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Rick’s Picks – Rick Ackermen

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Fevered Investors Eager to Forget the Latest News

Index futures were wafting higher Tuesday night, evidently unfazed by mounting evidence that coronavirus has already slowed the pace of global economic growth significantly.  Such worries as occupy investors’ tiny, fevered brains these days centered on Apple, the most valuable company in the world. (I don’t count Aramco because, well, who cares that it’s actually bigger?) The Cupertino manufacturer of egregiously overpriced cellphones and accessories, and of late an aspirant in the overcrowded streaming-content business, announced Monday afternoon that Q1 results would take a big hit from work slowdowns and weakened sales in China. Apple shares had to play along with the announcement, since it would have been unseemly and even a little bizarre for the stock to have risen on such news, emanating as it did from Apple’s own PR desk.

Other stocks in the FAANG/lunatic sector were not so deferential, however. Most chalked up solid gains on the day, implying they are chomping at the bit as they wait for Apple’s troubles to be perfunctorily discounted and forgotten in perhaps a few more days. (Note: Technically, AAPL looks primed to fall for reasons covered in my latest tout, below.) That the FAANGs and other multinational giants are themselves vulnerable to the same virus-related forces presently impacting on Apple will not likely be a concern on Wall Street, where the sole imperative is to throw Other People’s Money at a relatively small handful of stocks.  Actually, Apple’s bearish guidance may ultimately help this Ponzi scheme along, since it will afford analysts an easy opportunity to do what they are paid to do: underestimate earnings ahead of the next round of announcements.

$+GDX – Gold Miners ETF (Last:29.23)

On February 2, based on reports from subscribers, I established a tracking position of 400 shares @ 28.39. I am still suggesting that you exit half at 29.42, but we’ll keep the remainder for a shot at much higher prices (see chart inset). If GDX eventually reaches the 36.66 target, we could book a profit of as much as $1,886. It could take a a while, but we’ve already proven we can endure a brutal grind waiting to collect our first payoff. It is not yet in the bag, though, since the stock was still 27 cents shy of the

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$+DIA – Dow Industrials ETF (Last:293.47)

I like the 301.60 target shown in the chart enough to suggest a play linked to it. Buyers took a couple of days to get loft above the 291.61 midpoint pivot, but it looks now like it is about to become support for a shot at D. If we assume that it will take perhaps two weeks to get there, we can use the target to set up an option trade that will risk very little if we are wrong but produce a substantial gain if we are right (aka ‘leverage’). Accordingly, I’ll recommend  buying the March 6 299/302/305 butterfly

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DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:98.78)

Three months after bottoming an inch from a well-advertised Hidden Pivot target at 96.40, the Dollar Index has generated its first bullish impulse leg on the 240-minute chart. This was accomplished with great subtlety, since DXY exceeded the requisite external peak I’d identified by just a penny. That’s all it took, though, to transform the balky rally of the last three weeks into a promising new start for the greenback. Now, any retracement that stays above 96.36 will be presumed corrective and therefore a buy. It remains to be seen how much pressure a waxing dollar will put on bullion,

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GCG20 – February Gold (Last:1593.40)

Thursday’s fleeting upthrust tripped a theoretical buy signal at the green line. Ordinarily it would be easy to overlook or ignore it, since buy signals since late August have come to naught. However, gold’s price action has been so tedious and frustrating in the interim that we should take extra care to avoid missing the turn when it comes, especially since the impulsive thrust that occurred last summer was so powerful and promising. Most immediately, we’ll use p=1529.50 as a minimum upside objective and trade it aggressively. In practice, this will mean looking for rABC and  ‘mechanical’ setups in charts

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