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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 - All heaven broke loose ahead of Tuesday’s opening, starting with a gusher of headlines suggesting the worst is behind us. The Wall Street Journal led with a story about how trucking activity has picked up, and even the hotels and cruise lines are stirring. The pick-up in tempo is slight so far, as the Journal was forced to concede, […]

Rick's Picks -   A recent newspaper article about superspreaders — stadium events, concerts and outdoor festivals that effectively bathe crowds in Covid-19 — noted that a boisterous fan can spew viral particles that remain airborne for as long as 12 minutes.  There’s additional evidence that when we steep in this microscopic spume for a couple of hours, […]

Rick's Picks - With trillions of stimulus dollars raining down on America already, how much more of them does the economy need? Mnuchin and Powell differ on this, which, fortunately for taxpayers, is an argument playing out in Congress that has put any further sums on hold.  The Fed chief thinks a recovery will be at risk if […] Radio - Markets ignoring outside influences

Rick's Picks -   Who could have imagined that the entire universe of U.S. stocks would someday trade like the shares of a small pharmaceutical company with a supposed miracle cure for cancer in the works? That, evidently, is what Wall Street has become: a drug-stock crap-shoot-on-steroids. The Dow Industrials shot up more than a thousand points Monday […]

Rick's Picks - Although the spread of Covid-19 has gripped the world with fear, there has been precious little discussion of the one thing that could stop the disease in its tracks: our natural immune systems. Although we habitually seek cures in the form of vaccines and other drugs, our bodies are capable of outperforming them with little […]

May 14th, 2020 | Lockdown Blues

Rick's Picks - Thursday’s dip got bought so ferociously that bears will think twice about getting in the way again, at least for a day or two. That was the purpose of the rally, even if there were no conspirators promoting it, just bears terrorizing themselves.  There was no news to have caused the explosive move other than […]

Rick's Picks - Bull got pushed back on their heels for a change Wednesday, although sellers were unable to deliver a coup de grace in the final hour. The Dow Industrials ended the day with a 516-point loss nonetheless, unable to extract much yardage from short-covering. We’ve all been waiting for the other shoe to drop, but has […]

Rick's Picks -   Continuing on yesterday’s theme of how the stock market has completely decoupled from reality, we note that the shares of some publicly traded companies immersed in the home rental business have gone bonkers. A story on the front page of Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal noted that “Investors are flocking to the U.S.’s mega-landlords, drawn by signs […]

Rick's Picks - Those who have closely observed the stock market’s ups and downs over many years understand that it often acts as though it were detached from observable reality. This is so obvious at the moment that even casual market-watchers have come to realize that the absurdly strong performance of shares lately reflects nothing less than a […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks continue to mark time, giving up almost no ground as DaBoyz, with infinite patience, await the news that will ignite the next short squeeze. We’d intended to short the 250.43 target shown in the chart ourselves, assuming it was ever reached. The rally that was supposed to get it there is at five weeks […]

May 6th, 2020 | Which Side Are You On?

Rick's Picks - The stock market has settled into a tedious rhythm that could almost make one think there’s nothing interesting going on in the world. Dull nights have been setting the tone for dull days, as occurred on Wednesday. Traders are waiting for news to move the markets, but perhaps all the news that matters, at least […] Radio - Is Gold gaining support?

Rick's Picks - One might have imagined that fighting a deadly global pandemic would transcend political differences in America, but instead it has only sharpened them. A friend who plays in a weekly poker game that features high stakes and nine players says the ones who get their news from Fox want to re-open everything, while the CNN/MSNCB-watchers […]

Rick's Picks - Monday’s commentary typically goes out before markets lurch back to life Sunday evening, but it appeared likely that the weakness we saw on Friday will continue and perhaps gain momentum. Rick’s Picks unfurled the yellow flag just in time Thursday night after the S&Ps and AAPL both failed to reach respective Hidden Pivot rally targets by crucial […]

Rick's Picks - The S&Ps and Apple shares fell slightly shy of their respective Hidden Pivot rally targets on Thursday, so I am unfurling the yellow flag.  Without offering any specific projections, Apple showed weak revenue growth and sees at least a couple of tough quarters ahead. Under the circumstances, I would advise particular caution if the broad […]

Rick's Picks - Boeing’s $9.65 surge on Wednesday, an astounding one-day gain of 7.3%, pretty much sums up the psychotic nature of the stock market’s epic bear rally. It occurred with this item on the front page of the Wall Street Journal as a backdrop: “Boeing faces criminal and civil scrutiny into years of widespread quality-control lapses on it 737 […]

Rick's Picks - DaBoyz jettisoned subtlety on Tuesday as they attempted to distribute as much stock as possible into a bull cycle begun last week that appears to be losing steam. The increasing urgency of this task was evident on the opening bar, a bull-trap rally that notched the high of the day. Thereafter, the futures sold off […]

Rick's Picks - [A longtime contributor to Rick’s Picks thinks the IRS is about to come down hard on hedge funds and other trading entities that appear to be flourishing in these economic hard times. Read  Larry Amernick’s  editorial below to understand why the idea is likely to be a political winner. RA]   As act one of the pandemic crisis […]

April 24th, 2020 | A Boring Day, but Why?

Rick's Picks - A wasteful, do-nothing day on Wall Street. The tedium is hard to fathom, considering how interesting these times are. The broad averages rose steeply in the first 90 minutes, then spent the remainder of the session giving it all back, although no more. For traders, the tedium could set up a test of whether it […]

Rick's Picks - With the whole world rubbernecking at the scene of crude oil’s crackup, you could lose sight of why it matters. Listening to Trump fret about it tells us nothing. He has endorsed collusion by energy suppliers, the better to push prices back up to…whatever. But he hasn’t said why this would be a good thing. […]

Rick's Picks -   The news media and the pundits flailed around over the weekend trying to come up with reasons why the broad averages have rallied to within 10%-20% of record highs even though the global economy could be headed into a depression. ZeroHedge is usually able to provide plausible answers to such questions, but here’s an […]

Rick's Picks -   The Trumpster sounded so hopeful at tonight’s briefing that one could almost believe it will be a summer of baseball, barbecues, fireworks, lawn concerts and kids’ birthdays with piñatas.  If only. Still, traders are at least pretending that all of these staples of American life will be back before it’s too late. They’ve pushed index […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market has been acting as though truckloads of oral vaccine will show up on supermarket shelves this weekend. Of course, we know better than to attribute the robust uptrend of the last two weeks to careful or even rational calculation. The market is not a thinking creature, after all, just a dumb beast […]

Rick's Picks - Investors who think the worst is over had better prepare for the other shoe to drop. Stocks rallied sharply last week, reflecting the egregious miscalculation not only of bulls who have yet to meet a dip they did not like, but also of bears who evidently fear that the crazed buying binge will continue for […]
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