January 27th, 2015
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Weekly Commentary

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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Thought for Today

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
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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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$GCG15 – February Gold (Last:1277.80)

by Rick Ackerman on January 27, 2015 6:26 am GMT

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$JNK – High-Yield Bond ETF (Last:38.83)

by Rick Ackerman on January 26, 2015 6:10 am GMT

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$+CLH15 – March Crude (Last:45.28)

by Rick Ackerman on January 26, 2015 5:34 am GMT

The futures are banging on a 44.12 Hidden Pivot support that they last visited on January 13. We won’t presume as to whether the support will hold this time around, but if it gives way the 41.00 target of a lesser downtrend (see inset) would be in play. Traders will have to sort out the opportunities in real time, but I’d suggest using a chart of 5-minute degree or less to generate an actionable ‘camouflage’ pattern. If you prefer the simpler method of a ‘mechanical’ entry, a short from 46.36 can be used, stop 48.15.  This is significantly more risk that we are used to taking when trading this vehicle, since swing highs and lows on the very lesser charts can usually be predicted with 10 to 20 cents.  Under the circumstances, I’d suggest holding position size down to a single contract unless you use ‘camouflage’. _______ UPDATE (1:42 p.m.): Just posted in the chat room: The recent high at 46.41 was bullishly impulsive, so shorts initiated at 46.36 as I’d advised should be tied to a short tether — i.e., a stop-loss that will leave you with at least a small profit no matter what. If you are short multiple contracts, half should be covered here for around 45.69, for a gain of about $670 per contract. If you prefer an impulsive stop, the 3-minute chart would pop you out of the trade on an uncorrected rally exceeding 46.14. _______ UPDATE (11:34 p.m.): The futures have plummeted $1.41 from within a nickel of where I’d suggested getting short.  The trade could have been worth as much $1360 per contract, but if you still hold a position I’ll recommend tying it to an impulsive stop-loss on the 5-minute chart. At the moment, that would imply stopping yourself out of the short if the futures thrust above 45.58 without correcting.  Please let me know in the chat room if you hold a position, since I can provide a tracking position for you further guidance.

$HGH15 – March Copper (Last:2.5485)

by Rick Ackerman on January 15, 2015 4:24 am GMT

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AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:112.99)

by Rick Ackerman on January 14, 2015 3:41 am GMT

We shouldn’t doubt that Apple will eventually lift off for points north — most immediately the 116.92 midpoint Hidden Pivot shown, and thence its ‘D’ sibling at 129.20. In the meantime, the presumptive consolidation near 110 has brough only tedium and a more or less predictable series of false starts. The timing of the rally is of some importance, since the stock market as a whole cannot get in bullish gear without the world’s most valuable stock leading the charge.  For our part, let’s get our feet wet with a 0.31 bid for 16 Feb 20 130 calls, day order, contingent on the stock trading 109.00 or higher. If Apple falls below that price lower the bid to 0.26.  Our eventual goal will be to leg into some vertical spreads for cheap, or possibly free. ______ UPDATE: The calls traded for 0.31 on the opening, so I’ll track 16 of them at that price.  Use a stop-loss at 0.24 for now, o-c-o with an order to short 16 Feb 20 135 calls for 0.31. ________UPDATE (January 18, 7:03 p.m.): The stock has looked like hell lately, stopping us out of the calls for 0.24 on the opening Friday. The loss would have totaled $112 plus commissions.  We’ll back away for now, since AAPL now looks primed to fall to 103.58 before bulls get traction. ______ UPDATE (January 25, 11:04 p.m.):  The stock has reversed sharply to the upside, putting the 129.20 rally target flagged above solidly in play.

$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:133.40)

by Rick Ackerman on January 12, 2015 1:30 am GMT

A sale at 2.10 was a lay-up on Friday, since the spread peaked near the opening above 2.30.  With about $2640 in profits already booked, I’ll suggest holding the remaining spreads till expiration. If TLT is trading above 129 at the time, the total profit on the position would be $3840.  From a technical standpoint, the stock’s almost relentless strength is surprising, even to me. In retrospect, it vindicates our strategy — still viable — of buying every minor pullback, since that seems to be as much weakness as we’ll get.  I still expect the 133.16 target shown to exhibit some stopping power, but we shouldn’t be too surprised if buyers just shrug it off. ________ UPDATE (January 16, 12:04 a.m.): Even though I keep repeating that we should expect this vehicle to continue rampaging higher for years and years, I still can’t get used to how easily it blows past ostensibly daunting Hidden Pivot resistances. For what it’s worth, the next lies at 138.60.  Our position is beyond adjustment at this point and seems all but certain to produce a $3840 gain. _______ UPDATE (January 21, 8:24 p.m.):  Yesterday’s selloff was the most vicious we’ve seen in months, but it had no impact whatsoever on the 138.60 target noted above.  The rather large profit from our spread is safe in any case and will remain so unless Armageddon intervenes.

+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. ______ UPDATE (January 5): The stock vaulted to 0.59 Friday on volume 250% of a daily average of about 400,000 shares. _______ UPDATE (January 18, 9:57 p.m.): SNIPF got hammered at its recent high of 0.60, with more than a million shares changing hands near the top. Volume on the pullback has been relatively light, however, and I expect buyers to turn the old high into support once they push past the old high in the months ahead. The company continues to win new business with an impressive and rapidly growing list of blue-chip clients. For a summary of client names, check out their logos by clicking here.


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 Tuesday, February 17, 2015. For more information, or to register, click here.