Howestreet.com - the source for market opinions

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR INVESTMENT PROFESSIONAL BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENT DECISION

January 24, 2020 | The Seduction of Betting Against the Sure Thing

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.

 

The buy-the-dips mentality has become so entrenched over the last few months that it’s hard to imagine what could possibly derail the bull market. Wall Street feigned mild concern for a few hours over the spread of a deadly virus in China, but absent news that Americans are keeling over dead from it in their back yards, we can expect the broad averages to forge higher.  The uptrend has been so relentless that it has come to practically guarantee a quick return for any investor who jumps aboard on a given day. In no instance during the last three months has any bull  suffered a third straight day of losses.  A strategy as simple as buying the S&Ps whenever they are trading lower for a second consecutive day has been a spectacular winner.

Contrarian Bloodfest

This has only increased the number of contrarians eager to bet against a trend that has come to seem nearly as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise.  The more contrarians who get slaughtered, the more enticing the seduction of trying to pick The Mother of All Tops. We prefer to use AAPL as a  benchmark — not to pick THE top, but to nail lesser peaks that can reward short-term bets on the ‘Don’t Pass’ line. But even hitting the swings perfectly has not been paying off lately. The stock is currently in its tenth day trying to get past a 319.92 Hidden Pivot target we’d identified earlier, but there has been only one pullback from this number deep enough to nudge put options slightly into-the-black. Now, if the stock closes above 319.92 for two consecutive days , look for a run-up to at least 336.35. The broad averages cannot but follow suit, entranced by the seeming invincibility of the world’s most popular stock. The contagion of exuberance may not be fatal like coronavirus, but its long-term consequences could prove more significant.

STAY INFORMED! Receive our Weekly Recap of thought provoking articles, podcasts, and radio delivered to your inbox for FREE! Sign up here for the HoweStreet.com Weekly Recap.

January 24th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

Post a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Comments are moderated before appearing on the site

*
*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.