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A Sane Way to Trade Crazy Markets

by Rick Ackerman on December 19, 2011 12:01 am GMT · 21 comments

Does the chart below of the Dow Industrial Average make you feel bullish? Bearish? Neutral?  We’re not sure ourselves. Although we’ve been using technical analysis for nearly 40 years, the chart doesn’t speak to us. At best, it leaves us with only a moderately bullish bias for the near term  – and a vague feeling that the meaningless price swings that have ruled the markets in 2011 could continue for longer than we would care to imagine, let alone explain  This is hard to believe, especially with so many dreadnoughts bearing down on the global economy and banking system. The U.S. is re-entering a recession that never ended for most households. China has hit the brakes in preparation for a slowdown in global trade, and the country’s real estate bubble appears to be deflating with a vengeance. Jihadists are planning naval “maneuvers” in the Strait of Hormuz. Bird flu and the bubbling Yellowstone caldera threaten us with extinction.

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TODAY'S ACTION for Monday

Sunday Night Softness

by Rick Ackerman on December 19, 2011 12:01 am GMT

Stocks and bullion were soft Sunday night in turgid action, so I’ve emphasized mildly bearish possibilities in my touts for index futures and bullion.


Rick's Picks for Monday
$ = Actionable Advice + = Open Position
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ESH12 – March E-Mini S&P (Last:1206.75)

by Rick Ackerman on December 19, 2011 2:34 am GMT

March E-Mini S&P (ESH12) price chart with targetsWe are long a single contract with a cost basis of 1156.00. The 17-point drop from Friday’s high missed our 1207.75 stop-loss by two ticks, but be prepared to exit on that number Sunday night. That would give us a gain worth a little more than $2500 on paper.  ______ UPDATE (7:29 p.m. EST): The futures touched the stop moments ago, so we’ll move to the sidelines. It’s always hard to tell about these Sunday night shakedowns, but we’ll avoid this one since both ‘p’ (1206.00 ) and ‘D’ 1197.75 coincide with previous lows that are likely to entice the riff-raff into bottom-fishing.  However, if the futures get away from the dirtballs who are maneuvering them lower at this moment, they could plummet to 1179.00. That’s a Hidden Pivot you can bottom-fish either with camouflage or an 1179.25 bid, stop 1178.25.  Its ‘p’ sibling lies at 1202.00, but bidding there is suggested only for those able to employ camouflage. If an order fills there via a picture perfect ‘camo’ reversal, I’ll establish a tracking position of four contracts for your further guidance. _______ FURTHER GUIDANCE (11:12 a.m. EST): We initiated a long position at 1206.00 following a perfect ‘camo’ pattern off an overnight bottom at 1201.75. On the 10-minute chart, the abc coordinates — all single-bar! — lay, respectively, at 1201.75, 1207.75 and 1204.50.  Two contracts were to have been exited at the 1207.50 ‘p’ midpoint, and a third at d=1210.50. This gave us a profit-adjusted cost basis of 1198.50 for the contract that remained. It was exited minutes ago at 1210.75, based on the bearish impulse leg created via a dip beneath the 1211.00 ‘external’ low recorded on the way up at 4:10 a.m. Our theoretical paper profit for each four-lot entered was $600. It would seem that in a trendless market that has been serving up crap for…months, that nailing tradable intraday swings in this vehicle is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

SPY – S&P (Equity) (Last:121.58)

by Rick Ackerman on December 19, 2011 2:46 am GMT

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SIH12 – March Silver (Last:29.460)

by Rick Ackerman on December 19, 2011 3:16 am GMT

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$+SIZ14 – December Silver (Last:15.865)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 4:15 am GMT

More downside over the near-term to at least 15.865 (see inset) looks very likely, so traders should position from the short side. The opportunity may be past by morning, but night owls can use an entry trigger on the lesser charts (i.e., 5-minute bar or less) to get aboard. I’ve highlighted the relevant ABC pattern, which appears at the rightmost edge of the chart. ______ UPDATE (9:23 a.m. EDT): Anyone who got short as advised made a pile of money overnight without much stress.  The futures have plummeted and are currently down about 63 cents, having recorded a so-far low at 15.635 that exceeded our target by by 23 cents.

