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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 - How high does this bear rally have to go to fool us into thinking it’s the real deal? You don’t have to be a technician to answer that question — just look at the chart. From a visual standpoint, a  move up through the red line would surely get investors’ juices flowing. The reason is […]

January 16th, 2019 | Beware! These Guys Are Good

Rick's Picks - Although Rick’s Picks was itching to short into strength as Wednesday began, we stepped aside when buyers came on stronger than expected. Their bravado didn’t last long, however, and by day’s end bulls looked spent. Even so, the intraday highs easily exceeded some short-term rally targets (see chart inset), implying that a moderate pullback from these levels […]

Rick's Picks - The broad averages wafted higher Tuesday after being stuck in a holding pattern for more than a week. Although the ascent was gentle for most stocks, the hard-hit FAANGs caught fire, with NFLX leading the pack on a nearly 7% gain. The company announced an 18% rate increase in its most popular plan, which will […]

Rick's Picks - Five straight days of tedium have sapped my enthusiasm for telling you that something worthy of a headline is about to happen on Wall Street. However, the latest update for AMZN (see below) implies that if DaBoyz cannot levitate the stock within the next day or two, they’ll have to take it down by a […]

Rick's Picks - It felt like a mountain of supply sitting on stocks last week, growing more ponderous by the day. By Thursday the broad averages were too fatigued to achieve even minor ‘Hidden Pivot’ rally targets, the still-feisty FAANGs too subdued to help. Of course, just because the market looked punk on a given day does not […]

Rick's Picks - I put out a commentary Sunday night bearing this tongue-in-cheek headline: “No Chance This Rally Is the Real Deal, Right?”  Of course, merely to pose the question is to suggest that it is at least possible the bull market still breathes.  Look, I’m as skeptical as you are, a died-in-the-wool permabear who thinks the Dow […] Radio - The connection between stocks and crude

Rick's Picks - Could AMZN goad the broad averages toward new record highs without any help from AAPL? We may find out soon whether such manipulative ‘triage’ is possible if the stock pushes past the trendline shown in the chart. It comes in around 1730 and could be hit by week’s end if buyers maintain the steep trajectory […]

January 7th, 2019 | Bear-Baiting

Rick's Picks - Restrained by AAPL’s leaden performance, the Dow eked out an unusually small gain Monday, rising by an unnewsworthy 98 points. Buyers aren’t necessarily spent, just timid about going for the gusto without leadership from the world’s most institutionally owned stock. They are certain to try again on Tuesday, especially with AAPL’s canny sponsors doing their […]

Rick's Picks - So why didn’t Friday’s short-covering panic produce another thousand-point blowout for the Dow? Buyers just didn’t seem to have it in them. Instead, Wall Street had to settle for a less-than-dazzling 747-pointer that could have impressed only Jim Cramer and a few other market cheerleaders who get paid to tout bear rallies like they were […]

Rick's Picks - Apple shares got sacked again Thursday, falling to a $142 low that is nearly 40% beneath the record $233 achieved a mere 90 days ago. What were Apple’s institutional sponsors thinking back then?  And why, as the stock began its wealth-vaporizing plunge, were the same giddy geniuses salivating over the prospect of adding massively to […]

Rick's Picks - AAPL is getting hosed in after-hours trading on news that the company had lowered its sales estimate for Q1. The economic slowdown in China that has caused this is bound to persist and grow worse, but my gut feeling is that Apple shares have taken enough pounding lately to be ready to rally on bad […]

Rick's Picks - AMZN and AAPL were both looking pretty subdued as 2018 ended, implying DaBoyz are not feeling so gutsy even though tax selling is out of the way. Merely bullish buying will always take a back seat to short-covering as a source power behind the rallies, but it remains to be seen whether there will be […]

Rick's Picks - VXX, a trading vehicle that tracks short-term S&P volatility, turns out to be pretty good at predicting market disasters. The chart shown made it possible for me to foresee December’s avalanche, although not with the precision that the Hidden Pivot Method allows. Right now VXX is saying bulls shouldn’t get their hopes too high following […]

December 27th, 2018 | Dow, Gold, and Deflation Radio - Tariffs, Rising Interest Rates, and Real Estate Collapse

Rick's Picks - Finally, a bear rally worthy of the name! The Dow exploded for a record 1086 points on Wednesday, bouncing the proverbial dead cat nearly to the second floor. Adding a few more floors in the weeks ahead won’t bring kitty back to life, but it will probably suffice to restore some hubris and bravado to […]

Rick's Picks - “Nothing goes to hell in a straight line, not even stocks.” This time-tested piece of wisdom comes from Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street, by way of a headline on his blog. Richter is one of the more astute commentators on the financial scene, and his observation has obvious implications for a stock-market decline that is […]

Rick's Picks - We’ll be hearing a lot more about the “death cross” in the days ahead, mostly from business-channel pundits who know as much about stock charts as you and I do about particle physics. The death cross occurs when a trading vehicle’s 50-day moving average falls beneath its 200-day moving average. This usually signals a big […]

Rick's Picks - Fed monetary policy inched toward suicide Wednesday with a 25-basis-point rate hike and a feint toward bumping up interest rates two more times next year. Are they trying to make certain that Trump doesn’t get re-elected? This interpretation is sounding less farfetched each day as the banksters continue to flout a global economic storm that […]

Rick's Picks - I’m prone to remind readers from time to time that I don’t have a crystal ball. Although I hit forecasting bullseyes often enough, this feat is just a cheap parlor trick for anyone even a little bit familiar with the Hidden Pivot Method. Under the circumstances, I probably shouldn’t be too disappointed when the crystal […]

Rick's Picks - With the uncertainties of Brexit weighing on Britain and the EU, their respective currencies have been taking a beating. The euro is in a long-term bear market that has seen a drop from $1.60 in 2008 to a low early last year of $1.03.  Over that time, sterling has fallen from a surreal peak of […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market kept its cool Thursday, demonstrating yet again that traders are deaf, dumb and blind to whatever is going on in the real world. The Dow rose moderately even though the headlines were a full shade darker than usual. Trump was threatening to punish GM for closing an auto plant in Ohio. (He […]

December 13th, 2018 | To Tariff or Not to Tariff Radio - Will Fed come up with QE5 if Stock Market tumbles?

Rick's Picks - AAPL, our #1 stock-market bellwether, turned sharply higher from the ‘wrong’ place Monday, reversing off a 163.73 low that lay fully $3.50 above our target. This suggests bears still have some work do do, although, given the ferocity of yesterday’s short squeeze, they can be pardoned for not wanting to risk impalement just to look […]

Rick's Picks - The Dow Industrials reversed 700 points yesterday, turning a morning disaster into an afternoon wilding spree with the potential to end the week on a bullish note. The rally was purely technical, beginning as it did a millimeter beneath an important low recorded on November 23 that had served as a ‘structural’ support. As is […]
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