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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 Sunday

A Crucial Juncture for Bullion

by Rick Ackerman on September 20, 2009 4:00 am GMT

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