November 27th, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

Rick’s Picks Weekend Edition

by Rick Ackerman on September 19, 2009 12:01 am GMT

Two Possibilities Bulls Have Yet to Discount

We’ve always believed that the stock market’s ups and downs are driven not by anything so mundane as news events or the economy, but by the same mysterious cyclical forces that govern the physical universe. Nevertheless, two rapidly evolving news stories threaten to abruptly reverse Wall Street’s heedless bear rally, which recently entered its seventh month.

The first story concerns the impending collapse of the Obama presidency. Although he ran a very impressive campaign, Mr. Obama appears hell-bent on committing political suicide.  The President is clearly obsessed with radically revamping the country’s health…

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Gold Just Messing with Bankers’ Heads

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…

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Ben’s Pretty Sure Recession Is Over

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…

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Dollar’s Next Rally Looks Doomed

Here are two numbers to jot down if you’re interested in gold and the U.S. dollar:  75.47 and 72.93.  Those are our current downside targets for the NYBOT Dollar Index, and we are quite confident that both will be reached in the fullness of time. The first lies just 1% below yesterday’s settlement price of 76.28; the second, 4.3% below it.  Like you, we’ve heard many compelling arguments from dollar bulls and bears. Some think it is about to turn very strong, while others see a collapse. Our gut feeling is that the bulls will be right…

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Which Recovery Story Are We to Believe?

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…

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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.

$DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:87.85)

by Rick Ackerman on November 26, 2014 3:40 am GMT

I remain very bullish on the dollar and expect it to achieve the 90.00 target shown by early 2015. However, it is clearly winded after the steep run-up since July, resulting in more frequent consolidations to develop thrust for each successive new high. Another factor contributing to the rally’s timidity of late is the implied resistance of two key peaks made, respectively, at 88.71 (June 2010) and 89.62 (March 2009).  A true bull-market breakout will require a push past these peaks, and although that outcome seems likely, it could take a while. However, if DXY were to effortlessly power past the peaks within the next 4-6 weeks, it would imply there’s still enormous power in reserve to drive the bull market significantly higher.

$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:118.63)

by Rick Ackerman on November 25, 2014 4:10 am GMT

AAPL has been on a rampage since April, gaining hundreds of billions of dollars in valuation with a run-up of more than 60%.  How long can a stock that is already the most valuable in the world continue to rise vertically?  Probably not forever, it can be safely inferred. It’s not as though Apple has no competitors. Indeed, the day is probably not far off when Chinese manufacturers are churning out smart phones that will do just about everything an iPhone can do, but for one tenth the price. Samsung is having troubles of its own coping with brutal competition in mobile devices — but then again, the company does not enjoy Apple’s cult status, nor the kind of caché among customers that has inspired some of them to have the Apple logo tattooed on their butts.

From a technical standpoint the stock is closing on a very compelling target at 125.87 that comes from the weekly chart (see inset). I expect this Hidden Pivot to show stopping power that will be compounded by the 126.87 target of a lesser rally pattern that is clearly discernible on the hourly chart. The implied $7+ rally is reason enough to try to get long here if you are not already on board. However, it is also reason to take profits, do covered writes against stock held in a portfolio; or more aggressively, to reverse long positions and get short. In any case, I’ll use the 126.37 midpoint of the targeted range as my minimum upside objective for the near term, to serve you in any way that suits your goals.

$JYZ14 – December Yen (Last:0.8481)

by Rick Ackerman on November 24, 2014 8:00 am GMT

The chart shown has implications that may or may not prevent Japan from getting sucked into a deflationary black hole. However, the chart is quite clear on the question of whether BOJ will be successful in its longstanding goal of trashing the yen. (Answer: Yes, very.) The small rally in early October from around 0.9001 validates the pattern itself, and the decisive progress beneath that level since implies that the D target at 0.7332 is likely to be reached. This will obviously benefit Japanese exporters, but it will also put more pressure on manufacturers in the U.S. and elsewhere that compete with them. Traders should position from the short side until the target is reached, but be alert for a rally back up to the red line, since that would set up a ‘mechanical’ short to the target using a 0.9418 stop-loss. That’s far more than we would ordinarily risk, but you could cut it down to size by using the ‘camouflage’ technique. When appropriate, ask in the chat room if you’re uncertain about how to do this.

$ESZ14 – December E-Mini S&P (Last:2070.00)

by Rick Ackerman on November 24, 2014 7:09 am GMT

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$GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:28.81)

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. ______ UPDATE (November 24, 1:54 a.m. EST): GDXJ finally budged by moving above 29.28, albeit a day later than we might have preferred.  Now, if the rally holds above Friday’s 28.42 low, a modest target at 30.43 will be in play — would become an odds-on bet if and when this vehicle pushes decisively above the 29.43 midpoint resistance.

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:177.80)

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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