December 17th, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

So, was it thinking machines that put stocks into a death dive last week, or was it primal human fear?  Either way, there’s a neurological disease at work and therefore little likelihood of a cure.  Even worse, since these diseases tend to be degenerative, we should expect something still more disruptive in the future. Ham-handed regulations won’t be able to stop it, either.  Let the exchanges install all the circuit breakers they want; supply will out someday, catastrophically overwhelming demand when buyers go AWOL. This is inevitable when you create a global electronic trading network connecting ten billion » Read the full article


Thought for Today

Bullish Benchmark for the E-Mini Dow

by Rick Ackerman on May 10, 2010 3:59 am GMT

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Early Sunday evening, index futures were caught in a vicious short-squeeze that bids fair to recapture all of last Thursday’s losses.  It would seem to be drawing its energy from the latest — and rather large, even by American standards — European bailout package.  The loan guarantees just announced amount to some $560 billion, offered to the EU’s most troubled economies. This PR hoax could have legs, but from a trading standpoint it will lay an egg if it fails to push the E-Mini S&Ps above  1136.00.  That is Thursday’s recovery high, and it lies somewhat above the 1130.75 peak achieved so far this evening.  The futures are currently trading for 1122.50, equivalent to a 140-point rally in the Dow above Friday’s settlement price. _______ UPDATE (2:32 a.m. EDT):  DaScumballs are doing what they’ve been doing so very deftly since March 2009:  lifting index futures as high as they can get away with on razor-thin Sunday night volume.  From a Hidden Pivot standpoint, DaBoyz can get away with as much, perhaps, as 1170.75.

Comex June Gold ChartFriday’s robust thrust fell ten dollars shy of a 1224.70 target, subjecting Gold to a little more bullying than usual Sunday evening.  We can ignore it as long as the futures hold above 1189.20, but anything below that number will create a mildly bearish impulse leg on the hourly chart. If there’s opportunity brewing for night owls, it would likely come from the 15-minute chart (shown).  The modest downtrend has a midpoint pivot at 1195.80 that you can bottom-fish with a three-tick stop-loss, and another Hidden Pivot at 1188.90 that deserves the same treatment.  Both lie just below “structural” supports whose breach will be read by most traders as breakdowns. _______ UPDATE (2:21 a.m. EDT):  A rally Sunday night invalidated the two downside targets but created two new ones. The first is a midpoint support at 1198.60 that has already been breached; the second, a ‘D’ target at 1190.70 that you can bottom-fish with a stop-loss as tight as four ticks. If it’s hit, look for more selling down to 1187.70, my worst-case low for today and another spot to try bottom-fishing with as tight a stop-loss as you can abide. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (8:57 a.m. EDT): The futures have exceeded  1187.70, bottoming so far at 1184.40 and hinting of still more weakness to come. They’d need to pop above 1206.50 today to undo the damage.

SIN10 – July Silver (Last:18.335)

by Rick Ackerman on May 10, 2010 3:47 am GMT

A print exceeding 18.910 today or tomorrow would kick the buying into high gear, creating a bullish impulse leg of daily-chart degree that would turn December’s watershed high at 19.420 into a sitting duck. Anything less, however, could strand Friday’s spike, leaving buyers to cool their heels in the wake of Friday’s spirited charge. More immediately, there are two spots where night owls might try bottom-fishing with a stop-loss as tight as three ticks:  18.235; or somewhat more conservatively, at 18.165.  (Please note that numbers in boldface brown are usually ‘D’ targets of downtrends, while brown number in a lighter type-face are midpoint pivots.  Uptrending targets and midpoints are similarly given in green, although I will sometimes use brown and green to highlight price points that are important though not Hidden Pivots.) _______ UPDATE (8 a.m. EDT):  June Silver bottomed at 18.215, two cents below the higher target but well above the lower.  I’ll record nothing done officially, but please note in any case that upside to as high as 19.415 over the near term has been signaled. Key resistance lies at 18.815, the Hidden Pivot midpoint associated with the target. 

