September 22nd, 2014
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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.

$+RGLD – Royal Gold (Last:66.20)

by Rick Ackerman on September 22, 2014 12:01 am GMT

The stock’s low on Friday occurred just 0.03 from the 65.91 target I’d projected during Thursday’s impromptu technical-analysis session. Because this looked like a great trading opportunity to me, I made it explicitly clear during the session that I was very confident RGLD would achieve the target. However, I hadn’t imagined the stock would fall so sharply — more than 4% — that it would accomplish this in a single day. I also said I was very confident that a tradable bounce would occur from the target.  It did, and the bounce so far has been 54 cents — sufficient to warrant taking a partial profit on any longs bottom-fished at the low. Although the bounce was bullishly impulsive on the very lesser charts, RGLD has come down so hard that I wouldn’t count on the support to hold for long. In any event, if you did the trade, perhaps even shorting to the target as I’d suggested, please let me know in the chat room so that I can provide tracking guidance for the position that remains.

$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:172.45)

by Rick Ackerman on September 19, 2014 2:16 am GMT

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$DJIA – Dow Industrial Average (Last:17266)

by Rick Ackerman on September 19, 2014 1:52 am GMT

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$YHOO – Yahoo! (Last:42.71)

by Rick Ackerman on September 17, 2014 5:28 am GMT

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$SIZ14 – December Silver (Last:18.655)

by Rick Ackerman on September 16, 2014 1:25 am GMT

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$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:22.49)

by Rick Ackerman on September 15, 2014 6:06 am GMT

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$TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:113.11)

by Rick Ackerman on September 11, 2014 1:29 am GMT

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$SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.2562)

by Rick Ackerman on September 5, 2014 3:05 am GMT

I first touted Snipp Interactive back in January, when it was trading around 0.15. Although the stock subsequently fell to a dime, it has since rallied sharply, settling at 0.2562 yesterday. This is one of my favorite stocks, and I came away from a conference call with its CEO, Atul Sabharwal, eager to sing their praises. During that call, I hit Atul with my best idea, a sweepstakes-type promotion, but he was already three steps ahead of me, able to cite, for one, New York State’s rules and costs for exactly the type of marketing scheme I’d suggested.

Full disclosure: I hold 100,000 shares plus warrants to purchase another 50,000 shares.  But I hope that won’t discourage you from performing your own due diligence, since you are likely to be as impressed as I was when you find out what the company has been up to. For me, at least, Snipp (OTC: SNIPF) perfectly satisfies Peter Lynch’s rule that investors favor companies whose strengths and methods they can understand. Snipp does interactive marketing that allows clients to track results in real time. The results have been sufficiently impressive that the company has been attracting blue chip clients with little difficulty. Read more about SNIPP by clicking here.

From a technical standpoint, although the stock’s chart history is thin, it’s possible to project a near-term rally target of 0.2730. A tenet of Hidden Pivot analysis is that an easy move through such targeted resistance implies there is unspent buying power percolating beneath the surface. This is not a “hot tip;” indeed, Snipp’s story does not lend itself to the kind of hubris that will result in a $10 billion IPO. But it is an aggressive and imaginative pioneer in a rapidly developing niche, and its CEO has the kind of imagination, intelligence and energy that inspires confidence.

$+TSLA – Tesla Motors (Last:279.20)

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 as 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. ______ UPDATE (10:40 p.m. EDT): The stock’s push to an intraday high at 291.42 made the spread an easy sale for $5.00+, so I’ll consider the order filled.  Now, roll the four spreads that remain into the October 3 /September 12 calendar as detailed above. _______ UPDATE (Sep 7, 10:31 p.m.): The midway price on the spread intraday was 2.30. Imputing the premium to the four October 3/September 12 calendar spreads we now hold would zero out the initial cost of 1.54 and add 0.76 to the real-time value of the spread.  We’ll plan on rolling the spread again on Friday by selling the September 19/September 12 call spread (and thereby covering the short Sep 12 300s), but for now do nothing further. _______ UPDATE (Sep 15, 12:54 a.m.): I’ll use a 0.37 price, midway between the intraday high and low, as the spread price unless I hear from someone in the chat room who did better or worse. Imputing this new premium income to our Nov 22 / Sep 20 spread gives us a CREDIT cost basis of 1.13, for a guaranteed minimum profit on the position of $452. That would be in addition to whatever the Nov 22 calls fetch when we exit them.

+GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:37.51)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2014 12:03 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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