December 19th, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

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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Thought for Today

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.

$ESH15 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:2030.50)

by Rick Ackerman on December 18, 2014 6:51 am GMT

Volatility is getting pretty nasty, although that shouldn’t discourage us from trying to get a step ahead of these wild swings. That much was clear yesterday, when the S&Ps actually dipped 30 minutes into the session before exploding higher. The subsequent undulations and bullish lurches were driven by the timing of yesterday’s FOMC announcement late in the session, but it was never in doubt that the futures would work their way higher, if spasmodically, until the announcement came. For now, we’ll use the  2024.75 target shown as a minimum rally objective. Night owls can try bottom-fishing at the 2005.00 midpoint pivot, although I wouldn’t risk the implied six points that a “mechanical” entry would dictate. _______ UPDATE (8:42 a.m.): The trade would have worked spectacularly, since the futures touched an overnight low of  2004.50 before going into a ballistic, 31-point rally worth as much as $1500 per contract to anyone who bought as advised. An initial stop-loss as tight as three ticks would have sufficed to get you aboard.

$GCG15 – February Gold (Last:1198.90)

by Rick Ackerman on December 18, 2014 6:30 am GMT

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$USH15 – March T-Bonds (Last:143^19)

by Rick Ackerman on December 16, 2014 5:29 am GMT

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$GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:24.72)

by Rick Ackerman on December 16, 2014 4:03 am GMT

Tax selling in this vehicle could produce a climactic bottom in the weeks ahead, but the range of possible targeted lows is quite wide, depending on how fierce the washout is. There are at least two logical hidden supports where we might look for an important turn: at 20.83 (daily chart, A=54.56 on 8/24/13); or at 17.30 (see inset). Bottom-fishing the higher Hidden Pivot poses relatively little risk, since we can use a very tight stop-loss, and because a bounce from that price that is at least tradable, if not sustainable, looks quite likely.  I’m going to back up the truck myself — buying at either number or both, tightly stopped — and would do so not as a long-term play, but as a high-odds trade. Please note that although the 20.83 pivot has the potential to produce an important low, I’ve selected a chart that shows the alternative target at 17.30 so that you can judge for yourself how compelling it looks.  One further note:  Because yesterday’s plunge exceeded the previous bear-market low at 22.34 recorded on 11/5, it should have stopped out enough bulls to produce a spirited rally over the next day or two.  Under the circumstances, if such a rally fails to materialize, it would portend yet another wave of selling ahead. _____ UPDATE (December 17, 11:59 p.m.): Like gold futures, this vehicle rallied yesterday without quite reaching a downside target. That’s mildly bullish, but GDXJ will need to pop above 23.71 on Thursday to ‘actualize’ the encouraging start. ______ UPDATE (December 18, 8:39 p.m.): The nearst impediment to the rally lies at 25.18, a Hidden Pivot shown in the chart. Bulls can take encouragement if it’s exceeded — and perhaps get long if the ascent goes a bit further, exceeding the 25.62 peak and pulling back into a tradable ABC pattern.

$CLF15 – January Crude (Last:53.98)

by Rick Ackerman on December 15, 2014 4:15 am GMT

Crude is getting kicked again Sunday night, although the January NYMEX contract is trading 85 cents off its low at the moment. The so-far low is 56.25, but I would expect the futures to get closer to my 55.43 target (see inset) before they attempt to rally in earnest. Night owls can try bottom-fishing using ‘camouflage’ nevertheless, but if you want to use a simpler, albeit riskier, strategy, you can bid 55.43, stop 55.34 for a single contract. I have difficulty imagining significantly more sinkage without a bounce from somewhere near here, but if the stop gets schmeissed, the next logical stop on the way down would be at 53.45, or 50.69 if any lower. However robust the bounce, assuming one comes, my bear-market target is still $31. The economic world would be a very different place at that point, and I don’t mean in a good way. _______ UPDATE (December 15, 10:39 p.m.): The 55.43 pivot is holding so far on a closing basis, having been exceeded intraday by 0.41 points. That’s more than I would have expected, but I still think we’ll see a strong rally from here, or from very near these levels, since the target is so clear and compelling. If not, and the futures continue their relentless plunge, the targets given above, 53.45 and thence 50,69, will obtain. Traders with no position, or those who are managing the risk of a short position, should note that the January contract was in an uptrend late Monday night that projected to exactly 56.13. You can find this target on the 15-minute chart using the following coordinates: a=55.17 (12/15 at 4:45 p.m. EST); b= 55.85 (6:45 p.m.); and c=55.45 (8:10 p.m.). This pattern looks reliable enough that we should infer more upside to come if 56.13 is exceeded by more 10-15 cents. _______ UPDATE (December 16, 9:33 a.m.): Crude fell this morning to a newe multiyear low at 53.60, just 15 cents from the target given above. If you caught the 1.16 bounce from the low, you should have taken a partial profit and secured what remains with an ‘impulsive stop-loss’.  The bounce is less than I might have expected, and if the low gets taken out we’ll likely be looking at more slippage to 50.69.

