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Bank Scare a Ruse to Shake the Tree

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 12:22 am GMT · 6 comments

A run on a major U.S. bank?  Who could have been spreading such scurrilous rumors? They surfaced yesterday in the Rick’s Picks chat room, and elsewhere, not long after we’d done some personal banking ourselves in an online account at the very same bank. We experienced no delays or problems with the transaction, notwithstanding reports of a “default situation” and “elevated” buying of put options on the shares of the bank.  We were able to confirm that there had indeed been a flurry of put-buying, but the action was not so frenetic as to suggest that the bank was in any serious trouble. 

bankers

To the contrary, banks are operating under such loosey-goosey rules right now that they shouldn’t have a care in the world. Imagine having a notarized letter from your local police chief authorizing you to loot and plunder any store in the neighborhood without fear of arrest. That’s how the banks are doing business these days – which is to say, however they want.  And if a deal should turn sour it’s no problem, since the U.S. government has assured banks that it will pay 100 cents on the dollar for any securities that ultimately fail to clear the market.

Smoldering Ruins

Tuesday’s rumors of a big bank on the ropes evidently were prompted by general weakness in banking shares. The selling had been attributed to nervousness over the prospect of more losses to come in the banking sector. A few analysts added to the stresses of the day by speaking cautiously about bank shares.  Has the spectacular rally begun last November finally run out of steam, they asked? We seriously doubt it. More likely is that those who have been accumulating bank shares hand-over-fist simply backed off their bids for a day, allowing the stocks to fall to more appealing levels.

Bloomberg, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and all the rest bought into this ruse with a deluge of commentary concerning how financial stocks supposedly have gotten too far ahead of “fundamentals”. Fundamentals!?  If the day ever comes when fundamental analysis is applied rigorously to securities markets, the financial system will be reduced to a smoldering ruin in mere days. For the time being, though, the bankers are enjoying a holiday from scrutiny that makes all things possible. Under the circumstances, with Tammany Hall sensibilities determining the course of the financial system, we should not be looking for a top in banking shares, only an occasional pause in their upward spiral.

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TODAY'S ACTION for Wednesday

Against the Grain…

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 1:18 am GMT

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Rick's Picks for Wednesday
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GCZ09 – Comex December Gold (Last:955.00)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 12:44 am GMT

The futures spent the day struggling to go lower, failing in the end to overpower a midpoint support at 947.60 whose breach would have greased the skids down to 938.70. The bearish pattern is shown in the accompanying chart, and as you can see, the pre-dawn bounce came from a low that lay within a single tick of the pattern’s calculated midpoint. The reactive rally was no world-beater, to be sure, but on balance the picture is at least mildly bullish for the near term.  A 978.00 rally target given here earlier remains viable, but like you I am growing a bit impatient about it.

GS – Goldman Sachs (Last:162.03)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 12:53 am GMT

Yesterday’s savaging did no damage whatsoever to the bullishness of the daily chart, although there is still room to fall on the lesser intraday charts. Specifically, a Hidden Pivot target at 158.90 looks like a good place to try bottom-fishing. Officially we’ll bid 158.93 for 200 shares, stop 158.79.  We continue to hold the Jan 130 – Oct 130 put spread four times for 3.40 and a September 170 call for 2.00. _______ UPDATE: The bottom-fishing gambit worked out nicely, since the stock rallied $1.08 after making a low at 158.90 around midway into the session. You would have needed to apply a trailing stop, though, since Goldman subsequently relapsed to 158.14 before the closing bell.

SIU09 – Comex December Silver (Last:14.970)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 1:01 am GMT

Silver effected a promising spike yesterday afternoon, but the futures were struggling to hold onto the gain early in the evening.  If they go no lower than 14.940 overnight, however, any rally exceeding the relevant midpoint resistance at 15.155 would suggest additional upside potential over the near term to as high as 15.365.

DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:78.80)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 1:12 am GMT

The rally looked altogether unimpressive until late in the session, when a fleeting spike surpassed a look-to-the-left peak at 78.91 that I’d flagged in the chat room. That gives the rally nominal appeal on the lesser charts, although we should require 79.79 today to validate it. The location of the obscure but important peak-let this would surpass is shown in the accompanying chart.

