April 16th, 2014
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Topic of the Week

[Dr. Kurt Richebächer was one of the most visible and vocal proponents of Austrian School economics at the time of his death in 2007.  Eight years earlier, at the height of the dot-com bubble, we interviewed him for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner.  In retrospect, the economic problems that he believed threatened the global economy were small and relatively manageable back then. The same problems are of course still with us, and Richebächer undoubtedly would be appalled by the extent to which they have metastasized.

Although he spoke of a deflationary collapse in the interview, a close reading of his monthly newsletter from 1997-2002 reveals that he was conflicted on the subject. He used the word “deflation” only rarely during that period, and when he did, his logic became uncharacteristically muddy. Perhaps this is because, in the Austrian scheme of things, spectacular credit blowouts are not supposed to beget deflation, but rather, inflation. Arguably, if he were around today, he would still be uncertain as to which is likely to prevail when the economy finally collapses, as it must.  The interview below appeared in November 1999 under the flippant headline -- not my work, for sure -- “Economic Basics Predict Apocalypse”.  RA]

The dismal science will never be the same if Dr. Kurt Richebächer’s dire predictions for the global economy should come to pass. The former chief economist and managing partner at Germany’s Dresdner Bank says a deflationary collapse lies ahead that will ravage the world’s bourses and usher in a dark period of austerity and financial discipline.

Probably not one economist in 50 shares his views, at least not publicly. Richebächer, now living in France, says many of his American colleagues have been seduced into ignorance and complicity by Wall Street’s billions as well as by their love affair with mathematical models that shun fundamental laws of economics. Where they see a New Era of productivity growth and industrial efficiency, he sees duplicitous bookkeeping and manufacturing’s steep decline. They talk of a booming U.S. economy; he sees a profitless mirage. They worship capitalism’s bold risk-takers; he scorns them for recklessly piling leverage to the sky. Someone’s going to be wrong, but judge for yourself who. » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Wednesday

Sweetening the tedium

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 8:09 am GMT

More tedium was the prediction for bullion here a couple of days ago, and it seems to be coming true. Thrill-seekers might want to take a look at today’s tout for July Sugar, which, as a chat room denizen noted, appears to be taking off for a seasonal flight-of-fancy.


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June E-mini S&P (ESM11) price chart with targetsIt’s understandable if you’ve lost interest in the downside targets I gave here earlier at, respectively, 1273.50 and 1276.50, since I’ve practically lost interest myself. Getting there has been pure tedium, a downtrend punctuated each day by either a Whoopee Cushion rally or numerous feints higher.  Alas, there’s also an excess of enticing Hidden Pivot targets to bottom-fish at the moment.  One that I especially like that is perhaps best suited for Tuesday night owls lies at 1274.75, and it can be bid with a 1.00-point stop-loss.  At the time this recommendation was published, the futures had exceeded by a single tick the 1281.25 midpoint associated with that number.  Accordingly, you should be alert for a possible bounce that could be traded bullishly via camouflage on the three-minute chart.  If there is no rally, or not much of one, that would affirm the outlook for more slippage to as low as 1269.75.

Incidentally, if you don’t subscribe to Rick’s Picks but would like to know more about the proprietary camouflage trading technique that we use to keep entry risk to a bare minimum, click here for information about the Hidden Pivot Webinar in late June.  You could also take a free week’s trial subscription that will give you access not only to detailed trading recommendations each day, but to a 24/7 chat room that draws experienced traders from all over the world. ______ UPDATE (10:02 a.m. EDT):  The 1276.50 pivot we’d grown so bored with caught the overnight low within a single tick, so officially we did nothing.  As a practical matter, a camouflage long entry from the 6:48 a.m. (EDT) bottom would have been difficult to justify, even on the 3-minute chart.

SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:33.70)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 4:59 am GMT

Silver Wheaton (SLW) price chart with targetsThe stock is sitting at a precipice, since yesterday’s close was on a major trendline (see inset). The support is so obvious that we should be alert to a possible false breakdown that could afford us a bottom-fishing opportunity.  The nearest Hidden Pivot support lies at 31.91 (A=37.72 on May 10, daily chart), so that’s where it should be attempted.  Camouflaged entry is preferred, but if you don’t want to bother, or if you don’t know how, bid 31.93, stop 31.86, for 400 shares. Please note that if Wheaton should really fall apart it could fall all the way to 26.77, the ‘D’ target of a pattern shown in the chart.  We continue to hold 300 shares @ 42.01 against three June 40 puts with a 4.00 basis, but option expiration will soon put it out of its misery.

GCQ11 – August Gold (Last:1539.90)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 5:15 am GMT

August Gold (GCQ11) price chart with targetsA dip below 1536.30 would cede control to bears for the near term, sending the futures down to a likely test of support at 1531.10, a Hidden Pivot whose provenance is shown in the chart.  The one-off ‘A’ is so seductive here that I have ignored the fact that the point ‘B’ of the pattern is pure ’sausage’ (having failed to breach the 1536.30 low).  Accordingly, I’ll recommend bottom-fishing  at 1531.10 with a 1531.30 bid, stop 1530.70. ______ UPDATE (9:54 a.m. EDT): The futures fell $12 overnight to a low that was 0.70 points shy of our target, so officially we did nothing.  The subsequent $13 upthrust has taken the trade out-of-range, so cancel it.

