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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 - So much for the 2858.75 print in the E-Mini S&Ps earlier this week that I’d said might mark an important top.  Thursday’s muscular short squeeze impaled this ‘Hidden Pivot’ resistance, leaving the futures above it at the close. It also put in play an alternative scenario I’d mentioned — i.e., a move above 3,000. The […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - What Happens When Governments Hit Debt Wall?

Rick's Picks - Uh-oh. A couple of FAANG heavyweights rolled down hard Tuesday after failing to reach their respective Hidden Pivot targets. Apple shares had appeared bound for at least 190.33 when they reversed from 188.99 mid-day along with the broad averages. AMZN was well into a weeks-long, 220-point climb to a 1842 target when it turned tail […]

Rick's Picks - DaBoyz have been artfully rotating money between a handful of high-profile stocks in order to keep this distributive rally going for as long as possible. On Monday, although the broad averages seemed leaden all day, the Dow still eked out a 65-point gain while AMZN, AAPL and MSFT rose, respectively, 1.75%, 1.08% and 1.48%. This […]

Rick's Picks - The broad averages have rallied from their Christmas lows almost as steeply as they got there in the fourth quarter. The first 2,000 points of the Dow’s trampoline bounce took just seven trading days. At the time, we wrote that the trend would continue until even hardcore skeptics were convinced that new all-time highs were […]

Rick's Picks - Say this for DaBoyz, they’ve got rotation down. When Boeing and Facebook are getting socked the smart guys simply redirect the money toward, in today’s case, AAPL. There’s always some biggie moving higher, sustaining the illusion that all is well on Wall Street. It isn’t, and that’s why we should treat the rally from late December’s […]

Rick's Picks - The Dow’s ability to forge relentlessly higher with Boeing shares getting slammed is unprecedented. We might as easily have imagined Duke’s basketball team winning the upcoming NCAA tournament with Zion Williamson out of commission. The six-foot, seven-inch, 285-pound power forward sprained his knee and has missed several games since one of his Nike sneakers blew […]

Rick's Picks - Apple shares have shifted into hyperdrive, pulling the broad averages and the FAANGs right along. (See my AAPL tout below for a technical rundown.) If the rally achieves its current target at 190.33, that would represent a move of about 5% from these levels. It would also raise the odds that Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and […]

Rick's Picks - David Stockman‘s new book could prove to be a very timely read. The title leaves no doubt what it’s about: PEAK TRUMP: The Undrainable Swamp And The Fantasy Of MAGA. Could he be onto something? In my view, Trump’s fall could come not merely because Congressional Democrats are investigating nearly everyone in his past and every […]

March 5th, 2019 | Gold Breaking Point

HoweStreet.com Radio - China, Germany, Tesla, and the Auto Market

March 4th, 2019 | The China Factor

Rick's Picks - Some attributed Monday’s stock-market volatility to nervousness over trade talks, but if China had anything to do with the day’s moderate losses, the more likely cause was a report that economic growth there is running at the slowest pace in three decades. This could conceivably be bullish for NYSE stocks, since, with Europe’s economy also […]

March 1st, 2019 | The Coming Pension Bust

Rick's Picks - (I wrote here earlier that a public-pension bust is coming that will usher in the Second Great Depression. Could California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey et al. avoid disaster by raising taxes? That’s what John Jay, a regular contributor to the Rick’s Picks forum, thinks they will do. I strongly doubt it, however, since there is no way the […]

February 25th, 2019 | Even Buffett Can Make a Mistake

Rick's Picks - The recent plunge in Heinz-Kraft shares reminds us that even Warren Buffett can make a mistake. A couple of years ago, it might have seemed as though the Sage’s portfolio was impervious to downturns, given its heavy focus on the basics: food chain, railroads and insurance companies. As it happens, his bet on such time-tested […]

Rick's Picks - I’d love to tell you that bulls have been sniffing glue and that they are long overdue for a brutal comeuppance. However, it turns out they are anything but wild-eyed, and their expectations are relatively subdued.  AIAA’s most recent survey found that 35.3% of investors are ‘neutral’ right now — the highest percentage in seven […]

February 21st, 2019 | Tabloid Nation

Rick's Picks - DaBoyz were unable to goad bears into covering short positions on Thursday, so stocks went limp. “Bullish news” overnight could change that, but the sordid tale of actor Jussie Smollett, who evidently lied about being beaten up by MAGA thugs,  has so completely dominated the headlines that a bullish story concerning the economy is unlikely […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Markets Ignoring Negative Economic News

Rick's Picks - If you’re a taxpayer, you may have something to celebrate soon. On an otherwise dull news day, there was word Tuesday evening that President Trump would attempt to claw back as much as $3.4 billion in earmarks and grants for California’s high-speed rail project. The line was originally conceived as a link between San Francisco […]

February 18th, 2019 | Mr. Market’s Intentions

Rick's Picks - Although it’s fun to bad-mouth the rally, the yo-yos who have stoked it could win in the end. From the moment stocks took off on December 26, we’ve assumed it was just a bear rally designed to fool everyone into thinking new highs were actually possible. It would need to be powerful enough not only […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve set aside strongly negative feelings about the U.S. economy and the stock market to focus solely on the charts, which never lie. Trends are trends, and as long as the one in progress continues to exceed prior peaks with each new thrust, the bull must be given the benefit of the doubt. This is […]

February 11th, 2019 | The Art of the Lousy Deal

Rick's Picks - Trump and his political enemies are close to a deal on a border wall, but if either side has the chutzpah to take a victory lap, it’s going to be one celebration too many for millions of Americans. We can leave it to news commentators on the left and right to sort out who got […]

February 7th, 2019 | Dread the Interesting Day

Rick's Picks - Although we usually come to our trading desks Friday morning intent on fading the opening bar with the purchase of put or call options, there was little to inspire this as the dust settled on Thursday. Was the weakness signaling a reversal of a rally that has been relentless since Christmas Eve? If so, we’re […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Is Netflix sustainable?

February 4th, 2019 | The Next 400 Points

Rick's Picks - DaBoyz are putting most of their energy and effort into a relative handful of institutional favorites (aka  “lunatic stocks”), including AAPL, BA, FB, NKE and GOOGL. The goal of the stock market’s masters is to waft the broad averages higher using short-covering for fuel, and to distribute as much stock as they can ahead of […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market’s masters have been working AMZN and AAPL like a tag team, pressing one into service when the other lacks the energy to goad stocks higher. That surely describes the current dynamic. DaBoyz short-squeezed AAPL for a third straight day, more than offsetting the drubbing AMZN is getting tonight on a downbeat earnings […]

Rick's Picks - Well, there you have it: the most brazenly bogus rally in the history of the world. Are these guys good, or what? The fix was in even before Powell declared Wednesday afternoon that the Fed would be “patient.” (Now there’s a word that will reverberate through economic history!) AAPL’s and Boeing’s handlers had already gotten the jump […]
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