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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.

$+SIZ14 – December Silver (Last:15.865)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 4:15 am GMT

More downside over the near-term to at least 15.865 (see inset) looks very likely, so traders should position from the short side. The opportunity may be past by morning, but night owls can use an entry trigger on the lesser charts (i.e., 5-minute bar or less) to get aboard. I’ve highlighted the relevant ABC pattern, which appears at the rightmost edge of the chart. ______ UPDATE (9:23 a.m. EDT): Anyone who got short as advised made a pile of money overnight without much stress.  The futures have plummeted and are currently down about 63 cents, having recorded a so-far low at 15.635 that exceeded our target by by 23 cents.

$AMZN – Amazon (Last:299.07)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 3:58 am GMT

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$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:173.48)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:03 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1144.22)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:02 am GMT

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$+SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.2490)

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

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$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1224.60)

by Rick Ackerman on October 23, 2014 1:56 am GMT

The failure of Tuesday’s rally to reach the modest, 1260.30 Hidden Pivot target we were using as a minimum upside objective is not exactly a sign of robust health. The target remains theoretically viable because the point ‘C’ low at 1232.00 with which it is associated is still intact. However, the hourly chart has swung bearishly impulsive as a result of the ratcheting, two-day sell-off from the recent high at 1255.60.  Short-term downside potential is to the 1232.30 target shown. If this Hidden Pivot support is easily breached, however, it would suggest more sellers are waiting in the wings. Alternatively, the futures would need to surpass 1246.30 without having first touched the 1239.30 midpoint support (see inset) to turn the hourly chart short-term bullish. _______ UPDATE (October 27, 8:01 p.m. EDT): I expect the next leg down to reach the 1216.40 Hidden Pivot support shown.  Alternatively, a print today at 1236.30 would give bulls a fighting chance. _______ UPDATE (October 29, 1:23 p.m.): 1202.10 is my new downside target — a Hidden Pivot support identified during this morning’s weekly tutorial session. _______ UPDATE: An 1125.00 target broached yesterday during my regular interview with Al Korelin should suffice to keep you out of trouble. I hadn’t imagined the futures would get halfway there overnight.

$+AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:107.34)

by Rick Ackerman on October 22, 2014 8:18 am GMT

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.


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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