$IDAH – Idaho North Resources (Last:0.1600)

by Rick Ackerman on November 5, 2014 12:01 am GMT

Idaho North [OTC symbol: IDAH] offers investors a potentially lucrative synergy between two very successful entrepreneurs.  CEO Mark Fralich started out as a reporter with the Associated Press News Service but went on to co-found Spoval Fiber Optics before moving into the exploration business with Mines Management, Consolidated Goldfields Corp. and some other natural resource companies. Like most executives in the exploration business, he is an aggressive risk-taker. But he is also an astute bettor, perhaps never moreso than in his choice of Thomas Callicrate to head up his technical team.

Callicrate is bottled lightning, a geologist who may know more about ore deposits in Nevada than anyone else in the world. I counted no fewer than 250 file cabinets in the barn-size work buildings that surround Callicrate’s spectacular home in Carson City. He seems to have committed every geological map in those cabinets to memory, and he can tell you exactly where each and every rock came from in the massive stone fireplace that dominates his living room and in his beautifully landscaped gardens.  The fact that he chose to affiliate with IDAH attests to his confidence in Fralich’s ability to exploit to-the-max whatever ore deposits the company is able to find.

From a technical standpoint, the company’s shares have not traded for long enough to offer a sound basis for prediction. The stock has fluctuated between 0.08 and 0.24 since being OTC-listed in November 2013. That said, it would be no worse than an even bet to hit 0.3000 a share, nearly double its current price, if it can push past the red line at 0.2150. That’s a Hidden Pivot midpoint resistance, and it will remain valid as a minimum upside target for the near term unless the stock falls below 0.1300 first.

For news concerning two separate option agreements that IDAH recently signed, click here for the Green Monster property in Nye County, and here for Coeur Mining’s Klondyke properties.

+SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.4410)

by Rick Ackerman on December 10, 2014 3:16 am GMT

I first recommended this stock in early September after being very impressed with a presentation by its CEO, Atul Sabharwal. The company provides mobile marketing solutions to a growing list of clients that includes Wal-Mart, ESPN, Lexus, Taco Bell, Target, Johnson & Johnson and Minute Maid.  Snipp’s shares are listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX: SPN) and on the OTC in the U.S. (symbol: SNIPF), but yesterday it filed with the SEC for an exchange listing in the U.S.  From a technical standpoint, SNIPF looks to be basing for a move to as high as 0.4385. First, though, it would need to trip a buy signal at 0.2878, then to clear the 0.3380 midpoint pivot (see inset).  The company continues to win new business at a rapid clip, and that’s why I expect the earnings report due out November 15 to be strong. Full disclosure: I hold shares and warrants in this company. _______ UPDATE (November 13, 10:49 a.m. EST): Two days ahead of the earnings report, the stock has taken quite a leap, with an opening bar high today at 0.38 that was 36% above yesterday’s close. This means the 0.4385 target flagged above is well in play.  _______ UPDATE (6:49 p.m.): The stock took a leap Thursday back up to the midpoint pivot at 0.3380 associated with the 0.4385 target. Regarding earnings, they will be out later than expected, in line with the Canadian deadline for filing. Stay tuned _______ UPDATE (November 17):  Snipp has reported 252% earnings growth for Q3. Click here for the company’s latest filing. _______ UPDATE (December 5, 10:13 a.m.): Zounds!  The stock has popped to 0.40, quadrupling in the eight months since I first recommended it. My immediate target is 0.4356, but SNIPF will need some rest if and when it gets there. _______ UPDATE (December 9): Bulls are apt to be a little winded after the recent push to 0.4314, less than a penny shy of the target shown. We’ll give the stock time to consolidate for the next thrust. ______ UPDATE (December 10, 6:12 p.m.): With the broad averages plummeting yesterday, Snipp bucked the tide, hitting a new all-time high at 44.10. This opens a path over the near term to 0.4906, or perhaps 0.5193 if any higher.


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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