• ASX opened lower, dropping 0.3%, rallying then falling again to land at -0.2% at lunchtime.
  • Pinnacle Metals went near-vertical for 90 minutes, up 80% before the ASX hit the Halt Button.
  • Coolabah Metals has grown its Canadian footprint, and Many Peaks has bought up a bigger slice of QLD.


Local markets have made a depressingly familiar poor start to the day, dropping 0.3% before rallying to get close to break-even again. Sadly, however, the rally ran out of puff faster than Healthy At Every Size march, leaving the benchmark at -0.2% when the lunch bell rang, and trending lower.

Speaking of short marches, in honour of yesterday being May Day, I thought it was only right to touch on what it means and why most of the world gets a public holiday, but most of Australia does not, which is hugely unfair.

The first of May is a special time on the European calendar, marking the first day of spring. From its very early roots in the ancient Floralia Festival dating back to days when those fabulously decadent Romans got together to throw flowers at each other and beat their slaves.

Fast forward a few centuries, and things changed a little, following the invention of the Maypole – a long wooden pole, around which young women were encouraged to dance, holding lengths of ribbon that would slowly intertwine and wrap the length of the pole from top to bottom.

Scholars have debated for centuries on the exact meaning of the Maypole, however there is no denying the structure’s obviously phallic shape, erected – if you’ll pardon the terms – at the start of Spring, the time of year that everything with a penis turns into a sex-crazed maniac because it’s warm enough to take your pants off.

It should be abundantly clear, then, that it’s quite obviously a very early attempt to plead for young men to wear Ye Olde Lambskin Protection Devices, to help stop the spread of the dreaded Galloping Knob-Rot that plagued pre-antibiotic times.

The first of May is also celebrated as May Day, to honour the unionised workforce in Chicago that staged massive protests and eventually won their battle to bring in the 8-hour workday, ending decades of being brutally overworked by capitalist overlords.

The slogan “8 Hours Work, 8 Hours Rest, 8 Hours Recreation” led to most modern nations’ industrial relations laws, and – coincidentally – gave rise to the Mars Bar. #AMarsADay #GimmeFreeChocolatePlz.



In most parts of the world, the day is marked as Labour Day, or International Workers Day, taking on various forms of celebration.

Throughout Europe, for instance, union-led marches take place as a way of paying tribute to the workers who fought, and died, for the right to be treated like human beings, and be paid a proper wage for their work.

Residents of France enjoy their own annual traditions, also marching through the streets, before clashing with police and setting fire to anything they think would burn rather nicely – which, this year, included a few members of the Parisian Riot Squad.



Don’t fret – the officer was fine, thanks to the protesters who stepped in to help, and spent 10 minutes stomping and kicking the flames out.

Une journée amusante pour toute la famille, as they like to say in The City of Fires.

Sorry. City of Light. (stupid autocorrect).

However, you could be forgiven for thinking that the fight for an 8-hour workday may well have been in vain, with the rise of a robotic workforce that will one day render all humans obsolete and lead to a mass extinction event that kick-starts the Hollywood career of a weirdly muscular Austrian.

But even the robots designed to replace us have their limits, as this demonstration at a recent trade show revealed.

This poor robot was designed to work in a warehouse where back-breaking work and unthinkably long hours without decent rest breaks are once again becoming the new normal, so that guys like Jeff Bezos can turn into ghoulishly wealthy bastards.

But even they have their limits – after 20 hours of non-stop work, this loveable piece of ambulatory slave labour (his name is Digit… how cute…) showed that even machines have their breaking point.



The day some bozo sits down and asks ChatGPT to design a campaign of industrial reform for the world’s robotic workforce is probably not that far off… if anyone wants to help me with it, let me know.

In the meantime, it’s probably long past the time I was supposed to be telling you what’s happening on the markets today.



As mentioned earlier, it’s been a less-than-amazing start to the day, with the ASX 200 sinking like a stone at open, shedding 0.3% before bouncing back to be within a whisker of breaking even at lunchtime.

A look over the market segments shows that the techies are doing a lot of the heavy lifting today – not entirely unexpected, considering that as of yesterday’s close, the ASX XTX All Tech index was the second-best performing sector (behind the Goldies, natch), outperforming the benchmark by a ratio of 3:1 since the start of 2023.

InfoTech is up +0.63%, well ahead of Health Care on +0.22%, Materials is flat at -0.01% but improving slowly, while Industrials is leading the losers at the bottom on a not nice at all -0.69%.

At the top end of town, it’s a load of old rubbish leading the Large Cap charge, after Cleanaway (ASX:CWY) apparently delivered The Powerpoint To End All Powerpoints at the Macquarie Australia Conference this morning.

Consisting of 14 action-packed pages, this beautifully illustrated piece of Corporate Art has certainly blown a blast of landfill methane up someone’s skirts, and CWY is up 5.0% to $2.54 a share as a result.



