September 3rd, 2014
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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.

$+TSLA – Tesla Motors (Last:284.09)

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 a 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.

$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:170.58)

by Rick Ackerman on September 3, 2014 5:08 am GMT

The Diamonds have come so tantalizingly close to the long-term Hidden Pivot target shown, 171.67, that we should probably do something, anything, just in case a major top is forming. Accordingly, I’ll recommend bidding 0.42 for four Nov 22 150 puts, day order. This is highly speculative, so don’t bet more than you might care to lose.

$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1267.90)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2014 12:02 am GMT

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$CLV14 – October Crude (Last:93.76)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:13 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1260.77)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:00 am GMT

If the lunatic stocks are about to lead the broad averages higher, we should see Priceline bounce sharply from the 1259.21 midpoint support shown. Yesterday’s low came within 38 cents of this Hidden Pivot — close enough for the target to be considered fulfilled. Any further slippage, however, and its ‘D’ sibling at 1224.45 will be in play. This would imply that the stock market itself is likely to go nowhere, or possibly down, in the days ahead.  The stock would become shortable on a decisive breach of the red line (i.e., a breach of perhaps 0.30-0.60 cents), but if you plan on getting short for the potential $35 ride south, you should initiate the trade on the 5-minute chart or less, using a corrective pattern that would subject you to no more risk theoretically than perhaps 0.15 per share. If the trade works and you are still short when 1224.45 is reached or closely approached, reverse the position and buy at the target aggressively using a tight stop.

$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:24.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 25, 2014 12:05 am GMT

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$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:100.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 21, 2014 3:16 am GMT

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$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:117.72)

by Rick Ackerman on August 20, 2014 4:59 am GMT

Subscribers are working two bullish calendar spreads (x16), but I would suggest increasing the size of the position if TLT corrects down to the 115.18 target  shown.   For now , we are long September 20 118 calls against short August 19 118 calls that we will roll into August 29 calls this Thursday and Friday.  We’ve already done the roll twice, reducing the cost basis of the spread to 0.04. This week’s roll will entail covering (buying back) the short calls and shorting a like number of August 29 calls, effectively selling the August 22 118/August 29 118 calendar spread.

It was marked on Tuesday at 0.17, off a 0.26 offer, but any price higher than 0.04 will effectively turn the position we’ll have  – long the Sept 20 118/August 29 118 calendar — into a credit spread.  This means we can’t lose – will make a profit no matter what TLT does.  Ideally, come September 20 , TLT will be sitting at 118, our spread will be trading for around 0.50, and we’ll be carrying it for a credit of perhaps 0.50.  The imputed profit would be  $1600 — not bad, considering our risk is already close to zero.

My long-term outlook for T-Bonds is very bullish, a view that goes sharply against a consensus which clings to the belief that interest rates – and the stock market — can only go up.  That is a bet we should be eager to fade. We may have a chance to do so at still better odds if T-Bonds continue to  sell off  on the manufactured idea that the Jackson Hole conference will open the floodgates for more stimulus and inflation. _______ UPDATE (10:38 a.m.):  The Sep 20/Aug xx calendar spread is recommended at this point only for those who did the original spread, since there’s not enough time left on it to roll its cost basis down to zero or less (i.e., a credit). If you are new to the spread, try buying the Nov 20/August 29 calendar for 0.90 with TLT trading around 115.80.  The spread has a delta value of 0.20, implying that being long one spread is equivalent to being long 20 shares of stock.  This means that, using a spread price of 0.90 as a benchmark, you should adjust the price you pay for it by one penny, up or down, for each 5 cents that TLT moves away from 115.80. ______ UPDATE (August 23): The strategies detailed above continue to rack up solid gains for subscribers that have come with minimal risk. If you have yet to take a stake, I would strongly urge you to do so, and to monitor reports in the chat room from those who are working the order. If there are any questions about how, and when, to initiate a trade, please don’t hesitate to ask me or others about it. _______ UPDATE (August 26, 12:01 a.m.): These spreads are working well, to put it mildly — especially for subscribers who increased their position size as suggested whenever TLT was weak.  Check my August 26 posts in the chatroom for further, detailed guidance.  In brief, I am suggesting covering half of the 118-strike spreads for 0.90 or better this week, and to roll the short side of the Nov 22 120/Aug 29 120 to Sep 5. _______ UPDATE (August 28, 12:43 p.m.): The August 29 118 calls look likely to finish in-the-money. To avoid being exercised, make sure you roll into the September 5 calls before noon EDT Friday.  Currently, with TLT trading 119.09, the September 5 118/August 29 118 calendar spread is a decent sale for around 0.28.  Keep in mind that the spread could widen, to our great advantage, if TLT pulls back, since the August 29 calls we are short will shed value more precipitously than the September calls that we continue to hold as the long side of our position. Even so, you could do worse than take the 0.28 now and run, since it would simply fatten the premium we have taken in on the weekly short, increasing our net credit.  With TLT rallying liking a moofoo, the weekly credits will be more significant to our final gain than the calendar spread itself at expiration.

+GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:42.06)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2014 12:03 am GMT

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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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