to check out what the ASX has been up to this morning.



I’m beginning to think that maybe we all should have just declared today a carry-over public holiday and kept the market closed for the day. It’s mid-morning, and every sector has its needle buried in the red, from InfoTech on -0.33% all the way down to Real Estate sector, which has been dumped to the tune of -1.96%.


asx winner (OSX)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au


Make no mistake, it’s been ugly on the bourse this morning – but, as is often the case, as the rest of the market shudders like a shitting dog, the goldies are on the rise.

The XGS All Ords Gold index is up more than +3.0%, regaining a lot of ground it lost in the front half of the week, as investors look to their golden life rafts while the broader market sinks quicker than Kate Winslet’s love interest on a cupboard door.


asx winner (OSX)
Chart via Marketindex.com.au


There’s a smattering of large caps making some serious headway this morning, including international gold producer Newmont. The company has surged more than +13.0% on this morning’s news that it’s ponying up a US$0.25 divvy later on this year.

And great news for people who love the sound of ample thighs sweat-stuck to fine Italian leather, as furniture seller Nick Scali announced the completion of a $46 million fully underwritten institutional placement of approximately 3.5 million new fully paid ordinary shares to institutional investors at a price of $13.25 per share.



Wall Street was garbage last night, with a session of sell-offs that saw the S&P 500 fall by -0.46%, the blue chips Dow Jones index down by -0.98%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slump by -0.64%.

A good chunk of the sour sentiment came as the US grappled with the latest round of economic data, including a soft US GDP of just 1.6%, and inflation increasing by 3.4% in Jan-Mar, compared to an increase of 1.8% in the final three months of 2023.

“If growth continues to slowly decelerate, but inflation strongly takes off again in the wrong direction, the expectation of a Fed interest rate cut in 2024 is starting to look increasingly more out of reach,” said Olu Sonola at Fitch.

Things started looking up in after-hours trading, though, as Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reported this morning.

Alphabet reported its quarterly update – crushing estimates of top and bottom lines and announcing a dividend. The Alphabet stock price popped +11% after the bell.

Fellow megacap Microsoft also beat forecasts, lifted by demand for its cloud and AI offerings. Its share price rose by +4% after the bell.

“Overall, both prints indicate that the innovation economy continues to benefit from heightened corporate spending and a strong consumer,” Tejas Dessai at Global X ETFs told Bloomberg.

Meta Platforms however didn’t fare too well and sank almost -11% after it reported plans to spend US$10bn to build AI products.

Meanwhile, Atlassian fell -7% post-hours after CEO and founder Scott Farquhar announced that he will step down after 23 years to spend more time with his family. Co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes will now be the sole CEO. Probably not the resounding vote of confidence MCB was hoping for…

In Asian market news, things are a lot more pleasant for our regional neighbours this morning. Shanghai markets are up slightly on +0.07%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is moving forward +0.30% and Japan’s Nikkei is up +0.17%.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 26 April [intraday]:

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Rincon Resources (ASX:RCR) was out in front on Friday morning, adding better than +31% off the back of a happy-looking quarterly delivered to the market on Wednesday, outlining that things are progressing well across the company’s three 100%-owned exploration prospects.

Rincon also mentioned that it has recently completed an oversubscribed placement to raise $1.43 million before costs, and the company has a little over $2.4 million in the bank, providing forward funding for a reverse circulation drill program at the West Arunta Project.

Earths Energy (ASX:EE1) posted a solid rise for the morning, up 21.4% in the wake of the company’s statement on Wednesday that “recent significant government initiatives and policy updates that align with the Company’s strategic vision for growth of the renewable energy sector”.

Similarly, Belararox’s (ASX:BRX) quarterly report on Wednesday has carried momentum through to this morning’s session, after the company assured investors that its three projects, one each in Agentina, New South Wales and Western Australia, are all tracking well.

Osteopore (ASX:OSX) is moving rapidly again today (up +29.4% this morning) after getting another speeding ticket from the ASX about a sudden rise earlier in the week, which the company countered with some nonchalant whistling and a “nowt to see ‘ere, guvnor”.

And “Australia’s only ASX-listed music company” Vinyl Group (ASX:VNL) was moving rapidly in early trade, on news that Richard White’s investment vehicle RealWise Group will convert its convertible note into ordinary shares, giving it a 34% stake.

“I remain enthusiastic about Vinyl,” says billionaire and well-known stater of the bleeding obvious White, who is also CEO and founder of $30.5bn-capped Wisetech (ASX:WTC).



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 26 April [intraday]:

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Peregrine Gold (ASX:PGD) has started field exploration over newly acquired tenements at its flagship Newman gold project in Western Australia where its previous exploration had defined the Tin Can bedrock-hosted gold discovery.

Planned exploration activities include vehicle and helicopter-based stream sediment sampling across the newly acquired tenure, close-spaced reverse circulation drilling along strike and down plunge from Tin Can, and RC drilling to test gold in soil anomalism along strike from Tin Can.

The company also intends to carry out prospect-scale geological mapping at the Epithermal prospect along with heritage surveys and drilling at the Perry Creek gold in soil anomaly.

Raiden Resources (ASX:RDN) preliminary heritage reports have indicated that all key target areas at Andover South where drilling is planned are clear of any culturally sensitive areas.

Likewise, the preliminary report for Andover North has been received and planning is underway for exploration programs over that area.

The surveys were carried out over priority lithium-bearing pegmatite targets at both project areas.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Peregrine Gold and Raiden Resources are Stockhead advertiser, they did not sponsor this article.