The ASX got off to decent start this morning, but eased quickly as the hours wore on to head into lunch just 0.15% in the black. That’s despite healthy sentiment and a decent lead-in from Wall Street’s strong finish to the week, especially in the tech department.

The US market is embracing better-than-expected inflation figures which investors appear to have interpreted as a signal that inflationary issues that have plagued the US economy for months are set to ease.

And it’s to the US that we’re turning for a quick look at the reason why the Texas rental market is clearly much, much better than in Australia, after one woman described to Fox News that her home has a number of highly unusual tenants.

Linda Hill, owner of Hill House Manor – a property she rents out in Gainesville – says that the home is haunted by a range of different ghosts.

“We’ve got kids, and we’ve got old people, old guys, and we’ve got hookers,” she – quite earnestly – told talkshow host Jesse Watters recently.

“The good thing about a ‘hooker’ ghost’ was that you do not have to pay it,” Hill said, adding: “They try to stir up business, but they can’t figure out a way to conclude the transaction, so nothing ever happens.”

Fox reports that the home has “been a popular spot in recent months for paranormal investigators staying the night to ‘figure out the alleged phenomena’” – which we suspect is code for “get groped in the middle of the night by someone with a bedsheet over their head that has eye holes cut in it”.

This is, obviously, a hugely risky endeavour in Texas, where night time visits from folks wearing “sheets with eye holes” usually don’t have happy endings at all.

Hill herself says she’s been visited by a ghost, when she was taking a shower and heard a man’s voice complimenting her on her appearance.

“He told me I was looking good. I said thank you and I asked him what he had been doing that day, and we had a conversation, and he left,” which is probably the least awe-inspiring ghost story ever told, and possibly proof that ghosts can’t see very well.

So if the place you’re renting is little more than a burning pile of garbage, or the people you’re renting to insist on turning the bathroom into a meth lab, you can breathe a little easier knowing that there is someone who’s got it worse than you – because their property is clearly packed to the rafters with spooky things that go “bump-bump-bump-bump-bump-that’ll-be-$60” in the night.

… and speaking of feeling dirty after leaving your money on the nightstand, let’s take a look at what tricks the markets are performing today.



The ASX kicked off reasonably enough when the bell went this morning, climbing 0.51% in early trade before slowly crumbling into negative territory as the sound of the lunch bell grew closer.

The Materials sector is pounding along nicely, up 3.51% for the morning, but it’s a real outlier in an otherwise very ordinary looking day – Energy’s up 1.0% and InfoTech is up 0.5%, probably on the back of a lift in tech stocks in the US on Friday.

But the rest of the Aussie market is well and truly languishing in the doldrums, being dragged towards a watery grave by a vortex of Industrials (-2.1%), Telcos (-1.8%) and Health Care (-1.8%).

Time, perhaps, to load them into the life rafts and push them loose – maybe they’ll clog up the whirlpool long enough for the rest of the market to catch a more favourable afternoon breeze.

There are a couple of Super Heavyweight Materials players making gains this morning, most notably iron diggers Fortescue (ASX:FMG) and Champion Iron (ASX:CIA), benefitting +9.85% and +10.67% respectively from a chunky 4.6% surge in spot ore prices this morning.

And Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) is up 8.38% as part of a lengthier upward trend and because it has “lithium” in its name, along with the only news from them this morning being CFO Simon Iacopetta has chosen to step down after four years in the role.

Iacopetta has indicated that he’ll be sticking around to ensure a smooth transition for whoever steps in to fill his shoes, so they don’t end up filling their trousers.

Not travelling too well this morning, however, is Flight Centre (ASX:FLT), which is holding its AGM today.

Chairman Gary Smith addressed the opening of the meeting, welcoming people back to the first in-person AGM since 2019, talking briefly about “a vastly improved trading environment”, “reduced travel restrictions around the world” and how the company “achieved an underlying EBITDA loss of $183 million”.

See if you can guess which bit investors heard loudest – FLT is down 4.53% so far today.

Let’s look at what’s been happening overseas, before Flight Centre starts charging more money to get there.



In the US, lots of stuff has happened. Politically, the Democrats have locked in control of the US Senate, after the much-vaunted “Republican Red Wave” failed to materialise, leaving the GOP most unhappy.

In Twitter news – which you better believe will be getting a solid recap this afternoon because it’s the closest thing to a palatable soap opera doing the rounds at the moment – Elon Musk has given the planet an absolute masterclass in the relentless delivery of uppercuts to his own chin.

But Wall Street turned in a solid Friday afternoon – pale in comparison to Thursday’s roof-raisin’, beat-droppin’, everybody in the club say “Hey-oh!” performance – with the major indices finishing higher, the S&P 500 by 1%, the Nasdaq by 2%, and Dow 0.1%.

It was especially good news for the big tech players, with, as Early Dude Eddy Sunarto reports, Netflix gaining 5.5%, Amazon 4% and Apple 2%.

The US market got a further boost after China started loosening strict Covid provisions, reducing the amount of time inbound travellers must spend in quarantine, while also pulling back on mass testing.

Chinese stocks listed in New York rose on the news as Nasdaq Golden Dragon Index rallied another 6.6% on Friday, adding to its 7.6% gain the previous day.

In Asia this morning, Japan’s Nikkei is heading south – not quite on a collision course with Australia, but still down 0.51% so far today and moving slowly enough that we’ll have plenty of warning from our friends in Papua New Guinea if they spot Japan off the coast.

In Shanghai, things are looking greener with markets there opening 0.44% higher this morning, and Hong Kong looks to be bucking all the trends, all at once, set to jump nearly 4.0% at open. Not bad for a Monday.

In crash-prone CryptoLand, this whole FTX thing just keeps getting worse and worse, with reports over the weekend that FTX CEO SBF is being held in The Bahamas with a few high-level team members, reportedly while seeking passage to Dubai where there aren’t extradition treaties to the US.

There is a huge amount of chatter around mysterious movements of massive sums of money out of FTX and into a sister company just before the wheels came off, with billions of dollars now missing (presumed dead) and a purported “hack” being blamed on a system backdoor that allegedly allowed “someone” to funnel the money out without alerting compliance officers.

The short version: if you couldn’t smell the stink before, it should be abundantly clear by now that crypto’s taken yet another kick in the guts, and there are a lot of people around to whom this legendary article from The Onion surely applies.

Rob “you could at least buy us dinner, first” Badman has more on this and the rest of crypto over at Mooners and Shakers. Trigger warning: it’s about Crypto.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for November 14 [intraday]:

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In Aussie Small Caps land, and today’s clear winner (so far) is Tambourah Metals (ASX:TMB), up 58.1% on news that “results of the recent 14 rock chip samples collected at the RJ 101 project … showed elevated Rb, Sn, Cs, Ta and Nb, which are indicators of Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatites”.

It’s only the second field trip for TMB out to the Russian Jack lithium Project, but it’s enough to have the company very excited to set about identifying and field testing newly recognised pegmatite swarms at several locations within this large project area.

TMB has also announced that it has purchased the 3.03km2 Tambina project from a private investor for $5000, consisting of a deposit of $1000 and the balance on transfer of title and Ministerial approval of Tambourah’s exploration program.

Meanwhile, Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ) is off and bolting again, adding 50% this morning on news that total depth of 3,618mMD has been reached at the company’s Mukuyu-1 well at its 80% owned SG 4571 licence in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin.

INV says that it has “continued to observe elevated gas shows and fluorescence through multiple reservoir intervals in the Upper Angwa until TD (total depth) was called” – a big result that has seen investors push Invictus to a 213.4% rise over the past week.


Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for November 14 [intraday]:

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