We who are about to lie (down), salute you!

But first…  the US S&P 500 has ended the week almost 2.5 per cent higher, –that reliable barometer of the human heart delivering a robust, if holiday-shortened Christmas comeback. 

The broader US index set a fresh record on Thursday, pushing ahead with a seasonal gallop some might applaud as a blind, pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face… or rather just a growing sense the latest Covid-19 strain won’t be smashing down everything we hold dear after all. 

Thus, risk sentiment waxed as Omicron worries waned, nudged into action by some better-than-expected US economic data and reminding punters Ye Olde Economic Recovery is still a thing. 

Across the commodities complex, Christmas will arrive with Brent crude prices lifted by Omicronic optimism and more bad math on US Inventories. 

Bullion continued its rally. Spot gold trading near US$1,809 at the US close, the local goldies and the iron ore majors (iron ore offset previous losses, rising 1 per cent overnight) tucking into their hampers early.

On local markets, the ASX picked up the good vibes from Wall Street to post four straight winning sessions into Christmas.

With some extra Xmas gains, the the ASX is on track to close the week around 1.6% higher.

IP…OMG when will it end?

And just when you thought it was safe to get out of the market, the pre-Christmas run up was among the year’s busiest for IPO watchers – and my word that’s really saying something.

Earlier in the week the ASX ran red with the life blood of aspiring resource companies, as the omicronies and correctionalists put the naysay into assay. But it’s Christmas Eve… and Santa does love a good rally…

Rubix Resources (ASX:RB6), is a copper, nickel, PGE and zinc explorer running traditional mining exploration projects in Queensland and WA.

Helmed by experienced exec chair Eddie King, RB6 secured some $4.5 million from its listing, with 22.5 million shares at $0.20 per share.

The focus-puller here is the digger’s Paperbark Project, right up alongside New Century’s (ASX:NCZ) Century Mine in Queensland.

RB6 was on track to close the week slightly lower than its IPO price at 18.5c.

Run (from) DMC

DMC Mining ASX:DMM  (22 Dec) 

T’was a decade ago, David Sumich, Bruce Franzen and William Witham ran an iron ore focused set up also called DMC which was snapped up for a cool $55m by Cape Lambert Resourcs.

Now the gang is back, and focused on nickel with tenements in the Fraser Range – where one is like to find the rather super Nova nickel deposit.

Unfortunately once back on the boards, investors ran from the DMC sequel like audiences from Ghostbusters 2 – down by over 30%.

But as we often say, in both resources and cinema quality does have legs, here I remind readers of Paddington 2. 

Here comes the falcon.

Falcon Metals (ASX:FAL) (22 Dec) 

Now to the John West of Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN).  Back in the day, before Julimar, Chalice was a halfway house for orphaned Vic and WA projects from good stock.

Falcon Metals is one of those — the Pyramid Hill gold project – all growed up. Based in Victoria’s 60Moz Bendigo gold fields and the Viking project near Norseman in WA, Chalice shareholders got one Falcon share for every three Chalice shares, while gun CEO Alex Dorsch will be a non-exec director and chair Tim Goyder has a silent stake of nearly 8%.

Despite the enormous street-cred shares dropped by some 28% on debut, but have recovered those losses at the time of publishing.

Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF) like Falcon, is a straight divorce from a bigger, overbearing partner – Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO) – with CEO Andrew Brunton calling the move “a big step” but one in which Macarthur will stay a major shareholder and, “will look forward to being part of the Infinity story as it advances with an all-important value-building phase over the course of the next 12 months.” So that’s nice.

Infinity also fell on debut – by 15% – but the stock is rallying, up 6.5% at the time of publishing.

BirdDog Technology (ASX:BDT) (Tuesday 20 Dec) 

Here’s a Melbourne-based broadcast-tech firm in the business of delivering low-latency HD video across existing computer networks.

The market is global and includes professional broadcasters, advertisers and anyone who might – on the off chance – be needing to have a reliable and clean virtual meeting. 

In FY21, BirdDog pulled in more than $38 million of revenues and earnings of $2.4 million.

BDT’s signature is a software platform which augments quality and a hardware like some super cool, remotely-operated cameras. The clincher here is the tech’s capacity to streamline broadcasts with only the barest of skeleton staff. 

After raising $33m at 65c per share, giving the company a market cap of $133 million, BDT stock closed out the day with a gain of around 5% and has continued to gain ground, at 71 cents per share on Friday.

CEO Dan Miall telling Stockhead earlier this week of his confidence, as “the global leader in NDI enabled video technologies.”

No Nuix is good (not) Nuix

IPO of the week probably belongs to IT services company Atturra (ASX: ATA) which listed on Wednesday.

And as our own indomitable Nick Sundich wryly observed, did quite nicely on the back of a simple, yet cunningly timed trading update released just as the firm met the market – okay, sure no numbers were offered – but the update rather lovingly depicted a company on target to meet its prospectus forecasts.

CEO Stephen Kowal saying the funds will be used to accelerate growth plans.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 20 – December 24 [intraday]:

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

It’s just worth saying Ark Mines (ASX:AHK), has raised some $4.7 million to rejoin the ASX boards with a handful of projects around regional Queensland. Relisting two years after falling into administration, the is up about 400% that’s thanks largely to a mighty stock-consolidated tailwind, but with Xmas so close, it’s nice just to stand back sometimes and look at a pretty number.

Also making waves this week Carnaby Resources (ASX:CNB) up some 36% on Monday, after reporting some “spectacular” copper unearthed from its Greater Duchess Copper Gold Project in northwestern Queensland. Word has spread, shares in CNB look like closing the week circa 120% the stock they were on Monday.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for December 20 – December 24 [intraday]:

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

Shares in the Oil & gas explorer Far Ltd (ASX:FAR) just got smashed, off the back of an unwelcome narrative following results out of its offshore Gambian Bambo well.

While oil shows and potential reservoirs were encountered, no live oil columns were identified. FAR is well-positioned to ride out the drama, its balance sheet augmented by the sale of its interest in a Senegal-based oil project to wee straggler (jokes) Woodside (ASX:WPL).

The challenge for FAR is the conditions – “with additional payments of up to US$55 million contingent on future commodity prices and… the timing of first oil.”

Also far from the maddening taste of success was Step One (ASX:STP) which fell sharply on Wednesday (by 36%) after doing the right thing (possibly at the wrong time) and telling shareholders it had identified a possible over-claim of GST credits on an Australian supply made by a foreign corporation which was not previously identified — and that it would have a $1.6 million impact pre-tax.