December 19th, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

With $1000 Looming, Gold Fever Is Back

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 2:15 am GMT · 5 comments

We’re no fans of head-and-shoulder formations, since they are everywhere the amateur chartist might want to find them. But there is something to be said for the bullish reverse head-and-shoulders pattern that gold futures have been tracing out for the last year-and-a-half. The pattern is shown in the chart below, and it is predicting that December Gold, which settled yesterday at 997.70, its highest close since February, is about to run up to $1060. Trouble is, just about everyone we know thinks gold is about to pop to 1060, give or » Read the full article


Thought for Today

Too Sexy to Pass Up

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 3:06 am GMT

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Rick's Picks for Friday
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SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:13.04)

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 2:30 am GMT

All our ducks are in line now that we’ve successfully legged into the December 12.50-15.00 call spread eight times for a net CREDIT of 0.15 per.  The short sale of some December 15 calls for 0.45 yesterday morning clinched it, allowing us to capture premium in this series when the options were fat and juicy. Let’s put in a stink bid of 0.20 to cover the December 15s, good through Wednesday. It would be worth our while to get ’em in at that price if we can do so within the next few days. Our goal would then be to re-short them on  rally. _______ UPDATEWe weren’t able to cover the short December 15 calls, since they never traded below 0.35.  However, with the stock pushing toward $13 our position is looking better than ever.  We have a chance to make as much as $2120 with SLW trading $15 or higher at expiration, but even if SLW plummets we’ll still make at least $120.

DIA – Diamonds (Last:94.46)

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 2:49 am GMT

I usually ignore hot tips, but a pen-pal of mine, Phil C., sent me a breathless note predicting that the Dow would rally 100-150 points this morning, forming a top from which it will collapse when traders return after Labor Day.  Putting aside the details, this sounds so absolutely right to me that I’m inclined to speculate modestly.  Mr Market loves to spring dirty, nasty surprises whenever possible, and what could be nastier — or more surprising — than a tsunami to greet us as we return from summer’s final fling?  To get short, we can use the midpoint resistance at 95.07 shown in the chart, buying two September 93 puts (DAVUO) if and when the Diamonds get there. _______ UPDATE (11:52 a.m.): Stocks are only modestly higher today after an other-then-depressing unemployment report, so a short-squeeze to the levels where we’d wanted to get short seems unlikely. We’ll do nothing officially, but personally I’m going to take a couple of puts home with me over the weekend. My hunch is that the best prices of the day will obtain near the close. (Note: I bought some September 93 puts — DAVUO — for 0.86.)

SIZ09 – Comex December Silver (Last:16.130)

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 3:13 am GMT

The futures pushed slightly above a 16.265 pivot that had served as a short-term, minimum upside objective. The overshoot hints of further upside progress, presumably to the next Hidden Pivot resistance worth noting, 16.640.

$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 nearest 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.


This Just In... for Friday

About My Option Strategies…

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 12:01 am GMT

The following questions about my option strategies came up in the forum, but I am republishing them here because they may be of interest to a wider audience:

What is the advantage of going long one call, and then locking in a given spread via shorting another call, versus “locking-in” the spread by going long on puts instead?

My answer below is more generalized, but to address your specific point, we should prefer to “lock in” a profit by shorting a wasting asset rather than buying one ourselves.  For most option traders most of the time, shorting calls is MUCH more profitable than buying puts.  Indeed, in the several decades I have been trading options,  I cannot recall a instance when put buyers were happy for more than three consecutive days.  Even those who owned puts ahead of the 1987 crash had just two days of sheer bliss to get rid of them.

Is it that in the latter scenario, one is long twice, and can thus get screwed twice by the pros? I always thought the latter scenario would be a good one in cases of low implied volatility, where the loss on one is mitigated, and the gain in the other is increased when implied volatility rises during larger underlying moves. (That may just be retail-customer theory, which the pros have long beaten. But what do I know? I’m still waiting for someone to start offering straight options on the VIX. Thanks!

&&&&&

The spreads I prefer are intended to provide a highly leveraged shot at big profits, but without the usual, horrendous time decay. This tactic is especially useful if we expect a stock to rise (or fall) over a period of several months. We also seek to take advantage of fleeting spikes that goose option volatilities to the moon. If, for instance, SLW opens on a gap this morning (it did), we may have a chance to short Dec 15 calls when they are hugely overvalued — sell them, perhaps, for even more than the 0.45 we’d intended. (They topped at 0.50 before receding with the tide.). And, of course, we do so with the expectation that Silver Wheaton will be strong in the coming months, but not so strong that the December 15 calls will go in-the-money. We may ultimately decide to exercise our December 12.50s, a step in building a long-term position. RA

The Real Unemployment Rate

by Rick Ackerman on September 4, 2009 4:38 am GMT

Were you aware that the Bureau of Labor calculates unemployment in various and sundry ways that are not shared with the press?  Neither were we — until we heard about ‘U-6,” which reckoned U.S. joblessness at 14.8 percent back in February.  We would assume it’s much higher now, but unfortunately February was the last month given.  Incidentally, if 1933’s rate of 24.7 percent had been calculated using today’s dubious metrics, it supposedly would have been lower by at least five to ten percentage points. Click here  for the link.


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