November 23rd, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

Which Recovery Story Are We to Believe?

by Rick Ackerman on September 18, 2009 2:05 am GMT · 3 comments

Is the economy recovering?  Nowhere is there more confusion on this topic than in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Anyone scanning just the headlines might think we’re on the cusp of a solid rebound: retail sales are up, home sales are starting to move, and the Fed chairman thinks the worst is behind us. It is only when one burrows into the newspaper, particularly the op-ed pages, that a more sobering picture emerges. The facts well behind » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Friday

Mini-indexes weakening somewhat…

by Rick Ackerman on September 18, 2009 2:51 am GMT

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Rick's Picks for Friday
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ESZ09 – E-Mini S&P (Last:1061.25)

by Rick Ackerman on September 18, 2009 2:38 am GMT

In after-hours trading, the futures appeared to be struggling to reach the 1062.75 midpoint of a minor corrective pattern projecting as low as 1056.50. Either of these Hidden Pivots can be bottom-fished with a stop-loss as tight as 1.00 point, but if the trend reverses Thursday night or Friday morning, hitting 1070.00 before 1063.75, bears had better get out of the way. My immediate target thereupon would be 1073.00, but with a good shot at 1085.00 if it’s exceeded by more than 1.00 point.  [Note: The interpolated over/under numbers for the December contract are, respectively, 1065.25 and 1059.00.] ______ UPDATE (10:14 a.m.):  The futures have rallied from an overnight low the fell in-between the two levels of corrections targets given above. The move was impulsive, so that the pullback now in progress must be viewed as such rather than as the start of a significant downtrend. It would take a 1047.50 print to reverse bulls on the hourly chart.

GCZ09 – Comex December Gold (Last:1010.20)

by Rick Ackerman on September 18, 2009 2:48 am GMT

The futures look pretty neutral right now. Notice in the chart how yesterday’s downtrend played out to within a single tick of a crystal-clear target on the 3-minute chart. Now, if the recovery rally hits or exceeds its target, bulls would be back in charge. _______ UPDATE (10:22 a.m.):  Gold’s rally stalled a single tick above the 1019.40 target shown in the chart, and although I had said this would put bulls back in charge, I jumped the gun.  In fact, Gold needed to have exceeded the Hidden Pivot — exceeded it by more than a single tick, anyway — to suggest there’s enough buying enthusiasm to take the futures to a new threshold.

AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:180.80)

by Rick Ackerman on September 18, 2009 7:26 am GMT

Apple’s “story” has dimmed slightly with the recent announcement of dramatic price cuts for the firm’s high-capacity iPods.  The news would probably be easily absorbed if the stock were trading at half its current price, but the rally in fact has looked like it needed a rest for the last 50 points. Accordingly, we’ll use a Hidden Pivot target not far above, at 193.87, to try and get short. We’ll have a better idea of whether the stock will actually reach that number once we’ve seen how far it pulls back from yesterday’s high.  Anything exceeding 182.82 would indicate possible trouble. _______ UPDATE: 188.90 is as high as buyers could muster on the last rally peak.  The target is still valid in theory, but we’ll put this trade aside for now, since it can only distract.

$+BABA – Alibaba (Last:110.75)

by Rick Ackerman on November 21, 2014 3:32 am GMT

Based on my chat room post late in Thursday’s session, subscribers were able to stake out some small ‘Jackpot Bets,’ buying expiring calls at the 112 and 113 strikes for as little, respectively, as 0.21 and 0.15.  The latter options traded for as little as 0.10 yesterday before rocketing to 1.00 when Bahh-Bahh found traction after the opening and soared $5 in the space of an hour. It can, and often does, perform similar feats on a given day, and that’s why I would rather be long a few out-of-the-money calls for cheap on expiration day than short them. The goal of these jackpot bets, which we ordinarily initiate on Friday mornings in the first hour, is to cash out half of the options in the early going for twice what we’ve paid for them, assuming the opportunity arises. If successful, that leaves us with a risk-free chance to make perhaps 5 to 10 times our money.  In practice, subscribers have done this or even better numerous times, and even when things did not go our way they were able to do no worse than break even.

