Local markets are rubbish again this morning. Normally, I’d spend the next 2-3 minutes laying the blame on America’s ever-broadening shoulders – the largest of them are easily two pickaxe handles wide – but even Europe got in on the action before markets opened here.

The end result was a 0.8% fall in the opening minutes of the session, which, as anyone who’s been paying attention to this whole ASX thing for a while will know, is not great.

It’s all down to a series of terrible decisions, wrapped in a thin veneer of idiocy with a lovely, bright red bow of badly-laid plans plopped on top. I’ll get to that shortly.

But before that, a quick news story (again, from the US…) that fits nicely with today’s theme of startlingly moronic brainwaves that end in a bloodbath.

The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is famous for a few things: It was, at one time, the global epicentre of fine furniture production, and remains highly regarded for the office furniture the city now produces.

It was also the place where the life-saving DTP – Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough) – vaccine was invented by two science nerds and the delightfully named chemist, Loney Clinton Gordon.

The only other Clinton to invent a vaccine was not Hillary Clinton’s anti-Covid shots, that a wide selection of morons across America believe was made from fetuses the former Secretary of State aborted in the kitchen of the White House.

It was former US President Bill Clinton, who is justifiably famous for his decades-long fight to introduce a nationwide program of providing a one-time injection that cured virginity.

But I digress, because Grand Rapids is now famous thanks to the staff at John Ball Zoo, where for some unfathomable reason staff decided to put together a new exhibit containing a wide selection of animals all housed in the one enclosure.

The star of the show was to be the zoo’s new pygmy hippopotamus called Jahari, recently acquired from the Pittsburgh Zoo.

To make Jahari’s new home look as authentic as possible, plans were hatched to house him alongside a selection of animals which – in the wild – it would make sense for him to live alongside.

The list of animals included a sitatunga antelope named Chopper, who had lived in a neighbouring enclosure for a few months, with visual access between the two animals so they could get used to each other.

The zoo’s “grand unveiling” of the enclosure featuring Jahari and Chopper was set to have a ribbon cutting event on 30 May, followed by a weekend-long festival to celebrate the wonders of such a progressive approach to zoo-keeping, called HippoPalooza.

Sadly, the event has been cancelled – it turns out that putting a docile antelope into a cage with a pygmy hippo is a profoundly terrible idea.

“After successful visual introductions between Chopper and the pygmy hippo throughout the last month, trained animal care staff were attempting a controlled introduction of our pygmy hippo with Chopper inside their habitat when the pygmy hippo suddenly attacked Chopper,” John Ball Zoo CEO Peter D’Arienzo said in a written statement.

“Zoo staff separated the animals immediately. Our animal care team provided emergency care, but efforts to resuscitate Chopper were unsuccessful.”

If you needed proof that America’s slide into the dustbin of history is accelerating, it doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Please join me in a minute’s silence for our dear, departed Chopper, and stand by for the 21-gun salute, as members of the public take their horrific revenge on the deadly little bastard who killed him.



Local markets fell 0.8% at open for reasons I’ll explain shortly, so please – be patient.

By lunchtime, the losses had extended slightly to leave the benchmark perilously close to -1.0%, while investors queued hungrily to buy today’s Unhappy Meal, and tried not to choke on the cheap plastic toy inside.

The very clear winner this moring is the InfoTech sector, flying waaaaaay above the rest of the market with a 1.70% gain.

Time and deadlines are working against me right now, so I apologise that there’s none of my usual terrible analysis for why that’s the case… so let’s just say “it’s because robots are coming to murder us all”, so the good money’s going into tech today.

I’ll have a better reason for it in Closing Bell this arvo. Maybe.

Energy is defying the broader market slump, reporting in largely flat thanks to a 2.0% lift in crude oil prices overnight.

Materials is down 1.57% because that’s where I foolishly parked my $150 investing allowance at the start of the month, and Financials are down 1.31% because I still haven’t paid off the eye-wateringly massive credit card debt I wracked up during the five-year drinking spree that nearly killed me.

Up the top end of town, Big Ticket providore Costa Group Holdings (ASX:CGC) is up 6.51% after telling the market that the coming 12 months are going to be heaps better than last year, because the weather last year was, in a word, f#&@ing terrible for growing veggies.

But it’s Concrete and Concrete Accessories company Adbri (ASX:ABC) winning for large caps, after announcing to the market that the company has seen volume growth delivered across most product lines and price increases driving 8.4% growth in revenue year-on-year to $1.7 billion.

“Adbri’s full year statutory net profit after tax was $102.6 million, while underlying net profit after tax, excluding property profits and significant items, was $77.7 million,” the company said.



Overnight – as Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports – Wall Street got hit with a one-two punch of concerns over the debt default, and fears sticky inflation might not allow the Fed to pause its tightening cycle.

The FOMC minutes revealed that if inflation ends up being stickier than economists are expecting, the FOMC board could very well skip a June meeting, but follow through with one at the July meeting.

I’ve talked about the potential downsides of the US defaulting, and why it’s clearly giving US investors a serious case of the willies – but Stockhead’s very own Christian “Chedward” Edwards has gifted the universe with this epically magical burst of crystal ball gazing.

I urge you to read it, because it is one of the best things I wish that I’d written in a very long time.

The wash-up from Wall Street for last night’s session was that all major US indexes fell around -0.7%.

That, in turn, caused a mass outbreak of squitters and jitters from London to Warsaw, after a shock UK inflation report showing that the CPI has come down from 10.1% to 8.7%, which is tons higher than the 8.2% economists had expected.

So… that’s why local markets are rubbish today, and why it’s not your fault.

Well, it kinda is, but not entirely, if that makes sense.

Perhaps we should all be taking a leaf from markets in Japan, where the Nikkei is up 0.5% – possibly because it’s beginning to look a lot like the Japanese government is gearing up to pay its citizens to go on a rooting-spree to combat Japan’s falling birthrate.

The plan is simple – the government’s gearing up to pay ¥10,000 per month to high-school age children up to 18 years old, presumably for them to spend on beer, AKB48 tickets and questionable anime.

On top of that, the government says it’s prepared to double existing benefits for families to “¥30,000 per head for third and later children between 3 years old and junior high school age”.

I’m not sure why the government only wants the heads of young children, or how decapitating them at that age is going to boost the declining population, but it is Japan we’re talking about here, so I’m prepared to just write it off as typically weird and quirky public policy we’ve all come to expect.

In China, however, Shanghai markets are down 0.62%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is close to 2.0% lower so far today.

And in CryptoLand, where decentralised digital currencies are – by design – immune to the global macroeconomic pressures that make fiat currency a Terrible Thing, global macroeconomic pressures have pushed BTC, ETH and the other major coins down by around 2.7% across the board.

Rob “You Just Don’t Get It, Gregor” Badman has all the reasons why over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for May 25 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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A quick and dirty rundown this morning, because the big movers in Small Caps are all rising fast for little or no reason. Sh-t’s weird today.

At the top of the ladder this morning is IncentiaPay (ASX:INP), up a marvellous, but extremely puzzling, 57% on no news.

Next best is revenue stage particle surface chemistry pioneers AnteoTech (ASX:ADO), which is up 30% because the company has a fancy new website, and changed the font on its logo.

And in third place is Halo Technologies (ASX:HAL), which is up 26.9% despite recently avoiding a potential issue at its AGM, after nearly 30% of the proxy votes were against the company’s remuneration report.

It ended up being carried, though, so… all is well – but that’s the only real news Halo’s had in the past week or so, making its gains this morning as mystifying as the other top two.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for May 25 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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