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Ben’s Pretty Sure Recession Is Over

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 12:05 am GMT · 4 comments

It’s almost official:  the recession is maybe, probably, technically over. Helicopter Ben said so yesterday, and who are we to argue?  You can hardly blame the guy for having his head in the clouds, considering how retail sales absolutely exploded in August. Sure, it was due almost entirely to a cash-for-clunkers program that taxpayers have yet to pay for. But the program will have been a bargain if it helps foster the impression Americans are in a spending mood again. And if that’s all it takes to get the economy rolling, then by all means, let’s extend clunker status to everything else in America that clunks, starting with Iron City’s peerless clunkmeisters, the Pittsburgh Pirates. We’ll personally chip in a TV set » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Wednesday

Goldman Still the Stock to Watch

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 1:30 am GMT

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PICK OF THE DAY for Wednesday

DIA – Diamonds (Last:97.37)

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 1:14 am GMT

The Diamonds are  creeping up on a shortable Hidden Pivot at ____. It's possible we won't get a better opportunity to lay 'em out than yesterday's 97.31 high, but if the opportunity arises today we can at least be ready.  Accordingly, I'll suggest buying two October 97 puts (DAVVS)  if DIA gets within 5 cents of the target.  A _____ stop-loss would be appropriate.  If you want to use a limit order, I estimate that the puts will be trading for about ____ with DIA at or near _____....

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Rick's Picks for Wednesday
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ESU09 – E-Mini S&P (Last:1048.00)

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 12:01 am GMT

If I were short right now, wearing the pain on my sleeve, I’d have grown so despairing as to create near-certitude in the minds of contrarians that a very nasty swoon is at hand. We should therefore pay close attention to any signs of trouble — meaning, for one, pullbacks that exceed their ‘D’ targets. While we’re at it, and because no signs of trouble have developed yet, let’s try bottom-fishing at the midpoint shown in the chart.  The trade will of course be viable only if the downtrend plays out in a fashion similar to what I have drawn.  (It doesn’t have to be exact, though, and ‘C’ could be higher than the one shown). My instructions are non-verbal, but the method you are to use will be accessible to all who have taken the Hidden Pivot course. I would encourage you to share your tactics with those in the chat room who may be less experienced. _______ UPDATEWe had the right idea, although the pattern shown in the chart missed the actual low by two ticks.  That low occurred at 1046.00, but our bid would have been at 1045.50.  The fact that a retracement abc was unable to get to its midpoint telegraphed the strength that unfolded on Wednesday. As a practical matter, the buy was subsequently signaled on the first bullish impulse leg that occurred after 1045.50 was missed on the pullback. This occurred on the opening, on a 1058.00 high.

GCZ09 – Comex December Gold (Last:1008.60)

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 12:45 am GMT

Looks like a minimum 1022.00 from here, enroute to a bigger-picture target at 1074.00 that I have more or less promised.  I won’t try to split hairs with chat-roomers who have been monitoring gold’s every heartbeat, every microtrend,  but I will pitch in with whatever camouflage entry opportunities may crop up (as one did yesterday morning).  There’s another in progress at this very moment (albeit with a caveat), as you can see in the accompanying chart. Notice how Tuesday’s high fell between the two labeled peaks to the left.

$+ESU14 – Sep E-Mini S&P (Last:1979.25)

by Rick Ackerman on July 25, 2014 12:02 am GMT

The futures have sold off moderately after making a marginal new high on Thursday.  Even though they could be carving out an important top here, I adhered to a tight stop-loss nonetheless because that’s the way I do things, always following my discipline.  However, if you held onto the short from 1982.50 and want me to establish a tracking position for your further guidance, please let me know in the chat room. It is already implied that you’ll need a pullback to at least 1973.50 before implementing a trailing stop, since  you’ve already weathered a 3.00-point swing against the position.

$+PCLN – Priceline (Last:1238.98)

by Rick Ackerman on July 24, 2014 12:54 am GMT

A subscriber reported success yesterday legging into the 1340/50/60 August 16 call butterfly that I’d advised. He did so 32 times at no cost, as suggested, but it took a $10 move in the stock between legs to get filled so advantageously. His maximum profit would be $32,000  with the stock trading at 1350 come August 16.  Since he owns the position without cost, no loss is possible even if PCLN should all to zero or rally to $1000. We’ll do nothing further for now, but I’d suggest that those of you who were unable to buy the spread keep trying.  We’ll shoot for a partial profit if the stock rallies $40-$50 in the next few weeks but otherwise do nothing further. I’ve reproduced a chart that shows why our expectation of a $120 rally from current levels, to a 1358.18 Hidden Pivot target, is not exactly farfetched.  To that end, a pop above the 1270.59 midpoint pivot would be most encouraging.

