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
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. _______ UPDATE: We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.