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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.

August 15th, 2018 | Bullion’s Harsh Realities

Rick's Picks - With the devastation in gold and silver picking up pace, I’ve updated my touts below to reflect, not wishful thinking and the fervent hopes of bullion investors, but the harsh realities of disinterested technical analysis. Some in the Rick’s Picks chat room seem to think bulls have suffered enough pain already for precious-metal quotes to go much […]

August 14th, 2018 | Shades of Irving Fisher

Rick's Picks - Here’s a Bloomberg headline that should scare the hell out of permabulls: ‘World-Beating U.S. Stocks Show No Sign of Falling Back to the Pack’.  It’s the ‘Show No Sign’ part of this attention-grabber that seems fraught with hubris — so much so that we shouldn’t be surprised if the stock market were to begin imploding […]

Rick's Picks - If you’ve never heard of tether, it’s a cryptocurrency with daily trading volume of about $3 billion that is second only to bitcoin’s $5 billion. Tether was the subject of a prominently displayed article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal headlined “Mystery Shadows a Digital Currency”.   Of course, “mysterious” is about the last thing we should want said […]

Rick's Picks - Expect securities markets to bend toward increasingly menacing realities in the weeks ahead. The crazed spectacle of the FAANG stocks in particular ratcheting moonward as geopolitical events threaten to spin out of control has become too unsettling to last for even another day.  It’s one thing for shares to climb a wall of worry, but […]

Rick's Picks - I wrote here yesterday that Trump’s plan to pay off the national debt with tariff revenues would place a huge new tax on consumption, triggering a Second Great Depression. Here’s an interesting response from Rick’s Picks forum regular John Jay: Actually, Trump and the NY Times are on the same page on this issue. They are both going […] Radio - China, Rare Earths, and Computer Chips

Rick's Picks - Trump’s heart may be in the right place when he plays hardball with our trading partners, but he left little doubt on Wednesday that his brain is out to lunch on tariff math. His notion that revenues from sizable new import levies could pay off the national debt is as pernicious and lacking in common […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve been so down on gold lately that it could probably pop $100 before I’d even notice. That’s why I’ve set some bullish price alerts on a few gold and silver charts, adding buy-stop entries for two mining stocks tracked below.  We blew out a position in Majestic Silver [NYSE: Symbol AG] the other day […]

Rick's Picks - With renewed U.S. economic sanctions against Iran slated to take effect on Tuesday, Iranians were panicking to exchange rials for gold. The buying frenzy had no discernible effect on the dollar price of gold, which sold off moderately in U.S. markets. You’d have to be an old-timer to recall a day when gold’s price could […]

Rick's Picks - We are going to find out soon whether Mr. Art of the Deal can bring China around on trade issues. It’s encouraging that Trump has already turned what had begun to look like a full-blown trade war with Europe into a success story for global business. However, it remains to be seen whether he can […]

Rick's Picks - TSLA’s rally is so frothing-at-the-mouth stupid-scary that it’s tempting to think the stock is about to lead the high-fliers over a cliff. The automaker’s shares took a rabid leap Thursday, driven by the epiphany that the company isn’t burning cash quite as quickly as Wall Street’s best and brightest had estimated.  What really juiced the […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market feels like its being propped up for distribution — heavy as lead, but suspiciously unable to sell off for more than an hour or two. Shares have gotten little net boost from FAANG earnings, although it was impressive to see the broad averages shrug off the carnage in NFLX and FB shares. […]

August 1st, 2018 | Housing-Sector Blues

Rick's Picks - Plans to buy a home in the next six months have fallen to their lowest level in more than two years, according to a Zillow report published Tuesday. There were other worrisome signs in residential real estate. For one, sales of existing homes have fallen to the slowest pace since September; and for two, new […]

Rick's Picks - Morgan Stanley is out with a scary forecast for August, warning of the biggest stock-market drop since supposed inflation fears caused shares to plummet in February. This time, the thinking goes, market participants have simply run out of good news to look forward to. For one, there’s a strong chance corporate earnings have peaked. Still […]

Rick's Picks - The aging bull market has grown much more difficult to handicap now that the FAANG stocks have lost their cool. Two of them, NFLX and FB, got slammed last week on news suggesting that subscriber growth was weakening. Then, on Friday, AMZN reversed a rally sharply, unable to hold gains following an upbeat earnings report […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve renewed my focus on AMZN as a crucial bellwether for the bull market, since the retailer’s shares seem likely to remain feisty up until the moment their rabid sponsors keel over dead from exhaustion. The stock was on course to end the week in a downtrend. It’s been a month since that occurred, and […]

Rick's Picks - Rates on long-term U.S. paper have remained stubbornly buoyant since topping in mid-May and now appear to be gathering strength for a leap to new multiyear highs. If so, the 30-Year Bond could hit 3.745%, with 3.319% possible on the Ten-Year Note. A move to those levels would add considerable drag to the U.S. economy, […] Radio - Trump, Tariffs, Autos, and Farmers

Rick's Picks - Although the S&Ps are breaking out (see E-Mini analysis below), the Dow Industrials lag well behind. The former have already pushed above late February’s key peak, generating a powerful impulse leg on the daily chart. However, for the Indoos to accomplish this they’d need to rally more than 500 points, exceeding 25,800. If the two […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks have had a pretty good run-up since their last swing low on June 28. Rallies in the FAANG stocks in particular have been quite impressive– as well they should be, since they are far and away the main beneficiaries of the huge sums of money thrown each day at the stock market by heedless […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks struggled valiantly to sell off on Thursday, but the Dow was never down more than about 150 points. Permabears shouldn’t despair, however, since it’s always lightest before the dusk.  Gold got support late in the day when Trump took a shot at the Fed for tightening, but don’t expect the ebullience in precious metals […]

Rick's Picks - Who could have imagined just a couple of months ago that stocks would continue to ascend with a full-blown trade war brewing? Most of us thought Trump was just playing poker, but if that is the case the pot has grown big enough to become scary. We all have some skin in the game, and […]

Rick's Picks - The two hottest FAANG stocks got pasted on Monday, shortening the odds that the broad stock averages may have seen their highs for the year. AMZN fell $28 after leaping to within $1.34 of a 1843.29 target drum-rolled here earlier; and NFLX, an overrated bag of wind about which Rick’s Picks hasn’t had a good thing to […]

July 15th, 2018 | All Eyes on Helsinki

Rick's Picks - Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki on Monday is unlikely to move the markets, but it is bound to be followed with rapt attention around the world.  Sen. Schumer is pressuring the president to ask about alleged Russian meddling in the last U.S. presidential election, but that is well down the list of Europe’s concerns. […]

Rick's Picks - Amazon shares are closing fast on an 1843.29 target that I had thought would take longer to achieve. I’d be surprised if this Hidden Pivot resistance gives way easily, but if it does there’s a target just above $2000 that presumably would be in play. The current, parabolic rally is unsustainable, or course, but that […]
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