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May 16, 2019 | Bitcoin Mania Is Back! Are You Ready to Rumble?

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 […]

May 14, 2019 | Learning to Love Heavy New Tariffs

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 […]

May 13, 2019 | Did Trump Outsmart China by Tanking Trade Talks?

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 12, 2019 | A Scary ‘What If?’

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 […]

May 8, 2019 | Some ‘Lunatic Stocks’ Look Poised to Drop

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 […]

May 6, 2019 | Trade War Rears Up Again, Spooking Traders

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 […]

May 5, 2019 | On Wall Street, a Fever Takes Hold

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 […]

May 2, 2019 | Good Thing We Weren’t ‘Insiders’

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 1, 2019 | Latest Ho-Hum from the Fed Triggers a Mini-Panic

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, […]

April 30, 2019 | And Now GOOG Has Joined the List of ‘Dead Stocks Walking’

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 […]

April 28, 2019 | An Ambitious Target for Bulls

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 […]

April 24, 2019 | Wall Street Incites a Flash Mob to Pump Up Facebook

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 […]

April 17, 2019 | How Bull-Market Swings Challenge the Risk-Averse

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 […]

April 14, 2019 | Bullish Frenzy Keeping Some Big Losers Aloft

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 […]

April 11, 2019 | It Will All Come Down to Boeing

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. […]

April 8, 2019 | Glue-Sniffing on Wall Street: ‘Small Price to Pay for a Good High’

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 […]

April 7, 2019 | Hey, All You Inflationists: Was That Your Best Punch?

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. […]

April 5, 2019 | Why a Ruinous Debt Deflation Is Coming

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 […]

April 3, 2019 | In the Category ‘Spurious Rallies,’ the Winner Is…

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 […]

April 2, 2019 | Bitcoin’s Corpse Leaps from the Grave. But Why?

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 […]

April 1, 2019 | The Magnetic Pull of Old Record Highs

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 […]

March 31, 2019 | AAPL, AMZN Warning Bears to Back Away

As much as I’ve distrusted the stock market’s presumptive bear rally every inch of the way, the charts of two bellwethers, AAPL and AMZN, look too bullish at the moment to assume the sky is about to fall. AAPL in particular has been unstoppable and looks like it could hit a $212 target 12% above […]

March 29, 2019 | Investors Can’t Resist the Smell of Garbage

With central banks around the world ready to hit the panic button, investors are scrambling desperately for yield ahead of the next orgy of global easing. How desperate are they? So desperate, in fact, that even some of the bond world’s smelliest garbage — i.e., debt paper issued by Illinois and the city of Chicago […]

March 27, 2019 | Every Uptick Only Makes Apple Shares a Juicier Short

Every uptick in AAPL only makes the stock a juicier short because iPhone, the main source of the Cupertino company’s revenues, has significant problems. Sales have softened in the U.S. and China, Apple’s second-largest market, and the firm faces increasing competition from the likes of Huawei, which can undersell the top-of-the-line iPhone by more than […]

March 25, 2019 | The Fed Must Think We’re Idiots

Fed policy went all silly Monday when a little-known spokesman for the central bank said he expects one more rate hike in 2019 and perhaps another in 2020.  Didn’t Chairman Powell just finish saying that there would be no tightening this year? And weren’t we reading the other day that the yield curve had inverted, […]

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