SIN11 – July Silver (Last:36.720)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 7:06 am GMT

July Silver (SIN11) price chart with targetsThe high of yesterday’s gratuitous thrust didn’t even come close to the 37.890 peak whose breach would have signaled a bullish resurgence, but it remains valid nonetheless as a trigger point to watch if you’re keen on buying a breakout. Meanwhile, in trading early Wednesday morning (EDT), a Hidden Pivot support at 36.770 resisted sellers for all of a half-hour, hinting of further slippage over the near-term to at least 36.290, its ‘d’ sibling. You can bottom-fish there with a stop-loss as tight as four ticks, but the appeal of this gambit will diminish as the night wears on and the c-d leg becomes increasingly labored. ______ UPDATE (10:18 a.m. EDT):  The futures took a 30-cent bounce overnight from 36.250, so if you used the four-tick stop-loss advised, you would have missed the tradable low by a tick, with a resulting, modest loss of $100.  The futures have subsequently surged anew, but the recovery high at 36.820 is nowheresville relative to the tedious range of the last five days.

SBN11 – July Sugar (Last:24.37)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 7:48 am GMT

July Sugar (SBN11) price chart with targetsA chat room denizen suggested taking a look at sugar — “a nice set-up, and the seasonal low is in” — and so we shall.  Price action since early May’s low does indeed look bullish, since successive upthrusts on the daily chart seem to have had little trouble impulsingv above previous peaks. Dropping down to the hourly chart, the most recent such surge projects to 24.55, a Hidden Pivot that lies just six cents above yesterday’s high.  An easy push past the number would hint of yet more bullish action to come, and as you can see, the hourly chart is loaded with “external” peaks  that can be easily leveraged by the adroit Pivoteer.

JYM11 – June Yen (Last:1.2487)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 8:01 am GMT

June Yen (JYM11) price chart with targetsAll the king’s horses seem unable to suppress the yen, much to the detriment of Japan’s increasingly desperate exporters. The nearest Hidden Pivot resistance lies at 1.2657, representing a 1.3 percent rise from current levels. That number is shortable with a stop-loss as tight as five ticks, but if it gives way easily, that would portend an even weightier exchange-rate burden on the nation’s already severely depressed economy. _______ UDPATE:  For the September contract, 1.2633 is equivalent to the target given above. It too is shortable. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (June 27): Bor-ing. We’ll put this one aside for now, since it has become a tiresome distraction.

$ESM14 – June E-Mini S&P (Last:1843.00)

by Rick Ackerman on April 16, 2014 12:01 am GMT

It was just coincidence that yesterday’s edition of Rick’s Picks led with a headline about schizophrenia, since a market-watcher could not have asked for a better demonstration of it.  At the opening, the futures head-faked the equivalent of 100 DJIA points; then they plummeted the equivalent of 250. Just when things looked darkest, short-covering by bears too stupid and frightened to know when to sit tight drove the futures into a spasm that recouped earlier losses and then some. By day’s end the futures were up 18 points, bears were cowering, Wall Street was jubilant and all was right with the world. I won’t hazard a guess as to where this freak show will head tomorrow, but I should warn bulls nonetheless that the night session is unlikely to deliver much more upside than the 1845.50 target shown.  Above it, perhaps after Wednesday’s opening bell, an 1851.75 target will be in play. However, if you plan on intercepting it with a short offer, you had best do so only if you’ve caughta piece of the rally.

$SIK14 – May Silver (Last:19.565)

by Rick Ackerman on April 15, 2014 4:49 am GMT

Three weeks of ho-hum price action have left the May contract with a mildly bearish bias, although any weakness would likely pick up support from lows near $19 recorded between early December and late January. Alternatively, I’ll stipulate that the futures must close above the 21.168 midpoint pivot of the pattern shown before we infer that bulls are emerging from their torpor. _______ UPDATE (6:02 p.m.): Yesterday’s dive to 19.220 found support just above January’s 19.030 low, but the subsequent bounce is as yet insufficient for us to conclude that the worst is behind.  The very lesser charts would turn short-term bullish today on a print at 19.675, but anything shy of that should be regarded as shorting opportunity.  All that aside, night owls could attempt bottom-fishing at p=19.335 with a stop-loss as tight as three ticks (see inset, a new chart). _______ UPDATE (11:29 a.m.):  This trade worked with absolutely perfect precision, since the overnight low was 19.235 — TWO ticks beneath where I’d suggested putting your bid. A 48-cent rally ensued.  (I also drum-rolled the trade, although without giving the exact price, in ‘Today’s Action’. If you filled the order please let me know in the chat room so that I can establish a tracking position for your further guidance.

$USM14 – June T-Bond (Last:134^06)

by Rick Ackerman on April 2, 2014 3:21 am GMT

We don’t pay much attention to this vehicle other than at key turning points, but the short-term pattern shown looks like a lay-up for traders who see futures contracts as no more than bouncing dots on a chart, waiting to be exploited. There are actually two trade possibilities here: 1) a ‘camouflage’ short as USM slips below the 132^13 midpoint; 2) and a very tightly stopped long from within a tick or two of the 131^17 target. Good luck!  Please report any fills in the chat room so that I can establish a tracking position for your further guidance. ______ UPDATE (3:17 p.m. ET): The short was tricky to initiate, but once aboard, your reward came quickly with a drop to a so-far low at  131^26. As noted above, the short should be covered and reversed near 131^17. ______ UPDATE (April 6, 3:57 p.m.): The low of Friday’s violent price swings was 131^21 — not quite close enough to have gotten you long easily. Although this could prove to be an important low for the short- to intermediate term, under the circumstances I’ll assume no subscribers were filled. _______ UPDATE (April 11, 1:03 a.m.): Next important stop on the way higher: 135^17.

HGK14 – May Copper (Last:2.9820)

by Rick Ackerman on March 31, 2014 12:20 am GMT

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This Just In... for Wednesday

Read here the confessions of a University of Illinois professor who at age 64 recently retired to fat city, courtesy of the state’s taxpayers. He’ll receive 80 percent of his salary for life, plus a three percent annual cost of living increase, but you  won’t believe some of the other perks that came with the job.


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