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April 7, 2024 | At Ringside for Another Freaky Friday

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.

[Many readers of these weekly commentaries may not be aware that the focus of Rick’s Picks each day is on timely trading ideas. Below is chat room banter for a typical ‘freaky Friday’. The discussion includes several trades that were posted ahead of actionable opportunities in a few stocks, including McDonald’s, Tesla and Amazon. All the links are live, most of them displaying charts with the ABCD patterns we use to trade. Some display two key pieces of the pattern: Hidden Pivot midpoints (p) and targets (D).  For some of you, the jargon might take a little getting used to. However, trade instructions are usually phrased so that even beginners can follow them. There is a separate chat room called the Coffee House for off-topic conversations where ‘anything goes’. IF you’d like to sample Rick’s Picks, click here for a free two-week trial subscription. RA ]

Microsoft’s Hat-Trick

8:55 Rick: MSFT setting up for a hat-trick of mechanical winners — or will it be a rare failure?

09:00 Formula382: Looks like a trampoline Rick. Ya need that energy to get the bouncy bounce.

09:52 Rick: I just sent out a tout update for MSFT that offers a perspective on the bounce.

10:03 Formula382: Anyone in here have any idea how nat gas sits in the dumpster while the pipelines have been quite good to own for example, KMI, OKE, KYN, FCG. I own them all, but that was based on the predication that “surely nat gas has to go up”, which it has not!

10:07 Spartacus: McDonald’s… A trouper

10:14 Rick: Here’s my MickeyD prognosis

10:22 Spartacus: Now Short NVDA and TSLA using Apr 12 puts

10:23 Spartacus: MCD Thanks Rick I think I will cover off of that chart

10:23 Ronbl: Gold is obviously going to go up but will bitcoin really do the same? Seems like bitcoin is following the market

10:25 RickBid 0.55 for expiring MCD 267.50 calls to bottom-fish the 267.05 target. Order good till 11:00 a.m.

10:27 Spartacus: MCD Cover the MCD short by buying back the calls. Profit $11,900 Thanks for the help Rick. OK lets spec on the bounce

10:27 Rick: Ur welcome. Great trade, Sparty!

Did We Get Front-Run?

10:30 Spartacus: MCD 167.5 calls.. Did we get front run?

10:35 Rick: Not sure. The so-far low at 267.30 missed my target by 0.25, or less than 1/10 of one percent. Seems close enough for us to consider the target fulfilled, but I’ll leave the 0.55 bid in for the calls anyway. They expire tomorrow and are already melting away; that’s why I am lowballing my bid and time-limiting it. The offers are skittishly high, but I’d rather not buy the calls at all than pay up for them. That’s because their volatiity will get crushed if the stock does rally from my target.

10:41 Spartacus: TSLA grinding away at P level. Very sickly action. Still a short IMO with fresh money. I am holding short.

10:45 Spartacus: All the newbie nervous nellies (NNN) bailed on their big gains in the PM sector fearing losing the initial gains. But it’s powering higher.

10:49 Spartacus: MCD right there 167.1

10:53 Rick: Your question has been answered: The 267.05 target did get front-run. This is certain, given the way the stock played toe-sies with it for ten minutes. So many are evidently aware of the target that it is now predictable that it will be breached. Lower the bid for the calls to 0.40.

10:53 Spartacus: OK who is the spy in here?

10:56 Spartacus: I guess I need an education. Why if it got slightly front-run will it actually lead to it going lower?

10:56 Rick: The pattern would have generated a trampoline bounce in the past. However, the ability of dolts and riff-raff to read fairly gnarly patterns is continuing to evolve.

10:59 Rick: I am expecting more of a relapse based on the ‘gangs-all-here’ buying I was seeing just above the target. Bulls went all-in, leaving no one to buy MCD back up to 270. How much lower than 267.05 this impending relapse goes will tell us how big the crowd of village idiots was that were able to identify 267.05. // UPDATE 11:10 a.m.) It’s starting to look like a Village Idiots Convention at 267. I’m canceling the call bid. They will make money, but not enough, and it’s already been too much work. The goal is to buy the calls and have them go instantly in-the-black. These calls will struggle when the stock finally turns.

11:08 Spartacus: TSLA just cracked

Notice Gold’s Bounce…

11:13 Killington: Notice how gold bounced off Rick’s 2344 target.

11:14: Rick: That target was for the August contract. THE KEY NUMBER FOR THE JUNE IS 2356.90!

11:15 Rick: MCD now looks like it will turn from 266.53, a target that the riff-raff will NOT have figured out. // UPDATE: Sorry, but I cannot keep up with the new option-trading opportunities. Can’t post AND trade myself.

11:18 Henry608: GDXJ/NEM/GOLD all closing in on targets. When they trade like this it always brings doubt that the move could possibly stop. Begining to downsize positions. Just talking out loud.

11:21 Spartacus: Sold TSLA Apr 12 175 puts bought an hour ago.. Profit $8,000

11:26 Roxygroove: Which strike did you use for TSLA, Sparty?

11:28 Rick: Urgent update just mailed out re June Gold. Target, as noted above, 2356.90. This pattern is fairly gnarly and should be expected to work precisely.

11:29 Spartacus:  See above: 175

11:40 SpartacusClose in silver objective:…..

11:42 SpartacusBOT 150 MCD 167.5 calls avg price 0.40… look at it run!

11:45 Rick: 150! I admire your patience and perspicacity.

11:46 Spartacus: I’m out of the MCD 167.5 calls. Excellent guidance Rick… Profit $4,500

11:46 Spartacus: But I sold too early… Way too early!!!!

11:50 Spartacus: Gave up on the NVDA puts. Sold and took a $2,200 loss

11:57 Roxygroove: Still impressed by your trading, Spart.

12:00 Spartacus: AYA Silver… breaking out. This one is a coffee-can keeper. (no trading, just hold)….

12:01 Spartacus: The the two MCD trades will buy a lot of Big Macs!

12:02 Henry608: Great call on NEM Rick. Didnt take the whole ride, but scalped a nice move in the middle.

12:08 Rick: Thanks for the upbeat report, Henry. Glad to have helped. . The stock has had quite a move — up $5, or 20%, in the last week. However, it is currently within 13 cents of the 39.33 target, so it’s time to take profits on at least half of any positions acquired at 34.80.

12:15 Rick: With NEM and June Gold just millimeters from compelling rally targets, the yellow flag is out on gold.

12:18 SpartacusSold another 10 Apr 19 AAPL 150 calls @ 20.7

12:21 Rick: Thanks for the timely heads-up, Sparty. Naked-shorting calls is the ticket in AAPL at the moment. The stock looks like a 95% shot of falling to 147.64, about 13% below the current 170.24.

Elation’s Downside

12:24 Henry608: I’m an old guy (67) and love your analysis. I have learned over the years that the more elated one is feeling, the more care needs to be taken. Today, for me, Gold up nearly $40, after already large moves. Elation all over. Can it break and keep going? Yep. Learned a long time ago not to worry about the 20% times that happens. Love your insight and small quips every now and then. Thanks.

12:24 Spartacus: WOW did I leave a lot of money on the table in those MCD calls…..$$$$ no guts no glory

12:25 Dan: MCD moving up , still holding a few april 12 170 calls

12:27 Baplg: Does it make any sense to buy AAPL puts at 165 strike for 4/12 or 19?

12:30 Rick: It almost NEVER makes sense to buy puts. This will still hold true when the bear market begins.

12:32 Baplg: Thx

12:33 Rick: You should buy them — and calls – only when you expect your position to go in-the-black immediately. The potential for this has just been signaled in AMZN, by the way. Give me a moment to figure out a strategy for…NOW.

12:33 KGS: To anyone interested: SIK 24 – 60m, choose an ‘A’ point at the 04/01/24 11:00 ET low with a ‘C’ @ yesterday’s 22:00 ET low suggests a run with momentum over the next 1 – 2 weeks to 29.001 if it breaks above the tout level at 27.55…

12:35 Spartacus: Puts require a good sense of market timing or trading sense. Plus a whole lot of luck and good fortune. I use the shorted calls as my core short and bulk up on purchased puts and calls when a move seems imminent. Today’s example of buying 15 TSLA puts and only had to hold them for an hour is a perfect example

Cashing out of MickeyD

12:38 Dan: Sold my MCD calls for small profit

12:42 Rick: Bid 0.48 for AMZN 12 April 180 puts, day order. Currently trading for 0.78. I may adjust this price before the close, so stay tuned. We really do want to buy ’em, based on this appealingly gnarly pattern in the underlying:

12:44 Rick: This one is for novices, too — especially if you’ve never made a profitable option trade.