I’ve included a chart that suggests that, from a purely visual standpoint, a run-up to as high as 114.80 on Friday is hardly unlikely. We don’t need that to happen to make a nice score, however, since even if BABA rallies just $1.50 or so in the early going, there will likely be an opportunity to ‘double out’ on half of our positions.  If the stock opens lower on Friday there could still be a chance to get a jackpot bet down. However, I’d suggest doing so with options of a lower strike purchased for perhaps 0.20 or less.  Don’t bet more than you are comfortable losing, since this gambit is highly speculative. My guideline is to invest no more than you would on some 20-to-1 horse that you happened to like. _______ UPDATE (November 21, 4:00 p.m.): Subscribers reported gains of  300% to 800% on the trade suggested above. Quick, substantial gains were painlessly achieved after BABA spiked on Friday’s opening bar to 113.25 — 3.63 above the previous day’s close. The leap caused expiring 113 calls that subscribers had bought for as little as 0.15 less than a day earlier to trade for 0.90 in the early going — a sixfold increase. At the same time, calls at the 112 strike that subscribers reported buying for as little as 0.21 soared to 1.60.

$ESZ14 – December E-Mini S&P (Last:2050.25)

by Rick Ackerman on November 21, 2014 3:02 am GMT

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$GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:27.24)

by Rick Ackerman on November 20, 2014 6:17 am GMT

GDXJ’s ups and downs are in ‘dueling’ mode at the moment, alternating between bullish and bearish feints. It was mildly bullish when the stock slightly exceeded the 129.30 target shown on Tuesday. However, yesterday’s slide also exceeded a Hidden Pivot target — in this case a hidden support at 27.21.  Taken together, the action suggests that this vehicle will spend the next few days marking time in the range 28-29. The picture would brighten on a thrust exceeding 29.20 on Thursday, since that would imply more upside to at least 31.24. Alternatively, a continuation of the downtrend past 25.67 would have equally bearish implications.

$DJIA – Dow Industrial Average (Last:17686)

by Rick Ackerman on November 20, 2014 3:47 am GMT

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USZ14 – December T-Bonds (Last:141^22)

by Rick Ackerman on November 17, 2014 12:06 am GMT

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$+DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:177.73)

by Rick Ackerman on November 12, 2014 4:20 am GMT

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$IDAH – Idaho North Resources (Last:0.1600)

by Rick Ackerman on November 5, 2014 12:01 am GMT

Idaho North [OTC symbol: IDAH] offers investors a potentially lucrative synergy between two very successful entrepreneurs.  CEO Mark Fralich started out as a reporter with the Associated Press News Service but went on to co-found Spoval Fiber Optics before moving into the exploration business with Mines Management, Consolidated Goldfields Corp. and some other natural resource companies. Like most executives in the exploration business, he is an aggressive risk-taker. But he is also an astute bettor, perhaps never moreso than in his choice of Thomas Callicrate to head up his technical team.

Callicrate is bottled lightning, a geologist who may know more about ore deposits in Nevada than anyone else in the world. I counted no fewer than 250 file cabinets in the barn-size work buildings that surround Callicrate’s spectacular home in Carson City. He seems to have committed every geological map in those cabinets to memory, and he can tell you exactly where each and every rock came from in the massive stone fireplace that dominates his living room and in his beautifully landscaped gardens.  The fact that he chose to affiliate with IDAH attests to his confidence in Fralich’s ability to exploit to-the-max whatever ore deposits the company is able to find.

From a technical standpoint, the company’s shares have not traded for long enough to offer a sound basis for prediction. The stock has fluctuated between 0.08 and 0.24 since being OTC-listed in November 2013. That said, it would be no worse than an even bet to hit 0.3000 a share, nearly double its current price, if it can push past the red line at 0.2150. That’s a Hidden Pivot midpoint resistance, and it will remain valid as a minimum upside target for the near term unless the stock falls below 0.1300 first.

For news concerning two separate option agreements that IDAH recently signed, click here for the Green Monster property in Nye County, and here for Coeur Mining’s Klondyke properties.

$+SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.3310)

by Rick Ackerman on October 28, 2014 2:47 am GMT

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SIDE BETS for Friday

A heads-up: TBT is approaching a bearish Hidden Pivot target at 43.39 that would offer a back-up-the-truck buying opportunity if it is reached. This would of course imply that the price of the underlying long bond is approaching an important top.


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