September 1st, 2014
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The response to Mario Cavolo’s glowing take on China and the global economy was eye-opening, to say the least. It’s not hard to understand why someone who lives and works in China, as Mario does, might believe that the country’s economic prospects are so spectacular as to all but preclude the possibility of a deflationary depression elsewhere in the world. We’re not so sure ourselves and have a few things to say about it below. But we were nonetheless persuaded by Mario’s argument, and by comments made by others in the Rick’s Picks forum, that China is doing many important things right, economically speaking. Some Westerners don’t come easily to this notion, since it requires one to put aside very troubling concerns about China’s repressive, authoritarian political regime; for it is both unfortunate and undeniable » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Monday

The Chelsea Effect

by Rick Ackerman on August 2, 2010 12:01 am GMT

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Rick's Picks for Monday
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USU10 – September T-Bonds (Last:128^20)

by Rick Ackerman on August 2, 2010 12:01 am GMT

Because T-Bonds have been dancing smoothly with Hidden Pivots lately, we should assume they are on their way up to at least 130^08 now that they’ve exceeded that Hidden Pivot’s sibling midpoint at 128^05 on a closing basis.  Accordingly, traders should position from the long side — and please note that camouflage opportunities have been cropping up on charts up to the 30-minute level. Use of the single-bar ‘C’ would have been the key to any such trade that panned out.

DIA – Diamonds (Last:104.71)

by Rick Ackerman on August 2, 2010 12:01 am GMT

We are short the August 102/August 98 put spread in a 1:2 ratio three times @ 0.76.  It’s time to write off the likely trading loss of $228, even though we’ll continue to carry the position toward expiration. In retrospect, the loss came from my having missed exiting some long puts on July 7. We had a profit of nearly $1000 in the position at one time and I should have suggested nailing some of it down. Indeed, there will never be a good excuse for not taking at least a partial profit when puts “come home” as they did for us, however briefly (which in the world of put options means three days, tops).

SIU10 – September Silver (Last:18.000)

by Rick Ackerman on August 2, 2010 12:01 am GMT

Silver’s ostensibly sharp rally on Friday, like Gold’s, looks mediocre even on the 15-minute chart.  We should want to see a push this week to at least 18.680 before we take serious encouragement, since that’s where a bullish impulse leg would be generated on the lesser charts. As always, the number of prior peaks surpassed without a pause will be crucial to our assessment of strength (or weakness) in the underlying vehicle.

September E-Mini S&P (ESU10) price chart with targetsFor all of the jacking around on Friday, buyers were unable to create even a single impulse leg on the lowly 15-minute chart. The day’s rallies, such as they were, exceeded one peak but failed to muster the required second, and so we are inclined to see this modest upwardliness as just noise and no more. Even so, to avoid being caught unawares we must monitor two prior peaks on the daily chart carefully, since any unpaused rally that exceeds both would presage more bullish action well into autumn. The peaks lie, respectively, at 1129.50 and 1142.75, so it wouldn’t take much to reinvigorate the bear rally begun nearly a month ago.

GCQ10 – August Gold (Last:1181.50)

by Rick Ackerman on August 2, 2010 12:01 am GMT

August Gold (GCQ10) price chart with targetsGold has backed off a small precipice, rallying from within just 0.60 of a well-advertised Hidden Pivot support at 1155.00.  Look at the accompanying chart, however, and you’ll see that bulls will have their work cut out for them if they want to restore a positive look to the lesser charts. For starters, any rally this week will need to take on external peak #1, and at least one peak “along the wall” (#2=1206.70).  I’ll wait to see what Monday brings before I exhort you to get excited. (Note:  We’ll move to the December contract starting tomorrow. The corresponding peaks lie, respectively, at 1207.50 and 1210.70.)

$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1289.20)

by Rick Ackerman on August 29, 2014 3:57 am GMT

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$ESU14 – Sep E-Mini S&P (Last:1990.00)

by Rick Ackerman on August 29, 2014 3:35 am GMT

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$CLV14 – October Crude (Last:93.76)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:13 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1260.77)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:00 am GMT

If the lunatic stocks are about to lead the broad averages higher, we should see Priceline bounce sharply from the 1259.21 midpoint support shown. Yesterday’s low came within 38 cents of this Hidden Pivot — close enough for the target to be considered fulfilled. Any further slippage, however, and its ‘D’ sibling at 1224.45 will be in play. This would imply that the stock market itself is likely to go nowhere, or possibly down, in the days ahead.  The stock would become shortable on a decisive breach of the red line (i.e., a breach of perhaps 0.30-0.60 cents0, but if you plan on getting short for the potential $35 ride south, you should initiate the trade on the 5-minute chart or less, using a corrective pattern that would subject you to no more risk theoretically than perhaps 0.15 per share. If the trade works and you are still short when 1224.45 is reached or closely approached, reverse the position and buy at the target aggressively using a tight stop.

