It’s been a bit of a bummer on the ASX this morning, down 0.8% at lunchtime and only a handful of companies able to weather the rough seas.

So it seems appropriate, then, to give a shout out to a few Aussie surfers – one amazing performance and a couple of absolute drongos who’ve managed to make the Mayor of Venice spit his ristretto from one side of the Grand Canal to the other.

First up is the good news about journeyman Aussie surf pro Nathan Hedge, who rocked up to a World Surfing League comp at the mind-meltingly dangerous reef break at Tahiti’s Teahupo’o , aka “Chopes”, with a wildcard entry.

The 43-year-old had the tournament of a lifetime, making his way through an elimination round, where he found himself up against current World No. 1, Felipe Toledo.

All eyes were on the relatively geriatric Hedge, who tucked into a career-making barrel, scoring a phenomenal 9.43 / 10 for this ride:



It was enough to knock the best in the sport out of the competition, and while everyone was surprised, we reckon it was Hedge who was the most shocked of all.

But, while Hedge himself managed to defy the laws of physics and ride a fibreglass block inside a tube of water for the enjoyment of everyone, and a crack at winning loads of money, there needed to be an equal but opposite reaction.

And for that, we travel to the other side of the globe, where the Mayor of Venice has taken to Twitter to loudly denounce a couple of Aussie numbskulls who were spotted riding motorised surfboards through the city’s canals.



We’re not 100% certain what the mayor was saying, as mot of us here don’t speak Angry Italian Mayor very well, but the word “imbecilli” certainly gives us some indication.

On the one hand, we get it – if you’ve ever been to Venice, you’ll know that the must-do “ride in a gondola” is a shameful tourist trap, where you’ll pay roughly a month’s salary to sit in a rickety canoe, while some Italian fella grunts like a pig as he powers the vessel through watery streets that smell like a port-a-loo. Super-romantic.

But still – it wouldn’t take much in the way of brains to figure out that riding a motorised surfboard down the main street of Venice is about as welcomed, or even legal, as riding one through the halls of Parliament House.

The upshot is that the two Venice stuntmen got pinched by the Venice Underwater Special Ops police in pretty short order, their boards have been confiscated and they’re up for a 1,500 Euro fine.



Our Aussie markets have opened lower this morning, after Wall Street’s pathetic efforts on Friday spelled doom and gloom for us here in Australia.

The benchmark fell to a low of 7039 points, and has struggled to find a foothold since, tracking kind-of in the right direction a bit, but still heading for a sour-tasting dip as we head into lunch on a -0.84% fall.

Across the sectors, it’s a sea of stomach-churning red, as  InfoTech (-1.64%), Consumer Discretionary (-1.59%), and Real Estate (-1.20%) duke it out in a fierce battle to see who can provide the highest quality disappointment for investors.

There are a couple of decent performers from the Top Dollar contestants, with Nib Holdings (ASX:NHF) surging hard to a +5.78% jump on the back of its Full Year Results announcement.

Nearmap (ASX:NEA) was also striding happily into the green, up +5.16% after letting us all know that the recently reported takeover by Thoma Bravo looks to be a done deal, with shareholders pocketing $2.10 per share, a whopping 67% premium to the company’s  6-month VWAP of $1.26.

By lunchtime, Nearmap was trading at $2.06, so it’s highly likely it’ll climb a bit more after lunch. Call it hunch, or call it witchcraft, but we reckon it’ll top out somewhere near $2.10.

There are too many Big Guns having a terrible morning to list here, but the lowlights include Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) continuing last week’s losing streak, shedding 6.3% on no particular news.

Likewise, Magellan (ASX:MFG) has continued last week’s woes, taking an absolute caning to lose another -9.7% in the wake of last week’s FY22 results.

Enough doom and gloom… let’s look overseas to see how our neighbours are doing today.



Ooof. Shoulda stayed home… because Wall Street’s Friday was not a great one by any measure. US stocks snapped a four-week winning streak, with the S&P 500 end closing out the week 1% lower, while the Nasdaq lost 2% and the Dow moving ponderously to a -0.86% sag.

Earlybird Eddy S reports that there’s trouble brewing in the US, as the NYSE Fang Index, which covers growth tech stocks, fell by 2% on Friday and the VIX “fear” index shot up by 5%.

After rising by 160% in the past month and 500% in the last three, Bed, Bath & Beyond shares fell 40% following news that GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen had sold all of his holdings in the meme stock to take profits.

There’s no telling what’s going to happen with BBBY at this stage, but it’s certainly been entertaining watching reddit tear itself apart.

Not so entertaining is the news that the UK has copped a double-whammy data dump, with inflation hitting 10% and angling towards a wallet-busting 13% by the end of the year, while consumer confidence is well and truly in the bin at -44 for August, its lowest level since they started keeping records.

In CryptoLand, where the coins don’t jingle and everyone wants to get Meta out of the Metaverse, the weekend was messier than a pie fight in a pig pit.

The entire crypto market shed about US$100 billion in total value over the weekend, before everyone put down their cocktails and realised that something, somewhere had gone horribly wrong.

There’s been something of a late rally, and Rob “Badman” Badman has all the deets in Mooners and Shakers. You should read it. It’s highly entertaining, and informative, just like Sesame Street.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 22 [intraday]:

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In the midst of all the sinking and sagging, there are a few Small Caps that are winning, and winning hard.

Topping the list is Australian Pacific Coal (SX:AQC), which has rocketed up 100% (that’s one hundred, just in case you thought we’d missed a decimal point in there) after an exciting announcement this morning.

AQC has entered into a has received a non-binding alternative proposal to the sale of the Dartbrook Project to Trepang Services, from Nakevo, which offers a takeover triple jump including a placement, debt restructure and eventual takeover bid.

The placement would provide immediate funding to AQC by way of an equity subscription for 19.97% of the shares in AQC at $0.30 per share for a total of $3.78 million.

The debt restructure would arrange to  refinance AQC’s debt (including outstanding interest) of AQC owed to Mr John Robinson Snr, Mr Nicholas Paspaley and Trepang Services.

And, once the dust settles, Nakevo has indicated that it wants to make a takeover bid for AQC for up to $0.30 per share, to allow existing shareholders to take the opportunity to liquidate their investment, should they wish to do so – which is very polite of them to offer.

The news sent AQC shares up $0.135 to $0.27, approaching the proposed $0.30 ceiling for Nakevo’s potential takeover.

Also having yet another absolute belter today is Cobre (ASX:CBE) whose copper exploration results in Botswana really have investors excited.

Cobre is up another 50% today, taking its 7-day winnings to 355.1%, and its 1-month climb to a dance-inducing 1,733.3%.

However, Legend Mining (ASX:LEG) has been on a slide since 12 August, has fallen like a wobbly toddler, throwing off -21% this morning on no immediate news.

And the unfortunately tickered BPH Energy (ASX:BPH), which had been on a steady but tremulous build since 04 August has given back all of its hard-earned gains, dropping back to $0.015% again in just a few hours of trading.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 22 [intraday]:

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Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author held shares in Cobre (ASX:CBE).