April 25th, 2014
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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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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.

$FB – Facebook (Last:60.87)

by Rick Ackerman on April 25, 2014 3:52 am GMT

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$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:524.65)

by Rick Ackerman on April 24, 2014 7:46 am GMT

Although the 525.27 midpoint support of the pattern shown evinced no discernible support, the pattern itself offers an attractive bottom-fishing opportunity that experienced Pivoteers will appreciate (see inset).  Without going into detail, I’ll suggest simply that you acquire a bullish stake near 522.91 in whatever way suits your style.  In this case, ‘near’ 522.91 means within four cents, since this set-up looks like it will work that precisely.  Stop yourself out if the stock touches 522.82, and don’t pass up an opportunity to take a partial profit if the bounce expected from 522.91 hits 523.24.  Thereafter, you’ll be on your own. (Note: If you buy options at the predicted low, stick with calls priced under $2, and plan on holding them for no longer than an hour, since they will be melting away quickly because of time decay. Ideally, you should try to spread them off by shorting calls of a higher strike against them for at least as much as you paid.)  ______ UPDATE (10:19 a.m. ET):  Boy, did I ever pick the wrong day to try stealing a few shares of this stock on-the-cheap! Apple took a psychotic, short-squeeze leap on the opening bar to $569 (!), goosed by news of the following: 1) a $30 billion increase in its stock buy-back plan; 2) an 8% boost in its dividend; 3) and a 7:1 stock split. Those who bought into this morning’s effusion should be asking themselves, Why is Apple being so nice to me? My guess is that it’s because the company knows that in the months ahead, especially with wireless carriers weaning customers off phone subsidies, price competition is about to impact Apple’s bottom line more than before.  FYI, the rally projects to exactly 626.60, where p=560.59 on the weekly chart, and A=447.22 on 9/20.

$+CLM14 – June Crude (Last:101.91)

by Rick Ackerman on April 23, 2014 4:41 pm GMT

The midpoint pivot at 101.28 that I’d flagged yesterday in the chat room as a place to try bottom-fishing appears to have served subscribers well. Several subscribers have reported getting long at that price ahead of the so-far 88-cent rally that has ensued. This morning’s low never exceeded the pivot by more than eight cents, and the rally since could have produced a gain of as much as $800 per contract for anyone who was aboard.  Because of the fills that were reported, I’m going to establish a tracking position for your further guidance. Assuming four contracts were entered initially, you should take partial profits on half now if you haven’t done so already. For tracking purposes, I’ll assume an exit at 101.80, a dime below where the futures are currently trading.

I’ll further suggest using an impulse leg-based stop on the 30-minute chart. This implies that a swoon now to 101.19 would take one out of the position. The stop-out price will rise to 101.45 if the current bar’s low, 101.72, becomes a point C low (where A=101.46 at 9:00 a.m. ET). _______ UPDATE (10:40 a.m. ET):  A very nasty downdraft has erased most of the rally in a single bar on the 30-minute chart.  Stick to the 101.19 stop for now, but use a breakeven stop if you held only one contract. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 1:06 a.m.): There were four swings in excess of 70 cents yesterday — not quite violent enough to dislodge us from our position.  For tracking purposes I am assuming that two contracts remain, with a profit adjusted cost basis of 100.48.  Exit one of the contracts now for around 101.70 (or catch-as-catch-can when you wake up, assuming you slept on the position); then, use an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the hourly chart to create a stop-loss for the last contract.  At this moment, that would imply stopping yourself out on an uncorrected plunge exceeding Wednesday’s 101.20 low.  _______ UPDATE (1:33 p.m.): Profit taking has lowered the costs basis on the remaining contract to 99.26.  As of this moment, using an ‘impulsive’ stop based on the hourly chart, the stop-loss for the remaining contract (or 25% of the original position) lies at 101.39.

ESM14 – June E-Mini S&P (Last:1878.50)

