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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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$JNK – High-Yield Bond ETF (Last:40.46)

by Rick Ackerman on October 21, 2014 9:42 am GMT

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$DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:163.65)

by Rick Ackerman on October 21, 2014 3:24 am GMT

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$ESZ14 – Dec E-Mini S&P (Last:1897.50)

by Rick Ackerman on October 21, 2014 2:25 am GMT

The market has gone ornery and untradable on us, presumably because everyone and his mother is going at it with the same idea of getting short. Although yesterday’s forecast here got the trend right and even nailed the intraday high, 1902.50, to the exact tick, the prediction was valueless for trading purposes. That’s because the ratcheting, exceedingly tedious rally generated a string of minor corrections that were equal to or greater than each subsequent leg up. Not exactly the risk:reward proposition we are looking for.  I proffered a still higher target at 1911.00 if 1902.50 was exceeded, which it has been in after-hours trading.  Night owls can use their own judgment to determine how to catch the implied ride north, but I wouldn’t look for easy pickings if there’s still a few points left in the move at Tuesday’s opening bell.

$GCZ14 – December Gold (Last:1236.60)

by Rick Ackerman on October 20, 2014 12:47 am GMT

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$CLX14 – November Crude (Last:83.00)

by Rick Ackerman on October 17, 2014 1:15 am GMT

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$TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:122.01)

by Rick Ackerman on October 17, 2014 12:01 am GMT

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$USZ14 – December T-Bonds (Last:143^08)

by Rick Ackerman on October 16, 2014 6:43 am GMT

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$HGZ14 – December Copper (Last:3.0100)

by Rick Ackerman on October 6, 2014 9:30 am GMT

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$SNIPF – Snipp Interactive (Last:0.3400)

by Rick Ackerman on September 5, 2014 3:05 am GMT

I first touted Snipp Interactive back in January, when it was trading around 0.15. Although the stock subsequently fell to a dime, it has since rallied sharply, settling at 0.2562 yesterday. This is one of my favorite stocks, and I came away from a conference call with its CEO, Atul Sabharwal, eager to sing their praises. During that call, I hit Atul with my best idea, a sweepstakes-type promotion, but he was already three steps ahead of me, able to cite, for one, New York State’s rules and costs for exactly the type of marketing scheme I’d suggested.

Full disclosure: I hold 100,000 shares plus warrants to purchase another 50,000 shares.  But I hope that won’t discourage you from performing your own due diligence, since you are likely to be as impressed as I was when you find out what the company has been up to. For me, at least, Snipp (OTC: SNIPF) perfectly satisfies Peter Lynch’s rule that investors favor companies whose strengths and methods they can understand. Snipp does interactive marketing that allows clients to track results in real time. The results have been sufficiently impressive that the company has been attracting blue chip clients with little difficulty. Read more about SNIPP by clicking here.

From a technical standpoint, although the stock’s chart history is thin, it’s possible to project a near-term rally target of 0.2730. A tenet of Hidden Pivot analysis is that an easy move through such targeted resistance implies there is unspent buying power percolating beneath the surface. This is not a “hot tip;” indeed, Snipp’s story does not lend itself to the kind of hubris that will result in a $10 billion IPO. But it is an aggressive and imaginative pioneer in a rapidly developing niche, and its CEO has the kind of imagination, intelligence and energy that inspires confidence. _______ UPDATE (Sep 22, 8:30 p.m.): The stock has continued to rally, and the closest Hidden Pivot target is now 0.2668.  If that Hidden Pivot is exceeded on a closing basis for two days, however, a target at 0.3474 would be in play. _______ UPDATE (Sep 23):  Snipp has entered the Brazilian market via an exclusive marketing contract with Petrobas. Click here for the news release. ______ UPDATE (Sep 23, 1:57 p.m. EDT):  The stock has gone bonkers today, up six cents to within less than a penny of the 0.3474 target projected two days ago. _______ UPDATE (October 12, 9:20 p.m.): The stock has come down hard after peaking three weeks ago at 0.34, but I view the move as a corrective opportunity to accumulate more shares.


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.


Hidden Pivot Webinar & Tutorials
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 October 16, 2014. For more information, or to register, click here.