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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.

The 171.10 rally target we used for this vehicle yesterday caught the intraday high precisely to-the-tick. This allowed subscribers to buy Oct 10 169 puts as suggested for a reported 0.75, the low of the day. Toward the end of the session, with DIA trading significantly lower, I suggested spreading off the risk by offering four October 10 167 puts short for 0.60.  The order went unfilled (although some tightwad put up a 0.59 bid in the closing seconds). Now, I’ll suggest offering the calls short for 0.80, a price that I might suggest raising if it looks like stocks are going to open with a big thud. If the order were to fill at 0.80, our vertical-spread position would produce a gain of at least $20 no matter what, but with upside potential to $880.

My reasoning behind this strategy is that the Ebola scare may already have reached the threshold of “tradable event.”  This I have surmised from the rapt attention the story commanded at my gym, which has TV monitors in all of the workout rooms. Whatever happens, we can only pray that there has been no spread of the disease by the man now under close watch in a Dallas hospital. However, because the possibilities that might arise from this developing story are almost too scary to imagine, we should treat it as an event that could have a significant impact on financial markets. _______ UPDATE (At the opening): Bring the offer down to the original 0.60 for the short puts. _______ UPDATE (9:59 a.m.):  No trades recorded yet, but with the puts now 0.93 bid/1.07 asked, I’ll score this as a short sale at 0.80 unless I hear from someone in the chat room who did worse.

$JNK – High-Yield Bond ETF (Last:40.18)

by Rick Ackerman on September 29, 2014 8:30 am GMT

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$CLX14 – November Crude (Last:93.39)

by Rick Ackerman on September 25, 2014 12:37 am GMT

Energy prices got a lift Wednesday from news that U.S. air strikes had targeted a Syrian oil installation held by ISIS. The refineries that were hit reportedly have been generating revenues of $2 million a day for the terrorist group, so the news was good (even if there was no mention of jihadis left dead by the attack). Whether or not the moderate spike in oil prices will disrupt the mini-bear market in crude remains to be seen. However, using Hidden Pivot analysis, it’s possible to project a further move to the shortable 94.77 target shown. If that happens, prices will have advanced nearly 6% from their September lows. It would take just a bit more than that, however — specifically, a print at 94.93 today or tomorrow — to turn the daily chart outright bullish.

We should not expect a bearish reversal to much alleviate rising prices at the pump, however, since crude’s nearly 15% slide from late June’s highs had little effect on prices, which in many parts of the country still hover near $3.80 for a gallon of regular. Reports by the slackers, fabulists and indolent hacks who bring us the news – including, unfortunately, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal — suggested otherwise, almost to the point of saying that gasoline prices had collapsed in recent weeks. Of course, those of us who actually buy gasoline saw prices come down by only a dime or so. _______ UPDATE (September 30, 10:29 a.m. EDT): My target caught today’s 94.90 top within 13 cents, and thus the start of a so-far $1.71 plunge.  If you got short as I’d suggested, please let me know in the chat room and I’ll establish tracking guidance.

$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:116.02)

by Rick Ackerman on September 23, 2014 2:06 am GMT

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$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:20.51)

by Rick Ackerman on September 22, 2014 8:23 am GMT

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$SIZ14 – December Silver (Last:17.535)

by Rick Ackerman on September 22, 2014 8:12 am GMT

The futures obliterated an 18.130 Hidden Pivot support on Friday, implying more downside to the 16.820 target shown. Because a tradable bounce from that Hidden Pivot seems likely,  I am recommending bottom-fishing there, albeit with a very tight stop-loss (or with a ‘camouflage’ bid on charts of 3-minute degree or less).  The futures have already slightly exceeded the 17.715 midpoint pivot (p1) associated with A=32.802 (1/25/13), so the new midpoint support (i.e., 16.820) is potentially a very important number. Notice that its easy breach would put an 8.776 ‘D’ target in play. ______  UPDATE (Sep 23, 9:22 p.m. EDT): A Hidden Pivot at 16.270 should also be mentioned as a downside target if the selling snowballs. It comes from a so-so, ’sausage’ pattern on the weekly chart, where A=24.865 on 8/30/13. _______ UPDATE (September 30, 3:53 p.m.):  The low of today’s selloff came within 3 cents of the 16.820 target flagged above.  For reasons noted above, this Hidden Support must not fail.