$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:114.32)

by Rick Ackerman on July 23, 2014 5:36 am GMT

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$EURUSD – Euro/USD (Last:1.34623)

by Rick Ackerman on July 23, 2014 12:01 am GMT

I haven’t tracked currencies that closely, but because they tend to move very precisely to Hidden Pivot targets, traders should consider exploiting them whenever possible. Notice how EUR/USD has broken beneath a midpoint Hidden Pivot at 1.34841 after noodling around near that pivot for a few hours on Thursday. This suggests that it is bound for D=1.34197, at least.  You can bottom-fish there with a stop-loss as tight as 3-4 ticks.  Notice as well that there are two slightly higher possibilities for point ‘A’.  The correction targets they yield lie, respectively, at 1.34114 and, worst case, 1.33992.  I expect these numbers to work very precisely, so use them in whatever way suits you best.  Note as well that a last-gasp rally to p=1.34738 after EUR/USD has fallen a bit would be short-able. _______ UPDATE (July 24, 5:35 p.m. EDT):  Yesterday’s short-squeeze feint topped precisely at a midpoint Hidden Pivot (see inset, a new chart) that was originally support but which is now resistance. This price action confirms the pattern we’ve chosen as well as its ‘D’ target at 1.34197. At least one subscriber has confirmed getting short in the chat room.

$GCQ14 – August Gold (Last:1311.60)

by Rick Ackerman on July 22, 2014 1:29 am GMT

The futures looked like they could go either way as Monday’s session drew to a close. However, the stall within 0.70 of the 1318.30 midpoint resistance I’d flagged implies that a decisive move past it would reach its D-target sibling at 1331.60. Alternatively, my worst-case target for the near term would be the 1278.20 Hidden Pivot support in the lower-right quadrant of the chart — or possibly even 1271.70 if any lower.  The accuracy of this target would be affirmed by a bounce, possibly tradable, from within two or three ticks of the 1302.00 midpoint support. ________ UPDATE (9:57 a.m. EDT):  Gold has bounced $14 this morning from a low just two ticks (0.20) from the 1302.00 midpoint pivot flagged above. Now, if the futures breach the support, we’ll know EXACTLY where they are headed. _______ UPDATE (July 23, 12:01 a.m.): Someone in the chat room said that because everyone seems to be bearish on gold right now, perhaps we should take the other side of the bet.  I’m a bit bearish myself, and thus this response: “Rather than take chances and let gold disappoint us for the zillionth time, we should simply stipulate that the August contract close above 1318.90 before we get excited. That’s the midpoint resistance, on the 180-minute chart, of a=1292.60 on 7/15; b= 1325.90 on 7/27; and c=13-02.20 on 7/22. At that point, I’d lay even odds of a move to at least 1335.50; above 1337.00, the futures would be a good bet to hit 1381.40.  Whatever happens, bulls will have to prove their case. _______ UPDATE (July 24, 1:20 a.m.):  Sellers paused for a relatively blissful nine hours yesterday just inches above the 1302.00 ‘hidden’ support I’d flagged, presumably to sniff the flowers before going back on the attack.

$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:26.43)

by Rick Ackerman on July 17, 2014 12:05 am GMT

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September E-Mini Nasdaq (Last:3965.00

by Rick Ackerman on July 15, 2014 4:21 am GMT

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$NFLX – Netflix (Last:452.00)