$AMZN – Amazon (Last:299.07)

by Rick Ackerman on October 31, 2014 3:58 am GMT

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$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:173.48)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:03 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1144.22)

by Rick Ackerman on October 29, 2014 12:02 am GMT

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$+SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.2490)

by Rick Ackerman on October 28, 2014 2:47 am GMT

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$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1224.60)

by Rick Ackerman on October 23, 2014 1:56 am GMT

The failure of Tuesday’s rally to reach the modest, 1260.30 Hidden Pivot target we were using as a minimum upside objective is not exactly a sign of robust health. The target remains theoretically viable because the point ‘C’ low at 1232.00 with which it is associated is still intact. However, the hourly chart has swung bearishly impulsive as a result of the ratcheting, two-day sell-off from the recent high at 1255.60.  Short-term downside potential is to the 1232.30 target shown. If this Hidden Pivot support is easily breached, however, it would suggest more sellers are waiting in the wings. Alternatively, the futures would need to surpass 1246.30 without having first touched the 1239.30 midpoint support (see inset) to turn the hourly chart short-term bullish. _______ UPDATE (October 27, 8:01 p.m. EDT): I expect the next leg down to reach the 1216.40 Hidden Pivot support shown.  Alternatively, a print today at 1236.30 would give bulls a fighting chance. _______ UPDATE (October 29, 1:23 p.m.): 1202.10 is my new downside target — a Hidden Pivot support identified during this morning’s weekly tutorial session. _______ UPDATE: An 1125.00 target broached yesterday during my regular interview with Al Korelin should suffice to keep you out of trouble. I hadn’t imagined the futures would get halfway there overnight.

$+AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:107.34)

by Rick Ackerman on October 22, 2014 8:18 am GMT

Apple’s gap yesterday through the 100.41 midpoint resistance (see inset) strongly implies that its D sibling at 105.64 will be reached. Although a pullback to the midpoint should be treated as a belated buying opportunity, I wouldn’t suggest chasing the stock higher. That said, the four labeled peaks are tailor-made for the Hidden Pivot trader who can employ the ‘camouflage’ technique for getting long. If you understand why, you should go for it! _______ UPDATE (8:13 p.m.): The broad averages pulled Apple back down to earth yesterday when the stock tried to go opposite weakness that surfaced around mid-session. This runs flatly counter to my speculative idea that AAPL might pull the broad averages higher. That’s still possible, since yesterday’s 104.11 peak fell 53 cents of a rally target that remains valid in theory. However, we’ll eschew speculation for now and simply watch to see whether  the 102.44 Hidden Pivot support holds (see inset, a new chart). _______ UPDATE (October 23, 1:59 p.m.): Apple has rebounded sharply today, off a 102.90 correction low to a so-far high of 105.05 that’s 59 cents shy of our target. Most longs should have been exited by now. ______ UPDATE (October 27, 8:07 p.m.): Friday’s high at 105.49 came within 0.15 of the target flagged above.  Bulls can continue to hold small long positions for a swing at the fences, but I’d suggest tying your shares to a stop-loss based on a downtrending impulse leg on the 15-minute chart. Currently, that would imply stopping yourself out if an uncorrected fall touches 104.52 _______ UPDATE (October 28, 8:44 p.m.): Still long? Be alert at 107.08, a Hidden Pivot target that looks all but certain to be reached but which could stop the rally cold. You should tighten your trailing stop there in any case. ______ UPDATE (October 29, 9:25 p.m.): The rally has shredded some challenging Hidden Pivots, but let’s see if it can bully its way past the 109.07 target shown. In any case, it is my minimum upside objective for the near term.


This Just In... for Monday

Our good friends at Auerbach & Grayson are out with a storm warning for stocks and other risky assets in the first quarter.  The dollar, on the other hand, is in a strong primary bull trend that should see significantly higher valuations in the months ahead, according to Richard Ross, A&G’s global technical strategist.  Click here for the full 27-page report.


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The Hidden Pivot Webinar is one-day event is designed to teach you the risk-averse trading strategies Rick has taken to his seminars around the world. Once you have learned his proprietary secrets, you will approach trading and investing with enough confidence to make your own decisions without having to rely on the advice of others. The next Webinar will take place on November 13, 2014. For more information, or to register, click here.