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Rick’s Picks – Rick Ackermen

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THE MORNING LINE

Excruciating Pain for Bears Suggests a Top Is Nigh

It was so challenging to stay short on Tuesday that the broad averages must surely be at or near an important top. This is an instinctual observation rather than a technical one, but I’m inclined to trust gut feelings based on the evidence. The two charts above illustrate the point. Notice that DIA, an ETF proxy for the Dow Industrials, head-faked on the opening bar to exceed a visually distinctive peak recorded four days earlier. The overshoot was not by much, but it would have sufficed to stop out bears using that peak to set a stop-loss just above it.

Similarly, AAPL mau-maued bears on Tuesday’s opening bar with a gap-up, short-squeeze opening that exceeded the previous day’s closing price by nearly 3%. If that didn’t spook them badly enough, the stock staged a second-wind rally that brought AAPL within striking distance of the earlier high.  The stock then fell sharply for the remainder of the day, and for good reason: buying power from short-covering bears had been spent on the two fright-mask run-ups. The foregoing is not meant to imply stocks will necessarily collapse in the next day or two, but it’s obvious that Mr. Market is burning out shorts with the kind of brutal price action that could exhaust them soon. They are the most important source of buying power in a rally as grotesquely overextended as this one, and when the last of them has been gutted and disemboweled, it will be lights out for revelers.

$ESZ20 – December E-Mini S&P (Last:3343.50)

The corrective pattern furnished here Thursday night is still on-track to fall to its D target, which for the December contract is 3233.00, nine points lower. Friday’s fake overnight waft narrowly missed triggering a juicy short when it failed by a few points to reach the  green line. Now, although a run-up to the line would trigger a second signal, I am not recommending the trade unless you know how to cut the risk with an rABC set-up.  Bottom-fishing at p2=3278.25 with a tight stop-loss or ‘counterintuitive’ set-up will be simpler, as will similar tactics at D=3233.00.  A decisive overshoot

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$+QQQ – Nasdaq ETF (Last:270.45)

The Cubes’ failure to fall to the 265.20 target on Friday is dumbfounding, but there is no point in arguing with Mr. Market. The target remains valid nonetheless and could prove opportune for tightly-stopped bottom-fishing. This is notwithstanding the fact that Friday afternoon’s robust recovery seems a bit excessive to set up a plunge on Monday to a marginal new low less than two points beneath Friday’s bottom. If 265.20 gives way easily, I’ll recommend doubling down with a tightly stopped bid at 262.93. That’s the ‘D target of the same pattern, but with ‘A’ raised to 288.93  (9/4, 10:00

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$DXY – NYBOT Dollar Index (Last:93.19)

I’ve been looking for signs that the upturn from 91.75 on September 1 is the start of a major bull run, but so far the evidence is inconclusive. The impulsive rally since then had a chance to demonstrate exceptional strength by surpassing the three ‘external’ peaks shown in the chart. In the actual event, it got past only the first before correcting significantly as last week ended. Bulls could make amends with a thrust this week that vaults the other two peaks, but until that happens, we should view the rally with caution, if not quite skepticism. _______ UPDATE (Sep

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GDX – Gold Miners ETF (Last:42.35)

The burden of proof rests with bulls for the time being, since the rally from Aug 11-18 failed to surpass a distinctive ‘external’ peak at 44.18 (see inset). If the corresponding ABC downtrend were to play out, a touch at 42.48 would trigger a ‘mechanical’ short with a 37.64 price objective.  This is blandly objective analysis, but I must tell you that I’m not thrilled with the prospect of shorting GDX, given the difficulties sellers have had pushing gold lower over the last two weeks. I’ll recommend watching from the sidelines for a couple of days, although there are always

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