$+TSLA – Tesla Motors (Last:264.09)

by Rick Ackerman on August 26, 2014 7:35 am GMT

Tesla’s bullish rampage looks like it could hit 305.55 on the next big thrust.  Accordingly, I’ll recommend bidding 1.54 for the October 3/Sep 5  300 calendar spread 8 times, good till Friday. You should adjust your bid by 0.05 up or down for every 50 cents the stock moves above or below 262.50.  Please note as well that a pullback to the red line, a Hidden Pivot midpoint at 241.39, should be regarded as a buying opportunity, especially the calendar spread (albeit it at a much lower price). _______ UPDATE (August 26, 11:43 p.m. EDT):  Volatility has gotten crushed, and so you’re doing well if you buy the spread now for 1.34 (with TSLA at 262.00).  Since the spread price can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next, I’ll suggest that you recalibrate it hourly if you’re a buyer, using a spread price midway between bid and offer as “fair value.”  It has a delta value of around 9 at the moment, so you should adjust your bid for the spread by 0.01 for each 0.11 move in the underlying. _______ UPDATE (August 28, 9:45 p.m.):  With the Sep 5 calls melting away, the fair price for our spread must be recalculated several times daily by anyone seeking to buy it. It was a decent buy at Thursday’s close for around 1.20, but it could shed yet another 0.15-0.25 as the week ends.

$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:24.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 25, 2014 12:05 am GMT

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$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:100.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 21, 2014 3:16 am GMT

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$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:117.72)

by Rick Ackerman on August 20, 2014 4:59 am GMT

Subscribers are working two bullish calendar spreads (x16), but I would suggest increasing the size of the position if TLT corrects down to the 115.18 target  shown.   For now , we are long September 20 118 calls against short August 19 118 calls that we will roll into August 29 calls this Thursday and Friday.  We’ve already done the roll twice, reducing the cost basis of the spread to 0.04. This week’s roll will entail covering (buying back) the short calls and shorting a like number of August 29 calls, effectively selling the August 22 118/August 29 118 calendar spread.

It was marked on Tuesday at 0.17, off a 0.26 offer, but any price higher than 0.04 will effectively turn the position we’ll have  – long the Sept 20 118/August 29 118 calendar — into a credit spread.  This means we can’t lose – will make a profit no matter what TLT does.  Ideally, come September 20 , TLT will be sitting at 118, our spread will be trading for around 0.50, and we’ll be carrying it for a credit of perhaps 0.50.  The imputed profit would be  $1600 — not bad, considering our risk is already close to zero.

My long-term outlook for T-Bonds is very bullish, a view that goes sharply against a consensus which clings to the belief that interest rates – and the stock market — can only go up.  That is a bet we should be eager to fade. We may have a chance to do so at still better odds if T-Bonds continue to  sell off  on the manufactured idea that the Jackson Hole conference will open the floodgates for more stimulus and inflation. _______ UPDATE (10:38 a.m.):  The Sep 20/Aug xx calendar spread is recommended at this point only for those who did the original spread, since there’s not enough time left on it to roll its cost basis down to zero or less (i.e., a credit). If you are new to the spread, try buying the Nov 20/August 29 calendar for 0.90 with TLT trading around 115.80.  The spread has a delta value of 0.20, implying that being long one spread is equivalent to being long 20 shares of stock.  This means that, using a spread price of 0.90 as a benchmark, you should adjust the price you pay for it by one penny, up or down, for each 5 cents that TLT moves away from 115.80. ______ UPDATE (August 23): The strategies detailed above continue to rack up solid gains for subscribers that have come with minimal risk. If you have yet to take a stake, I would strongly urge you to do so, and to monitor reports in the chat room from those who are working the order. If there are any questions about how, and when, to initiate a trade, please don’t hesitate to ask me or others about it. _______ UPDATE (August 26, 12:01 a.m.): These spreads are working well, to put it mildly — especially for subscribers who increased their position size as suggested whenever TLT was weak.  Check my August 26 posts in the chatroom for further, detailed guidance.  In brief, I am suggesting covering half of the 118-strike spreads for 0.90 or better this week, and to roll the short side of the Nov 22 120/Aug 29 120 to Sep 5. _______ UPDATE (August 28, 12:43 p.m.): The August 29 118 calls look likely to finish in-the-money. To avoid being exercised, make sure you roll into the September 5 calls before noon EDT Friday.  Currently, with TLT trading 119.09, the September 5 118/August 29 118 calendar spread is a decent sale for around 0.28.  Keep in mind that the spread could widen, to our great advantage, if TLT pulls back, since the August 29 calls we are short will shed value more precipitously than the September calls that we continue to hold as the long side of our position. Even so, you could do worse than take the 0.28 now and run, since it would simply fatten the premium we have taken in on the weekly short, increasing our net credit.  With TLT rallying liking a moofoo, the weekly credits will be more significant to our final gain than the calendar spread itself at expiration.


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