In a stunning act of outright defiance, the ASX took one look at the May ASX 200 futures contract – which (unlike myself, sadly) was pointing up by 0.1% at 8:00am today – and issued a full-throated “Bugger that!”, and sank like a stone instead.

Straight outta the gate, the cry from the crow’s nest aboard the good ship HMAS X was “Thar she sucks!”, as the market gurgled to a -0.2% slump in the first half hour of play.

The good news is that most of that dip can be blamed on a couple of the big banks going ex-div this morning. A half-year dividend for ANZ of $0.81, and a $4.50 per share payment from Macquarie proved once and for all that liquidity is the only fluid in the world that is regularly seen flowing upwards.

And speaking of receiving vast sums of money that you didn’t earn, here’s today’s Headline News about a senior IT Engineer at IBM taking his employer to court over a pay dispute, claiming that in the 15 years that he’s been off work on sick leave, he’s not received a pay rise.

Despite not being able to go to work since 2008 (and clearly living the dream of anyone with a bad back and a very supportive supervisor), the man is claiming “disability discrimination” that has seen his income stuck at a measly £54,000 ($101,000 worth of our puny Aussie Dollars).

The fella first went on sick leave for five years, and then raised a grievance with the company, which sought a compromise and put him on a “revised health plan”, under which he would be paid 75% of his salary, have “no obligation to work” until he was either better, hit retirement age, or died.

Which is, quite clearly, the deal of a freakin’ lifetime. Except for the whole being terribly sick thing, which would obviously suck tremendous quantities of balls.

Compare that $101,000 he’s on to the horrifyingly low ~$27,600 someone in Australia who is permanently disabled and on a Disability Pension receives, and you’ll understand just how preposterous this claim really is.

But still, it seems that’s not quite enough – the man has launched legal action against the company for not increasing his wages in line with the cost of living, which is soaring to eye-watering levels in the UK.

And so, after 15 years of zero productivity, the man launched his appeal for more money – but, in a rare burst of sanity, his claim was dismissed by a judge who clearly saw the plan for what it was: Insanely generous to start with.

For what it’s worth, getting onto the Disability Pension in Australia is one of the hardest things in the world. I once met a bloke who lost a leg in an industrial accident, and tried to get onto it.

The department denied his claim on the basis that his missing leg “was not a permanent disability”, presumably after receiving “independent medical advice” that the young fella was part reptile, and the limb would eventually grow back.



Despite a bank-led ex-div slump to kick off the day, the ASX is tracking pretty well, recovering from a -0.3% dip to be at (or near) -0.1% when the bell rang for lunch.

A look at the sectors shows (because dividends, etc) Financials down the bottom of the ladder, on -0.89% for the day, with InfoTech not much better on -0.79%.

But there’s some solid effort at the top of the tree, with Energy (+0.54%), Utilities (+0.49%) and MAterials (+0.34%) lending momentum to the upward swing this morning.

Lounging in the expensive seats among the best of the Large Caps this morning are Invocare (ASX:IVC) and Silver Lake (ASX:SLR).

Invocare has spiked more than 10% this morning on news that TPG Capital Global has delivered a revised, conditional, non-binding and indicative proposal to acquire all the issued capital of InvoCare for $13.00 per share in cash by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Meanwhile, Silver Lake has jumped 7.6% on news that it’s been bounced out of negotiations with St Barbara (ASX:SBM) to acquire the latter’s Leonora assets, after Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD) delivered a revised agreement that will see Genesis stump up cash of $370 million; and 205 million shares in Genesis, valued at $261 million.



In overseas news, Friday’s session on Wall Street was all a bit blah, largely because investors there still haven’t made their minds up over whether there’s a banking crisis or not. Plus, there’s the whole US debt ceiling thing that has the Loony Goons out in force, trying their best to hold the Biden administration to ransom with a raft of ideas that vary between “frankly alarming” and “outright stupidity”.

But, that’s America in a nutshell, really.

Wall Street finished Friday around 0.25% lower than it started, Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports.

News Corp gained 6% after the media conglomerate beat profit estimates for Q3, but Netflix was down 1.4% after plans to cut its spending by $300 million this year were announced.

Best performer on the S&P 500 was solar panel maker First Solar, which jumped 26% after acquiring Sweden’s thin-film solar cell tech firm, Evolar AB.

In Japan, The Nikkei has risen 0.40%, after the nation was buoyed by the performance of 13-year-old Ginwoo Onodera took the gold medal in the Men’s Street Skateboarding competition at the 2023 X Games in Chiba. Here’s the little tacker in action.



Two things to note:

  1. I think I broke both ankles and put my back out just watching that little fella go.
  2. The announcer’s “hue hue hue” outburst is one of the best things you will ever hear.

In China, Shanghai markets have dropped 0.88%, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is down 0.15% in early trade.

In CryptoLand, BTC could be under some pressure around the $27k mark, as rumblings of a short squeeze make their way through the market.

For those not up on the lingo, Rob “Mr Metaphor” Badman says a short squeeze “can occur when a sudden, sharp rise in an asset forces all the shorting traders to let out a collective, “Oh, sh*t!” and scramble to close out their bearish trading positions – shorts.”

“A frisson in buying pressure then squeezes the short-sellers out like a memecoin millionaire squeezing a zit. The price of the asset can  consequently shoot up in response,” he adds.

Allow me to summarise that thusly: a short squeeze is like hugging a leprechaun until all the gold shoots out of its arse.

And on that happy mental image, let’s take a look at how our beloved Small Caps are behaving this morning.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for May 15 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
WSR Westar Resources 0.073 115% 71,823,972 $3,780,603
INP Incentiapay Ltd 0.01 43% 600,000 $8,855,445
RR1 Reach Resources Ltd 0.007 40% 64,636,733 $13,775,253
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.002 33% 8,725,349 $13,633,872
KEY KEY Petroleum 0.002 33% 1,350,500 $2,951,892
LNU Linius Tech Limited 0.004 33% 4,999,411 $10,767,075
HVM Happy Valley 0.022 29% 741,581 $3,841,227
ICG Inca Minerals Ltd 0.032 28% 212,197 $12,087,862
ENR Encounter Resources 0.325 25% 3,988,184 $92,436,703
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0025 25% 3,806,159 $15,569,766
KAM K2 Asset Management 0.072 24% 196,812 $13,982,941
WIA WIA Gold Limited 0.032 23% 15,998,595 $14,880,265
RTG RTG Mining Inc. 0.055 22% 640,536 $35,832,388
HLX Helix Resources 0.006 20% 500,000 $11,615,729
MRI My Rewards International 0.024 20% 10,000 $4,370,248
GES Genesis Resources 0.007 17% 59,360 $4,697,048
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.0035 17% 4,021,433 $6,815,553
CF1 Complii Fintech Ltd 0.043 16% 10,000 $20,331,225
VEN Vintage Energy 0.074 16% 699,713 $47,789,915
FRE Firebrick Pharma 0.19 15% 15,165 $18,554,943
NUC Nuchev Limited 0.19 15% 7,000 $8,540,523
TGN Tungsten Min NL 0.115 15% 3,452 $78,641,427
ZMM Zimi Ltd 0.039 15% 27,379 $3,029,486
SRK Strike Resources 0.079 14% 365,533 $19,578,750
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.016 14% 1,737,681 $8,544,628
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Top of the charts this morning is Westar Resources (ASX:WSR), which has blown up more than 120% on news that it has intersected multiple thick pegmatites from the maiden drill program at the company’s Olga Rocks prospect.

It’s the first sub-surface exploration at the site, and has turned up results including 44m pegmatite from 17m, 38m pegmatite intercepted from 9m and 21m pegmatite intercepted from 57m.

The drill samples have been sent away to the lab for assays, which are expected back within 6 weeks – but even without lab confirmation, investors are excited enough to send the company’s price to $0.075 so far today.

Next best performer is WIA Gold (ASX:WIA), which has added 23% this morning after the release of its maiden inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 1.3 million ounces at the Kokoseb Gold Project.

The MRE totals 41 million tonnes at 1.0 g/t Au, at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t Au within a US$1,800/oz pit shell, with the company boasting that the result is “one of the lowest resource discovery costs by industry standards, of US$2/oz of contained gold”.

And lastly, Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) is continuing its climb this morning, on the back of Friday’s news airborne gravity survey data that outlines major, new targets in the central and eastern areas of the +100km wide Aileron Cu-Au-REE project in the West Arunta.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for May 15 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.001 -33% 3,334,621 $23,463,861
HCT Holista CollTech Ltd 0.013 -24% 10,000 $4,739,601
GTR Gti Energy Ltd 0.007 -22% 1,427,694 $16,692,563
APC Aust Potash Ltd 0.009 -22% 10,206,042 $11,944,809
OPA Optima Technology 0.016 -20% 22,499 $5,026,841
EXR Elixir Energy Ltd 0.105 -19% 5,799,608 $118,616,850
ZAG Zuleika Gold Ltd 0.014 -18% 86,076 $8,891,861
AV1 Adveritas Ltd 0.05 -17% 581,315 $31,037,099
EX1 Exopharm Limited 0.01 -17% 4,819,380 $3,773,077
PGH Pact Group Hldgs Ltd 0.805 -16% 2,424,370 $330,518,451
AVH Avita Medical 3.81 -16% 1,041,375 $306,397,086
KNB Koonenberrygold 0.042 -16% 33,752 $3,787,822
PBH Pointsbet Holdings 1.565 -15% 4,691,674 $566,152,355
NGL Nightingale Intel 0.08 -15% 150,844 $9,321,688
BVR Bellavista Resources 0.145 -15% 26,559 $6,455,327
AFW Applyflow Limited 0.012 -14% 3,267 $2,070,329
CCO The Calmer Co Int 0.003 -14% 400,000 $1,582,178
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.006 -14% 2,737,531 $8,114,692
OAR OAR Resources Ltd 0.003 -14% 2,980,000 $8,438,633
OAU Ora Gold Limited 0.003 -14% 1,030,000 $13,779,238
RDN Raiden Resources Ltd 0.003 -14% 130,416 $6,491,039
TKL Traka Resources 0.006 -14% 1,840,216 $6,099,305
CHM Chimeric Therapeutic 0.0395 -14% 3,050,231 $20,106,341
HFY Hubify Ltd 0.025 -14% 11,764 $14,387,953
BAT Battery Minerals Ltd 0.0035 -13% 1,617,437 $13,427,769
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