The markets have given investors a sock with a lump of coal crypto in for Christmas this morning, opening 0.8% lower because it’s a proper bastard of a thing, sometimes.

It’s not gotten any better since then, and we’re on track to be around 1.0% down by the time we start carving the office turkey. (His name’s Andrew, the work experience kid. I think he’s the boss’ nephew or something… nobody seems to be sure.)

Anyway – given that Christmas can be a emotional time for people, then some uplifting, upbeat and super-happy news today is definitely what everyone needs.

Too bad. You’re getting a tear-jerker. However, it’s a space tear-jerker, so it’s okay.

The news is, of course, about a plucky little robot that spent months hurtling through the vast emptiness of space, to land on Mars on November 26, 2018.

Named InSight, because in 2018 RanDom CaPitalisation was all the rage, it was a machine on a mission: to help human beings get a handle on WTF Mars is all about.

And so, for just over four long Earth years (1000101110000000 Robot Binary Hours), InSight has been lurking on the Red Planet, taking readings with its super-awesome seismograph to check for evidence of geological activity, SBF’s humanity, or signs of underground mega-space-mutant nests.

Sadly, though, InSight’s days were numbered – because Mars is, frankly, disgustingly dirty. Between windspeeds gusting up to 600kmh and a landscape that’s drier than a German sense of humour, that poor little robot barely stood a chance.

With its solar panels choked with thick Martian dust, InSight’s batteries found it increasingly difficult to get charge from the very distant sun, and when NASA (we assume) decided it was “too difficult” to send someone up there with a bottle of water and a squeegee, things took a turn for the sad.


… and now my heart hurts.

Salute, farewell and Godspeed, you dead little robot… may whoever Global President For Life Musk sends to Mars in 10 years find you, and bring you a set of interplanetary jumper cables, so that you may once more experience the joys of listening to the Red Planet’s guts, and ponder just how long we have until the dinosaurs that are living in it’s warm, glowing core erupt from the ground and emerge to devour the galaxy, once and for all.


Funeral arrangements are still being finalised, but this promotional video from InterGalactic Robot Mourning Co should give you peace of mind that the service will be very dignified and InSights remains will be treated with the utmost respect and care.

And so, with fresh tears in our eyes, let us all gawk helplessly at what the markets are doing on The Trading Day Before Xmas.



As the lunch bell rang, the ASX benchmark had ducked below -1.0% by a whisker, led lower by Wall Street after data confirmed the US Fed’s outlook that the economy can handle having its belt tightened. Again.

We’ll get into why that’s the case shortly, but for now all we need to focus on is that local markets have taken Wall Street’s lead and done their best to start tunnelling into the earth.

A few years ago, I went to Vietnam – and while I was there, the Vietnamese national soccer team beat Japan for the first time in, like, 10,000 years or something, so every single person in Hanoi took to the streets, waving massive red Vietnamese flags and going completely mental.

That’s what looking over the market sectors this morning reminds me of – it’s red as far as the eye can see, and people are losing their minds.

Hardest hit have been InfoTech, down 1.86% after tech stocks in the US took a hammering. Energy (-1.55%), Real Estate (-1.27%) and Consumer Discretionary (-1.24%) are also wallowing deep in the claret.

Least Worst are Utilities (-0.35%) and Telcos (-0.56%). Everything else is a bit crap as well.

All the Big Players seem to have avoided any horrifying losses, with Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) the only Billion Dollar Baby in the charts this morning, down 5.86% because the market’s gone pre-Christmas mad.

Why? Because America, that’s why… and here are the details:



In wide-screen 4K UHD clarity, here’s stunning proof that some people are entirely unable to accept good news, and are just sour, dour glass-half-empty sadsacks.

Because the overnight data from the US was good. LIke, fundamentally good for just about everyone

The main part was lower than expected initial jobless claims out of the US, which came in lower (healthier) than expected, Pete “The Thailand Pirate” Farquhar reports. And that’s great! Lower unemployment is quite clearly an excellent thing, right?

But noooo… because that plays right into the US Fed’s assessment that the entire nation still needs to be punished over inflationary issues, so Jerome Powell’s “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” approach to rate hikes now has real, hard data to back him up. The bastard.

US Tech stocks were massacred, with Tesla copping the worst (-8.88%), but Microsoft and Apple also crumbled after chipmaker Micron posted a fairly morbid outlook.

The end result was a market milkshake so sour you’d swear the cows had been spooked by a witch, with the Dow Jones down by 1.05%, the NASDAQ by 2.18% and the S&P 500 by 1.45%. Big Oof.

In Asia, and Japan’s Nikkei is down 1.18% this morning as the nation steels itself for the arrival of Annual Gift Man from his headquarters on the moon.

Hong Kong’s not faring well either, with the Hang Seng down 1.40% and Shanghai is 0.36% softer in early trade as well.

In crypto, the Big News is that SBF has been granted a $375 million ticket to spend the Holiday Season with his parents, thanks to a US Judge who has clearly had his heart touched by a Christmas Angel.

BTC and ETH are steady, Dogecoin is on the rise, and you can read about all that and more in Mooners and Shakers – plus you can get Rob “I’m Knockin’ Off Early” Badman’s 2022 crypto wrap here as well. #ValueForMoney



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 23 [intraday]:

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

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Despite the sea of red, there are some Small Cappers doing Good Things this morning.

Immuron (ASX:IMC) is up 19.4% after it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed with the clinical evaluation of Travelan.

The Investigational New Drug (IND) application to evaluate the efficacy of a single dose of Travelan to prevent infectious diarrhoea caused by ETEC is now active.

Let’s all hope the trial is super-fast, and Immuron can start handing it out at the ASX today.

MetalsTech (ASX:MTC) is up ~13% this morning off the back of news that Chifeng Gold (aka Chijin International) has completed a $3 million placement to take its position in MTC to about 9%.

The placement comes in advance of MetalsTech updated mineral resource estimate at its flagship 1.5+oz Sturec gold deposit in Slovakia, which is expected to drop shortly.

Also popping today is Askari Metals (ASX:AS2), up 13.2% on no particular news, but decent volume so it’s getting a mention so that we’re rounding out a nice Top Three for the morning.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 23 [intraday]:

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

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