ASX Small Caps Lunch Wrap: Whose new killer app will be the death of society as we know it?
Local markets aren’t exactly inspiring a lot of confidence today, dropping 0.8% at open – far lower than the ASX 200 Futures Index was pointing pre-market – before doing its darndest to win the pool-side limbo contest, falling as low as -1.1% by lunchtime.
If today was a movie, we’d be just getting into the meat of Act 2 – and I promise you that I’d have switched it off to go play Minecraft, instead, because life is too short for long, boring tear-jerkers like this.
Or, if I was actually a “normal” person, I’d most likely be thumb-scrolling my way through the endless banality of Facebook, smiling grimly at just how visibly painful everyone on my friends list’s lives have become.
Sure, their mouths are smiling in all the photos, but their eyes… they tell a very different story.
True, only four (possibly five) of my Facebook friends have ever tried to eat me alive, miles from shore on the open ocean. But I recognise the bleak desperation.
“Our lives are great,” the photos say.
“But really, they’re not,” those eyes chime in.
That’s obviously just a typically long-winded way for me to show how hip I am about my strong dislike for Facebook – matched only by my equally disdainful feelings about Twitter.
But the social media landscape is about to undergo a bit of a shake-up, because Meta Platforms, the lumbering world-destroying behemoth that Mark Zuckerberg has built from its early incarnation of a college girl creepshots platform – is about to launch what many are calling a Twitter Killer.
Called “Threads” – because, presumably, “F..k You, Musky” was taken – the basic premise is simple. Leverage an existing massive userbase, the visual lure of Instagram and Facebook’s ability to turn every comment into a raging argument in less than 30 seconds, in order to wipe out the only real competition for noise-share in the social media market.
Meta is clearly hugely confident in the new product – so much so, that it hit the launch button a day earlier than planned, unleashing Threads on more than 100 unsuspecting countries around the world.
“Our vision is to take the best parts of Instagram and create a new experience for text, ideas and discussing what’s on your mind,” Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an Instagram post after Threads was made available for download. “I think the world needs this kind of friendly community, and I’m grateful to all of you who are part of Threads from day one.”
Let me break that statement down for you:
Straight off the bat, surely everyone knows that the mere existence of the Instra-crowd is an affront to the intelligence of our species already.
It’s bad enough that we have to look at them, so giving them a microphone is an appallingly terrible idea.
But, I’ll admit that beyond that shallow view, the launch of Threads is a smart move.
It’s no secret that Musk’s efforts to change Twitter have become a lesson in how not to run a company, so there’s a gap in the market.
Several people have tried to fill that gap. Mastodon is a thing (but most folks I’ve spoken to either aren’t aware of it, or wish that they didn’t), and Donald Trump’s Truth Social app exists as the obvious place to insert the hose each time the internet requires an enema.
And there’s a small part of my brain that just won’t stop ringing with the theory that Zuck and Musk have been working together this whole time… Zuckerberg could very easily have bought Twitter out completely.
But even the most famously free-market thinkers among the US regulators would have killed that deal on the spot as anti-competitive monopoly building.
So my theory is that Zuck went to Musk, and went halvsies on buying Twitter – giving Musk the megaphone platform he wanted to show the world how utterly hilarious he is and how little he cares about setting fire to enormous piles of money.
And Zuck gets to kill his main rival, making a Threads-sized hole in the market for him to stick his latest digital dongle in.
How it all pans out is anyone’s guess – but with Zuck’s “Twitter Killer” working in cahoots with this Instagram “Realism and Ego Killer” and the Facebook “Friendships and Family Killer”, I’d say we’re sleepwalking our way even further into a dystopian, always-online horror story.
I can hardly wait… but in the meantime, you can find us here: https://www.threads.net/@stockheadau
The ASX 200 benchmark started badly and only got worse on the journey from kick-off to lunch, falling to -1.1% at sandwich time, thanks to every sector ever having a low-effort start to the day.
At the time of writing, there’s one sector showing a profit, and that’s InfoTech on +0.02% – if it keeps this up, we’ll collectively be able to afford a packet of chewing gum to share for dinner.
Remember: Four chews per person, and please don’t “accidentally” swallow it, or the 150,000 people behind you in the queue will have to wait hours before getting their turn.
At the bad end of the market, Materials is down 1.91%, Consumer Discretionary’s down 1.38%, Financials is down 1.02%, Energy’s down 0.89% and – I’m not gonna lie – I’m just down in general thinking about it all.
Even the goldies are doing it tough today, with the XGD ASX All Ords Gold Index showing a -1.86% drop, leaving it slumped in its easy chair in the corner of the living room, like it’s been put into a coma by another four-hour overdose of the ABC’s “It’s just like Sunrise, only beige!” News Breakfast marathon.
There are no Large Cap winners worth mentioning for now, but Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) is down 6% after informing the market that new non-executive director Peter Hodgson has been brought onto the board.
