Australia’s markets have opened lower today, down around 1.5% at lunchtime following another sharp drop on Wall Street on Friday that set the tone for more bitter disappointment today.

But as disappointed as Australian investors are today, it’s unlikely to be anywhere near as disappointed as the people of Mexico are in their president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, took to Twitter over the weekend to post a photo of something he quite earnestly believes is an “aluxe”, a mystical elf-like spirit from Mayan folklore.



For those of you whose Spanish is a little rusty, that says: “I share two photos of our supervision of the Mayan Train works: one, taken by an engineer three days ago, apparently from an aluxe; another, by Diego Prieto of a splendid pre-Hispanic sculpture in Ek Balam. Everything is mystical.”

It’s no secret that Mexico is not travelling very well at the moment – rampant poverty, marauding drug cartels and a daily body count that makes John Wick look like St Francis of Assisi have combined to make it a deeply unpleasant place in many respects.

So it’s gotta feel bad when your president seems convinced that some rando rail worker in the middle of nowhere has managed to snap a blurry photo of a South American smurf stuck in a tree – and decides to very publicly admit that he’s 100% lost his mind by posting about it on las sociales.

It’s gotta feel even worse when Twitter does what it does best, quietly shouting at him that he’s an idiot because the photo is a) from 2021, and b) was taken by a wildlife photographer in the in the city of Singkawang, Indonesia.

But all hope has to be lost when the tweet is still live on Twitter, more than 24 hours since it was posted, since El Presidente apparently hasn’t quite figured out how to delete stuff yet.



With the market kicking off the week with a bruising tumble down the stairs, investors are bracing for another afternoon of licking their wounds.

By mid-morning, the benchmark was down nearly 1.4%, with every sector showing losses ranging from -0.11% for Energy and -0.13 for Utilities, all the way down the ladder where Real Estate (-1.92%) and Materials (-2.92%) are busy lurking like bog trolls in a basement, stinking the place up.

Materials in particular has had a shocking run since Australia Day, and this morning’s drop-off takes it to a woeful -9.22% over the past month.

The best that the top end of town could muster this morning was a 5.0% lift by nearly-$1-billion market capper Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU), after releasing its full-year results and letting the market know that the company has made “substantial progress”, leaving it “very well placed for the transforming catalysts that have been anticipated to crystallise in 2023”.

The Ladder of Losers, however, is a forest of big ticket miners today, though – hardly a shock with the Materials sector sinking as low as it has – with Pilbara (ASX:PLS), MinRes (ASX:MIN) and Sandfire (ASX:SFR) among those posting losses between 5.7% and 6.6% today.

Fortescue (ASX:FMG) is also taking a hiding today, down 7.5% and groaning under the combined weight of poor sector performance and going ex-div today.



US markets plunged again on Friday, because of all the usual reasons that I’m sure you’re as sick of reading about as we are of writing about them.

But, in the interests of keeping everyone up to date, Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports that the reason Wall Street got spooked was the release of the US Fed’s preferred inflation reading, the PCE, which came in “scorching hot” and prompted a brand new veneer of inflation panic to the already unpleasantly ugly sentiment among US investors.

It also prompted comment from the White House, which said: “Today’s report shows we have made progress on inflation, but we have more work to do.”

So it’s no surprise then that we got more hawkish Fedspeak following the PCE results, and other data that showed US consumer spending increasing by the most in nearly two years in January amid a surge in wage gains.

A handful of US companies dropped earnings on Friday, including Block Inc, which  rose 4% after it reported Q4 financial results that saw profit and revenue top expectations.

Afterpay contributed $196m in gross profit to Block’s bottom line, up from $150 million in the previous quarter.

Boeing closed 5% lower after the airline manufacturer said it paused deliveries of 787 Dreamliner jets due to documentation issues.

In tech news, Meta has launched its own entrant in the AI race with a LLama, which stands for Large Language Model Meta AI.

The bad news for Meta is that it’s been scientifically proven that any time anything even remotely intelligent happens on its platform, it is immediately killed off like a pathogen by the relentless swarm of dumb for which it is justifiably famous.

So it’s a safe bet that LLama AI is gonna be dumber and deader than a drowned dromedary in a matter of weeks.

In Asian market news, Japan’s Nikkei has dipped 0.3% this morning on news that fans of Harem in the Labyrinth of Another World – a popular anime series featuring “Roxanne”, a wolf-girl with implausibly large bosoms – are now able to indulge in an immersive multi-sensory experience to bring them closer to the character than ever before.

The anime’s publisher, Kadokawa, has released a body pillow and accompanying ASMR audio data bundle called A Night Spent with Roxanne, so pimply Western perverts can relax with the their head resting on the wolf-girl’s lap, while listening to her perform such classics as “ear puff puff, ear cleaning, oil massage, and close-contact hair washing”.

The bundle also includes the red-hot favourite “in bed together”, which I’m going to assume consists of 45 minutes of sleepy remonstrations on the topic of sexual inadequacy, followed by eight hours severe respiratory distress brought on by the combined weight of two grossly enlarged breasts and a desperate man on her chest.

The audio bundle costs US$10.25 for the initial purchase – and for the low, low price of just US$1,000, users can purchase the ability to make it stop.

