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Gold Just Messing with Bankers’ Heads

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 2:27 am GMT · 8 comments

Gold hasn’t made much headway since the beginning of the month, when COMEX futures surged $50 in the space of two days. With the dollar suffering from the vapors, there’s no compelling reason why the December contract should have loitered near $1000 ever since.  Granted, that’s a nice, round number, and it probably works smoothly with put-and-call hedges that allow bullion dealers to borrow as much of the stuff as they’d care to without risk. It is the same thing we see on expiration Fridays in the equity options market. When a stock gets “pegged” to a strike price, it’s possible for even small players to transact » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Tuesday

A do-it-yourself gold trade

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 3:53 am GMT

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Rick's Picks for Tuesday
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All Picks By Issue:

ESU09 – E-Mini S&P (Last:1043.00)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 2:43 am GMT

That 1053.00 target may be so stale by now that it can be shorted without fear of bumping heads with amateur riff-raff.  I won’t get in your way by suggesting the usual niggling stop-loss, but let me reiterate that the target itself is as clear and compelling as can be — a bet-the-ranch number if it had been hit last week on the the first try. If you’re superstitious and would rather play the December contract, the equivalent target, a Hidden Pivot, lies at 1048.25 ______ UPDATE (10:16 a.m.):  This trade worked beautifully, since the futures have so far fallen 11.25 points after topping at exactly 1053.25 an hour before the day session began.  You’re on your own from here, but if you initiated the trade on multilots, save some contracts for a potential four-bagger.  

GCZ09 – Comex December Gold (Last:1009.40)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 3:47 am GMT

It’s not often that we find potentially great camouflage on the hourly chart, but if December Gold moves as I have hypothesized in the accompanying chart, it will set up a beautiful entry opportunity at ‘X’ that seems very likely to give buyers a pleasurable ride.  I am not going to complicate my instructions by telling you how to get long in a hundred words or less, but will instead leave it up to pivoteers in the chat room to do the explaining if and when opportunity knocks Tuesday morning. _______ UPDATE (10:05 a.m.): Gold eased lower overnight, and so the entry opportunity we were looking for did not materialize.  The weakness hints of more downside to 988.40, or to 988.50 if any lower.  Alternatively, an upthrust that touches 1006.40 would put bulls back in the driver’s seat. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (2:13 P.M.):  A trade flagged in the chat room is working nicely for anyone who went long mechanically by-the-numbers.  On the 15-minute chart, using the one-off ‘A’  at 995.90 that was advised, the target lies at 1011.30 — two ticks from where the futures have just made a (presumably) short-term top.

GS – Goldman Sachs (Last:177.57)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 4:12 am GMT

The 192.91 target given here earlier will make for a juicy shorting opportunity if and when Goldman gets there, but I’m reluctant to play the upside unless we can get in at a retracement target. The best such opportunity tied to a Hidden Pivot would be down near 175.05, the midpoint sibling of 192.91.

DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:76.71)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 4:17 am GMT

The Dollar Index’s fall to a 75.57 target has been so long in coming that we should be on the alert for a reversal before it is reached. On the hourly chart, this would be signaled by a 77.25 print, but if 77.38 is touched, bears had better dive for cover.

$ESZ14 – Dec E-Mini S&P (Last:1984.00)

by Rick Ackerman on October 30, 2014 2:53 am GMT

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$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:169.70)

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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$+MCD – McDonald’s Corp. (Last:92.72)

by Rick Ackerman on October 27, 2014 12:01 am GMT

This week’s commentary implies that McDonald’s shares are an attractive long-term short. Most immediately, the stock looks primed to fall to the 85.53 Hidden Pivot target shown. The fact that the stock market’s powerful short-squeeze has lifted the stock somewhat makes the bet even more enticing. Accordingly, I’ll suggest shorting two round lots anywhere above the 91.42 midpoint pivot (i.e., the red line). Use a stop-loss equal to one-third of whatever you stand to gain if the stock were to fall to the target from the price where shorted.  This is the “mechanical entry” tactic I have often alluded to in the chat room and which I teach as part of the Hidden Pivot Course.  If you prefer to use options, buy the Jan 17/Oct 31 85 put calendar spread 16 times for 0.70 or better. Our goal will be to reduce risk to zero or less by rolling the spread forward, shorting the nearest weekly calendar spread each Friday. _______ UPDATE (11:28 a.m.): With the stock up somewhat this morning — don’t these guys read? — lower the bid to 0.68, and decrease it by 0.01 for each 5-cent gain in the stock above 91.86. _______ UPDATE (7:43 p.m.):  The spread closed at 0.70, but there’s not much more we can milk from it, since the October calls we’re trying to short closed at 0.03. Traders who have yet to act should wait to buy eight Jan 17 85 puts ‘naked’ with the stock trading near the 92.59 target shown. Those who are long the spread should first try to cover the short puts with a 0.01 bid, day order. If the order is filled, sit tight for the time being. _______ UPDATE October 28, 10:45 a.m.): The stock gapped up 61 cents on the opening to a spike high at 92.61 that lay just three cents from our target. Subscribers reported paying anywhere from 0.62 to 0.67 for the puts, but absent the aggressive Rick’s Picks bid for a relatively quiet, illiquid series, they should have sold for closer to 0.50.  Anyway, I’m now suggesting that you spread off the risk by offering Jan 17 82.50 puts short for 0.56. To avoid crushing these little daisies, let no Rick’s Picks subscriber put up an offer until others have bid 0.52 or better. _______ UPDATE (5:45 p.m.): Forget about spreading off the puts. Assuming a middling price of 0.65 was paid for them, simply use a stop-loss at 0.49.  Our beautifully targeted entry three cents from the top of a 60-cent opening-bar gap should have allowed us to easily spread off the entire risk of our position, since MCD dropped by nearly $1 following the bull-trap opening bar. However, because a heavy convergence of Rick’s Picks bidders pushed the puts we bought into the stratosphere to begin with, and because MCD is getting goosed by the short-squeeze on the broad averages, we’ll set a firm limit on risk and stick with it. ______ UPDATE (October 29, 9:09 p.m.): The position was stopped out for a theoretical loss of $128.  We’ll get out of the way of this erstwhile glue horse for now, since its brazen distribution is benefitting from a short-squeeze that has pushed the broad averages sharply higher.