$+SIZ14 – December Silver (Last:15.865)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 4:15 am GMT

More downside over the near-term to at least 15.865 (see inset) looks very likely, so traders should position from the short side. The opportunity may be past by morning, but night owls can use an entry trigger on the lesser charts (i.e., 5-minute bar or less) to get aboard. I’ve highlighted the relevant ABC pattern, which appears at the rightmost edge of the chart. ______ UPDATE (9:23 a.m. EDT): Anyone who got short as advised made a pile of money overnight without much stress.  The futures have plummeted and are currently down about 63 cents, having recorded a so-far low at 15.635 that exceeded our target by by 23 cents.

$AMZN – Amazon (Last:299.07)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 3:58 am GMT

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$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:173.48)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:03 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1144.22)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:02 am GMT

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$+SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.2490)

by Rick Ackerman on October 28, 2014 2:47 am GMT

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$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1224.60)

by Rick Ackerman on October 23, 2014 1:56 am GMT

The failure of Tuesday’s rally to reach the modest, 1260.30 Hidden Pivot target we were using as a minimum upside objective is not exactly a sign of robust health. The target remains theoretically viable because the point ‘C’ low at 1232.00 with which it is associated is still intact. However, the hourly chart has swung bearishly impulsive as a result of the ratcheting, two-day sell-off from the recent high at 1255.60.  Short-term downside potential is to the 1232.30 target shown. If this Hidden Pivot support is easily breached, however, it would suggest more sellers are waiting in the wings. Alternatively, the futures would need to surpass 1246.30 without having first touched the 1239.30 midpoint support (see inset) to turn the hourly chart short-term bullish. _______ UPDATE (October 27, 8:01 p.m. EDT): I expect the next leg down to reach the 1216.40 Hidden Pivot support shown.  Alternatively, a print today at 1236.30 would give bulls a fighting chance. _______ UPDATE (October 29, 1:23 p.m.): 1202.10 is my new downside target — a Hidden Pivot support identified during this morning’s weekly tutorial session. _______ UPDATE: An 1125.00 target broached yesterday during my regular interview with Al Korelin should suffice to keep you out of trouble. I hadn’t imagined the futures would get halfway there overnight.

$+AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:107.34)

by Rick Ackerman on October 22, 2014 8:18 am GMT

Apple’s gap yesterday through the 100.41 midpoint resistance (see inset) strongly implies that its D sibling at 105.64 will be reached. Although a pullback to the midpoint should be treated as a belated buying opportunity, I wouldn’t suggest chasing the stock higher. That said, the four labeled peaks are tailor-made for the Hidden Pivot trader who can employ the ‘camouflage’ technique for getting long. If you understand why, you should go for it! _______ UPDATE (8:13 p.m.): The broad averages pulled Apple back down to earth yesterday when the stock tried to go opposite weakness that surfaced around mid-session. This runs flatly counter to my speculative idea that AAPL might pull the broad averages higher. That’s still possible, since yesterday’s 104.11 peak fell 53 cents of a rally target that remains valid in theory. However, we’ll eschew speculation for now and simply watch to see whether  the 102.44 Hidden Pivot support holds (see inset, a new chart). _______ UPDATE (October 23, 1:59 p.m.): Apple has rebounded sharply today, off a 102.90 correction low to a so-far high of 105.05 that’s 59 cents shy of our target. Most longs should have been exited by now. ______ UPDATE (October 27, 8:07 p.m.): Friday’s high at 105.49 came within 0.15 of the target flagged above.  Bulls can continue to hold small long positions for a swing at the fences, but I’d suggest tying your shares to a stop-loss based on a downtrending impulse leg on the 15-minute chart. Currently, that would imply stopping yourself out if an uncorrected fall touches 104.52 _______ UPDATE (October 28, 8:44 p.m.): Still long? Be alert at 107.08, a Hidden Pivot target that looks all but certain to be reached but which could stop the rally cold. You should tighten your trailing stop there in any case. ______ UPDATE (October 29, 9:25 p.m.): The rally has shredded some challenging Hidden Pivots, but let’s see if it can bully its way past the 109.07 target shown. In any case, it is my minimum upside objective for the near term.


SIDE BETS for Wednesday

ESU09 – September E-Mini S&P (Last: 996.00)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2009 12:57 am GMT

Below 999.75, there were no more Hidden Pivot targets to project yesterday using the hourly chart. That is still the case, although we can use the breach of a look-to-the-left peak at 1009.50 to signal us when ES is turning around.


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