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July 12, 2018 | For the Superstitious, a Friday-the-13th Bet

Rick Ackerman

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.

Amazon shares are closing fast on an 1843.29 target that I had thought would take longer to achieve. I’d be surprised if this Hidden Pivot resistance gives way easily, but if it does there’s a target just above $2000 that presumably would be in play. The current, parabolic rally is unsustainable, or course, but that doesn’t mean we should try to intercept it too aggressively by fading the trend.  Regardless, it behooves us to care a great deal about AMZN because it is the best bellwether we could conceivably have for gauging the strength of the U.S. economy. Moreover, the stock’s maniacal trajectory is so riveting that it has become manifestly capable of taking investors’ fevered minds off the ongoing tariff wars, at least for stretches of a day or two.

If Everything’s Going Gangbusters…

On Thursday, the effect was sufficiently powerful to pull the Dow and the S&Ps along, although not nearly as steeply as AMZN itself.  Any divergence would be warning traders to reef the sails, but recently the stock has not gotten out-of-synch with the broad averages for more than a day. That said, I remain wary of a bull trap getting set on a Friday the 13th. If everything looks like gangbusters at the final bell and AMZN is head-butting the 1843.29 target, I’d suggest taking home a few cheap puts over the weekend just in case.

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July 12th, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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