In the US overnight, it was JPMorgan to the Rescue! – if you’d believe the banner headlines about the fate of the collapsed First Republic Bank.

True, JPMorgan did stump up a tidy sum to buy the bank and rescue the entire financial industry in the US, staving off yet another crisis that would have turned the world’s economy into thick, brown sludge.

But when all’s said and done, that rescue mission is actually a sweet, sweet deal for JPMorgan, which has dropped a whopping US$10.6 billion (paid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)… but in return, will get all of First Republic’s US$92 billion in deposits, US$173 billion in interest-bearing loans and US$30 billion in securities.

No point saving the world if you’re not gonna get paid for it, right fellas?

Anyway – JPMorgan shares rose 2% on the news that the bank has snapped up nearly $300 billion worth of stuff at 28c on the dollar.

Earlybird Eddy reports that this latest development is expected to have an impact on what the Fed may do at its monetary policy meeting tomorrow.

“The Fed will likely be confident banking jitters are fading, but given the recent boost of inflationary pressures, they might hold off signalling they are ready to hold rates steady after one more hike,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

Overall though, US stocks finished modestly lower – the S&P 500 down by 0.05%, the Dow Jones by 0.14% and tech-heavy Nasdaq index by 0.11%.

Norwegian Cruise Lines is proving to be bafflingly popular again post-Covid, jumping 9% after releasing vastly improved full-year profit guidance, while General Motors (it’s still a thing… look it up) climbed 1.3% because someone at Stanley Morgan said so.

In Japan, the Nikkei is flat at +0.03% as the nation continues to reel from news that a cocktail waitress in Sapporo was fired for adding her own blood to drinks served to customers.

Owners of the Mondaiji Con Cafe Daku – which translates to Problem Child Dark Cafe – made the announcement on Twitter, and showed remarkable restraint by calling the young woman’s actions “absolutely not acceptable”.

Which is several orders of magnitude less harsh than the phrases “horrifyingly ghoulish”, “effectively bioterrorism” and “I dunno… she’s sounds pretty interesting. I wonder if she’s single” which ran through my head when I heard the story.

Meanwhile, markets in China are closed today for Labour Day celebrations, a day for families to visit relatives in the countryside, attend theatre performances and only have to produce 40 complete iPhones each, instead of the usual 75.

Hong Kong markets are, however, open and the Hang Seng is showing a 1.57% drop in early trade.

Over in crypto corner – where the money is magically ephemeral, like the music of Enya, or a silent fart on a really windy day – Bitcoin is struggling to hang on around the US$28,000 mark, while that ridiculous PEPE sh-tcoin has entered the Top 100, up 617% over the past 14 days to a whopping $0.00000137 each.

… if anyone’s wondering why I am somewhat disdainful about crypto, there’s your answer.

For more details on what’s happening in crypto this morning, Rob “It’s worth chucking $50 at it” Badman has everything you need to know over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for May 2 [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin


In Small Caps this morning, Pinnacle Minerals (ASX:PIM) has gone near-vertical this morning, up 80% between 10:00am and 11.28am, when the ASX panic-grabbed the handbrake and threw the company into a trading pause, “pending a further announcement”.

PIM did make an announcement this morning about sending drills back to its Disruptor prospect on 15 May, which included a bunch of rock-chip data the company had previously reported on 19 April suggesting that the company’s onto a fairly major find.

But something’s tripped the alarms at the ASX and PIM’s still giving the Pause Button some serious side-eye at the time of writing – if anything shakes loose from this, I’ll let you know in Closing Bell.

Meanwhile, Coolabah Metals (ASX:CBH) has inked a deal to acquire 113km2 of lithium exploration claims located within 20km of Patriot Battery Metals’ (Patriot) Corvette property in the James Bay region of Quebec and a 70km2 project in Northwestern Ontario near Frontier Lithium’s (Frontier) PAK and Spark properties.

Lithium hunting in Canada is clearly still The Next Big Thing for investors, and the news has prompted a solid boost for Coolabah, which is up 30.2% this morning.

And last one for now, Many Peaks Gold (ASX:MPG) is up 22.2% after announcing it has secured the right to acquire a 100% interest in the Yarrol and Mt Steadman projects, significantly expanding its holdings to to 1,080km2 (a 133% increase) in Queensland.

The Yarrol project boasts some interesting numbers already, with previous exploration turning up multiple advanced gold targets with shallow, high-grade drill results including 12.0m @ 20.2g/tAu 20.0m @ 3.19g/tAu and 17.8m @ 4.01 g/t Au.

The Mt Steadman project similarly has existing exploration results, including a very nice drillhole that turned up 2m @ 110g/t Au.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for May 2 [intraday]:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin