August 1st, 2014
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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


TODAY'S ACTION for Monday

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.

$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1283.60)

by Rick Ackerman on August 1, 2014 2:30 am GMT

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$ESU14 – Sep E-Mini S&P (Last:1927.50)

by Rick Ackerman on August 1, 2014 1:42 am GMT

Yesterday was the first time in recent memory that many of those who ‘bought the dip’ got creamed.  Traders should keep in mind that every bearish target implies a potentially profitable short with-the-trend as well as a bottom-fishing opportunity at the target.  In a bear market, the best place to initate the short will often be on the retracement rally to the midpoint pivot rather than at the conventional point ‘x’ of the downtrend.  This will hold true for the longer time frames as well.  Assuming we’ve entered a bear market, corrective rallies will tend to fail at their midpoint pivots, and ABCD downtrends to reach or exceed their ‘D’ targets.  My experience with the dot-com boom-and-crash is that heightened volatility makes swing highs and lows even more predictable than wafting rallies or sideways chop.

Concerning this vehicle, most immediately, the night shift has pushed the futures to the exact midpoint resistance (p) of  the minor abc uptrend shown. If  p holds, this would be as expected. As I’ve implied above, bear markets tend to produce corrective rallies that get no further than p. Night owls may not get much movement in off-hours trading, but the moves themselves will be more predictable and reliable than what you’re used to.

$NFLX – Netflix (Last:431.51)

by Rick Ackerman on July 28, 2014 4:32 am GMT

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As GDXJ was working its way south from around $43, my bearish forecast called for a washout low at exactly 40.42, a Hidden Pivot support of great clarity. I’d suggested buying down there ‘aggressively’ and with an ‘absurdly’ tight stop-loss.  This advice would have paid off handsomely for anyone who followed it, since the stock trampolined 64 cents yesterday off an actual low of 40.43, a penny from my target. Since a subscriber reported doing the trade as advised, I’m establishing a tracking position for the further guidance of all who may have gotten long. (He reported having bought 1000 shares off a 40.44 bid, but I’ll assume a more conservative 400 shares.)  Accordingly, I’ll recommend exiting half the position on Friday’s opening if you haven’t done so already.  We’ll impute any profits thereof to the cost basis of the 200 shares that will remain. _______ UPDATE (July 27, 9:48 p.m. ET): Exiting 200 shares on Friday’s 41.20 opening leaves us with a tracking position of 200 shares whose imputed cost basis is 39.66.  Exit another 100 shares on today’s opening and tie the rest to an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the 15-minute chart.  At the moment, that would imply bailing out on an uncorrected dive touching 41.73. ______ UPDATE (July 28, 11:46 a.m.):  We got sleazed when DaBoyz opened the stock on the so-far low  of the day, 42.40.  The good news is that such shakedowns usually occur because the smart money is trying to buy the stock.  In any event, I am tracking a 100-share position with an effective cost basis of 37.25.  For the time being, let it run. _______ UPDATE July 29, 7:23 p.m. EDT): Let’s turn the position into a covered write if GDXJ slips beneath 42.25 today (see inset, a new chart).  Specifically, you should short one August 16th 41 call for each hundred shares you own. Don’t simply bang out a sale on the bid when the stock hits 42.24, since you could get clipped for as much as 0.20-0.25 on the spread that way.  Instead, you should be deliberate and relaxed about the short sale of the call, since we are in the catbird’s seat and have little to lose by taking in some option premium at this point.  Shoot for a price midway between the bid and offer, and don’t rule out the possibility that GDXJ could snap back above 42.25 even in the process of breaking down. _______ UPDATE (July 30, 2:32 p.m.): _______ UPDATE (2:30 p.m. EDT):  I’ve yet to hear from anyone, but a ‘relaxed’ short could have been done anywhere between 2.03 and a current bid/offer of 2.45/2.90.  I’ll use a cost basis 2.55, about midway between, unless I hear otherwise.

