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Good morning everyone, and welcome to 21 February, 2024 – an important day for literary freedoms and contrarian antics, as it was on this day in 1764 that a fella called John Wilkes was tossed out of the House of Commons for writing an utterly filthy parody of poet Alexander Pope’s stultifyingly boring “Essay on Man”.

Pope’s essay was, by any measure, bloated and self-important bullsh-t – it kicks off with the line “Awake, my St John…”, and goes rapidly downhill from there, banging on about how we cannot possibly fathom the mind of the Lord, and thus we are unable to justify any complaints about our lot in life.

Here is but a teensy sample:


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;

The proper study of Mankind is Man

Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,

A being darkly wise, and rudely great:

With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,

With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,

He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,

In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast.


Voltaire called it “the most beautiful, the most useful, the most sublime didactic poem ever written in any language” – and while I disagree with Voltaire entirely, I will defend to the death his right to be as full of crap as Alexander Pope.

The last two lines don’t even rhyme. Bit pathetic, actually.

In reaction to Pope’s drivel, John Wilkes published “Essay on Women”, featuring such stellar wit as the immortal line “life can little more supply, Than just a few good f***s and then we die.”

I’ve had to censor it here – so you can imagine how it went down in 1764, when the word was still relatively new, and wasn’t rushing from the mouths of every schoolchild six or seven times a minute, as it seems to be these days.

The people were outraged, according to Lord Sandwich, who would later become quite famous for refusing to get up from a card game to eat, instead instructing a servant to fetch him “two slices of bread with something in between”.

That actually happened.

Anyway – Sandwich and his mates got all hot and bothered about Wilkes writing rude things, and basically Me Too’d him out of parliament, finding him guilty of publishing an “obscene and blasphemous libel”.

At the time, Sandwich publicly suggested that Wilkes, being the dirty devil he was, would die either by hanging or the pox, to which Wilkes responded by saying: “That depends on whether I embrace your lordship’s principles… or your mistress.”

Game, set, and match to Wilkes. Thank you linesmen, thank you ball boys.

But enough of history for today – there’s new stuff to learn, which is why Stockhead’s team have been hard at work to bring you Rob Badman’s dive into the Energy market, Eddy Sunarto’s wrap of who’s who in the world of IPOs and Josh Chiat’s always-entertaining Bulk Buys.

And, as always there’s words and numbers down below to help you sound like you know what you’re doing when the market opens later on this morning.



Gold: US$2,024.24 (+0.33%)

Silver: US$23.o0 (+0.19%)

Nickel (3mth): US$16,349/t (-0.04%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,434.50/t (-0.64%)

Oil (WTI): US$77.25 (-1.54%)

Oil (Brent): US$82.46 (-1.31%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$129.29/t (+0.09%)

AUD/USD: 0.6554 (+0.17%)

Bitcoin: US$52,161 (+0.25%)



If you missed legendary stock picker Rusty Delroy doing what he does best yesterday, here’s a link to the magic.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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

Wordpress Table Plugin


Yesterday’s Small Cap Winners included:

Out in front on Tuesday morning was Way2VAT (ASX:W2V), stretching its two-day run into a third consecutive winner, up 55% before lunch on Friday’s news that it has launched a new AI-driven automatic auditing system.

Parkd (ASX:PKD) has been given the go-ahead to proceed with Stage 2 of the design and construction contract with John Hughes Automotive Group, for construction of a multi-level car storage facility to support its VW service centre in Victoria Park, Perth.

The project value of Stage 2 works is $4.3 million “under terms and conditions that are industry standard for a contract of this nature”, with contract claims due to kick off in March of this year.

Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL) was rising on news that it’s set to sell its non-core investment – a minority stake in Altmed Pets – to Altmed Pets, for US$1.5 million in cash… $100,000 up front, the rest later.

Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS) was trading higher on happy 1HFY24 results including a gross revenue bump of 7.4% to $124 million, putting the company on an EBITDA of $7.9 million, which is $11.5 million better than the previous year.

Toys R Us (ASX:TOY) was up on news that the company has completed a private placement of 84,615,385 new fully paid ordinary shares in the Company at an offer price of $0.0065 raising $550,000 before costs.

And Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) was also up on news of a placement, announcing that the company has raised $850,000 from professional and sophisticated investors, which will see the company issue 708,333,333 fully paid ordinary shares at $0.0012 a pop.

Belararox (ASX:BRX) made headway throughout the afternoon, after nanaging director Arvind Misr delivered a presentation to the Copper in the Americas investor call shortly before lunchtime.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Wordpress Table Plugin



NickelX (ASX:NKL) –  pending an update to the market in respect of the option agreement the Company previously announced regarding an update and supplementary announcement to NKL’s announcement lodged earlier today.

Enova Mining (ASX:ENV) – pending an announcement by Enova Mining in relation to the potential acquisition of a mineral project.

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) ) – halt called to allow for considering, planning and executing a capital raising.

Stellar Resources (ASX:SRZ) – pending an announcement regarding a capital raise.

Orthocell (ASX:OCC) – pending an announcement by the Company in relation to a proposed strategic placement.