In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has dipped 0.21% in early trade, while Shanghai’s flatter than an illegally-fished flounder as the markets there get warmed up for the day.

In crypto, Bitcoin saw something of a late-weekend rally yesterday, after SEC Chairman and semi-professional Disappointed Thumb impersonator Gary Gensler decided to go on another rant about how every cryptocurrency (with the exception of Bitcoin) is a security.



The bad news for Gary (and good news for crypto boffins) is this:



There’s more news from the world of crypto, and Rob “The Sunday Bouncer” Badman has all the deets over at Mooners and Shakers.



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

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.0015 50% 3,594,499 $6,464,886
CAV Carnavale Resources 0.004 33% 125,000 $8,200,655
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.002 33% 759,833 $23,463,861
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.002 33% 400,000 $5,143,211
TD1 Tali Digital Limited 0.004 33% 580,000 $8,325,467
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.004 33% 946,726 $1,219,638
4DS 4Ds Memory Limited 0.043 30% 46,214,735 $48,832,260
AUK Aumake Limited 0.005 25% 500,393 $3,497,788
CT1 Constellation Tech 0.005 25% 423,703 $5,884,801
SI6 SI6 Metals Limited 0.006 20% 84,900 $7,476,973
GTI Gratifii 0.014 17% 1,109,285 $12,091,765
CGS Cogstate Ltd 1.365 16% 1,068,235 $204,682,798
CXU Cauldron Energy Ltd 0.008 14% 30,123 $6,520,976
AVH Avita Medical 3.6 14% 764,594 $230,752,949
CHK Cohiba Min Ltd 0.0045 13% 710,963 $7,092,977
RFX Redflow Limited 0.21 12% 382,028 $33,697,380
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.028 12% 3,027,739 $14,374,592
OEC Orbital Corp Limited 0.195 11% 5,000 $20,475,584
EDE Eden Inv Ltd 0.005 11% 2,196,321 $13,191,421
LMLND Lincoln Minerals - Ordinary New 0.02 11% 201,200 $14,714,606
MGA Metals Grove Mining 0.155 11% 169,412 $5,040,070
MI6 Minerals260 Limited 0.325 10% 453,450 $64,900,000
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.0055 10% 21,623,849 $14,289,455
THR Thor Energy PLC 0.0055 10% 1,628,222 $7,378,064
M3M M3Mining 0.11 10% 20,000 $4,100,143
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Leading the way for Small Caps this morning is 4DS Memory (ASX:4DS), which has climbed 33.3% following an announcement that it’s had a turnaround in fortunes since letting the market know last October that testing its tech had gone somewhat poorly.

The good news for 4DS is that the team’s been hard at work since then and has managed to achieve cell operation in a megabit memory array utilising improved test capabilities.

“This allows further exploration of optimised programming conditions with the access transistors and write circuitry of imec’s megabit memory platform,” 4DS says, which indicates that the 4DS Interface Switching ReRAM cells are potentially more likely to be compatible with imec’s megabit memory platform, de-risking a fresh round of testing due to produce results in late Q2 2023.

Meanwhile, Security Matters (ASX:SMX) has gone soaring today, up 45% on no news since the company revealed that it received overwhelming support from shareholders for a capital reduction which would see all of its issued shares cancelled.

And lastly for this morning, Avita Medical (ASX:AVH) has continued its climb of recent days, putting on another 16.7% to take its boost since the beginning of 2023 to a very tidy 86.7%



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for February 27 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
TRM Truscott Mining Corp 0.068 -53% 695,237 $24,237,774
AQX Alice Queen Ltd 0.001 -33% 1,000,000 $3,795,431
KEY KEY Petroleum 0.001 -33% 399 $2,951,892
XST Xstate Resources 0.001 -33% 328 $4,822,772
OLI Oliver'S Real Food 0.04 -32% 129,880 $26,003,183
WCG Webcentral Ltd 0.1 -26% 2,370,084 $44,150,074
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.003 -25% 1,063,000 $46,166,633
PRM Prominence Energy 0.0015 -25% 315,622 $4,849,218
MRI My Rewards International 0.021 -25% 51,541 $5,725,497
SLX Silex Systems 3.96 -23% 3,100,611 $1,053,245,569
W2V Way2Vatltd 0.015 -21% 365,299 $4,182,886
SDG Sunland Group Ltd 1.38 -21% 543,717 $265,604,459
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.002 -20% 125,000 $13,364,013
ROG Red Sky Energy 0.004 -20% 1,511,000 $26,511,136
AKN Auking Mining Ltd 0.065 -20% 240,000 $14,451,583
DOW Downer EDI Limited 3.265 -18% 9,716,767 $2,659,431,769
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.0025 -17% 268,666 $10,513,618
OLY Olympio Metals Ltd 0.135 -16% 63,932 $6,271,443
APX Appen Limited 2.33 -15% 3,493,948 $339,477,479
NOU Noumi Limited 0.115 -15% 520,156 $37,409,758
XTE Xtek Limited 0.635 -15% 1,153,268 $75,812,469
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.006 -14% 2,616,579 $18,818,347
DCX Discovex Res Ltd 0.003 -14% 127,746 $11,558,988
FGL Frugl Group Limited 0.006 -14% 500,000 $2,132,039
PIL Peppermint Inv Ltd 0.006 -14% 951,506 $14,264,998
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