Local markets are lower this morning, dipping slowly (if not particularly gracefully) down  below zero to approach -0.55% after a little over an hour of play, with every sector in the red to some degree.

… look, I’m going to be honest here. It’s my first day back at work after more than a month of sick leave, so I’m kinda just having a bit of a stab in the dark when I suggest that this morning’s dip is entirely America’s fault.

My reasoning is, of course, pretty specious (or, as I like to think of it, 100% Bang on the Money) – Wall Street turned in a mixed bag overnight after inflation there eased – but I’ve learned over the years that if there’s ever a chance to sink the boot into the Yanks, you take it and make the most of it.

Granted, America was dealing with the long-anticipated sequel to Arthur Miller’s theatrical classic Death of a Salesman with the announcement of Henry Kissinger accepting a starring role in the one-man sequel, Death of a Statesman.

There will no doubt be much hand-wringing and fond remembrances of Kissinger from world leaders over the coming days, but… on reflection, even the most hardened of souls would have to admit that he was “a bit of a bastard”.

His fondness for goading US presidents into killing countless thousands of hapless people on the other side of the planet is the stuff of hawkish military legend.

So, no doubt US investors had a bit of a rough day yesterday as the country’s politica and business elite dealt with that news – but it was likely nowhere near as tough a day as it was for one Ohio lawyer, who got suspended by that state’s Supreme Court for one of the most baffling behavioural outbursts I’ve heard of in quite some time.

Criminal defence attorney Jack A. Blakeslee is reportedly going to spend the next 12 months on the legal sidelines in Ohio, for the grievous crime of … lemme just re-check my notes to make sure i’ve got this correct … s..tting in a Pringles tin and throwing it at a victims of crime advocacy centre.

Yeah… a real head-scratcher, that one.

Authorities claimed that Blakeslee had deliberately targeted the organisation, noting that he was recorded on video poo-bombing the group’s parking lot just 15 minutes before he was due to go up against them in court, where he was representing a client on a capital murder charge.

So the stakes were, obviously, pretty high.

However, in his own defence, Blakeslee told the Supreme Court that it wasn’t a targeted attack – and, in a stunning show of precisey how to dig yourself into an even deeper hole – claimed that he was quite fond of crapping in a can and throwing it out the window of his car in November 2021.

Hammering home his point, he made it very clear to the court that this was the 10th time that year he’d pulled the prank – making a fair case that when it comes to sh..ting in a Pringles tin, the company slogan rang very true indeed.

“Once you pop, you can’t stop”, indeed.

 

TO MARKETS

Things aren’t going so well for the ASX this morning, after a weird lead-in from Wall Street overnight left local investors on a somewhat less than stable footing.

It’s a tough beat for a Friday morning, coming on the heels of three pretty solid days of positive movement for the benchmark – but as we roll into lunch, it’s a beleaguered InfoTech sector leading the losses, with both Consumer Staples and Discretionary along for the pity party as well.

The InfoTech dip mirrors that of the US Nasdaq, which defied the rest of the US market by losing ground overnight.

The best performing local sector at lunchtime is Utilities – but even that’s about 0.25% shy of having a happy day, which is slightly surprising given the telegraphing from OPEC+ of an upcoming supply cut, to the tune of 1 million barrels a day.

It’s a call that’s been looming for a short while now, and the fact that it’s come and gone with barely a glistening ripple suggests that the market had already priced it in well before someone hit “print” on the press release.

 

asx winner Dalaroo
Chart via Marketindex.com.au

 

There are a couple of Big Players making gains this morning, including Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN). The uranium digger has banked a solid 5.7% gain so far this morning on no particular news, either from the company or in terms of recent uranium price movement.

Similarly, mining services mob Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) is enjoying a morning in the sun, popping just shy of 4.8% into the happy side of the ledger while the bulk of the market wallows.

 

NOT THE ASX

News out of the US was mixed overnight – markets and otherwise. From Wall Street, the message was great for everything but the tech sector, with the S&P 500 up by +0.38%, the blue chips Dow Jones index up by +1.47%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq down by -0.23% at the end of the session.

The headline economic news from the US was the continued cooling of inflation, after THE US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index – the Golden Child of indices for the US Fed – grew 3% year over year, down from 3.4% in September.

Earlybird Eddy Sunarto says that US traders are currently pricing in a 75% chance of an interest rate cut by the end of the Fed’s May meeting.

In US Stock news, data cloud company Snowflake surged 7% after quarterly earnings beat and an upbeat outlook for the quarters to come.

Social media stocks Pinterest and Snap Inc rose 2.4% and 6.55% respectively after rating upgrade from Jefferies to “buy” from “hold”.

In Asian market news, Japan’s Nikkei is flat today, registering a -0.08% downward blip, while – at the time of writing – there’s not a lot happening in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for 1 December [intraday]:

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

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Leading the Small Caps charge this morning is mining minnow Dalaroo Metals (ASX:DAL), which has ridden some good news all the way to the top of the charts.

Delta Lithium (ASX:DLI) has purchased Dalaroo’s lithium, caesium and tantalum mineral rights holus bolus from the Lyons Creek project in WA’s Gascoyne region, for a very tidy $1 million package, with Dalaroo retaining the mineral rights to ‘everything else’ at the site.

$500,000 of that is headed Dalaroo’s way in the form of cold, hard cash – the rest is tied up in half a mil’s worth of Delta shares. In addition, Delta is on the hook to expend a minimum of 50% of the annual statutory expenditure requirements on the Lyons River Project tenements (a commitment of $280,000 per annum at the date of the Sale Agreement) for three years.

Dalaroo says that the sale not only boosts its coffers quite nicely, but also frees the company up to spend more time and energy focussing on its newly outlined Goodbody gold prospect, Browns 3.5km X 2km Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu prospect and View Hill rare earth element prospect at the Lyons River project.

Delta Lithium is trading 4.2% lower this morning, in case you were wondering.

Coming in second this morning is Hubify, which has jumped around 40% on no fresh news – indeed, the next big mover with any news is Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC), on some pretty thin news now that I’ve looked at it more closely.

“Preparations are in progress for a second reconnaissance trip, placing a particular focus on our Itinga Prospect, situated roughly ~15km from major spodumene projects being developed by Lithium Ionic and Sigma Lithium,” the company says.

In summary: “We’re planning to go take a look at some stuff” has translated into a 33% jump in trading price this morning.

Nice work if you can get it.

In third place (with news) is Mitre Mining (ASX:MMC), which is enjoying a 37% jump to $0.27 per share, in the wake of an investor presentation that was hot off the presses this morning.

Highlights of the presentation include a reminder that the company is perched on the precipice of a ready-to-go underground & open pit silver-gold mine in the Deseado Massif, Chile.

Mitre counts such mining luminaries as Newmont, Yamana, Anglo Ashanti and McEwen Mining as neighbours in the region, which has obviously struck a chord with local investors on the hunt for some positive vibes on an otherwise sour morning on the bourse.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for 1 December [intraday]:

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

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