Local markets are down this morning, after a pretty wan effort on Wall Street, prompted by concerns that the US political divide has become too wide to broach, and the US economy is headed for the crash of a lifetime if the whole debt ceiling thing doesn’t get sorted out.

For a peek behind the curtains on that one, I cheerfully refer you to Christian “Chedward” Edwards and his corker of an explainer from this morning – which includes the alarming revelation that US President Joe Biden has (apparently) seriously considered the option of just letting the whole thing explode.

In the meantime, and speaking of crashing things intentionally, other news out of the US is that a YouTuber has pleaded guilty to intentionally crashing an aircraft, to get views for his channel.

Quasi-celebrity and utter f–king moron Trevor Jacob, 29, has been under investigation since December 2021, after he posted a video of himself cutting the engine of his light plane, before jumping out and parachuting to the ground, leaving the plane to plunge into the mountains below.

I will admit, it’s a pretty spectacular video…



…by which I mean, spectacularly and irredeemably stupid.

Jacob, who is a former Olympian – he came 9th in the Idiot’s Snowboard Cross event at Sochi in 2014, and presumably never quite got over it – clearly posted evidence of the whole thing.

Face clearly visible … it’s all there for the world to see, even if there was a bit of Super-Excellent Acting involved around the whole ‘oh my goodness, the engine has failed’ part of the footage.

Now, here’s where it gets weird. According to officials, Jacob and a mate later went out to the crash site with a helicopter, lifted the wreckage and took it back to Rancho Sisquoc in Santa Barbara County, where it was loaded onto a trailer attached to Jacob’s pickup truck.

After that, Jacob destroyed the aircraft, disposing of the dismantled wreckage in a few bins around the airport.

And it’s because of that, he’s found himself pleading guilty to “one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison”.

And for all of that, we owe youTube a hearty thank you on behalf of humanity, for providing a platform for the world to witness the incalculable stupidity of the people we share the planet with.



For about five minutes this morning, things were looking great. But then, they weren’t, as what’s becoming the New Normal early morning dip for the benchmark began and it moved to around -0.2%.

Despite some upward pressure, that’s pretty much where it’s remained, any by lunchtime -0.17% was on the scoreboard.

Materials (+0.45%) and Financials (+0.14%) are pretty much the only winners today, with the rest of the market dragging its arse along the carpet like an elderly pug with a raging case of tapeworms.

Consumer Staples is on -1.04%, InfoTech down 0.88% and Health Care is right behind it on -0.87%. The rest of them are all in the middle there somewhere.

In the fancy pants Large Caps section of the market, James Hardie (ASX:JHX) is up 8.4% this morning after reporting that things are looking up for the company. ​​Net sales from ordinary activities are up 4%, and profit from ordinary activities after tax attributable to shareholders is up a juicy 12%.

Life360 (ASX:360) is also on an upward journey this morning, adding 8.9% thanks to revenue of $68.1 million, a YoY increase of 34%, with core Life360 subscription revenue of $46.2 million up 66% YoY.



In the US, wrangling over the upcoming economic disaster that is the US defaulting on its debt ceiling and cratering its economy is giving Wall Street a classic case of weak knees, leaving the overall market operating at a fairly tepid level.

Overnight, all major indexes on Wall Street closed modestly higher – the S&P 500 by +0.3%, the Dow Jones by +0.14%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by +0.66%.

As Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports, there was lots of Fedspeak overnight, with two officials suggesting that interest rates would remain on hold until inflation comes down and the labour market softens.

Yields on US treasury bonds rose (bond prices went down) after the comments, leading to (I assume) further calls for Fed officials to sit down and STFU.

Microsoft’s US $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard finally got approval from the European Union, much to the angst of most gamers, while AI stock C3.ai rallied 23% after it raised its outlook, citing that interest in applying predictive analytics “has never been greater.”

Retailers Walmart, Target and Home Depot will report their earnings this week, along with China’s tech giants Alibaba and Tencent. I can hardly wait.

In Japan, the Nikkei has risen thanks to a boost for the country’s Probably Consumed By a Bear (PCBB) Index, following an incident that reportedly claimed the life of a lone fisherman on a lake near Hokkaido.

A local boat operator told officials that they dropped off Toshihiro Nishikawa, 54, to fish on his own at a spot on Lake Shumarinai in Horokanai early on Sunday, and a few hours later spotted a bear in the area with a set of fishing waders in its mouth.

Police later recovered a human head from the scene, prompting local authorities to launch a bear hunt operation, during which swift vengeance was reportedly delivered when at least one bear was murdered by the hastily-arranged posse.

In China, news that the country is muddling its way through an uneven recovery has split markets, after retail sales jumped 18%, but industrial production for April rose by 5.6% year-on-year, compared to the 10.9% expected by economists.

In Shanghai, the market has dropped 0.25%, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is up 0.65%.

In Crypto Chasm, Bitcoin has reclaimed and held US$27k since this time yesterday, with Twitter-based analysts at odds over whether BTC is going to sink below $20k or rise above $70k this year.

Can you imagine it? People not agreeing with each other on Twitter??? It’s unthinkable… especially about something that’s as predictable as the crypto market.

Rob “We Know You Hate Crypto, Gregor” Badman has a far less cynical explanation of what it all means over at Mooners & Shakers, because he’s cleverer than me about all that pretend money stuff.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for May 16 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
CTO Citigold Corp Ltd 0.0055 38% 1,434,737 $11,494,636
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.002 33% 120,000 $8,018,408
ODE Odessa Minerals Ltd 0.0115 28% 62,221,955 $6,669,537
AD1 AD1 Holdings Limited 0.005 25% 128,551 $3,290,276
EMU EMU NL 0.0025 25% 803,255 $2,900,043
THR Thor Energy PLC 0.005 25% 214,458 $5,894,451
PNN Power Minerals Ltd 0.51 23% 1,538,787 $30,018,727
EMN Euromanganese 0.245 23% 624,595 $49,946,005
FFF Forbidden Foods 0.032 19% 206,223 $3,590,475
SW1 Swift Networks Group 0.013 18% 350,000 $6,520,763
ASM Ausstratmaterials 1.2 18% 1,034,740 $170,039,332
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.02 18% 3,020,892 $10,375,619
MRI Myrewardsinternation 0.027 17% 1,860,597 $5,025,785
M24 Mamba Exploration 0.115 17% 333,333 $5,976,367
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd 0.023 15% 35,019,892 $37,514,367
BVR Bellavistaresources 0.17 13% 50,000 $5,695,877
MPG Manypeaksgoldlimited 0.355 13% 10,000 $11,457,810
OZM Ozaurum Resources 0.054 13% 79,832 $6,096,000
PIL Peppermint Inv Ltd 0.009 13% 3,577,996 $16,302,855
PPY Papyrus Australia 0.028 12% 50,672 $11,877,047
JNO Juno 0.067 12% 172,864 $8,139,480
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0.24 12% 113,323 $32,230,602
3PL 3P Learning Ltd 1.23 11% 864 $305,515,008
MYE Metarock Group Ltd 0.15 11% 41,552 $17,683,994
ESR Estrella Res Ltd 0.01 11% 547,489 $13,352,147
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At the top of the Small Caps ladder this morning is Odessa Minerals (ASX:ODE), which dropped an announcement to the ASX this morning that must be important, because the HEADING IS IN ALL CAPITALS.

Odessa has reported finding critical rare earths … sorry, that should be CRITICAL RARE EARTHS and OUTCROPPING PEGMATITES at Lockyer Grange, in WA’s Gascoyne region.

ODE says it’s taken some 1,200 rock chip samples, seven of which the company says hold more than 1,000ppm TREO, which contain between 14 and 26% of critical REO (CREO %= Nd+Pr+Tb+Dy Oxides/TREO). The rest of the rock chips are still awaiting analysis.

On the strength of that, ODE is up 28% this morning. WELL DONE YOU.

Close by in the standings this morning is Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), which has climbed more than 22% today after releasing a company presentation for the month that didn’t have a lot in the way of new information – so it’s a big win from a PowerPoint prezzo that basically reminded the market that the company is still a thing.

In third place, it’s Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) which has had an 18% win, after forging a strategic partnership with US based rare earth magnet manufacturer Noveon Magnetics through an agreement for the sale of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) alloy from the Korean Metals Plant.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for May 16 [intraday]:

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

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
MEB Medibio Limited 0.001 -50% 229,275 $8,301,188
KEY KEY Petroleum 0.001 -33% 74 $2,951,892
PVT Pivotal Metals Ltd 0.027 -33% 1,674,426 $19,053,434
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.0015 -25% 675,000 $18,178,496
WSR Westar Resources 0.041 -21% 21,062,348 $5,782,099
1ST 1St Group Ltd 0.004 -20% 136,668 $7,084,956
ADS Adslot Ltd. 0.004 -20% 4,722,503 $11,021,742
5EA 5Eadvanced 0.46 -19% 2,840,479 $161,691,028
IVT Inventis Limited 0.04 -17% 150,000 $3,012,634
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0025 -17% 56,000 $23,354,649
CMO Cosmometalslimited 0.11 -15% 12,283 $3,316,300
WML Woomera Mining Ltd 0.011 -15% 1,293,540 $12,430,096
ADY Admiralty Resources. 0.006 -14% 2,200 $9,125,054
ATH Alterity Therap Ltd 0.006 -14% 10,000 $17,079,283
GED Golden Deeps 0.006 -14% 6,666 $8,086,587
OAU Ora Gold Limited 0.003 -14% 52,111,032 $13,779,238
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.006 -14% 516,667 $3,967,037
SZLDA Sezzle Inc. 20.99 -14% 13,697 $132,254,470
ATV Activeportgroupltd 0.13 -13% 14,692 $26,483,614
LRV Larvottoresources 0.2 -13% 1,385,484 $15,468,586
EXR Elixir Energy Ltd 0.08 -13% 10,139,349 $83,944,233
ADR Adherium Ltd 0.0035 -13% 5,193 $19,985,753
DOU Douugh Limited 0.007 -13% 130,000 $7,871,187
M4M Macro Metals Limited 0.0035 -13% 170,000 $7,948,311
RIM Rimfire Pacific 0.007 -13% 1,317,500 $15,815,291
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