April 24th, 2014
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Topic of the Week

Video: Goldman, MF Global and the Euro Mess

by Ricks Picks on December 12, 2011 4:47 am GMT · 1 comment

Yesterday, Rick appeared on The Keiser Report. Rick and Max discussed Goldman’s death dive and MF Global’s crimes against the markets. Rick’s segment begins 12 minutes and 55 seconds into the video.


TODAY'S ACTION for Monday

Gold and Silver were getting pounded in the middle of the night, although index futures were down only enough to suggest that Da Dirtballs were shaking out sellers.  Their by-now-familiar trick is to make certain that the contracts they’ve stolen from widows and pensioners in the wee hours can be short-squeezed higher with almost no resistance before the opening bell.  The (small) gamble is that sunrise will not bring word of Europe’s demise.


Rick's Picks for Monday
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QQQQ – Nasdaq ETF (Last:56.18)

by Rick Ackerman on December 12, 2011 8:46 am GMT

With the E-Mini S&P hitting our rally target in the final moments of Friday’s session, we bought four QQQ Jan 54 puts or Jan 53 puts, respectively, for 0.96 or 0.74. These are keepers, since just about anything could happen between now and January 20 when the options expire. Do nothing further for now.  _______ UPDATE (11:02 a.m.EST):  In the chat room a moment ago, I suggested cashing out half of the puts at current prices: 1.16 for the Jan 54s, 0.91 for the Jan 53s.  That leaves us with two puts at either strike and a profit adjusted cost basis for each, respectively, of 0.76 and 0.57. Let’s spread off the risk by turning the positions in calendar spreads, shorting a December put for each Jan 54 put or Jan 53 put you currently hold. Do so in a 1:1 ratio, and shoot for putting on the spread for “even” or better.  What this means is that you will short the puts for the cost basis of the puts you now hold, selling December 53 puts for 0.57 (currently trading for around 0.09) and December 54 puts for 0.76 (currently trading for around 0.18).

Although the course of action suggested above may seem very conservative, it is essential that we nail down partial profits on option positions when possible, particularly on puts that have “come in.”  In the several decades that exchange-listed puts have been offered, instances in which put holders enjoyed more than three consecutive pleasurable days have been non-existent. I would dare say that at least 95 percent of all puts ever purchased “naked” have lost money for the trader.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the Hidden Pivot Method, including how to identify and trade targets such as the ones used above, and to forecast trends with bold confidence.

ESH12 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:1250.25.)

by Rick Ackerman on December 12, 2011 9:10 am GMT

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GCG12 – February Gold (Last:1670.40)

by Rick Ackerman on December 12, 2011 9:28 am GMT

February Gold (GCG12) price chart with targetsThe bad guys had gold on the run Sunday night, presumably bound for the 1672.30 downside target of the pattern shown.  It would take nothing less than a pop to 1733.00 overnight or Monday to put bulls back on the offensive. The bearish target can be bottom-fished — preferably with camouflage, but if you want to take the easy (but somewhat riskier) path, because the pattern has such gnarly appeal, you can bid 1672.40 with a 0.50-point stop-loss. Nimble traders can also look for a turn at 1685.70, the midpoint support of the lesser pattern shown with purple ABC coordinates.  Keep in mind that ‘camo’ shorts would be aligned with some even larger downtrends that point to either 1638.00 or 1633.10_______ UPDATE (11:43 a.m. EST):  Bottom-fishing at 1672.30 could have produced a small profit, but probably no worse than a scratch when the futures subsequently headed lower. There was a 12-minute bounce of $3.40 from 1672.60 at 8:42 a.m. (3-min); and a $3.80 bounce from 1672.00 that lasted just a few minutes. Since we were using an initial stop-loss of 50 cents, the bounce we’d anticipated need only have been $1.50 to give us a reason to take a partial profit on half the position.

SIH12 – March Silver (Last:31.540)

by Rick Ackerman on December 12, 2011 9:52 am GMT

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$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:524.65)

by Rick Ackerman on April 24, 2014 7:46 am GMT

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$+CLM14 – June Crude (Last:101.73)

by Rick Ackerman on April 23, 2014 4:41 pm GMT

The midpoint pivot at 101.28 that I’d flagged yesterday in the chat room as a place to try bottom-fishing appears to have served subscribers well. Several subscribers have reported getting long at that price ahead of the so-far 88-cent rally that has ensued. This morning’s low never exceeded the pivot by more than eight cents, and the rally since could have produced a gain of as much as $800 per contract for anyone who was aboard.  Because of the fills that were reported, I’m going to establish a tracking position for your further guidance. Assuming four contracts were entered initially, you should take partial profits on half now if you haven’t done so already. For tracking purposes, I’ll assume an exit at 101.80, a dime below where the futures are currently trading.

