December 21st, 2014
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Weekly Commentary

We got short at the top on Friday, but how long will Mr. Market let us enjoy the ride? Our vehicle, QQQ put options, nearly ran off the road on Tuesday when the Dow began the day with a 125-point rally. A pullback in the early going shaved that gain by two-thirds, but by early afternoon bulls were beating on the highs, threatening to send bears into a new round of short-covering. The pessimists got a reprieve, however, when something spooked the market late in the session, sending the Industrial Average into a 225-point dive that left it 66 points lower on the day.  It was not a session for the faint-hearted. Still, the outcome boosted the value of our put position, leaving Rick’s Picks subscribers in good shape to try to lock in a profit no matter what the stock market does as 2011 draws to an unpredictable close. » Read the full article


Thought for Today

First leg of butterfly spread

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 6:00 am GMT

I’m tracking the purchase of some Jan 134 calls yesterday in SPY — a first step in legging on the 134-137-140 butterfly.  SPY is falling too hard for me to be comfortable, but we’ll stick with the position nonetheless, since it would give us reason to root for a rally for a rare change.


Rick's Picks for Wednesday
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GCG12 – February Gold (Last:1640.00)

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 4:55 am GMT

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SIH12 – March Silver (Last:29.145)

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 5:06 am GMT

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QQQQ – Nasdaq ETF (Last:55.08)

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 5:20 am GMT

We hold two Jan 54 puts and two Jan 53 puts with a profit-adjusted cost basis of,  respectively, 0.76 and 0.57. I’d suggested shorting December 54 and 53 monthly puts against them for the same price, but I’ll now recommend instead that you short January calls three strikes below what you own for the same price or higher.  Thus, if you hold eight January 54 puts for 0.76, you should try to short eight January 51 puts against them for at least 0.76.  I estimate that the Cubes would need to fall to around 54.80 (Note: I’ve raised this number) within the next week or so to get the offer filled.  Our current, minimum downside objective is 54.87, a Hidden Pivot midpoint.  _______ UPDATE (10:42 a.m. EST):  I am recommending that you complete the spread immediately by hitting the 0.69 bid or the 0.54 bid in, respectively, Jan 51 puts or Jan 50 puts. Once you’ve completed the spread(s) as suggested, this reverse-Santa Rally position will offer great odds, since, although either spread will produce a profit of $300 if Santa drops dead (so to speak), the most we can lose in theory, commissions aside, is $7 on each Jan 54-51 put spread and $3 on each Jan 53-50 put spread. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (1:24 p.m. EST):  The Cubes fell a bit lower after the trading alert was disseminated above and in the chat room, and it would therefore have been possible to short either the Jan 51 puts or the Jan 50 puts for somewhat more than we paid for the long side of our position.  Officially, however, I will record a short sale at the prices suggested above.  That will give a cost basis of 0.07 ($7) for the Jan 54-51 puts spread, and 0.03 $3.00) for the Jan 53-Jan 50 put spread. Thus, in theory — and almost surely in practice, the most we can lose, based on two spreads at either pair of strikes, is, respectively, $14 or $6.  The potential gain would be $600 for either position, predicated on the QQQs trading $50 or lower come January 20.

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.

SPY – S&P (Equity) (Last:123.35)

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 5:33 am GMT

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ESH12 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:1223.25)

by Rick Ackerman on December 14, 2011 5:56 am GMT

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$ESH15 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:2030.50)

by Rick Ackerman on December 18, 2014 6:51 am GMT

Volatility is getting pretty nasty, although that shouldn’t discourage us from trying to get a step ahead of these wild swings. That much was clear yesterday, when the S&Ps actually dipped 30 minutes into the session before exploding higher. The subsequent undulations and bullish lurches were driven by the timing of yesterday’s FOMC announcement late in the session, but it was never in doubt that the futures would work their way higher, if spasmodically, until the announcement came. For now, we’ll use the  2024.75 target shown as a minimum rally objective. Night owls can try bottom-fishing at the 2005.00 midpoint pivot, although I wouldn’t risk the implied six points that a “mechanical” entry would dictate. _______ UPDATE (8:42 a.m.): The trade would have worked spectacularly, since the futures touched an overnight low of  2004.50 before going into a ballistic, 31-point rally worth as much as $1500 per contract to anyone who bought as advised. An initial stop-loss as tight as three ticks would have sufficed to get you aboard.

$GCG15 – February Gold (Last:1198.90)

by Rick Ackerman on December 18, 2014 6:30 am GMT

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$USH15 – March T-Bonds (Last:143^19)

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

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$GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:24.72)

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. _____ UPDATE (December 17, 11:59 p.m.): Like gold futures, this vehicle rallied yesterday without quite reaching a downside target. That’s mildly bullish, but GDXJ will need to pop above 23.71 on Thursday to ‘actualize’ the encouraging start. ______ UPDATE (December 18, 8:39 p.m.): The nearest impediment to the rally lies at 25.18, a Hidden Pivot shown in the chart. Bulls can take encouragement if it’s exceeded — and perhaps get long if the ascent goes a bit further, exceeding the 25.62 peak and pulling back into a tradable ABC pattern.

$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.


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