We’re almost 100% that we, as a species, have established that The Great Social Media Experiment has been an unmitigated disaster, and that every platform and app aimed at the democratisation of content should be piled up in the town square, doused in diesel and set alight.

But, like a nasty and hard-to-explain disease picked up while on holidays, social media still packs a solid blow-below-the-belt when it comes to examples of stupidity that are profoundly shocking in size.

This story, by the way, is how the world ends. Just so you know.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your edification, we present to you Exhibit A, a genuine, 99.9% pure platinum plated pillock whose plan for domination of the social media space (via TikTok) includes raising an “army of frogs” that they’re planning to release.

We wish we were joking, but we’re not. Because This. Is. Stockhead… where we are always as serious as a heart attack, and we don’t know the meaning of the word “always”.

However, in this instance – and in the parlance of youth, because there’s nothing cooler than middle aged men talking like pimply teenagers – this story is decidedly “no cap, bro”.

We realise that we have a somewhat diverse audience here at Stockhead, so for the uninitiated, this is the best explanation of TikTok that we’ve been able to come up with:

TikTok is what happens when you combine the IQ-lowering 95% of Deepest, Darkest YouTube with the vapid, silicone-plumped 65% of Influencer-dominated Twitter, infuse the resulting app with (allegedly) over 9000 different kinds of Chinese spyware, and then sit back to watch morons doom-scroll through the endless inanity until their minds atrophy like the nards of a docked ram.

So, anyway – there’s a TikTok UK-based user called “thinfrog”, who has been documenting the lives of a handful of tadpoles they said they found in a pond near their home in February. If you can spare a few dozen IQ points, you can see where it all started here:

@thinfrogwhat are they…well I’m raising now cool♬ Radetsky March Classic Classic(829541) – Yuumi Iida

Things have escalated since then, with the latest updates claiming that better than 1.4 million eggs have hatched into tadpoles, and now occupy a pond that they’ve built in their backyard.

“I wanted to create the largest frog army in history,” thinfrog said, while telling the world that plans are on the drawing board for a facility to house more than 10 million frogs – and the aim is to release those hapless hoppers into the wild at some point in the future.

The most concerning aspects of this story lie in the fact that TikTok’s burgeoning frog-based supervillain has 2 million followers, and more than 20 million views on the platform.

There are also – of course – copycats popping up as well, including one woman who says she plans to release millions of ladybirds into New York’s Central Park, where, we can only hope, the insects will finally outnumber the muggers and sex pests and restore peace to the Manhattan landmark.

Aside from the internet’s well-documented problematic history with the idea of frog armies, after 4chan’s horrifying appropriation of cartoon frog Pepe spiralled wildly out of control, the release of 10 million frogs into any area is a recipe for ecological disaster.

Scientists remain hopeful that it’s going to be easy to contain, given that there is the distinct possibility that any army of frogs sent forth will simply surrender within a matter of days.

 

TO MARKETS

Aussie markets have had a moderate case of the “I don’t like Mondays” this morning, opening with a slump that makes a mockery of how buoyant and positive we were all feeling when the bell rang on Friday afternoon.

Once again, it’s Materials front and centre on the Naughty List, down nearly 2.0% before lunch. It’s not their fault, though, honest! Weakening commodity prices are the most likely culprit behind the drop.

The Materials dip has led many other sectors lower today, including InfoTech (-1.85%), and Consumers, where Discretionary (-1.43%) and Staples (-0.73%) are performing about as well as the comedic relief on Australian Idol.

Energy and Financials are the only sectors posting green numbers this morning, up 1.0% and 0.3% respectively. Those not mentioned above are in the red, but not by any noteworthy numbers.

With the benchmark in a form slump so obvious even Tiger Woods admits that it’s happening, there’s no surprises then that there aren’t any of the Big Money Business Types making any huge gains this morning.

There are, however, four of them with the needle deep into the red before lunch. It’s obviously impolite to gloat at the misfortune of others… but here they are, anyway.

Leading the team into the basement is Consumer Defensive company Costa Group (ASX:CGC), after word of an unpleasant note from the desk of Credit Suisse suggesting a downgrade broke, and – well – the arse dropped out.