AMZN – Amazon (Last:294.11)

by Rick Ackerman on October 24, 2014 12:30 am GMT

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$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1224.60)

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

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$+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 Tuesday

SIZ09 – Comex December Silver (Last (16.665)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 3:59 am GMT

December Silver bettered our bullish benchmark at 16.730 by a single tick yesterday, hinting of more upside to come. If so, the futures 16.850 will need to touch 16.850 today to demonstrate  their eagerness to challenge last Friday’s 17.015 peak. Once above it, the futures would be an odds-on bet to reach a minimum 17.275 over the very near-term.


This Just In... for Tuesday

The Collapse of a Presidency

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2009 5:56 pm GMT

Writing at Politico.com, here’s Jeremy Lott on the increasingly likely collapse of the Obama presidency:

When he ran for president, George W. Bush promised to be a modest reformer at home and a humble representative of the United States on the world stage. The Al Qaeda-organized-and-funded terrorist attacks of eight years ago changed all that. During his presidency, Bush created massive new government bureaucracies, sent troops into two wars and threatened more as part of America’s war on terror.

Barack Obama’s initial approach to the office of the presidency has been as grandiose as Bush’s was restrained. It’s not hard to recall that he ran as a transformative candidate, promising sweeping, though somewhat fuzzy, “change” during the campaign.

For the first several months of his presidency, Obama has labored to deliver on that pledge. He pushed a controversial stimulus bill through Congress to help rev up the economy, turned Bush’s reluctant bailout of Chrysler and General Motors into a giant government auto buyout and appointed a record number of “czars” to help regulate bureaucracies in both public and formerly private sectors.

Then, Step 2. Obama is trying to fundamentally alter the American economy by backing sweeping environmental, labor and health care legislation. He wants to change the way Americans consume energy, unionize and see their doctors.

So far, he’s failing miserably. Consider the following:

• Cap-and-trade legislation had to limp over the finish line in the House of Representatives with the help of a few moderate Republicans, who then caught holy unshirted hell from their constituents. Environmental legislation generally has taken a drubbing in public opinion polls when people consider how costly it is.

• The Employee Free Choice Act may be stripped of its “card check” provision in the Senate, which would effectively do away with secret ballots for unionization elections. Even in its watered-down form — which still includes highly objectionable, mandatory, binding so-called gunpoint arbitration and makes no concessions to employers who don’t want to have to prop up teetering union pensions — it might not pass the Senate. And the leadership of the House has refused to touch it until the other chamber has made up its mind.

• On health care, forget the rage set off by private citizen Sarah Palin tweeting about “death panels.” Forget the misleading talk about whether there will be a “public option.” (The ever-evolving plan is one giant public option, folks.) Forget the angry voters who crowded into the town halls during the August recess. Forget that a number of Democratic senators and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are still not willing to sign on to a bill. Right now, even after Obama’s address to the joint session of Congress last week, it’s possible Democrats don’t even have the votes in the House — where they currently enjoy a 77-seat majority.

It’s entirely possible — nay, likely — that Obama will lose on all three big issues. He’ll probably take that personally. As he has pushed for the passage of his reforms, his public approval ratings have taken a beating, and voters have started to trust the Republicans more than his party on a host of issues.

The question that most political handicappers are considering right now is not “Will Republicans make gains at the midterm elections?” but “How large will those gains be?”

What all this means is, barring some unforeseeable world event, Obama’s will probably not be a historic presidency. He will have some successes and a lot of failures. His opposition won’t roll over, and his party will refuse to go along with his more costly, and thus risky, schemes. He won’t coast to reelection.

So Obama now has the chance to be the sort of president Bush would have been if the World Trade Center towers had not come down. Here’s hoping he makes the best of it.


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