Happy Halloween, all you ASX monsters… it’s the scariest day of the year™, so of course the market has set out to shock us all by opening with a 1.12% jump-scare.

And, because today is all about monsters and fear and things that make us feel a bit queasy in the night, let’s have a super-brief look into what’s happened since Friday, when Elon Musk took over at Twitter and proceeded to put several people to the sword, in more ways than one.

There have been some… developments – and while we don’t have time to bring all the gory details, we do have time for a bit of a highlights package.

As we mentioned on Friday, before the ink was even dry on the picture of a battery-powered rocket that Mr Musk drew next to the bit on the contract that says “Sign Here”, Twitter’s new owner had the company’s CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde fired.

This was not a huge surprise.

According to the National Centre for Contagion Research, and independent group whose mission is to identify and forecast  cyber-social threats, use of “The N-Word” spiked more than 500% in the first 12 hours after the deal was signed.

 

 

This, also, was not a huge surprise.

Musk himself took to Twitter to post a completely unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about the hammer attack that left billionaire investor Paul Pelosi with horrific head injuries, suggesting that Pelosi was drunk and having a dispute with a male prostitute.

This, also… not a huge a surprise.

Musk even used Twitter’s “@” functionality to make sure that the tweet was delivered straight to Hillary Clinton… Again, not a surprise.

Musk then bottled out and deleted the tweet, which is about as surprising as the sun coming up in the morning.

But, Twitter being Twitter – and also, unsurprisingly – that tweet was saved and reposted:

 

 

It’s clearly an unsustainable level of totally unsurprising events on Twitter, and we can barely wait until something surprising actually happens… Someone, please, wake us up when it does.

 

TO MARKETS

After leaping out of the gate early, the ASX 200 has eased steadily as the morning wore on, dropping to around +0.60% before it was time to unbuckle the lunch pails.

Across the sectors, it seems that everybody’s happy – except for Energy (-0.32%) and Materials (-0.09%)… but those two are often grouchy on a Monday morning. Glug-glug, wink-wink, and no prizes for guessing why.

InfoTech is, however, having a blinder today, leading the market with a 2.25% lift this morning, Utilities (+1.55%) and Consumer Discretionary (+1.42%) in hot pursuit.

In the $600+ A-Reserve Seats, ARB Corp (ASX:ARB) is up 6.3% on no particular news. But as we roll into summer, Aussies who like to drive expensive things into the bush and try not to break them will be no doubt turning their thoughts to how many more bullbars they can attach to the front of their Range Rovers before the front axle collapses entirely.

Elsewhere, Pushpay (ASX:PPH) is still on the rise in the wake of a takeover bid announced last week, up 8.5% to $1.15 – still a few cents shy of the per-share offer on the table – and both Graincorp (ASX:GNC) and Home Consortium (ASX:HMC) are up, 7.5% and 6.5% respectively, on no particular market-moving announcements.

Time to look overseas…

 

NOT THE ASX

The talk of the town over the weekend was Wall Street’s performance on Friday, which brought more bangers than a British pub lunch and saw markets there close with some fat, juicy gains.

The S&P was the lowest of the major indices on +2.46%, behind the Dow (+2.58%) and the tech heavy Nasdaq, which climbed 2.87% after a few days of being hit with a stick thanks to poor performances from the big end of Tech Town.

Steady Eddy Sunarto reports that the power surge from the tech sector was led by the likes of Intel Corp (up 11%) and Apple (up 7.5%), however that was “despite economics data showing that pricing pressures are not slowing fast enough to justify a less aggressive Fed rate hike this week”.

On Tuesday, the RBA and US Fed are scheduled to make their call on rates while the Bank of England will make its call on Thursday.

The consensus is for the Fed to hike by 75bp again, while the RBA is tipped to raise its cash rate by 50bp (from 25bp last month) just half an hour before Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, which will likely make absolutely zero immediate difference to the rampant lunacy Australia endures on the first Tuesday of November every year.

In Asia, Hong Kong markets have fallen 0.96% and Shanghai has dipped 0.37%. Japan’s decided that it likes the way the Aussie markets are moving this morning, putting on 1.14%… hardly surprising on the most monsteriffic day of the year, though.

Over at the Commodities desk, and the morning’s shaping up to be broadly positive, with oil down slightly (-0.06%), however, natural gas is on full thrust-plus-afterburners today, roaring up by 6.28% in the early hours of trading.

Copper has dropped 0.25%, silver’s close by at -0.22% and gold is flatter than a 100-year-old communion wafer, just 0.02% higher so far today.

In the Craven Land of Crypto, Dogecoin has gone galloping as fast as its little legs would carry it all weekend, outperforming the market and most likely because Musk managed to pull off a show-stopping ‘fart, leap and whistle’ at the “I own Twitter and You Don’t” party he probably threw but we weren’t invited to.

Meanwhile, BTC has dipped but remains above the psychologically important US$20k barrier, with ETH hot on its heels. Heading downward. Not in value. You’d have heard about it before now if it was.

Anyway, Rob “The Halloween Crypto Keeper” Badman is handing out Mars Bars loaded with  razor blades and all the rest of the crypto news over at Mooners and Shakers. Read it, it’s jolly good fun. Except for the razor blades.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for October 31 [intraday]:

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The week leading up to Melbourne Cup Day just keeps on delivering, as aversion to risk goes sailing out the window and Small Caps investors go plums-deep in a daily moneyfight – and this morning, the beneficiary of all that gusto and gumption is Carbon Revolution (ASX:CBR).

The company whose name sounds like a 1980s video arcade classic has shot up 83% since open, after it released a quarterly this morning boasting Q1 FY23 revenue of $10.4 million, a spine-melting 66.2% growth over pcp.

The Victorian-based manufacturer of lightweight wheels for midlife-crisis machines says that the lift can be tracked in-part to Ford’s decision to offer its wheels as a snazzy option in its new Mustang core vehicle program.

Cannon Resources (ASX:CNR) is also on a charge, with the board recommending that shareholders agree to a takeover offer from private equity firm Kinterra that has a juicy all-cash $0.45c per CNR share on the table.

The price represents a 43% premium to Cannon’s last closing price and 58% premium to 30-day VWAP, and has the Cannon leadership team positively pushing for investors to say yes to get the conditional offer past the 50.1% threshold for the deal to go through.

Terms of the deal include protection mechanisms including no shop, no talk and no due diligence restrictions (which, we assume, supersede any existing ‘no ifs, no buts, no coconuts’ terms in place).

As is always the case, the company’s trading price made a beeline for the bottom end of the offer, which will remain in place until the deal is done, or a better offer comes along.

But it’s not-so-happy news for Koba Resources. On 27 October, KOB put out an announcement that it had staked a lithium play in Canada that was along strike from something great and close to a couple of other Good Things.

The market went bananas, KOB’s price went on the beginnings of what was almost certain to be a magnificent jump – 136% to be precise – before trading was unexpectedly paused, and then halted.

It was a head-scratcher which, after much discussion in the office, had most of us figuring that KOB had a cap raise on the cards – but we were wrong. Someone, somewhere had made a terrible mistake.

An amended announcement hit the market this morning, which included some additional info on the JORC table from the initial announcement: the 81 holes listed on that table contain “no material results … other than the intersection of several pegmatites during exploration for uranium (that were not assayed for lithium)”.

Trading resumed for KOB this morning. It’s already down 27%.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for October 31 [intraday]:

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