$+RGLD – Royal Gold (Last:65.34)

by Rick Ackerman on September 22, 2014 12:01 am GMT

The stock’s low on Friday occurred just 0.03 from the 65.91 target I’d projected during Thursday’s impromptu technical-analysis session. Because this looked like a great trading opportunity to me, I made it explicitly clear during the session that I was very confident RGLD would achieve the target. However, I hadn’t imagined the stock would fall so sharply — more than 4% — that it would accomplish this in a single day. I also said I was very confident that a tradable bounce would occur from the target.  It did, and the bounce so far has been 54 cents — sufficient to warrant taking a partial profit on any longs bottom-fished at the low. Although the bounce was bullishly impulsive on the very lesser charts, RGLD has come down so hard that I wouldn’t count on the support to hold for long. In any event, if you did the trade, perhaps even shorting to the target as I’d suggested, please let me know in the chat room so that I can provide tracking guidance for the position that remains. ______ UPDATE (Sep 22, 8:23 p.m.): Sellers crushed the support after it held for just a day, implying more weakness is coming. If so, we should expect a test of support near the 58.86 low recorded  in late May. _______ UPDATE (Sep 24, 7:27 p.m.): A weak rally has lifted RGLD off recent lows, but the move would need to hit 66.49 to turn the very lesser charts impulsively bullish. The nearest Hidden Pivot resistance of importance lies at 66.22, so take encouragement if there’s an easy move through it.

$SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.3400)

by Rick Ackerman on September 5, 2014 3:05 am GMT

I first touted Snipp Interactive back in January, when it was trading around 0.15. Although the stock subsequently fell to a dime, it has since rallied sharply, settling at 0.2562 yesterday. This is one of my favorite stocks, and I came away from a conference call with its CEO, Atul Sabharwal, eager to sing their praises. During that call, I hit Atul with my best idea, a sweepstakes-type promotion, but he was already three steps ahead of me, able to cite, for one, New York State’s rules and costs for exactly the type of marketing scheme I’d suggested.

Full disclosure: I hold 100,000 shares plus warrants to purchase another 50,000 shares.  But I hope that won’t discourage you from performing your own due diligence, since you are likely to be as impressed as I was when you find out what the company has been up to. For me, at least, Snipp (OTC: SNIPF) perfectly satisfies Peter Lynch’s rule that investors favor companies whose strengths and methods they can understand. Snipp does interactive marketing that allows clients to track results in real time. The results have been sufficiently impressive that the company has been attracting blue chip clients with little difficulty. Read more about SNIPP by clicking here.

From a technical standpoint, although the stock’s chart history is thin, it’s possible to project a near-term rally target of 0.2730. A tenet of Hidden Pivot analysis is that an easy move through such targeted resistance implies there is unspent buying power percolating beneath the surface. This is not a “hot tip;” indeed, Snipp’s story does not lend itself to the kind of hubris that will result in a $10 billion IPO. But it is an aggressive and imaginative pioneer in a rapidly developing niche, and its CEO has the kind of imagination, intelligence and energy that inspires confidence. _______ UPDATE (Sep 22, 8:30 p.m.): The stock has continued to rally, and the closest Hidden Pivot target is now 0.2668.  If that Hidden Pivot is exceeded on a closing basis for two days, however, a target at 0.3474 would be in play. _______ UPDATE (Sep 23):  Snipp has entered the Brazilian market via an exclusive marketing contract with Petrobas. Click here for the news release. ______ UPDATE (Sep 23, 1:57 p.m. EDT):  The stock has gone bonkers today, up six cents to within less than a penny of the 0.3474 target projected two days ago.

$+TSLA – Tesla Motors (Last:279.20)

by Rick Ackerman on September 3, 2014 5:30 am GMT

Tesla’s strong rally has turned the Oct 3/Sep 5 calendar spread into a solid winner. The spread is currently trading on a bid/asked of 4.50/5.07.  This means subscribers who bought the spread for as little as $1.00 last week could have quintupled their stake. The most paid for it would have been about 1.54. In any case, I’ll suggest offering half of the eight spreads to close today for 4.70. We’ll plan on rolling what’s left on Friday by covering (buying) back the September 5 300 calls we’re short and shorting the Sep 12 300 calls at the same time. ______ UPDATE (10:40 p.m. EDT): The stock’s push to an intraday high at 291.42 made the spread an easy sale for $5.00+, so I’ll consider the order filled.  Now, roll the four spreads that remain into the October 3 /September 12 calendar as detailed above. _______ UPDATE (Sep 7, 10:31 p.m.): The midway price on the spread intraday was 2.30. Imputing the premium to the four October 3/September 12 calendar spreads we now hold would zero out the initial cost of 1.54 and add 0.76 to the real-time value of the spread.  We’ll plan on rolling the spread again on Friday by selling the September 19/September 12 call spread (and thereby covering the short Sep 12 300s), but for now do nothing further. _______ UPDATE (Sep 15, 12:54 a.m.): I’ll use a 0.37 price, midway between the intraday high and low, as the spread price unless I hear from someone in the chat room who did better or worse. Imputing this new premium income to our Nov 22 / Sep 20 spread gives us a CREDIT cost basis of 1.13, for a guaranteed minimum profit on the position of $452. That would be in addition to whatever the Nov 22 calls fetch when we exit them.


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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