ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Who’s got the balls to deliver a cure for cancer today?
Local markets are doing ‘just okay’ this morning, despite a heart-stopping early dip when the bell rang to signal ‘game on’ at 10:00am.
Things recovered pretty quickly, though, and the benchmark began climbing and made it allll the way to +0.2%, before fading on the way to the lunch break to be less than 0.1% up.
It was always going to be a fuzzy morning – I am, along with the rest of the nation, breathlessly awaiting the RBA’s call on whether to apply further testicular torsion to Aussie borrowers this afternoon.
Three of the Big Four banks reckon they will. One of the Big Four banks is living in a fantasy world where there’s nothing to eat but a dessert buffet, with a chocolate fountain that oozes the panacea to the nation’s inflation problems.
But before that news drops (and, speaking of testicles and dropping), today – the 4th of July, 2023, brings with it a story that has everything a Stockhead Lunch Wrap news lead could ever need:
So, here goes…
Scientists at the University of Oxford have determined that massive, hot elephant balls might hold the key to a cure for cancer.
According to biology Professor Fritz Vollrath, elephants appear to have “developed anti-cancer genes to safeguard their temperature-sensitive sperm production”.
The reasoning behind it is quite simple: elephants, unlike just about every other mammal I can think of, keep their balls waaay up inside their body, which means that they’re considerably hotter than they are in other mammals, whose bollocks swing low like the sweet, sweet chariots of baby-gravy that they are.
The reason for that is quite simple, too, and it comes down to basic physiology, and fundamental physics.
Here’s what we know: Elephant skin is saggy and wrinkly at the best of times, and needs to be somewhat elastic because of how grossly obese they are.
An African bull elephant’s gonads weigh in at around 2kg apiece – roughly 50 times more than the heaviest of human sacks.
If you’ve ever seen a grown man naked, you’ll know that gravity – the force that holds our solar system together and stops us all from flying into the sun every time we stand up – takes a terrible toll on a fella’s bollocks.
So you can imagine that, were an elephant’s family jewels entrusted to an elastic-skin pouch, they’d be in constant contact with the ground by the time the trunky bugger was about five years old.
Hence, they’re kept inside the creature, safe from predators, stinging nettles and the elephant’s own hind feet.
And because they’re kept inside the body cavity, they are in a position where they’re far, far hotter than ideal. So, elephants have evolved a way of making sure that the excess heat of their guts doesn’t create horrifying mutant sperm, by packing their DNA with 20 copies of the TP53 gene.
That gene creates the p53 protein, which works to suppress cancer by helping to repair damaged DNA and to get rid of cells that cannot be repaired – which is precisely the sort of thing that would be very, very useful for fighting a disease that stems from the out-of-control over-production of damaged genes and cells and stuff.
Which is great news, considering that in years gone by, finding a cure for cancer inside an elephant’s balls would probably have involved either eating them, or at the very least giving them a vigorous rub for good luck.
Local markets are waiting impatiently for the RBA to tell us how badly we’re all going to be boned, as they weigh up the month’s good news (CPI fell more than expected) against the bad news (we all have too many jobs and we’re spending too much money on stuff) to figure out whether they can get away with raising interest rates again.
That’s due to happen early-mid afternoon today… but even if you’re not near a computer to read the news, if (more accurately, when) rates go up this arvo, you’ll be able to hear the howls of mortgage pain from just about anywhere in the country, if not the world.
As it stands, the ASX benchmark is flat at lunchtime, working hard to keep its head above water despite reaching as high as +0.2% around 11am.
Energy (0.65%) and Materials (+0.26%) are the only sectors really making much headway today – everything else is flat or below zero, with InfoTech (-0.49%) and Health Care (-0.44%) weighing heavy like a set of elephant knackers around the market’s neck.
Up the top end of town, The Fresh Food People’s actual fresh food people, Costa Group (ASX:CGC) is up a lot, climbing 11.3% this morning on news that Paine Schwartz Partners is prepping to shell out $3.50 per share to buy out Costa completely.
That price represents an 18.2% premium on Costa’s closing price yesterday of $2.96 per share, most of which is beard.
In the US overnight, Earlybird Eddy (who is, thank the gods, back from holidays) reports, Wall Street gained about 0.1-0.2% % in a shortened session on the eve of the 4th July Independence Day holiday.
Tesla surged 7% after delivering a record number of cars (466,140 units) in the second half, better than what analysts expected. The company will report its financial results for Q2 on 19 July.
Tesla’s surge boosted US battery maker stocks, as well as rival Rivian, which climbed 17.4%.
It’s been a good run for EV makers globally, with Chinese EV maker BYD also posting robust sales in China, topping Volkswagen for the first time.
In Japan, the Nikkei has fallen 0.91% this morning on news that the nation’s Top Scienticians have brought a brand-new FrankenFruit into the world.
Called the Melon Lemon (or Lemon Melon… my Japanese is rustier than a mountain bike in a bog swamp), it reputedly combines the best things about a melon (plump, round and pleasant to the touch) with a lemon (sour, acidic and terrible for putting in your eyes).
This abomination is now available for the bargain basement price of just $33 each, and are best served to friends and family who you don’t want coming around to your house anymore.
In China, Shanghai markets are flat, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is hangin’ in there, up 0.44% due to a dizzying fear of heights.
In crypto, BTC has apparently broken back through the US$31,000 mark because people are dumb, but also possibly because BlackRock has refiled its paperwork to get its BTC ETF off the ground, causing SEC chief Gary Gensler’s eyes to bulge out further than ever.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 4 [intraday]:
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In Small Caps news, it’s a couple of Health Care diagnostics firms duking it out for top spot today.
Leading the way is Atomo Diagnostics (ASX:AT1), which has added a hugely unexpected 97.2% this morning despite having absolutely nothing to say to the ASX.
That’s off the back of an equally mystifiying 55% climb yesterday for the company whose main claim to fame is an HIV diagnostics test that seems to be selling pretty well overseas, but that’s old news.
So… either something’s in the wings and there’s a leak, or ridiculous speccies on diagnostics companies are well and truly back on the menu… which is probably thanks to the next company on the list.
That’s yesterday’s outstanding winner, Lumos Diagnostis (ASX:LDX), which is up another 85% this morning, following on from yesterday’s 545% (yep – that’s five hundred and forty five per cent, in the old money) rocket ride, thanks to its respiratory infection diagnostics test gaining FDA approval for sale in the US.
And in third place, it’s NickelX (ASX:NKL), up 38% this morning, after it revealed that it’s got an option to acquire the historical Ransko (nickel-copper-cobalt) and Otov (hard rock lithium) projects in the Czech Republic.
At Otov — which includes a 260-year-old underground feldspar mine — spodumene crystals have been reported up to 70cm long, and the so-called Otov pegmatite is coincident with the feldspar mine and appears to be vertically zoned as spodumene increases with depth, NKL says.
The best part: Otov is one of 17 mapped pegmatites on the property, NKL says, all of which are unexplored by modern standards.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 04 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: