This morning’s market performance showed a definite lack of decisiveness and gumption, spiking 0.1% each side of breakeven for about an hour.

Around morning tea time, however, consensus was reached, and down she went, sinking like a termite’s wooden canoe on a lake of salty tears to -0.2%.

A tragic start to the day, and it’s sucked all the joy out of Easter… so here’s a story to  offer a meaningful life lesson, and help you understand that for one man in particular, Easter is actually a horrifying ordeal.

Don’t panic… I’m not talking about Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – there is more to Easter than a dead guy on a stick.

That said, there’s a very high probability that a dude called Jesus will have been involved in today’s news story,  which is a lesson in the importance of keeping your trap shut, especially if you’ve committed the kind of crime that is likely to get people’s blood up to boiling point in an alarmingly rapid way.

News out of Texas this week is this morning’s case study, involving a fella by the name of Erik Tadeo Ramirez who is – most unfortunately – the subject of an FBI manhunt after he was heard bragging about stealing some sweet, sweet cash.

That was his first mistake, compounded by the fact that he claimed to have stolen US$50,000, which is a sum of money that would have most people unhappy about losing.

It gets worse. Ramirez said he stole the money from Cartel Del Noreste, a drug syndicate widely known for its love of huge piles of money, equally massive piles of drugs and the use of heavy duty farming equipment to deal with people it doesn’t want to play with anymore. (Don’t look them up on YoutTube. Trust me on that one.)

Clearly, Mr Ramirez was setting himself up to have a very bad day – and here’s how it unfolded:

Around 11pm on 24 March, Erik “I Talk Too Much” Ramirez was at a party in Laredo, Texas, a small city on the US/Mexico border. The one Marty Robbins sang about, where people get shot.

Witnesses at the party heard Ramirez talking to a woman on the phone, bragging about the fact that he’d pinched 50 grand from the Mexican narcos, and claiming that he wasn’t afraid of the cartel because “I’m in America”.

Around 12:45am, a large Dodge Ram rocks up to the house, a bunch of heavily armed dudes wearing masks jump out, beat Ramirez up and bundle him into the vehicle.

Surveillance footage, recorded at 1:09am on the nearby bridge over the Rio Grande into Mexico shows a man, bleeding heavily, struggling his way out of the vehicle for a brief moment, before he was dragged back inside.

The vehicle then blew straight through the border control checkpoint at high-speed, leaving behind a blood-stained shirt and a pair of pants – which officials say “isn’t normal” for that particular stretch of road.

Of all the ways to start an unexpected trip to Mexico, “mostly naked and bleeding heavily” would have to be near the bottom of the list of ways to do it properly.

It’s a timely reminder for anyone involved in criminal activities – either alleged, or proven – about the importance of not being a complete moron when you’re done.



After a super-spiky start to the morning, the ASX 200 benchmark is doing a pretty good impersonation of a chocolate Easter Bunny that’s been absentmindedly left on the dashboard of a certain Stockhead journalist’s Mazda3 hatchback.

The benchmark was at -0.2% at lunchtime, it’s the last trading day before a 4-day weekend… I’m not sure it’s going to get any better by the close of play.

There are only three sectors in the green. Health Care is the best of them at +1.45%, while the remaining eight sectors have clearly already checked out for the Easter break.

InfoTech has crumbled and given back 2.45% today after making some pretty solid gains earlier in the week, while Materials and Energy are middle-of-the-packing it, but still losing ground, down 0.61% and 0.69% respectively.



Overnight, Wall Street was mixed – the S&P 500 fell -0.25%, the Dow rose 0.24% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled -1.07%.

US investors are apparently on Recession Watch (again…) after weaker-than-estimated economic data revived fears that a recession could be lurking.

Wall Street normally shrugs off the ADP report, but that did not happen last night. Private employers in the US posted a slower pace of hiring in March — 145k vs 210k estimated.

The US service sector is also cooling. The March ISM service index dropped from 55.1 to 51.2, well below the consensus estimate of 54.4.

Bond yields tumbled (prices climbed) on the reports, with the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields lifting as much as 8bp.

Hat-tip to the almighty Eddy Sunarto, for that reporting of the US market – you can read the rest of his post-pre-market write up here.

In Japan, the Nikkei is down 1.08%, despite news that a 24-hour, completely un-staffed butcher shop has become hugely and weirdly popular with punters.

It’s called Ouchi de Oniku, and so far the chain has opened 116 branches throughout the country, which people – like this utter lunatic – are clearly loving.



The reasons I love it is because the idea of being able to shop at 3am for dodgy cuts of meat without getting some serious side-eye from a world-weary cashier is very appealing, especially for poeple (like me) who don’t like other people (except you… you’re okay. It’s the others that are the problem.)

Also, it’s epic because I misplaced my reading glasses at some point last night, so I misread the name of the business as “Ouchie de Oinku”, which sounds like a very Japanese way of saying “Murder the Pigs”.

Meanwhile, in China, Shanghai markets are down 0.15% while the Hang Seng is up 0.25% – which has probably happened for a very good reason, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to go digging around in that hole today. Christian will sort that out for us later, I guess.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for April 6 [intraday]:

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Top of the list this morning is a repeat performance by Western Mines Group (ASX:WMG), which has added another 42% to yesterday’s meteoric +186.6% jump.

That happened because WMG announced it has discovered an extensive nickel sulphide mineral system throughout the Mulga Tank Ultramafic Complex.

The company has pulled up a cumulative 693.5m at 0.28% Ni, 128ppm Co, 61ppm Cu, 27ppb Pt+Pd in one drill hole at Mulga Tank, with other holes confirming an “extensive nickel sulphide system” with similarities to the large Mt Keith orebody.

Second best today is Fatfish Group (ASX:FFG), which is up 40% (not hard to do when it only takes a $0.006 rise, but still…) on news that it’s secured an equity line of credit (“ELOP”) of up to A$8 million from US-based Arena Business Solutions and its affiliates.

Under the deal, Fatfish will be able to drawdown the credit in a series of tranches, each of them requiring shareholder approval, and Fatfish can avail itself to as little or as much of the $8m as it needs to over the next 24 months.

In return, FFG is going to hand over $1.5m in shares to Arena (and its affiliates) as a “thank you for the loan” consideration.

It’s not quite a done deal, with the company saying it is “subject to approval by shareholders via a shareholder meeting to be called at the soonest possible.”

I reckon it might be worth Fatfish dropping a chunk of the first drawdown on hiring someone to proofread the company’s ASX announcements.

And third one today worth a mention is investors getting their money in for a punt on Golden Mile Resources (ASX:G88), which announced yesterday that it’s completed diamond drilling at its Quicksilver nickel-cobalt deposit.

There’s no firm results from the 8-hole, 548.9m program – assay results are due in about 4-6 weeks – but with nickel running white-hot at the moment, and G88 at just $0.018 a pop, folks are piling on, driving the trading price up 28.5% this morning.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for April 6 [intraday]:

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