CGC fell sharply, until the ASX pumped the brakes and halted trade about 11.30am, but not fast enough to stop a 12.0% blood-letting.

Elsewhere, IDP Education (ASX:IEL) has dropped 5.78%, Novonix (ASX:NVX) fell 8.1% and our old mate on the swings and roundabouts of the ASX playground, Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA), fell 6.7%, because someone in the village said the word “witch” and the cows started giving sour milk. Or something. It’s never easy to tell.

But the worst news on the downswing this morning belongs to point-of-care diagnostics company Lumos (ASX:LDX), which was dealt an appalling body blow by news from the US FDA that its FebriDx product “did not demonstrate substantial equivalence to the predicate device and consequently has not been granted clearance for marketing in the US”. Ouch.

As is tradition following news this poor, investors broke the sound barrier on their way to the Out Door, and the company’s price sank by more than 65% – as brutal to watch as the speed at which it all unravelled.

Not quite as bad, but still worth noting, was a sharp drop by EML Payments (ASX:EML), which sank to multi-year lows on news that managing director and CEO Tom Cregan had unexpectedly walked, with no explanation forthcoming.

EML has announced that Cregan’s replacement at the helm will be Emma Shand, whose pedigree should bring some semblance of stability to the embattled prepaid payment services provider.

We’ll get to our Small Caps heroes in a bit – but until then, please enjoy the soothing sounds of whatever’s happening a long way from here.

 

NOT THE ASX

Wall Street missed the memo from Australia on Friday, and decided to end the week with a “Yeah, we’re not sure, either”, closing mixed on Friday after stronger than expected US jobs data fought a pointless battle against inflation concerns, for the hearts and minds of investors.

There’s more data due this week in the US, including The June US consumer price index data on Wednesday, and the domestic jobs report on Thursday – both of which will do something to the market, but at this point with all things America, your guess is as good as ours.

For what it’s worth, on Friday the S&P finished down 0.08%, the Dow dropped 0.15% and the Nasdaq went the other way by 0.12%

The headlines from the US market, however, were dominated by the unbearable soap opera surrounding the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, who has backed out of the deal because of bots, to which Twitter has said “Nup. Give us ur mun-muns, Musky Man”.

Anyone with shares in Musk’s lawyers are probably rejoicing, though. So… hooray for them.

In Asia this morning, things are trending downward in both Hong Kong (-2.50%) and Shanghai (-1.27%).

Japanese shares, however, have shaken off the nation’s outrage over the brutal assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, climbing 1.0% following elections on the weekend that saw Abe’s former party and its current ruling coalition partners perform quite well.

In Commodities Land theme park, where the queues to ride the Great Big Machines are super-long and the only currency the snack stands accept is solid gold ingots, things are less than ideal for everyone other than natural gas, which surged by 5.4%.

The other major commodities are having a pretty ordinary morning, with oil down by 0.8%, gold down 0.13% and copper dropping nearly 2.0%.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for July 11 [intraday]:

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

 

Climbing the Small Caps ladder of heroes this morning is Kingwest Resources (ASX:KWR), on news that it’s hit a bright and shiny 5.0m @ 4.8 g/t from 113.3m in KGD004 included 2.3m @ 9.4g/t Au intercept at its Sir Laurence Discovery at Lake Goongarrie, WA.

The market loves shiny things, and has rewarded Kingwest to the tune of a 36% price spike since the announcement went live and the company came out of its trading halt.

Also knocking things out of the park today were Copper Mountain Mining (ASX:C6C), up a curious 31% on no clear news and bugger-all volume, Errawarra Resources (ASX:ERW) with a similarly odd-looking 25% lurch and Santana Minerals (ASX:SMI).

Santana, at least, has some solid news to explain its 24% leap, after it announced a significant mineral resource estimate (MRE) update from the 100% owned Bendigo-Ophir Project, a 6-fold increase in RAS inferred resources that brings the company’s global inferred gold resources to the magical 2Moz mark.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for July 11 [intraday]:

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