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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 - Bitcoin is on the move again, a venomous snake in the grass. You might expect to find a reasonable explanation for cryptocurrency’s sudden, spectacular rise from the dead. Instead, you get only dim-witted speculation that institutional players are starting to warm to it again. Fidelity, for one, reportedly will be buying and selling bitcoin for […] Radio - Amazons foray into the food business could wipe out local supermarkets

Rick's Picks - The on-again, off-again trade deal with China has put some life into the stock market, all of it vicious (click on inset). It has also invigorated an otherwise moribund discussion concerning weather tariffs are good or bad. Popular wisdom has it that the mere talk of Smoot-Hawley tariff legislation caused the stock market to gyrate […]

Rick's Picks - Was it President Trump’s intention all along that trade talks with China fail? That’s the contention of ‘Farmer,’ a long-time subscriber who lives in Nairobi. He posted earlier today as follows in the Coffee House, a chat room that runs alongside the Rick’s Picks Trading Room: “Just for perspective, the average dollar volume of imports being bought […]

May 12th, 2019 | A Scary ‘What If?’

Rick's Picks - My minimum upside target for the S&P 500 is still 3095, about 7.4% above these levels, and I am sticking with it. A corresponding rally in the Dow Industrials would leave them just shy of 28,000. Let me also mention that last week’s nasty selloff would have tripped a ‘mechanical’ buy signal (click on inset) if the […]

Rick's Picks - Boeing is finally breaking down, and some of the institutionally favored “lunatic stocks” such as GOOG and AMZN are struggling for loft. Check out my touts for these stocks and a few others for downside targets if the broad averages should relapse as the week draws to a close. Air pockets in some stocks that […]

Rick's Picks - Shades of Smoot-Hawley!? Stocks plummeted for the second time in less than 24 hours Monday when Trump signaled to China’s trade negotiators that he means business. A long-delayed, $200 billion hike in tariffs will take effect on Friday because the Chinese reneged on commitments they’d already made. I don’t say they allegedly reneged or that […]

Rick's Picks - Fever took hold of the stock market as the week ended, stoked by the best unemployment numbers in half a century. Two days earlier, shares had fallen sharply as investors registered their disappointment in the Fed’s latest pronouncement. Obfuscator-in-chief Powell had said the central bank would hold steady and that the economy seemed in fine […]

Rick's Picks - Sometimes we’re blessed not to possess insider information. Several pointed examples surfaced in the last few days. If we had known, for instance, that Fed Chairman Powell would tell the world on Wednesday that the U.S. economy is holding steady as a rock and that no changes are contemplated in monetary policy, we’d have jumped […]

May 2nd, 2019 | Gold, Marijuana, Tech Radio - Russian Influence on Oil Market

Rick's Picks - Stocks dove on the latest non-news from the Fed. The headless-chicken response to routine announcements from the central bank is evidently so deeply ingrained that even when Powell has nothing new to say, the trade-desk geniuses can’t help tripping over themselves trying to get out of their own way. The Fed chairman said monetary policy, […]

Rick's Picks - Google joined my list of ‘dead-man-walking’ stocks — companies facing revenue slowdowns for one reason or another but which have inexplicably rallied sharply in recent months.  The shares of Boeing, Apple and Facebook are in this category as well, for reasons that are well known and which I have written on extensively. This doesn’t preclude […]

Rick's Picks - The 3095 rally target I’ve projected for the S&P 500 cash index (see below) lies well above current levels. Bulls have had little trouble reaching middling Hidden Pivot targets in the past, but this one will require some effort, since the pattern that produced stretches all the way back to January. It also has unusual […]

Rick's Picks - Facebook has rocketed 10 percent higher this evening in after-hours trading, demonstrating yet again how Wall Street runs a rigged game that even the most gifted carny operator would envy. The stock’s deft handlers have used a headline out after the close to incite flash-mob buying with the irresistible force of a nuclear detonation. Prior […]

Rick's Picks - Today’s chart shows why it can be so difficult to make money in a bull market, even when one “knows” how high a stock is headed.  We’ve been confident that Facebook (click on inset) will eventually hit 190, a Hidden Pivot target first aired here more than three weeks ago when the stock was trading […] Radio - Popular Stocks That Shouldn’t be Popular

Rick's Picks - Investors have thrown caution to the wind as they bid up FAANG stocks to imprudent heights and provide overly generous bids for a few others that face serious jeopardy, including Tesla and Boeing. Even so, the herd evidently had second thoughts about one stock on Friday, pummeling the shares of Netflix when competitor Disney announced […]

Rick's Picks - Shares of Apple and Amazon have stalled, implying that institutional sponsors of these two very important stocks may need a rest before they can lead the next charge higher. ‘Freaky’ Friday would be a good day to take such a crazy leap, except that the broad averages looked too punk on Thursday to deliver one. […]

Rick's Picks - Considering the dour outlook for Q1 earnings, the stock market’s exuberant run-up over the last month feels like Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade: “Into the valley of Death rode the 600…’  And yet, we know from watching the shares of Boeing, Apple (see chart inset) and Facebook go vertical into a steady stream of negative […]

Rick's Picks - My recent commentary on the catastrophic debt deflation that lies ahead drew the usual sniper fire, all of it from readers who didn’t address a single point I’d made. Each had his own theories about why (hyper)inflation rather than deflation is more likely to do us in, but none was even logical, let alone persuasive. […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve been writing on deflation since the early 1990s, when I had the topic all to myself and was regarded as a voice on the lunatic fringe. Scary essays that I freelanced to Barron’s, the San Francisco Examiner and a number of other publications turned out to have been premature, but I’ve never doubted that the endgame for […]

Rick's Picks - The most interesting trait on display in securities markets these days is what might be called the artful levitation. Apple shares, for one, have been strongly on the rise even though iPhone sales are weakening, particularly in China, the company’s second-biggest market. A further discouragement is Apple’s bland strategy for the future, competing against streaming-content […] Radio - Pension Plan Collapse Biggest Threat to US Economy

Rick's Picks - Bitcoin’s sharp rally on Tuesday was being described by some as a ‘mystery surge’, but it is no mystery at all for anyone who has seen the film Night of the Living Dead. Buffs may recall that the movie’s flesh-eating zombies were activated by radioactive contamination from an exploding space probe that had visited Venus. Although […]

Rick's Picks - Betting that the stock market’s steepening surge will continue seems like such a sure thing by now that we should probably expect the downturn-from-hell to start momentarily. Actually, the 330-point leap the Industrial Average took on Monday exceeded two important peaks recorded on Feb 25 and Nov 8, respectively, implying that any pullback of less […]
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