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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 - Stocks have gotten hit hard this week.  Have investors perhaps caught a whiff of a possible Biden victory and the damage he and his socialist running mate would inflict on American businesses and the middle class? That’s one explanation, and I raised the possibility here numerous times over the last several weeks that it could […]

Rick's Picks - directly to his son’s shady business deals and the huge kickbacks they’ve generated over the years. No, I’m talking about something even more unexpected: It’s becoming cool for African Americans to vote for Trump and to openly support him. Rapper Kanye West started things rolling in April with a full-throated endorsement that caused jaws to […]

Rick's Picks - Bulls are straining to hold shares aloft, but we haven’t seen sufficient weakness to infer that the stock market smells a Biden victory. That would be a catastrophe for Wall Street, even if some pundits insist investors might actually prefer him. We now have fake opinions, it would seem, to supplement fake news intended to […] Radio - Will the US Dollar pick up again?

Rick's Picks -   Here’s a stock-market scenario so outrageous that you may want to consider it, especially if you like longshot bets that are underpriced. Everyone is worried the election will produce no clear winner and that it will take months to sort out the results. Since Wall Street hates uncertainty, especially when the nation’s future is […]

Rick's Picks - I featured a cautionary headline atop this page for the last two days, but they way stocks have been behaving, we all might as well throw caution to the wind. Technical signs looked quite bearish when the week began, and the way certain stocks and index futures were acting gave me to infer they were […]

October 13th, 2020 | Cautionary Signs

Rick's Picks - The yellow flag is out, since the Nasdaq 100, AAPL and the E-Mini S&Ps all failed to reach their respective Hidden Pivot price objectives on this week’s run-up. In addition, VXX, which tracks short-term S&P 500 volatility, looks like it’s primed to turn higher following a withering decline begun more than a month ago. If […]

Rick's Picks - With the election campaign headed down the stretch, investors are still betting Trump will win. The Dow Industrials have risen to within striking distance of February’s 29,568 record. Does anyone think this could have occurred if Biden were a shoe-in, as the pollsters would have us believe? More likely is that the Dow would be […]

Rick's Picks - AAPL looks like it will need to pull back to get a running start at $120, where supply is certain to be plentiful.  Freaky Friday could provide an opportunity to do it the easy way – i.e., with short-covering on any kind of news that could be construed as bullish. But it’s hard to imagine […]

Rick's Picks - Let’s see if The Bull Market That Wouldn’t Die can shrug this one off. Trump postponed stimulus talks until at least after the election, causing a 600-point reversal in the Dow Industrials. With no stimulus in sight, all of those would-be dollars from the sky won’t get spent by holiday shoppers.  They are usually unstoppable […]

Rick's Picks - If stocks plunged Friday on news that Trump had caught the virus, and then began to surge as soon as it looked like he would recover, investors must like the guy, right? Or so it would seem.  The Dow rose almost 500 points on Monday as the President’s doctors prepared to send him home earlier […]

Rick's Picks - Wall Street kept its cool Friday on news that President Trump and Melania had contracted the virus. Investors were so cool, in fact, that one might have wondered whether even a collision between Earth and a giant asteroid would shake their confidence in the Fed’s ability to levitate shares indefinitely.  Although we might have expected […]

Rick's Picks - AAPL is actually lagging the Nasdaq for a rare change, well shy of a key resistance that will determine whether the stock is headed for a moon shot to 152. It is currently trading for around 117, but the bullish trigger point at 127.53 lies 11 points above, or 9.1%. By contrast, the QQQ, an […]

Rick's Picks - The most bearish thing you could say about the stock market these days is that it has been damn near impossible to short. Perhaps it’s for the better where bears are concerned. The chart above shows how the QQQs, an ETF proxy for the Nasdaq 100, have turned what could have become a bearish head-and-shoulders […]

Rick's Picks - Investors took no discernible position ahead of the debate, allowing stocks to slosh around the whole day and to close near the middle of their range. Even if you could be sure of the outcome, how would you have bet it?  The pundits seem to think Biden could benefit from low expectations if he gets […]

September 27th, 2020 | Have You Heard About SPACs?

Rick's Picks - What came to be known as the South Sea Bubble was so pumped up before it popped in 1720 that investors apparently viewed nearly every opportunity as a sure thing. The York Building Company, for one.  After being purchased by the Hollow Sword Blade Company, it mutated into a provider of water to London, to […]

September 23rd, 2020 | A Glossary of Pain

Rick's Picks - Wednesday’s quiet opening was a fooler that gave no hint of the ferocious selling that followed. The Dow and the S&Ps opened moderately higher, extending a two-day rally that traders obviously assumed would continue. Instead, the broad averages rolled over in the first hour on light selling that picked up tempo as the day wore […] Radio - US Dollar picking up steam

September 20th, 2020 | Covid-19, Unmasked

Rick's Picks - There was not a mask in sight Saturday afternoon on the Ocean City NJ boardwalk even though it was packed with strollers, including your editor. Although it’s not possible to tell from the picture which are political liberals and which are conservatives, it’s probably safe to say that voters of both persuasions were well represented […]

Rick's Picks -   As observed here earlier, nearly everything has begun moving in lockstep opposite the dollar. Today, the effect of a modest bullish upturn in the dollar was both precipitous and precise. A strong dollar is the worst nightmare not only of the thimble-riggers at the Federal Reserve, but of everyone who owes dollars. That includes […]

Rick's Picks -   It was challenging to stay short on Tuesday that the broad averages must surely be at or near an important top. This is an instinctual observation rather than a technical one, but I’m inclined to trust gut feelings based on the evidence. The two charts above illustrate the point. Notice that DIA, an ETF […]

Rick's Picks - [I wrote the following for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner two decades ago. I offer it as lighter fare in lieu of the usual rant about how the stock market is mentally ill, investors are besotted with greed, and the global financial system galloping toward ruinous deflation. RA] Talk about a sure thing! Here was the kind of […]

Rick's Picks -   [I wrote the following for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner two decades ago. I offer it as lighter fare in lieu of the usual rant about how the stock market is mentally ill, investors are besotted with greed, and the global financial system galloping toward ruinous deflation. RA] Talk about a sure thing! Here was the kind […]

Rick's Picks - It’s obvious that the U.S. dollar is the only thing occupying investors’ symian brains at the moment, since stocks are moving in lock-step against it. Even gold and silver have been kow-towing, reacting to every dollar zig with a precisely measured zag. That’s why I recently shifted my technical focus from AAPL to the Dollar […]

Rick's Picks -   AAPL topped last week within a hair of an important rally target at 135.98, prompting this headline atop last Thursday’s commentary: “Is This the Start of the Big One?” If so, it is long overdue. Valuations are worse, even, than at the height of dot-com mania, led by vertical spikes not only in AAPL, […]
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