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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 - I’ve referred to pandemic stimulus as ‘dead money’, and the latest statistics would seem to bear me out.  Far from pumping up the consumer economy,  quite a few of the trillions of digital dollars ginned up by the central bank are being used to retire credit card debt. Delinquencies and new borrowing have fallen very […]

Rick's Picks - Corleone, Barzini, Tattaglia, Cuneo, Stracci.  They were all on Capitol Hill Wednesday, feigning respect toward a Congressional panel that seems unlikely ever to earn anyone’s respect. Tech’s dons will return this weekend to their Left Coast aeries, secure in the knowledge their inquisitors will never figure out how Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and AAPL make […] Radio - US Cities being abandoned for small towns

July 26th, 2020 | The Coming Civil War

Rick's Picks - If Trump wins in November, it is foreseeable that his many enemies will ratchet up their hatred for him to even more destructive extremes. A bloody civil war would become likely, escalating an already violent cultural battle to a new threshold. How this might impact our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods is unpredictable even if the […]

July 23rd, 2020 | Apple’s Problems

Rick's Picks - AAPL fell hard Thursday, although it’s too early to tell whether this was just a garden-variety shakedown, or perhaps the start of a new bear market. There was news out that some state attorneys general were investigating the company for deceiving customers. But if such investigations ever had consequences or produced results, public floggings for […]

Rick's Picks -   Tesla eked out a modest profit for a fourth straight quarter, earning a listing in the S&P 500. The stock laid an egg in after-hours trading, however, making money only for naked-option sellers who cashed in on some of the juiciest options premium traders can recall. Such are the rewards of the most manic, […]

Rick's Picks - Some interesting things are happening in the markets that could augur an important tone change. For one, the frothing-at-the-mouth idiots who have been pushing Tesla shares into the ionosphere went quiet just a day ahead of earnings. Ordinarily that would be no big deal, but in this case it reflects timidity that has been absent […]

Rick's Picks - The shoeshine boy is not just giving customers stock tips these days, he is also jumping on hot stocks himself, scalp-trading three or four shares of Tesla, at $1500 a copy, in his account. That’s all the stock these penny-ante schemer-dreamers can afford, and it is why it is not the metaphorical bootblack operating out of […]

Rick's Picks -   Stocks have arguably never been more vulnerable than they are now. We need only ponder Tesla’s chart to understand how Wednesday’s highs may have marked a very important top. I’d expected the broad averages to hang tough as the week drew to a close, but their modest bounce on Thursday provided barely enough loft […]

Rick's Picks - Any time the Dow isn’t up a least 400-500 points, you’ve got to wonder what’s troubling investors. The news environment was favorable, at least by Wall Street’s current, bizarro standard, since the pandemic appears to be raging out of control.  California has locked down tightly for the second time, and because of the state’s outsize […] Radio - Why Warren Buffet has just parked his cash

Rick's Picks - Lord knows, I’ve tried to be extravagant with my rally targets, since I don’t want the permabear in me to queer profit opportunities just because the stock market has been rallying against every molecule of instinct I possess. But I could scarcely have imagined that when I put out a technically-derived rally target at 1803.69 […]

Rick's Picks - A friend who made his fortune in the laundry business has enjoyed enviable returns on his nest egg by staying fully invested in stocks. The following is a personal letter from his financial advisor telling him why, even after the stock market’s spectacular run-up since late March, he should stay in equities. The advisor’s list […]

Rick's Picks - The vertical ascent of Apple shares has been especially noteworthy because it is the second most valuable company in the world, just behind Saudi Aramco. When the stock rises just a few points, it puts billions of extra dollars in shareholders’ pockets. And when it hangs tough on days like today, with the Dow Industrials […]

Rick's Picks - Bulls now have a path to 3392 in the E-Mini S&Ps, just a few points below the all-time high recorded on February 20. A rally to the target would equate to around 30,000 for the Dow Industrials, a number that seems no less absurd now than in late March as the broad averages began a […]

July 5th, 2020 | Sorting Facts from Lies

Rick's Picks -   Each of us seeks our own version of the truth when we turn on the news. Tucker Carlson, one of the most courageous and honest journalists of this era, is my choice. He has excoriated Democrats and Republicans alike for their moral cowardice in coddling torch mobs. I can’t get my liberal friends to […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve been wondering what might provide the catalyst to push the Dow above 30,000, and this may be it, from Bloomberg:  “A strain of virus spreading in Chinese pigs has shown it can also infect humans, with researchers suggesting that another pathogen with pandemic potential waits in the wings behind Covid-19.” There’s no telling how […] Radio - Underlying problems with US economy being hidden

Rick's Picks -   V-shape mania appears to be tapering off. Years from now, market historians will come to regard the spectacular rally since late March as a case study in mass psychosis. The explosive resurgence of bulls is not only unsupported by economic reality, it flouts common sense in ways that only extraordinary popular delusions can. There […]

Rick's Picks - If you thought the resurgence of Covid-19 in the U.S. would put a damper on Wall Street’s orgy, you’d have been wrong. Stocks continued their heedless ascent on Thursday even though the pandemic is close to extinguishing a fragile economic recovery that had barely gotten off the ground. The Dow rose 300 points, demonstrating yet […]

Rick's Picks - AAPL has blown past a longstanding rally target at 370.15, implying it is bound for yet another at 385.487 that lies a further 5.4% above. Because the stock is almost certain to get there, the broad averages can be expected to move higher with it. This seems hard to believe, given the grim turn that […]

Rick's Picks - Violence has erupted in Seattle, Washington D.C. and some other cities Monday night, a development that is likely to fuel a continuation of the rally that kicked off with a short-squeeze late Sunday. There were other factors present that Wall Street seems to love, include a resurgence of Covid-19 nationally and a some dreadful news […]

Rick's Picks - Although the rally on Wall Street flouts common sense and arguably even sanity, born-again bulls continue to rampage. What will put an end to their foolishness? Surely not more grim economic data, nor an increase in what is already the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, nor a wave of business failures that could […]

Rick's Picks - Bulls showed no pluck on Wednesday, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they let the reins go slack ahead of the weekend. Given the tempo of truly appalling news and the possibility that something horribly destabilizing could occur between Friday and Monday, a trader would have to be crazy to load up on stocks right […] Radio - Market Volatility Feeding on Itself?
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