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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 - Just for fun, I often try to guess why stocks supposedly have gone up or down on a given day before checking to see how the ‘experts’ have explained it. Half of them appear to be card-carrying imbeciles; the other half, pathetic dolts whose job requires them to explain the stock market’s wacky gyrations in […]

Rick's Picks -   Regardless of whether today’s high turns out to be the mythical Mother of All Tops, it was easy money for anyone who initiated a short position in DIA as I’d suggested.  Weeks ago, Rick’s Picks spotlighted what stood to be an important Hidden Pivot rally target at 280.88. When it was missed by just 0.04 points […] Radio - Germany escapes recession by .1% of GDP growth

Rick's Picks - The S&P mini-futures topped three ticks from an important rally target on Monday while the Dow missed a corresponding target by less than two hundredths of a percent. Is this the Mother of All Tops? Probably not, if for no other reason that we cannot expect to nail the top of a bull market that […]

Rick's Picks - Gold and silver prices look primed to turn higher after getting pounded for the last two weeks.  Does that mean stock prices, which usually move opposite bullion’s, could top out at or near these levels? The chart provides good reason to think so — or to hope so, if you believe shares are overdue for […]

Rick's Picks - The S&Ps and Nasdaq 100 have fallen moderately after overshooting important Hidden Pivot rally targets on Monday that I might have warranted as impenetrable.  This is bullish, as is the fact that AAPL, our #1 bellwether, still has an outstanding target about 10% above current levels.  Even so, and despite the fact that the U.S. […] Radio - Upper end showing cracks in US mini housing boom

Rick's Picks - What are we to make of Wall Street’s exuberance Friday over news concerning a U.S. economic expansion that refuses to die? Employers are hiring, consumers are spending and business is humming despite a dramatic economic slowdown in Asia, Europe, South America and elsewhere. Perhaps America really is an economic island, one blessed with unstinting support […]

October 30th, 2019 | Wafting Into Thin Air

Rick's Picks -   rose Wednesday on the ho-hum news of a third rate-cut in 2019. Will it be the last? Of course not; it’s only a matter of time before Fed chief Powell dons his well-worn knee pads and gives Wall Street and the President whatever they want. For now, though, Powell & Co. would have us […]

October 29th, 2019 | Yellow Flag Out for AAPL

Rick's Picks - I drum-rolled AAPL Sunday night because it was stalled in a dangerous place, an inch from a crucial resistance at 248.48 (see tout, below). The stock holds the key to the bull market, which is all but certain to continue as long as Apple shares are moving higher. Coincidentally, AAPL and the broad averages somewhat […]

Rick's Picks - Bitcoin has taken a so-far $2500 leap, its most powerful rally in nearly a year, since Thursday evening, when Rick’s Picks issued a ‘buy’ signal on YouTube and Facebook.  It was triggered when a widely tracked bitcoin vehicle with the symbol BRTI touched $7609 a day earlier. That represented a spectacular fall from the $13,855 peak reached in June. ‘Mechanical’ […]

Rick's Picks - The odds of a Trump victory in 2020 may have reached a tipping point last week, even if few will have noticed.  One influential conservative columnist who did notice was Peggy Noonan. Writing in the weekend Wall Street Journal, she speculated that the Democrats, helped by Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior, could conceivably change some minds about […]

Rick's Picks - A glance at the charts of Boeing and Johnson & Johnson shows what stock-market bears are up against as they patiently await a meaningful correction of excesses that have been building in the financial system for nearly a decade.  Are the portfolio managers who support these two stocks without a trace of nervousness crazy, or […]

Rick's Picks - With a steady barrage of trade-war tweets that have alternated between promise and threat, Trump has screwed with investors’ heads for so long that most of them simply want to get it over with.  They undoubtedly would love to see the U.S. and China settle their differences. But stock-market bulls should be careful what they […] Radio - Gold could hit an important resistance point

Rick's Picks - The Dow Industrials ended the week with an 800-point Whoopee Cushion bounce that recouped two-thirds of a 1300-point loss suffered days earlier. The swoon, exhilarating as it may have seemed to traders, will do little to brighten an economic picture that has gone from boom to gloom since mid-summer. One might think the dark cloud […]

October 2nd, 2019 | Warren and the End of Days

Rick's Picks -   Sellers turned gutless Wednesday night after swinging a wrecking ball for most of the day. Shortly before midnight, index futures were trading moderately higher. Usually, prices move at night only when impelled by news that makes buying or selling over short stretches nearly riskless.  It wasn’t news that sent the Dow Industrials plummeting nearly […]

Rick's Picks - “As goes GM, so goes the nation.”  That was certainly true in the 1950s, when the statement supposedly was made by the company’s CEO during Congressional testimony. But it is not even remotely true any longer. GM still matters, of course, just not much.  Striking workers have idled 30 auto plants across the nation for […]

Rick's Picks - [In observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, updates will resume Tuesday after sundown. RA] Readers rightfully took me to task last week for putting out two headlines that appeared to at least mildly contradict one other and which taken together could only have left one wanting more clarity. The first said Don’t Load Up on Puts […]

Rick's Picks - We’ve been monitoring Apple shares closely because they look very likely to rise at least 10% above their current $220 price before bulls are spent. AAPL is a powerful engine for the bull market, and a big rally in the stock would all but ensure that the broad averages get dragged higher or at least […]

Rick's Picks - So, impeachment proceedings are now bullish? But for whom? That question will likely hang over America until the 2020 election. In the meantime, it’s possible the all-seeing, all-knowing stock market will continue to rally because investors anticipate a mellower outcome — i.e. a vote to censure the President. This is not only a realistic possibility, […]

Rick's Picks -   Trump has been leading the stock market around by the nose for months, but one of these days traders are bound to tire of playing Pavlov’s dog to his tweets. On Tuesday, speaking before the United Nations, the President had an opportunity to score a few points with China ahead of trade talks set […] Radio - Gold bugs may have missed the opportunity they were looking for

Rick's Picks - The hubris surrounding Stripe’s steep move up the venture ladder is a sad commentary on today’s financial scene.  The company, whose name is not exactly a household word, processes online payments. It was valued at $35 billion in a recent fundraising round, notwithstanding the fact that entry barriers to competition are almost nil. Lyft, for […]

Rick's Picks -   [I am leaving this essay up over the weekend to increase its exposure. RA] The Fed’s so-far $128 billion intervention in the repo market slipped off the Wall Street Journal‘s front page by evening, hardly a concern. Don’t be surprised if years from now the squeeze on short-term borrowers that caused this flurry of excitement is recalled […]
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