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Rick Ackerman

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Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Rick's Picks - Zillionaire Asher Edelman was quoted on ZeroHedge the other day saying he has ‘no doubt’ that the Plunge Protection Team is behind the stock market’s steep rally since the election. With all due respect for Mr. Edelman and others who believe this, it is conspiracist poppycock. Yes, the Plunge Protection Team, which is officially known […]

Rick's Picks - Betting on inflation has been a lousy gamble for most of the last four decades, even if the Fed has worked tirelessly to convince us otherwise. Talking about tightening has been the Fed’s johnny-one-note theme since the early 1990s, when stimulus applied to extricate the economy from the savings and loan debacle supposedly was going […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve updated my touts for some key FAANG/lunatic stocks with new charts to make clear that they want to go higher, especially AMZN. If this proves to be the case, bears shouldn’t get their hopes too high that Wednesday’s refreshing plunge will resume in earnest as the week draws to a close. Even so, the […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Just 10 companies responsible for 46% of equity rally

Rick's Picks - Permabears in particular will find this hard to believe, but the Dow Industrial Average could levitate a further 2336 points before it hits something solid. Even some bulls might find the 23317 target shown in the chart (see inset) a tad optimistic. But charts don’t lie, and in this case the force with which the […]

Rick's Picks - Impressed with the short-squeeze DaBoyz triggered off using Thursday morning’s sold-out lows?  Don’t be, especially since the bear buying-binge in index futures and a few other well-trafficked vehicles failed to surpass any prior peaks on the hourly chart (see inset). A second-day levitation could prove even harder for DaBoyz to orchestrate, since anyone who buys […]

Rick's Picks - We’re all feeling it as the stock market continues from one insufferably boring day to the next: Something big is about to happen.  But it can take far longer than any of us might care to imagine.  I can recall sitting on the risers of the PSE trading floor for weeks stretching into months, doing […]

Rick's Picks - As scary as Silver’s hellacious dive over the last three weeks has seemed, I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel on bullion. For in fact, a corresponding chart for June Gold leaves room to infer that its fall, however unsettling, is merely corrective. Strictly speaking, and from a disinterested technical point of view, […]

Rick's Picks - With Q1 earnings season behind us, the thoughtful observer can only shake his head over Wall Street’s feverish obsession with meaningless financial data. It’s obvious that few investors even remotely care about the quality of corporate earnings any longer, only whether those earnings come in a few pennies higher or lower than predicted. But that […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - 3D printing the ultimate deflation machine

Rick's Picks - S&P volatility as measured by the VIX is in a state of collapse to record lows, implying almost for certain that a great many traders had been expecting the stock market to do “something crazy” and bet heavily on it. We laid down a belated, longshot bet ourselves today in VXX, an ETF vehicle pegged […]

Rick's Picks - AMZN and GOOG have taken psychotic leaps following the release of Q1 earnings news after Thursday’s close. This is likely to have little or no effect on the Dow and S&Ps on Friday, since the broad averages would find it difficult to emulate behavior for which there is no satisfying explanation. Call it a mood […]

April 26th, 2017 | Too Fatigued to Pretend

Rick's Picks - Five hours’ worth of nervous distribution on Wednesday left the broad averages too depleted to rally into the closing bell. Instead, they took the path of least resistance and headed lower, tipping their hand for tomorrow. Barring unforeseen news that could stir the market’s bullish juices, we should look for the weakness to persist into […]

Rick's Picks - DaBoyz have goosed stocks punitively to start the new week, emboldened by LePen’s failure to win France’s presidential election in the first round. Although we usually prefer to fade extreme price moves when they are driven by news, in this case the bulls may have it right if LePen loses the May 7 run-off to […]

Rick's Picks - All kinds of economic news is due out on Thursday, including jobless claims, leading indicators and money supply. Each has had its influence on the stock market at some time in the past, but none of them gets much respect these days. As such, DaBoyz will have to move stocks the old-fashioned way, manipulating them […]

Rick's Picks - The bond markets have bought so heavily into the Fed’s phony-baloney cover story about inflation being right around the corner that the unwind of this nutty idea was bound to be a doozey. Today’s sharp rally in bonds may in fact have put the reflation trade on ice. At the very least, it put long-term […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Retail, banking buildings becoming dinosaurs

Rick's Picks - Comex silver and gold futures simultaneously reached two important Hidden Pivot targets on Monday that had kept us confidently on the right side of the trend since mid-March. The former, basis the May contract, came within a penny of an 18.665 target before dropping back sharply — by 30 cents so far. As for June […]

Rick's Picks - Gold took off like a banshee on Donald Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip remark about the dollar being a little too high. As a result, June Gold’s longer-term charts look better than they’ve looked in a long while. Accordingly, I’ve shifted to a bullish ABC pattern of much larger degree than the one we’d used to stay long […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Any chance Gold will suddenly balloon?

Rick's Picks - Stocks ended the week looking tired, but we’ve learned over the course of this bull market, now in its ninth year, that no matter how burned out the buyers seem on a given day, there will always be short-covering bears to rescue them in their hour of need. In statistical fact, a steep, day-long sell-off […]

Rick's Picks - Consumer sentiment data for March will be released at 10 a.m., but even if the numbers are awful, they are unlikely to alter a bullish trajectory that returned with a vengeance early in the week on frenzied short-covering.  Despite this, traders should pay close attention to price action at the 2375.75 Hidden Pivot resistance shown […]

Rick's Picks - The short squeeze begun on Monday picked up momentum on day two, strongly implying the rally will run for at least another day or two. There’s one ‘Hidden Pivot’ impediment 2378 in the way, but I’ve suggested in my latest update to the E-Mini S&P tout that traders not count on it too heavily to […]

Rick's Picks - Bears gave it all back yesterday, doing all the heavy lifting for the bad guys with a short-covering binge that began less than an hour after the opening bell. The panic buying-spree recouped nearly all of the 200-point drop in the Dow that had begun the day. When will the “don’t” bettors learn to keep […]

Rick's Picks - With all of the hubris over tax cuts and deregulation anticipated under Trump, his threatening stance on tariffs seems to be of little concern on Wall Street. It ought to be, however. Historians have come to accept more and more that the Smoot-Hawley tariff, enacted in the summer of 1930 after a knock-down, drag-out battle […]
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