Aussie markets have opened higher this morning, kicking things off with a 0.5% surge in early trade before “Christmas Party Friday” malaise set in, and the benchmark’s gain eased to 0.13% at lunchtime.

Not a day for finding a unicorn on the local market, however one little girl in California seems to have paved the way for finding one of her own.

Officials in California – voted America’s Most Tubular State™ 22 years in a row – have granted young Madeleine a licence to keep a unicorn as a pet in her backyard, after she very thoughtfully wrote to the to ask if it was okay… on the off chance that she managed to find one.

In the few spare minutes of the day when they weren’t out shooting at poodles or chasing down wayward tigers, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control wrote back to the young girl granting her permission. And it came with a set of rules that are so sweet, several people who read them have complained about dying of diabetes.

The licensing letter included five conditions, which are listed below with our handy interpretation, just in case you were feeling the need to move to Cali and hook yourself up with a deformed horse.

  1. The unicorn must be cared for in compliance with all animal caretaking regulations set forth in Los Angeles county Code Title 10. (Failure to comply will result in the animal being shot at least two dozen times).
  2. The unicorn is given regular access to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows. (Owner must walk the animal through the sketchiest part of LA).
  3. The unicorn is fed one of its favourite treats — watermelon — at least once each week. (Obviously racist).
  4. The unicorn’s horn must be maintained to be in good health. This requires polishing at least once a month with a soft cloth. (Inappropriately sexual).
  5. Any sparkles or glitter used on the unicorn must be nontoxic and biodegradable to ensure the unicorn’s good health. (Because there’s nothing worse than running the mower over a stray unicorn turd and being painted like you’re off to Mardi Gras, but only from the knees down).

But all things considered, young Madeleine was always going to be granted permission to keep a unicorn at home, largely because they’re not real, so the chances of her bagging one are vanishingly slim.

Young Madeleine might be better off setting her sights a bit lower, as keeping weird animals in your home is apparently all the rage in California – as evidenced by a surprisingly large number of people who keep pet chimps, despite their apparent love of removing people’s faces when they get a bit unhappy.

On second thoughts, maybe the unicorn might be a better option. But if Madeleine ends up with some greasy 27-year-old neckbeard in a My Little Pony costume in her backyard, that’s entirely her fault. #BronyLyfe #WeSeeYouBrian #PleaseGoHome



Aussie markets opened like a pregnant Royal, with a modest bump and a gentle wave as it wandered towards a 0.5% gain for the morning, before collapsing on the couch with a bad case of swollen feet, just 0.13% higher than the start of the day.

The positivity tracks a fairly solid session on Wall Street last night (which we’ll get to in a minute), but it was enough to lead the ASX out of the doldrums of the past couple of days.

The local surge is being led by Materials today, which has bolted to a 1.4% gain, well ahead of InfoTech on +0.71%, with Consumer Discretionary and Real Estate working hard in a tight race for third, on 0.39% and 0.36% respectively.

Today’s only serious laggard (so far) is Utilities, down 0.38% after a pretty solid effort yesterday.

In terms of gains today, it’s the small caps doing all the heavy lifting, with nary a big kid in sight near the top of the winners table today – we’ll talk more about the littlies shortly but here’s a little teaser:

One small explorer has hit the big time, up nearly 90% this morning… but you’ll have to keep reading to find out who.

On the soggy side of the sandwich, though, Downer EDI (ASX:DOW) is still taking a caning after revealing that somebody somewhere has been playing a bit fast and loose on the spreadsheets, and there’s been a “historical overstatement of pre-tax earnings in the order of $30 million – $40 million”.

Downer has fallen another 5.6% this morning, on top of shedding more than 20% yesterday, with the only new announcement today being London-based investment firm T Rowe Price tipping out of the company entirely on December 6, ceasing to be a substantial holder two days before the accounting error was made public. #ImpeccableTiming.