by Rick Ackerman on July 9, 2014 3:25 am GMT

Netflix’s so-far $37 selloff has followed a peak last week at 475.87 that slightly overshot a Hidden Pivot at 474.50 I’d characterized as ‘a big-picture target where an important top is even more likely.’ A chat-roomer who evidently took this prediction to heart reported buying puts last Thursday for 1.24 that he cashed out for 8.90 yesterday. This could be just the start of NFLX’s comeuppance for all those who inflated this gas-bag to undeserved heights. If you took a position and are still holding it, please let me know in the chat room and I will update guidance. For now, though, let me suggest that you take profits on half of any short position entered near the recent top. _______ UPDATE (July 10, 10:23 p.m.): Bears failed to achieve a Hidden Pivot target yesterday, presumably because DaBoyz shook the stock down so hard on the opening bar that it exhausted sellers prematurely. The missed target suggests that traders will enjoy decent odds bottom-fishing the midpoint pivot shown at 433.62 (see inset, a new chart) with a stop-loss as tight as 8 cents. If it’s hit, expect the selling to continue down to at least 423.05, a Hidden Pivot that can be bottom-fished with as tight a stop-loss as you can abide. _______ UPDATE (July 14, 11:07 p.m. EDT): A turn from 428.20, precisely between the two pivots flagged above, left our bid high and  dry.  The bull leg that has followed could be the start of a rally cycle with the potential to reach 486.86. First, though, let’s see whether buyers can tackle a midpoint pivot at 457.53 that is associated with the target. _______ UPDATE (July 16 at 6:47 p.m.): Let’s not overlook the downside — specifically, the 433.69 midpoint pivot and its D sibling at 411.67.  Bears can short the break for a move to either, and both can be bottom-fished with the tight stop-loss you can abide. ______ UPDATE (July 22, 12:15 a.m.): The stock turned higher from $2 above the midpoint support, implying that bulls are about to dominate once again.  Call prices are on the moon, however — way too expensive for a straight directional bet. Instead, I’ll suggest buying the August 2 – July 25 calendar spread eight times for 1.50, day order, contingent on the stock trading 451.00 or higher. Please report any fills in the chat room. _______ UPDATE (July 22, 12:05 p.m.):  With today’s huge air pocket, the stock obviously remains in the grip of DaBoyz. My assumption will always be that steep declines in NFLX are brazen shakeouts, engineered by strong hands to steal stock at fire-sale prices from weak hands. In this instance, the downdraft appears likely to hit 413.00 before DaBoyz run it up again. If and when that number is hit, you can bottom-fish there with the tightest stop-loss imaginable. (Note: I’ve revised the target downward by 0.96 since the original update. Also 435.25 is the midpoint pivot and therefore worth a tightly stopped short on a rally to it.)

The Dollar Index turned higher yesterday an inch from a correction target that had been three weeks in coming (see inset). This portends a bullish change for the intermediate term.  The actual target is 79.74, and there is always a chance it will be breached. If so, there’s an alternative target at 79.62, but if it fails as well, especially without a fight, the implication would be more slippage to as low as  78.91, where a key low recorded in early May would thereupon beg to be tested. _______ UPDATE (11:17 p.m. EDT): Yesterday’s low occurred at 79.74 exactly. If the dollar is about to reverse and move higher, it will have to happen here, and now. _______ UPDATE (July 9, 2:33 a.m. ET): The dollar rallied strongly for a few days, but it is still not out of the woods because the move narrowly failed to clear an important ‘external’ peak at 80.38 recorded on 6/26. _______ UPDATE (July 16, 6:55 p.m.): DXY came within an inch of a clear and important Hidden Pivot rally target at 80.60 yesterday (see inset, a new chart). However, it will have to push past it to imply that the rally from the July 1 low (which had been predicted to-the-penny) is more than just a flash-in-the-pan.


SIDE BETS for Wednesday

GS – Goldman Sachs (176.68)

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 1:24 am GMT

Let me reiterate that, with Goldman presumably bound for at least 192.91, any pullback that lines up with Hidden Pivots is a speculative buy. Yesterday, for instance, I’d flagged a major midpoint support at 175.05 where you might have considered doing so. However, the actual low of a nasty swoon on the opening was 175.46.  Although, with Goldman in such a strong uptrend,  we should expect pullbacks to fall shy of their targets, we can still catch the turns — and trade them — using camouflage.  Our edge yesterday lay in “knowing” that the correction would reverse from within spitting distance of the midpoint pivot.


This Just In... for Wednesday

How It Is…

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 12:01 am GMT

Click here for a fine rant from Roger Mason on the true state of the economy.

Another Crushing Rebuke to Inflationists…

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2009 12:01 am GMT

Here’s another sharp rebuke to all the yo-yos who think inflation is just around the corner.  The essay amplifies Hummel’s thoughts – published here recently – on seigniorage, explaining why hyperinflations can occur only in currency-driven systems (such as Zimbabwe’s), and not in nations like the U.S., where money has effectively been replaced by credit. Click here to read the full essay.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I agree with Pento on every point, except for one – a devastating bout of inflation is unlikely.  In the United States, two camps of thought dominate the marketplace.  The bullish camp believes that government interventions can be fine-tuned to hold inflation in-check, while allowing the economy to expand.  The bearish camp believes that government interventions will eventually unleash uncontrollable inflation that will send the price of gold, oil, and other commodities soaring to sky-high levels – while sending the economy into a prolonged tailspin due to reduced purchasing power.

“But more than likely, both camps are wrong.  And the hyperinflation expected by the bearish comp is even more unlikely than the bullish viewpoint.  Why?  Throughout the world’s financial history, there has never been a case of hyperinflation in a country using a monetary-system based on credit.  Hyperinflations only occur in countries that use currency for money.  That’s an important distinction that cannot be overlooked.

“A credit-based monetary system prevents severe inflation in two ways.  (1) During times of rising inflation, investors avoid bonds in favor of hard assets.  As a result, bond prices deflate, causing great losses for existing debt holders.  (2) During times of financial stress, bonds backed by questionable assets deflate in value.”


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