I’ll further suggest using an impulse leg-based stop on the 30-minute chart. This implies that a swoon now to 101.19 would take one out of the position. The stop-out price will rise to 101.45 if the current bar’s low, 101.72, becomes a point C low (where A=101.46 at 9:00 a.m. ET). _______ UPDATE (10:40 a.m. ET):  A very nasty downdraft has erased most of the rally in a single bar on the 30-minute chart.  Stick to the 101.19 stop for now, but use a breakeven stop if you held only one contract. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 1:06 a.m.): There were four swings in excess of 70 cents yesterday — not quite violent enough to dislodge us from our position.  For tracking purposes I am assuming that two contracts remain, with a profit adjusted cost basis of 100.48.  Exit one of the contracts now for around 101.70 (or catch-as-catch-can when you wake up, assuming you slept on the position); then, use an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the hourly chart to create a stop-loss for the last contract.  At this moment, that would imply stopping yourself out on an uncorrected plunge exceeding Wednesday’s 101.20 low.

ESM14 – June E-Mini S&P (Last:1878.50)

by Rick Ackerman on April 23, 2014 3:24 am GMT

The leaps have been opportunistic, powered by short-covering whenever the mood is right. Most of the time these days, however, the futures are taking mincing steps in both directions, creating a challenging environment for profit-seekers in the middle hours of the day. One thing to notice, however, is that the rallies, particularly in this vehicle, and whether weak or powerful, seldom proceed from the first signaled entry point.  Instead, the ‘money trades’ launch from a second or third point-C lows of ABCD patterns, and they do it with such repetitious reliability that one can practically discard the first signaled entry opportunities routinely. This is the kind of price action we might expect when ‘everyone’ thinks that stocks will move higher on a given day. ‘Everyone’ can be right, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can make money easily. For your interest today, I am including a chart that shows a modest rally target at 1895.00. I’m guessing it will be easier to get short there with a tight stop than to get long for the ride to it. However, because the futures will be in record territory at that point, we shouldn’t want to impede their progress too aggressively. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 12:50 a.m.):  With yesterday’s rally — nearly all of it achieved in a single, short-squeeze bar toward the end of the session — bears are now trapped between the all-time high and a lesser peak just below it. Their acute, growing discomfort will likely be tradable, but not by way of any specific guidance I am able to provide nine hours before the opening bell.  New record highs are coming, but for most traders, the process of getting there promises to be more pain than pleasure.

$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1230.18)

by Rick Ackerman on April 22, 2014 4:00 am GMT

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Since March 20, when GDXJ was trading for around $40, I have been looking for a potentially important low at 34.00.  More recently, I revised that target to exactly 33.76, a ‘Hidden Pivot support’. Yesterday it came within a single penny of nailing the exact low of a vicious swoon. The low may or may not prove to be the last gasp of a correction that has been in progress for the last five weeks, but it stood to be an opportune place to try bottom-fishing.  In that regard, quite a few subscribers reported getting aboard at or near the low, and so I’ve established a tracking position for their further guidance. It consists of 200 shares with a cost basis of 33.58. The price takes into account an initial purchase of 400 shares for 33.79, then the taking of a partial profit on half the position at 34.00.  The bounce so far has hit 34.90, meaning GDXJ has trampolined $1.14 cents since hitting my three-week-old target.  For now, traders should stop themselves out of the position if GDXJ breaches two prior lows on the 5-minute chart without an upward correction.  As of this moment, that would imply placing the stop at 34.37 (and remember: it must be exceeded by an unbroken, downtrending leg).  You should also offer a round lot (or half of the remaining position, whichever is greater) to close for 36.80, good-till-canceled. _______ UPDATE (11:38 p.m. ET): The herky-jerky spasms in the first 90 minutes altered our stop-loss so that it would have taken a 34.07 print to stop us out — 23 cents beneath the actual low. I’ll now suggest raising the bar by using an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the 30-minute chart. That would imply a fall today touching 34.29.  Please note, however, that the stop could change if zig-zag action early in the session creates any distinctive new lows on the intraday charts. Our target for the next profit-taking interval is still 36.80. _______ UPDATE (April 23, 1:38 p.m. ET): A powerful surge today has hit a so-far high of 36.89, allowing anyone who was long to take a partial profit at 36.80 as suggested.  For tracking purposes I’ll assume 100 shares with a profit-adjusted cost basis of 30.36.  In practice, you should still be holding 25% of whatever position you acquired initially, with a 30.36 cost basis. For now, use no stop-loss. _______ UPDATE (April 24, 1:20 a.m.): For each round lot you hold, short one May 2 38 call if GDXJ gets within about 15 cents of 38.00.  At that price, the calls should fetch around 1.10-1.20.

$DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:79.89)

by Rick Ackerman on April 21, 2014 5:25 am GMT

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$USM14 – June T-Bond (Last:134^01)

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. _______ UPDATE (April 20, 11:10 p.m. ET): Last week’s fleeting stab to 135^10 came within less than a quarter-point of my target — close enough for us to consider it fulfilled. It took the futures more than a month to get there, so we should expect this correction-or-worse to last for at least a week or so before bulls attempt to push T-Bonds to new recovery highs.


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