$+PCLN – Priceline (Last:1238.98)

by Rick Ackerman on July 24, 2014 12:54 am GMT

A subscriber reported success yesterday legging into the 1340/50/60 August 16 call butterfly that I’d advised. He did so 32 times at no cost, as suggested, but it took a $10 move in the stock between legs to get filled so advantageously. His maximum profit would be $32,000  with the stock trading at 1350 come August 16.  Since he owns the position without cost, no loss is possible even if PCLN should all to zero or rally to $1000. We’ll do nothing further for now, but I’d suggest that those of you who were unable to buy the spread keep trying.  We’ll shoot for a partial profit if the stock rallies $40-$50 in the next few weeks but otherwise do nothing further. I’ve reproduced a chart that shows why our expectation of a $120 rally from current levels, to a 1358.18 Hidden Pivot target, is not exactly farfetched.  To that end, a pop above the 1270.59 midpoint pivot would be most encouraging. ______ UPDATE (July 28, 7:46 p.m. EDT): Yesterday another subscriber reported legging into ‘free’ butterfly spreads as suggested. Keep trying for at least one more day if you haven’t yet acquired a stake, since the spread will remain cheap as long as PCLN doesn’t blast off.

$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:115.40)

by Rick Ackerman on July 23, 2014 5:36 am GMT

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$EURUSD – Euro/USD (Last:1.33950)

by Rick Ackerman on July 23, 2014 12:01 am GMT

I haven’t tracked currencies that closely, but because they tend to move very precisely to Hidden Pivot targets, traders should consider exploiting them whenever possible. Notice how EUR/USD has broken beneath a midpoint Hidden Pivot at 1.34841 after noodling around near that pivot for a few hours on Thursday. This suggests that it is bound for D=1.34197, at least.  You can bottom-fish there with a stop-loss as tight as 3-4 ticks.  Notice as well that there are two slightly higher possibilities for point ‘A’.  The correction targets they yield lie, respectively, at 1.34114 and, worst case, 1.33992.  I expect these numbers to work very precisely, so use them in whatever way suits you best.  Note as well that a last-gasp rally to p=1.34738 after EUR/USD has fallen a bit would be short-able. _______ UPDATE (July 24, 5:35 p.m. EDT):  Yesterday’s short-squeeze feint topped precisely at a midpoint Hidden Pivot (see inset, a new chart) that was originally support but which is now resistance. This price action confirms the pattern we’ve chosen as well as its ‘D’ target at 1.34197. At least one subscriber has confirmed getting short in the chat room.  _______ UPDATE (July 27, 10:43 p.m.):  Friday’s low occurred at 1.34206 — 0.00009 above our 1.34197 target.  Shorts should have covered there, but if you were able to bottom-fish the low and catch a piece of the 144-tick rally that ensued, please let me know in the chat room and so that I can establish a tracking position for your further guidance. _______ UPDATE (July 30, 2:43 p.m.): The futures have breached the lowest of the targets I’d provide from the lesser charts. This implies that a bigger-picture target at 1.32091 is in play. The chart(see inset, a new one) shows this.

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The Dollar Index turned higher yesterday an inch from a correction target that had been three weeks in coming (see inset). This portends a bullish change for the intermediate term.  The actual target is 79.74, and there is always a chance it will be breached. If so, there’s an alternative target at 79.62, but if it fails as well, especially without a fight, the implication would be more slippage to as low as  78.91, where a key low recorded in early May would thereupon beg to be tested. _______ UPDATE (11:17 p.m. EDT): Yesterday’s low occurred at 79.74 exactly. If the dollar is about to reverse and move higher, it will have to happen here, and now. _______ UPDATE (July 9, 2:33 a.m. ET): The dollar rallied strongly for a few days, but it is still not out of the woods because the move narrowly failed to clear an important ‘external’ peak at 80.38 recorded on 6/26. _______ UPDATE (July 16, 6:55 p.m.): DXY came within an inch of a clear and important Hidden Pivot rally target at 80.60 yesterday (see inset, a new chart). However, it will have to push past it to imply that the rally from the July 1 low (which had been predicted to-the-penny) is more than just a flash-in-the-pan. _______ UPDATE (July 30, 2:53 p.m.): 81.85, here we come!! (See inset, a new chart.)


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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