YMM10 – E-Mini Dow (Last:10694)

by Rick Ackerman on May 10, 2010 3:55 am GMT

As of around 10 p.m. EDT Sunday, the futures looked bound for 10670, a shortable Hidden Pivot (albeit a relatively risky one; a more conservative short can be initiated at 10712). That would represent a 335-point gain over Friday’s close, and although it would not recoup last Thursday’s loss completely, it would handily exceed the day’s recovery high, creating an impressive bullish impulse leg in the process. _______ UPDATE (9:09 EDT):  The rally now measures to as high as 10937, well above last Thursday’s pre-swoon high of 10865.  A pullback in the meantime to (precisely) 10569, the target’s sibling midpoint, would telegraph the next thrust.

GS – Goldman Sachs (Last:143.13)

by Rick Ackerman on May 10, 2010 5:19 am GMT

If Goldman drifts lower over the next 5-7 days, we’ll look to bottom-fish down at 136.11, the lowest Hidden Pivot target that can be derived from the intraday charts. If I can come up with a way to initiate the trade using a limit bid for some near-the-money call options, I’ll feature the trade as a Pick of the Day for all. _______ UPDATE (May 16):  Scratch Goldman from the list of stocks we’ve been watching lately, since it has become too, too boring to deserve our time and attention. My minimum downside objective is now 135.35, and I’ll set an alert there, since the support will be worth bottom-fishing if it’s ever reached — which it will be.

$GCG15 – February Gold (Last:1197.50)

by Rick Ackerman on December 17, 2014 12:04 am GMT

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$ESH15 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:1966.00)

by Rick Ackerman on December 17, 2014 12:01 am GMT

Tuesday’s tedious histrionics missed my targeted low at 1955.00, but this Hidden Pivot support/resistance should still be used as a place to bottom-fish. Don’t expect it to work as precisely as our targets usually do, though, since these proprietary swing points tend to grow a bit vague after they’ve been ‘used’ once. Think of this one as a logical place for a price reversal to occur, and therefore an opportune spot for initiating a trade. The camouflage entry technique will work best here, especially since relatively few other traders know the support exists.

Additional caution is warranted because the scheduled release of FOMC minutes could send the futures fleetingly outside of our allotted bands. My hunch is that ‘everyone’ has placed a bet on volatility, and that as a result, the stock market will be relatively subdued. If you’re planning on ‘jackpotting’ here, my recommendation is to leg into a strangle, selling puts/calls at swing highs/lows that align with clear Hidden Pivot targets. My initial guidance on this references the 1947.25 target shown, but this Hidden Pivot may prove more useful for night owls than for those who will be trading the regular session.

$JPM – JP Morgan Chase (Last:58.43)

by Rick Ackerman on December 16, 2014 6:04 am GMT

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$USH15 – March T-Bonds (Last:145^29)

by Rick Ackerman on December 16, 2014 5:29 am GMT

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$GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:22.06)

by Rick Ackerman on December 16, 2014 4:03 am GMT

Tax selling in this vehicle could produce a climactic bottom in the weeks ahead, but the range of possible targeted lows is quite wide, depending on how fierce the washout is. There are at least two logical hidden supports where we might look for an important turn: at 20.83 (daily chart, A=54.56 on 8/24/13); or at 17.30 (see inset). Bottom-fishing the higher Hidden Pivot poses relatively little risk, since we can use a very tight stop-loss, and because a bounce from that price that is at least tradable, if not sustainable, looks quite likely.  I’m going to back up the truck myself — buying at either number or both, tightly stopped — and would do so not as a long-term play, but as a high-odds trade. Please note that although the 20.83 pivot has the potential to produce an important low, I’ve selected a chart that shows the alternative target at 17.30 so that you can judge for yourself how compelling it looks.  One further note:  Because yesterday’s plunge exceeded the previous bear-market low at 22.34 recorded on 11/5, it should have stopped out enough bulls to produce a spirited rally over the next day or two.  Under the circumstances, if such a rally fails to materialize, it would portend yet another wave of selling ahead.

