It’s a big day today for space nerds, because at 10.30pm EST tonight, NASA is letting off one of its biggest firecrackers to mark a new phase in mankind’s quest to walk awkwardly on the moon.

The Artemis 1 test flight is set to blast off, powered by the biggest Burning Penis NASA has ever sent soaring, from the very same carpark that saw the likes of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (and that other unlucky fella that they made wait in the car whose name no one remembers) fly to the moon 50 years ago.

It’s just a test flight this time around – NASA’s been burnt before by trying to rush people into (and out of) space – so the lunar capsule will contain a sole occupant, Commander Moonikin Campos, a crash-test dummy specifically designed to withstand the rigours of having a terrible name.

Critics of the program have already called the entire thing an egregious waste of money, pointing out that it’s highly typical of NASA to design a moonshot where the stated aim of the 42-day mission is to not land on the moon.

Instead, the capsule will fly around it for a bit, poop out a dozen shoe-box sized satellites like a scared little Space Bunny, and – hopefully – come home in one piece.

North Korea has already pre-emptively described the mission as “needless American provocation” and “a disastrous failure”, pointing out that the capsule will have returned to earth “with no signs of life on board”.

Whether the mission goes as planned and proves that NASA’s superbrains are capable of basic maths, or it blows up on the launchpad and sparks a flurry of “shoulda gone to SpaceX” tweets from Elon Musk, it’s undoubtedly an exciting moment for anyone who’s ever looked at the moon, and wondered what would happen if it fell on them.

In honour of this mighty achievement, we think it’s only fitting to close out this report with one of the greatest odes to human space endeavours – Elton John’s hit single Rocket Man, as interpreted by space god William Shatner.



Aussie markets have done the precise opposite of (most of) NASA’s rockets, plunging 1.78% on open this morning, finding a floor back beneath the psychologically important 7,000 mark.

It’s probably safe to say that this is entirely Jerome Powell’s fault, after an appalling reaction on Wall Street to his Jackson’s Hole speech on Friday, in which he doubled-down on his previous doubling-downs about tightening monetary policy.

Across the sectors, and the claret’s flowing like the ASX has stepped into a time machine and turned into Game 2 of the 1995 State of Origin series.

Taking the worst of the beating was the already-bleeding Telco sector (-4.15%), with a number of sectors not far behind.

Consumer Staples (-0.92%) and Industrials (-1.08%) are travelling okay, looking likely to be the only two capable of walking out the doors under their own steam this afternoon.

Almost-unbelievably, there are some Billionaire’s Club winners this morning, with A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) up +8.44% after squeezing out a teat-engorging profit report this morning, much to the delight of investors who have been watching the beleaguered milker get progressively more sour in recent times.

Also having a blinder was MacMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS), which shot up a sonnet-worthy +8.91% this morning off the back of its FY22 performance reports that proved, unquestionably, that all the world’s a stage, and we are all merely playaz.

Among the big kids, there were a couple that took some heavy head-knocks, most notably Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) which fell 10.5%, giving back the lion’s share of the gains it made from its barnstorming rise in profits earlier in the month.

And data centre operator NextDC (ASX:NXT) appears to have chosen the worst possible day to bring good news to the market, releasing a positive FY22 report that included a $32.8m YoY net profit turnaround to end up nearly $10m in the green.

“Not Good Enough!” cried the market, however, before jettisoning NXT’s price out into the briny deep, where it sank -10.5%. Glub glub glub.

Since the local news is about as welcome as a turd in a picnic hamper, let’s see if things are any better overseas.



Oh. They’re not.

Firstly, let’s look at the US, which Our Man Eddy Sunarto has very helpfully summed up for us already.

The finger of blame is pointed squarely up Jerome Powell’s Jackon’s Hole (speech, that is), where he said the Fed must continue to raise interest rates to stop inflation from becoming a permanent aspect of the US economy.

It took Powell just eight minutes to take a Tonya Harding-like hammer to the knees of global markets, with his insistence that the Fed must keep driving up interest rates “until the job is done” proving such a crowd-pleaser, he said it twice.

“These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain,” he added, pointing to the successful Volcker disinflation in the early 1980s that had followed multiple failed attempts to lower inflation over the previous 15 years.

“A lengthy period of very restrictive monetary policy was ultimately needed to stem the high inflation,” Powell noted. “Our aim is to avoid that outcome by acting with resolve now.”

If Powell’s intent was to steady everyone’s nerves while preparing the US for a bit more pain before bananas can cost less than $1,000 a bunch again, it was about as successful as a North Korean missile launch.

The Nasdaq, S&P and Dow were all down more than 3.0% apiece before, mercifully, someone managed to ring the closing bell to stop the bloodshed.

In Asia, they’re having a morning to forget as well – Japan’s Nikkei is down 2.82%, Hong Kong is faring slightly better at -1.20% and Shanghai’s implementation of China’s “Do The Opposite of America All the Time” policy hasn’t quite worked out, with markets there down 0.5% for the morning.

Over the commodities desk, it’s a good morning to be into lubricants and flatulence, and a bad day to be hoarding shiny things.

Oil and Natural Gas are up 1.04% and 2.68%, while gold (-0.79%), silver (-1.66%) and copper (-2.06%) have also fallen victim to today’s downturn.

Over in the Crypto Zoo, where everything’s a coin toss and the apes fling virtual poo, they’re blaming Jerome Powell’s speech for a broad sell-off that took crypto back under the trillion-dollar market cap again.

There’s a bit to unpack, so it’s worth having a read of Rob Badman’s Mooners & Shakers this morning, if only to grab a peek at the whitest of white-guy rap performances ever caught on video. Trust us – it’s worth it.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 29 [intraday]:

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We’ve established that today’s not been a good one so far, so let’s focus on some positive news out of the Small Cappers – namely, a couple of miners that are cranking hard for the heavens this morning.

Leading the charge is Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL), after revealing a massive sulphides hit at its Callisto palladium dig.

Galileo is reporting drilling at Callisto palladium discovery has intersected massive sulphide mineralisation including 1.25m of massive sulphides logged within a larger 29.1m zone of disseminated and stringer sulphides.

It’s early days for the current drill program, with only 528m of the proposed 2,000m program complete, but that was enough for investors to get all squealy and thrust Galileo more than 36% higher.

Also winning big this morning was Dart Mining (ASX:DTM), which has rocketed up 37% this morning on no particular news – but we reckon it’s worth mentioning that Stockhead’s own  all-round super-genius and possible practitioner of money-making witchcraft Barry Fitzgerald absolutely nailed his prediction on Friday.

You can read Barry’s scarily-accurate prediction here, where you’ll not only learn Important Stuff, but also get to experience the unbridled terror of having Barry’s ultra-stern gaze peer directly into your soul, as he determines whether you, personally, are a worthwhile investment.

Joining the broader market debacle this morning were more Small Caps than you could swing a fairly big stick at.

Outside of the penny dreadfuls, it was SIV Capital (ASX:SIV) taking lumps to the love plums this morning, down 25.5%, with Grange Resources (ASX:GRR) not far behind with its own 20.6% kick to the clacker to cope with.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 29 [intraday]:

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