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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 - When the week ended, the Dow was racing toward a 27251 target I posted here two weeks ago. The blue chip average was trading for around 25,300 at the time, and I would not have expected it to be closing on my number so soon. However, we’re getting more accustomed to this kind of price […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks have been in an all-out sprint since the first trading day of the new year and are overdue for a correction. Whether frenzied buyers are ready to oblige, if only to preserve their health, should become clearer as the week draws to a close. They looked winded on Thursday but still managed to close […]

January 17th, 2018 | The Scent of Dow 30,000

Rick's Picks - The bull market’s blowoff-like trajectory has steepened, if such a thing were imaginable, with Wednesday’s 322-point rally in the Dow. The blue chip average is ostensibly headed to the 27,251 target shown, and although this Hidden Pivot resistance is worth shorting, I wouldn’t recommend standing in the herd’s way if it is exceeded by more than 10-15 […]

Rick's Picks - It must have been frustrating for buyers to have to cool their jets for an extra 24 hours this weekend. The Martin Luther King Holiday denied them a full day’s opportunity to push the Dow higher by the usual 100 or more points. As a result, we could see see pent-up demand come charging back […]

Rick's Picks - Treasury rates and the price of crude oil have broken above key Hidden Pivot resistance points this week, a technical event whose significance is explained in the relevant ‘touts’ below. Although I have serious doubts that the inflationary spiral economists have been breathlessly predicting for the last 25 years is coming, I’d have to concede […]

January 11th, 2018 | Could Oil Hit $70 a Barrel? Radio - Boeing out performing the “FAANG’s”

Rick's Picks - Yields on the Ten-Year Treasury Note pierced a crucial resistance at 2.57% Wednesday, setting them on a possible course to as high as 3.11% in the months ahead. If so, the U.S. economic recovery, such as it is, will be operating under a new set of rules and bucking serious headwinds. Those winds would become […]

January 7th, 2018 | Exuberance — or Fever?

Rick's Picks - 2018 has begun with a powerful rally on Wall Street that is either entirely rational or cravenous, depending on one’s point of view. The best explanation I’ve heard so far views the rampaging bull as politically rational but economically insane. I shouldn’t need to explain the latter point of view, but Trump seems to be […]

Rick's Picks - We now see that DaBoyz were saving their firepower in those final, sluggish weeks leading up to 2018. The tactic of goosing the market into a vertical parabola as the new year begins is bound to scare off sellers. If so, we should see the broad averages accelerate to the upside over the next week […]

January 4th, 2018 | A Chart Nerd Wets Himself

Rick's Picks - Is this exciting, or what? I’ve been drum-rolling a potentially very important low in VXX for months. Lo, the little weasel touched my 26.32 benchmark early in the session, allowing subscribers to buy high-leverage call options that had traded for as much as 7.18 in December for 90% off. A case of all good things […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks have entered the new year with their wonted ability to waft effortlessly higher on thermals of giddiness and so-so volume evidently still intact. In decades past there have been instances where the mere flipping of the calendar to January was enough to evince a sea change in Wall Street’s mood. Not this year, apparently […]

January 1st, 2018 | A Pregnant Pause

Rick's Picks - The bull market acted like it was in labor when 2017 ended, with numerous popular trading vehicles that we track lying just shy of potentially important rally targets. Since we never pretend to have a crystal ball, we’ll have to see what the week brings.  Will the shares of Boeing, Amazon, Apple shake off their […]

December 31st, 2017 | Hoping for Uninteresting Times

Rick's Picks - If there’s a New Year’s wish we can all share, it is that 2018 be as uninteresting as possible. My personal benchmark would be 1959. Ike was President, I was ten, and America had tailfins on its mind. Granted, Nikita Khrushchev seemed menacing even to a kid, and cowering beneath school desks during air raid drills didn’t […]

December 29th, 2017 | Hoping for Uninteresting Times

Rick's Picks - If there’s a New Year’s wish we can all share, it is that 2018 be as uninteresting as possible. My personal benchmark would be 1959. Ike was President, I was ten, and America had tailfins on its mind. Granted, Nikita Khrushchev seemed menacing even to a kid, and cowering beneath school desks during air raid drills didn’t […]

December 28th, 2017 | US Tax Bill Radio - Bitcoin numbers seem impressive but not when compared to other transactions

December 27th, 2017 | Slogging Through a Holiday Week

Rick's Picks - It was predictable that the stock market would try to bore us to death this week, presumably by wafting moderately higher on each successive day. Instead, we’ve seen the broad averages go nowhere, head-butting the record highs set ten days ago without showing enough pluck to impale them.  Are DaBoyz saving their short-squeeze ammo for […]

December 26th, 2017 | Bull-Market Delusions

Rick's Picks - Economist John Hussman cuts to the chase in this nails-hard analysis of a bull market that has been fueled mainly by distortions of fact.  The title of his essay is Three Delusions: Paper Wealth, a Booming Economy, and Bitcoin, and it is a must-read for anyone who believes stocks have reached, to recall Prof. Irving Fisher’s immortal words, […]

December 25th, 2017 | Get Ready for…Nothing

Rick's Picks - I will update my touts as warranted this week, but I’m not expecting anything remotely significant or interesting to happen on Wall Street between now and New Year’s Day. Stocks are liable to waft higher because that is what they’ve been doing for almost nine years. If the uptrend does in fact continue, you can […]

December 21st, 2017 | Boeing’s Little Cough

Rick's Picks - Elsewhere on the page, I’ve noted some slippage in Boeing shares that has begun from a record-high on Wednesday that nonetheless fell a tad shy of our expectations. Is this that ominous cough in the second reel? We should know soon enough. The weakness is worth watching in any case because just a little bit […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market has turned comatose even as bitcoin’s breathtaking swings wax increasingly violent. We added to a profitable paper position in bitcoin an hour ago (see $BRTI tout below) using a limit bid and a wide stop-loss designed to cushion the trade against a pretty nasty squall. The purpose of these trades, which are […]

Rick's Picks - This week’s economic news will include reports each day on some aspect of the housing industry: sales, starts, buyer confidence and prices. I’d made much of the downturn in the housing sector earlier this year, when I’d assumed recession was just around the bend. Car sales were starting to falter badly as well. Now, with […]

Rick's Picks - No sooner did I mention that El Toro is long overdue for a rest than, voila!, the Dow drops 77 points, closing on the low of the day. This suggests we are likely to see some more selling into week’s end. My latest update for the E-Mini S&Ps offers a precise benchmark for gauging whether […] Radio - US Fed rate hike concerns

Rick's Picks - The broad average are supposed to do nothing on days when the FOMC has something to say. Instead, just ahead of Wednesday’s 25-basis-point rate hike, the Dow wafted 160 points higher, thumbing its nose at tradition. Perhaps a 160-point rally IS doing nothing these days, since stocks have been rising about five times as often […]

Rick's Picks - It’s just like Wall Street (and its mouthpiece, The Wall Street Journal) to get all lathered up over supposed tax reform that has little more going for it than the usual heap of manure we’ve come to expect from Congress.  I made this point recently in discussing some fine print in the tax bill that would retain […]
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