There are certain things in life that pretty much everybody would agree are Not Good.

Somewhere up the top of humanity’s “Dude… not cool…” list is cannibalism – a quaint pastime that anthropologists (well, some of them) reckon fine young humans as a species have been doing for roughly 800,000 years.

It’s something best avoided, partly because it’s massively illegal just about everywhere, and also because it carries with it the risk of contracting a disease called Kuru, which is worth a quick aside, because it’s utterly terrifying.

When people eat each other’s brains, there’s a small chance they’ll end up consuming something called a prion – an ”abnormally folded” protein that latches onto other proteins and go all hardcore origami on them, turning them into prions, which then latch onto other proteins, and you can see where this is headed.

When that irreversible process hits critical mass (which can take decades), the infected person develops Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (Human Mad Cow), their brains fall apart inside their skulls, turning them into wildly-cackling zombies for a while and then they die.

Don’t do this. We don’t care how this started, just… don’t. Pic via Getty

But here’s the thing: The bored apes at the University of Brighton decided to look into whether there was any possible upside to cannibalism.

It’s clear that there is very little benefit to the person being consumed, but is it worth it – from a nutritional standpoint – to throw a few thick, juicy cuts of Dave on the barbecue while your buddies get on the cans in the backyard?

The science says a loud, clear and emphatic “nah… not really”, because it turns out we’re not all that nutritious.

Turns out, pound for pound, we are basically sentient pasta.

On the global “Is This Worth Eating” league ladder we are somewhere between tofu and avocado. Both of which are also unnatural and kinda gross.

To put that into vastly more scientific terms, we’ll need to do some back-of-a-greasy-napkin mathematics.

Based on an “average” human male weighing 80kg, we’ve got about 110,000 calories to offer the world.

To get the same calorie intake, you would need to eat 200 Big Macs – which, if you did, would push you well past the “average” 80kg mark, and we’d have to start doing the maths all over again, so please don’t.

Look… what we are trying to say is simple: Don’t eat people, it’s just not worth it, and if anyone is heading out at lunchtime, the Stockhead newsroom would be super-grateful if you could bring us some McDonald’s.

The lunch bell has rung, and the work experience kid is starting to complain to HR about the way we’re all looking at him.

 

TO MARKETS

Australian shares have jumped this morning, closing in on a 1.0% gain as the mining juggernaut shudders to the lunch break and lifts the ASX 200 towards a panic-relieving 2.5% gain for the week.

Energy and Materials have put in a solid morning’s work, lifting their game by 3.1% and 2.7%, undoing a chunk of the damage from earlier this week and on track to start the weekend around Monday’s levels.

However, the market turned its back on Consumer Staples this morning (-0.6%), with Real Estate and Telcos not far behind, both down around 0.4% as well.

To the top end of town, and whoever put together the powerpoint for yesterday’s investor presentation from Liontown Resources’ (ASX:LTR) investor day did a phenomenal job, turning up the sentiment dial, the shares up ~8.0% this morning.

Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) continued its most violent year, swinging up ~7.5% and Latitude (ASX:LFS) continues to pull bodies from the wreckage of last month’s scuttled HCF deal, finding 10% this morning on super-low AUD trade, tracking to end the week 20% the better.

On the unhappy side of the story, and possible investor concerns about Waistline Inflation saw the market tipping out of the junk food sector, with Domino’s (ASX:DMP) and Collins Foods (ASX:CKF) sliding like fry cooks on greasy kitchen tiles, down 2.6% and 3.3% respectively.

Imugene (ASX:IMU) had another rough morning (-3.1%) and tailored packaging and visual communications solutions company Orora (ASX:ORA) continued to bottle it, down another 5.5% this morning and heading towards the end of an imminently forgettable -10.0% week.

 

NOT THE ASX

In the US of A, things were looking up – not a tremendously difficult feat, considering how bleak it’s been Stateside as recession and interest rate issues kept investors awake at night.

However, economic data out this week has buoyed sentiment somewhat. The narrowing of the US trade deficit to $85.5 billion in May – its lowest level so far this year – certainly helped things along.

The S&P 500 was up by 1.50% while the tech heavy Nasdaq index surged by over 2%, and the Dow chugged along like the Little Engine that Should, up by 1.0%. Chipmakers were among the tech winners as Samsung reported a 21% sales jump in revenue for the full year.

And Carnival Cruise Ships rose from the depths like a Kontiki Tour on The Black Pearl, allegedly on news of a supply glut of close-up magicians and mediocre comedians which sae nearly 90% slashed from its operational budget estimates for 2024.

In Europe, and news that British PM Boris Johnson’s web of thick, sticky lies has put an end to his thick, sticky political career saw markets there jump more than 1.0%.

Johnson has reportedly officially handed in his notice, but is refusing to move out from the PM’s residence at Number 10, for reasons that he – and only he – can fathom.

Meanwhile in Asia, and the numbers there tell us that it’s been a pretty positive morning all round. As usual for the week, Japan’s Nikkei led the charge (+1.4%), Hong Kong followed suit (+0.7%) and Shanghai pulled a bit of a Boris, refusing to budge from just above zero.

Oil prices climbed briefly above US$104 a barrel before heading towards lunch showing a 0.5% loss, and natural gas fell 1.89%.

Gold inched up a meagre 0.1%, while silver (-0.1%) and copper (-1.1%) didn’t perform nearly as well.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 8 [intraday]:

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Some big dollars for small cap vanadium outfit TNG (ASX:TNG) sent its price soaring this morning. A Letter of Support from Export Finance Australia for up to $300 million of debt funding for the construction of TNG’s flagship 100% owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the NT spurred interest in the company to the tune of nearly 40.0%.

Recent interest in Conico (ASX:CNJ) continued this morning, with a high volume changing hands to push its price up 25.3%, and  lithium diggers Charger Metals (ASX:CHR) was on track for an excellent week’s return, up more than 30.0% for the morning and storming towards a 45% gain since Friday last.

Meanwhile, Tempest Minerals (ASX:TEM) fell sharply as the market thumbed its nose at downhole electromagnetic survey results from the Orion target at its Meleya Project in WA, down by more than 36% by lunchtime.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for June 21 [intraday]:

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