12:44 Roxygroove: That’s the kind of advice that helps us newer traders, Spart. Very appreciated. RA has shared some things too. Knowing strategy of ‘what to use, and when to use it’ is valuable. I know you do in-the-money and out-of-the money strikes. maybe sometime you can elaborate on reasons behind that, too.

12:46 Roxygroove: RA, your AMZN tout very timely, I oopsed and went in too early on a short call. one small correction and I’m ok.

13:00 Baplg: NEM has surpassed the 39.33 target. I see where that number came from, but don’t quickly see another

13:01 Rick:  Any next target must come from a bigger pattern. The only one available — it’s a beauty that will work for trading and forecasting — is this ‘reverse’ on the daily: a= 37.45 on 11/3.  Today’s price action plotted on this pattern gives NEM a VERY good chance of hitting 47.38! First, let’s see if the stock can blast free of 39.33’s gravitational pull. Anyone who trades NEM should work through this pattern to see what a glow-in-the-dark opportunity in gold looks like.

13:05 MM18: Sold 1 Apr 19 AAPL 150 calls @20.45 as per Spartacus Bid 5 AMZN 12 April 180 PUTS @ .48 as per Rick

13:24 Rick: MSFT did in fact achieve the hat-trick that began this morning’s thread, bouncing $9 to reach p= 426.07 and record a third consecutive ‘mechanical’-trade winner. This is of course bullish, adding weight to the likelihood that the tedious masturbation since mid-March has been a consolidation. This matters a great deal, since the picture threatens to brush aside a crucial, 430.58 Hidden Pivot target that has held for nearly a month.

13:43 Philjr25: Bid in April 12 AMZN

14:09 Spartacus: I just came off margin in all of my PM stock portfolio. Still holding a chunk but no longer leveraged

14:15 Ronbl: thanks Spartacus

15:04 Bill: Thanks for the reco on NEM, Rick. It has worked well for me.

16:01 Roxygroove: AMZN tout helped me ride it down to afternoon lows. i had a very minimal loss after taking a early morning position that went sideways on me. tout very appreciated,

17:00 Lasker: Rick, I have arrived here late but over the weekend. If you have any way to project a target for June Gold on the downside should it turn at 2356.90 or thereabouts, please share. Would the ‘B-leg’ of the pattern charted give any clues about likely downside?

9:02 Dan: BTW, Spartacus, I followed you yesterday and made 5k. and that makes a difference for me. Thanks so much.

10:09 Jeff: Rick, thank you for your guidance in the room on Futures. Very much appreciated.

12:48 Dan: Yes, I want to say it as well: Many thanks for 150% you give us every day.

15:25 Kerrdog: This is the perfect place to be for any trader, seasoned or new there’s constant input and learning. Thanks to all.

18:07 Rick: Thanks for the encouraging words. Glad Rick’s Picks evidently is working for you.  Looking ahead to next week, you should consider all three bullion touts out Sunday evening together. The resulting picture suggests that although the bullion vehicles I track regularly have stalled at daunting HP resistances, the odds of a powerful breakout are probably no worse than 50-50. I’ve included quite a few extra charts in this week’s updates to help you judge for yourself.

04:57 Artie: Anyone? July wheat futures A11/27/23@586 B12/6/23@666 C3/11/24@537. It is already through P if I have the chart correct. Calling for lot higher prices if war starts. Did it bottom?

9:20  Rick: The chart is calling for a possible 6% move to 617.75. The rally so far has triggered two profitable ‘mechanical’ buy signals. Why worry about whether it has bottomed, or whether war will turn out to have been the cause? No one can say, but it isn’t necessary to form an opinion about either to trade July Wheat profitably.

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April 7th, 2024

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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