Kick Back: The 10 biggest stories you might have missed on Stockhead this week
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2021. What a time to be alive.
Joe Exotic has entered the Senate Chambers pic.twitter.com/GW9N9EQh9u
— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) January 6, 2021
The photos from inside the US Capitol Building in Washington DC yesterday were shocking and surreal. Not as shocking, though, as the fact one protestor died after allegedly being shot by an officer in riot gear. Inside the US Capitol Building.
It’s been a good 206 years since someone attacked Capitol Hill, back when British soldiers burned it down in 1814. Fourteen years later, the site got its own police force. Yesterday, 50 of them were injured in the melee. Another three people died from medical complications.
Although to be honest, with the deliberate and targeted inflammation from both sides (and sides operating outside the sides) over the past four years, the US is probably about to get through this transition relatively lightly.
D..kheads. This is what happens when technology gives everyone a voice. Elon Musk said it best:
This is called the domino effect pic.twitter.com/qpbEW54RvM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Still, through it all, peeps are still making money. Especially peeps into pot yesterday, when the other big outcome of the meeting on Capitol Hill became apparent – the Republicans actually might not be able to stop federal marijuana reform.
Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, called it:
“Senator Schumer’s ascension to Majority Leader will mark the first time in US history that the upper chamber is led by a Senator who is openly calling for cannabis legalization.”
It can’t come fast enough. The sooner everyone in the US is high on the couch with a massive bucket of cheeseballs, the better.
Here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week.
So clearly the first cab off the rank is how did Oz pot stocks respond to the news?
A scoreboard check in early afternoon trade showed the following:
– Eight stocks with double-digit daily gains (unusually good for cannabis)
– 26 companies trading in positive territory
– Just two stocks (out of 36) trading in the red.
The real question is – what relationship does ASX pot stock performance have with US legislation?
Okay, so the headline could be “AI and cybersecurity are tipped for big things in (insert year here)” and this would still stand up as our most popular post, most weeks.
So what’s different about 2021?
Well, the world’s gone mental, for starters. Nobody trusts anyone, or their information, any more. It’s never been clearer that serious disruption can be caused by a few keystrokes.
And now companies and workers are operating remotely, that cybah mischief playing field is expanding by the minute.
Emma Pudney, Asia-Pacific chief technology officer at Rackspace Technology, reckons the rapid reorganisation at the start of lockdowns now needs to be reconsidered.
“Because of the urgency, strategies that were implemented were not considered for the long term, creating the need to now go back and create future-proof plans,” she told Stockhead.
That, and a pending review of Australia’s Privacy Act, have these ASX small caps under the microscope.
Every time something crazy happens in the US, Bitcoin goes for another run. Cryptoconspiracy nutjobs be all like:
But even US investment bank JP Morgan is now saying it is possible for BTC to reach $US100,000 in 2021.
The most likely reason for that, according to Leigh Travers, executive director of ASX blockchain technology company DigitalX (ASX:DCC) is you’ve stopped reading and already clicked on that $100,000 link.
Elon Musk is the world’s richest person. Tesla hit a market value of $US700 BILLION this week. It’s worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.
All of which makes absolutely no sense at any other time than the year following 2020. Musk, however, understands that electric vehicle tax credits are worth more than actual vehicles.
Cold comfort to you at home, still sat watching $TSLA go through the roof and wishing you bought yesterday when you were still sat watching $TSLA go through the roof wishing you’d bought yesterday.
But you don’t need to pay $1000 a share to enjoy the ride. There are small caps right here in Australia enjoying the same uplifts due to their links to the EV boom, however tenuous.
So we reached out to our pool of contributing experts to tell us exactly what those stocks are.
While we had them and they were full of Christmas goodwill, we also asked those same experts:
Sorry experts. We only do it once a year.
There was a time before Bitcoin and Teslas and battery metals and BNPLs when folks used to make money by buying and selling houses. Huh.
Things got a bit out of hand though, when the tent cities began popping up. And when medians hit $1m, interest rates were CRIPPLING at 5%. Add to that, the exuberant daily pressers from various real estate institute types tend to dry up when the froth settles, leaving journos with no choice but to go out and actually find something to write about.
Anyhoo. Some opportunities arose in the Year of the Covid. Home sales slumped by a massive 40 per cent during the first wave in April.
Everyone went home to work… and something changed.
“As remote-working opportunities became more prevalent and demand for lifestyle properties and lower density housing options became more popular, regional areas of Australia saw housing market conditions surge,” CoreLogic said.
Guess which regional area in particular? If your first thought was:
You’re right. Regional Tasmania topped the pops in 2020 with an 11.9 per cent gain.
“But how does Spotify make money?” said everyone, especially given so many of its users use the service for free, kinda, and surely the world’s biggest hit songs aren’t cheap to sell?
Except they are, kinda. Because even if you pay pennies per play, Slade’s 1973 song ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ still generates an astonishing £500,000 in royalties for the band every Christmas.
Hipgnosis have spent £676m buying up the rights to those 13,000 songs and recently, they paid US$150m to Neil Young for a 50% right to his songs and their royalties.
Oh, and a certain Mariah Carey Christmas earworm that hit the UK’s No 1 spot for the first time in 26 years since it was released.
None of this is original. The Secret Broker was making money trading the rights to songs before little Mariah could warble. Back in those days, they were known as “250 Booseys at £1.03, firm for 5 minutes”.
Finally, iron ore prices slipped… back to just the $US165 per tonne. It may have something to do with reports China’s Ministry of Industry has called on the country’s steel industry to make some production cuts in the 2021 year.
But the fun part is just beginning on the other side of the iron ore-steel equation. Australian coking coal, remember, remains off limits to Chinese buyers as a result of an informal instruction from Beijing, according to reports.
So Chinese buyers are picking up cargoes of Canadian and US coking coal for prices of around $US200 to $US210 per tonne on a delivered-China price basis.
How much for comparable quality Australian coking coal, which is mostly shipped from Queensland?
The IPO season is off and running in 2021, having never actually stopped.
There are seven debutantes hitting the ASX in January – three tech stocks, two health companies, and two metals explorers.
One health company – TruScreen (ASX:TRU) – added an ASX listing to its UnZed listed status on Wednesday and is travelling at a steady pace, almost double its offer price of 7c a share.
Copper-cobalt-gold explorer Torrens Mining (ASX:TRN) is up 50 per cent on its 20c listing price.
Here’s the skinny on the rest of the January IPOs. And here’s why this fund manager ignores ’80-90 per cent’ of IPOs until they list.
That’ll do. Have a great weekend, and thanks for being a Stockhead.