Speaking of money and things that aren’t Australian, let’s take a look and see how the rest of the important markets are doing today.



As mentioned, Wall Street did alright last night, snapping a five-day losing streak, just because it felt like it – because there wasn’t a whole heap in the way of news out of the US.

Aside from what’s being called “The Worst Trade in History”, after US President Joe Biden did a preposterously lopsided prisoner swap with Vladimir Putin, trading imprisoned WNBA star Brittney “Good at Basketball” Griner for one of the most dangerous men on the planet, Viktor “Merchant of Death” Bout.

Biden announced the trade, certain elements of Twitter went bananas, and the Culture War in the US is back to burning white hot on both sides.

In more relevant news from Steady Eddy Sunarto, the US is waiting on tonight’s producer price index (PPI), which will be the final piece of important data Fed members will see before their Dec 13-14 policy meeting.

“The FOMC is expected to downshift to half-point pace, but traders will care to see what they have to say about the trend of inflation and where rates could peak,” said OANDA analyst Edward Moya.

According to economists polled by FT, the Fed’s efforts to stamp out inflation will push the US economy into a recession and unemployment up to at least 5.5%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has climbed 1.05% this morning on news that local gourmands are now able to purchase goat sashimi from roadside vending machines.

I’ll let you rest with that information for a minute – and once your stomach is done performing a series of slow backflips and you’re 100% certain your digestive system isn’t about to mutiny at the thought of eating raw goat meat from a vending machine, we’ll continue.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong has opened with a bang, climbing 1.28% in early trade, and – as always – things in Shanghai are moving in the same direction but at a much more sedate pace, with a 0.12% lift at the sound of the opening bell.

Meanwhile in crypto news, Bloomberg Senior Commodity Strategist Mike McGlone has gone out on a limb, claiming that Bitcoin is all set to outperform both Tesla and gold.

McGlone’s got his reasons for making such a bold prediction – and, rather helpfully, Rob “My Head Hurts” Badman has broken it down for us, over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 9 [intraday]:

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It’s hats off to Codrus Minerals (ASX:CDR) this morning, which has caught the eye of absolutely everyone with a few dollars in their pocket this morning on news that it’s sitting on a heap of hugely valuable high-grade permanent magnet rare earths dysprosium, neodymium, terbium and praseodymium in xenotime, within a large-scale pegmatite.

New assay results from Codrus’ niobium-rich Karloning REE Project in WA are positively eye-popping, including 28,463ppm (2.85%) dysprosium oxide – Dy3O3, 64,100ppm (6.41%) niobium and a heart-stopping 186,000ppm (18.60%) tantalum.

In early trade, Codrus was up more than 85%, but has since eased to 62.5% – still a massive climb which sees the company trading at just under the $0.20 per share mark it achieved with its heavily oversubscribed IPO in June last year.

Grabbing huge attention today as well is newcomer Patriot Lithium (ASX:PAT), which is showing an 86.3% gain in a very short timeframe today – surging more than $0.17 to around $0.373 – a solid leap from its $10m at $0.20 IPO.

It’s worth noting that this is Patriot Lithium, not to be confused with Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT), which doubled on debut two days ago.

Also on a surge, but for a different reason, is Fitzroy River (ASX:FZR), after it announced that a special dividend of $0.005 cents per ordinary share, fully franked, will be paid two days before Christmas to all eligible registered shareholders – which is obviously much better than a lump of coal in your stocking.

And medical data and tech company Heramed (ASX:HMD) has jumped better than 15% on news that it’s signed an agreement for its tech to be used during care across private hospital networks, including at Frances Perry House, a leading private maternity hospital.

Frances Perry is part of health-giant Ramsay Health Care, and the agreement will see Heramed’s hybrid connected maternity care platform HeraCARE, and its clinically validated in-home, smart foetal and maternal heart rate monitor, HeraBEAT, rolled out to about 250 expectant mums.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 9 [intraday]:

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