$CLF15 – January Crude (Last:53.98)

by Rick Ackerman on December 15, 2014 4:15 am GMT

Crude is getting kicked again Sunday night, although the January NYMEX contract is trading 85 cents off its low at the moment. The so-far low is 56.25, but I would expect the futures to get closer to my 55.43 target (see inset) before they attempt to rally in earnest. Night owls can try bottom-fishing using ‘camouflage’ nevertheless, but if you want to use a simpler, albeit riskier, strategy, you can bid 55.43, stop 55.34 for a single contract. I have difficulty imagining significantly more sinkage without a bounce from somewhere near here, but if the stop gets schmeissed, the next logical stop on the way down would be at 53.45, or 50.69 if any lower. However robust the bounce, assuming one comes, my bear-market target is still $31. The economic world would be a very different place at that point, and I don’t mean in a good way. _______ UPDATE (December 15, 10:39 p.m.): The 55.43 pivot is holding so far on a closing basis, having been exceeded intraday by 0.41 points. That’s more than I would have expected, but I still think we’ll see a strong rally from here, or from very near these levels, since the target is so clear and compelling. If not, and the futures continue their relentless plunge, the targets given above, 53.45 and thence 50,69, will obtain. Traders with no position, or those who are managing the risk of a short position, should note that the January contract was in an uptrend late Monday night that projected to exactly 56.13. You can find this target on the 15-minute chart using the following coordinates: a=55.17 (12/15 at 4:45 p.m. EST); b= 55.85 (6:45 p.m.); and c=55.45 (8:10 p.m.). This pattern looks reliable enough that we should infer more upside to come if 56.13 is exceeded by more 10-15 cents. _______ UPDATE (December 16, 9:33 a.m.): Crude fell this morning to a newe multiyear low at 53.60, just 15 cents from the target given above. If you caught the 1.16 bounce from the low, you should have taken a partial profit and secured what remains with an ‘impulsive stop-loss’.  The bounce is less than I might have expected, and if the low gets taken out we’ll likely be looking at more slippage to 50.69.

$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:0.4410)

by Rick Ackerman on December 10, 2014 3:16 am GMT

I first recommended this stock in early September after being very impressed with a presentation by its CEO, Atul Sabharwal. The company provides mobile marketing solutions to a growing list of clients that includes Wal-Mart, ESPN, Lexus, Taco Bell, Target, Johnson & Johnson and Minute Maid.  Snipp’s shares are listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX: SPN) and on the OTC in the U.S. (symbol: SNIPF), but yesterday it filed with the SEC for an exchange listing in the U.S.  From a technical standpoint, SNIPF looks to be basing for a move to as high as 0.4385. First, though, it would need to trip a buy signal at 0.2878, then to clear the 0.3380 midpoint pivot (see inset).  The company continues to win new business at a rapid clip, and that’s why I expect the earnings report due out November 15 to be strong. Full disclosure: I hold shares and warrants in this company. _______ UPDATE (November 13, 10:49 a.m. EST): Two days ahead of the earnings report, the stock has taken quite a leap, with an opening bar high today at 0.38 that was 36% above yesterday’s close. This means the 0.4385 target flagged above is well in play.  _______ UPDATE (6:49 p.m.): The stock took a leap Thursday back up to the midpoint pivot at 0.3380 associated with the 0.4385 target. Regarding earnings, they will be out later than expected, in line with the Canadian deadline for filing. Stay tuned _______ UPDATE (November 17):  Snipp has reported 252% earnings growth for Q3. Click here for the company’s latest filing. _______ UPDATE (December 5, 10:13 a.m.): Zounds!  The stock has popped to 0.40, quadrupling in the eight months since I first recommended it. My immediate target is 0.4356, but SNIPF will need some rest if and when it gets there. _______ UPDATE (December 9): Bulls are apt to be a little winded after the recent push to 0.4314, less than a penny shy of the target shown. We’ll give the stock time to consolidate for the next thrust. ______ UPDATE (December 10, 6:12 p.m.): With the broad averages plummeting yesterday, Snipp bucked the tide, hitting a new all-time high at 44.10. This opens a path over the near term to 0.4906, or perhaps 0.5193 if any higher.


This Just In... for Monday

The View from the Trading Floor

by Rick Ackerman on May 10, 2010 7:28 am GMT

Viewed from the trading pits, last week’s death dive looked like the end of the world to some denizens. Click here for the perspective of floor traders who had a ringside seat.


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