Investors seem unhappy about the news, but I feel I should warn you that Hodgson is fresh from his role on the board at the ASX-listed Judo Bank, which means he’s probably got the martial arts moves necessary to make mincemeat of anyone he’s got beef with, so be nice.
Looking overseas, and the US came back from its Independence Day shooting spree (just the 20 dead, 126 injured this year – not a joke, just the facts) in time for the release of the June Fed Reserve meeting minutes.
They put Wall Street into an even worse mood than before, leaving both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq -0.2% lower, on learning that despite keeping rates on hold in June, Jerome “I’ll sink your battleship” Powell and his cronies really wanted to put rates up, but didn’t.
Analysts believe the upcoming CPI report on July 12 will determine whether or not the Fed will hike in July. But, really, analysts believe a lot of things, so take whatever they say with a grain of salt.
To stock news, US chip stocks mainly fell after China said it will curb some metal exports used in producing semiconductors, Earlybird Eddy Sunarto wrote this morning.
In Japan, the Nikkei is down another 1.0% this morning, after news broke that a Russian hacker group called LockBit has attacked Japan’s largest cargo handling hub at the Port of Nagoya.
The port looks after some of the country’s biggest names in exporting, including the Unbreakable Toyota Motor Corp, so if you’ve got a new HiLux on backorder, you might like to assume the brace position… it’s gonna be delayed.
The issue began about 6:30am, Asian Whale Hunting Time, when a port worker’s computer woudn’t boot, and instead flashed a warning screen alerting them that the machine had been infected with LockBit 3.0 ransomware.
Reports vary on how much the hackers are demanding to unlock the port’s computers, but as I understand it, Port of Nagoya authorities are compiling a list of items including “several billion Yen worth of crypto, a selection of ‘Western Roll and Rock Compact Music Discs’, 9 pairs of denim jeans (sizes Large to XXXL) and ‘20 cases of decadent Coca Cola fizzy caffeine drink’”.
In China, Shanghai markets are up because Russian hackers aren’t allowed to ply their trade there, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is down 1.0% this morning because the weather’s a bit crap.
In crypto news, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s efforts to absorb the entire planet are continuing apace.
The Finkerator has gone 150% Bull on BTC, saying stuff like “I do believe the role of crypto is digitalizing gold, in many ways”, “money money mun mun mun mun money”, and “Gary Gensler looks like an alien that’s just been surprise by his own anal probe”.
Only one of those quotes is genuine, and I’ll leave it up to Rob “Professor Probe” Badman to tell you which one it is, over at Mooners and Shakers.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 07 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
In happy Small Caps news (and speaking of toilet-related tech), local cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge (NZX, ASX:PEB) is staging a remarkable comeback from its recent disastrous slump that wiped a pile of market cap off the company’s value.
Changes to US Medicare – via a mechanism called a Local Coverage Determination (LCD) – were set to have the company’s urine-sniffing genomic biomarker Cxbladder test for bladder cancer essentially rendered financially unviable for use on 17 July.
However, PEB’s been informed that two companies, Novitas and First Coast, are delaying implementation of the LCD, handing a stay of execution for Pacific Edge.
At the time of writing, PEB is up 110% to $0.183 – a solid jump, but still well below the $0.38 it was trading at prior to getting the nasty LCD news in late June of this year.
Regeneus (ASX:RGS) – another local health tech – is showing an 88.9% jump to $0.017 for no reason. If I figure it out, I’ll tell Rob to tell you later in Closing Bell.
Alma Metals (ASX:ALM) has cranked out a 50% gain on news that a promised upgrade for its Briggs copper project in Central Queensland has arrived in style, with contained copper resources more than doubling to the 1 million tonne mark.
Copper’s still running hot for investors, and this is great news for Alma – the upgrade at Briggs now boasts Inferred Resource of 415Mt grading 0.25% copper and 31 parts per million (ppm) molybdenum, well above the previous estimate of 143Mt at 0.29% copper, which places it in the top 10 undeveloped copper projects in Australia.
And lastly, the good news just keeps rolling in for Titan Metals (ASX:TTM), after the company came out of a trading halt clutching a headline that screamed “Maiden JORC Resource at Dynasty of 3.1Moz Gold and 22Moz Silver”.
Titan says the numbers have stacked up to reach and Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 43.54Mt at 2.23g/t Au & 15.7g/t Ag for a contained 3.12 million ounces of gold and 21.98 million ounces of silver.
Clearly, this is huge.
“The completion of a JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resource for Dynasty is a fantastic achievement, which represents a significant milestone,” Titan boss Melanie Leighton said. “It is the culmination of a massive body of work, including validation of historical data, considerable QAQC, and 3D geological modelling.”
“Titan is in a prime position to rapidly grow the resource, with resource extension drill testing set to commence in the coming month, along with the continuation of exploration work programs across priority targets identified in exploration work currently underway at the Papayal and Trapichillo prospects,” she added.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 07 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Alma Metals is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.