by Rick Ackerman on April 23, 2014 3:24 am GMT

The leaps have been opportunistic, powered by short-covering whenever the mood is right. Most of the time these days, however, the futures are taking mincing steps in both directions, creating a challenging environment for profit-seekers in the middle hours of the day. One thing to notice, however, is that the rallies, particularly in this vehicle, and whether weak or powerful, seldom proceed from the first signaled entry point.  Instead, the ‘money trades’ launch from a second or third point-C lows of ABCD patterns, and they do it with such repetitious reliability that one can practically discard the first signaled entry opportunities routinely. This is the kind of price action we might expect when ‘everyone’ thinks that stocks will move higher on a given day. ‘Everyone’ can be right, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can make money easily. For your interest today, I am including a chart that shows a modest rally target at 1895.00. I’m guessing it will be easier to get short there with a tight stop than to get long for the ride to it. However, because the futures will be in record territory at that point, we shouldn’t want to impede their progress too aggressively. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 12:50 a.m.):  With yesterday’s rally — nearly all of it achieved in a single, short-squeeze bar toward the end of the session — bears are now trapped between the all-time high and a lesser peak just below it. Their acute, growing discomfort will likely be tradable, but not by way of any specific guidance I am able to provide nine hours before the opening bell.  New record highs are coming, but for most traders, the process of getting there promises to be more pain than pleasure.

$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1230.18)

by Rick Ackerman on April 22, 2014 4:00 am GMT

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Since March 20, when GDXJ was trading for around $40, I have been looking for a potentially important low at 34.00.  More recently, I revised that target to exactly 33.76, a ‘Hidden Pivot support’. Yesterday it came within a single penny of nailing the exact low of a vicious swoon. The low may or may not prove to be the last gasp of a correction that has been in progress for the last five weeks, but it stood to be an opportune place to try bottom-fishing.  In that regard, quite a few subscribers reported getting aboard at or near the low, and so I’ve established a tracking position for their further guidance. It consists of 200 shares with a cost basis of 33.58. The price takes into account an initial purchase of 400 shares for 33.79, then the taking of a partial profit on half the position at 34.00.  The bounce so far has hit 34.90, meaning GDXJ has trampolined $1.14 cents since hitting my three-week-old target.  For now, traders should stop themselves out of the position if GDXJ breaches two prior lows on the 5-minute chart without an upward correction.  As of this moment, that would imply placing the stop at 34.37 (and remember: it must be exceeded by an unbroken, downtrending leg).  You should also offer a round lot (or half of the remaining position, whichever is greater) to close for 36.80, good-till-canceled. _______ UPDATE (11:38 p.m. ET): The herky-jerky spasms in the first 90 minutes altered our stop-loss so that it would have taken a 34.07 print to stop us out — 23 cents beneath the actual low. I’ll now suggest raising the bar by using an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the 30-minute chart. That would imply a fall today touching 34.29.  Please note, however, that the stop could change if zig-zag action early in the session creates any distinctive new lows on the intraday charts. Our target for the next profit-taking interval is still 36.80. _______ UPDATE (April 23, 1:38 p.m. ET): A powerful surge today has hit a so-far high of 36.89, allowing anyone who was long to take a partial profit at 36.80 as suggested.  For tracking purposes I’ll assume 100 shares with a profit-adjusted cost basis of 30.36.  In practice, you should still be holding 25% of whatever position you acquired initially, with a 30.36 cost basis. For now, use no stop-loss. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 1:20 a.m.): For each round lot you hold, short one May 2 38 call if GDXJ gets within about 15 cents of 38.00.  At that price, the calls should fetch around 1.10-1.20.

$DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:79.89)

by Rick Ackerman on April 21, 2014 5:25 am GMT

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$USM14 – June T-Bond (Last:134^01)

by Rick Ackerman on April 2, 2014 3:21 am GMT

We don’t pay much attention to this vehicle other than at key turning points, but the short-term pattern shown looks like a lay-up for traders who see futures contracts as no more than bouncing dots on a chart, waiting to be exploited. There are actually two trade possibilities here: 1) a ‘camouflage’ short as USM slips below the 132^13 midpoint; 2) and a very tightly stopped long from within a tick or two of the 131^17 target. Good luck!  Please report any fills in the chat room so that I can establish a tracking position for your further guidance. ______ UPDATE (3:17 p.m. ET): The short was tricky to initiate, but once aboard, your reward came quickly with a drop to a so-far low at  131^26. As noted above, the short should be covered and reversed near 131^17. ______ UPDATE (April 6, 3:57 p.m.): The low of Friday’s violent price swings was 131^21 — not quite close enough to have gotten you long easily. Although this could prove to be an important low for the short- to intermediate term, under the circumstances I’ll assume no subscribers were filled. _______ UPDATE (April 11, 1:03 a.m.): Next important stop on the way higher: 135^17. _______ UPDATE (April 20, 11:10 p.m. ET): Last week’s fleeting stab to 135^10 came within less than a quarter-point of my target — close enough for us to consider it fulfilled. It took the futures more than a month to get there, so we should expect this correction-or-worse to last for at least a week or so before bulls attempt to push T-Bonds to new recovery highs.


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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