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January 24, 2019 | A Pass-Line Bet with Juicy Odds

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.

If you have strong feelings about how the week is going to end on Wall Street, then perhaps you don’t understand the situation. Although there was no bullish buying to speak of in the last five days, neither, evidently, was there any enthusiasm for dumping shares. The result was that the broad averages wedged a few inches higher, setting up a potential breakout that could see the Dow gain as much as 250 points ahead of the weekend. That’s how one denizen of the Rick’s Picks chat room saw things, although others seemed less optimistic.

Take a look at the chart. What’s your gut feeling?  For our part, we bet the pass line with a small wager on some way-of-the-money call options in NFLX. (Thanks for the suggestion, Bachus!)  A measly $60 bought as many as ten of them. This may prove to have been a lousy bet, but there’s nothing to inhibit the calls from achieving a tenfold increase in value if traders should get even a little crazy in the early going. Stranger things have happened, especially on Fridays, as we know.  In any event, the naked sellers of the calls stand to make a whopping $6o if nothing happens. We’ll take the odds on this one.

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January 24th, 2019

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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