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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.

January 18th, 2017 | Straddling the Inauguration

Rick's Picks - If the stock market were to take a hellish dive on Monday, it’s not hard to imagine how the pundits will explain it: a reality check for investors who actually think Trump will be good for America.  Of course, any such weakness would have less to do with Trump than with cyclical forces that lie […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Trump threats bringing production back to US but will jobs follow?

Rick's Picks - Investors who have been betting heavily on Trump since the election may be starting to wonder whether the stock market has overshot the bounds of their initial optimism. To be sure, this is an insubstantial brick in the proverbial wall of worry that is said to keep bull markets alive. But are the broad averages […]

Rick's Picks - A month of tedious consolidation has set the stock market up for a seemingly likely push higher. The chart shown suggests the Dow rally could reach 20257, or possibly even 21101, over the next month or two. That last number has served as our bull-market lodestone for quite a while, and even a thousand-point dive […]

Rick's Picks - Is it possible that wage inflation is re-emerging in the U.S. after a 35-year hiatus? That’s what the experts seem to believe, but there are  good reasons to think they will be wrong. Consider the substantial pay increase that minimum-wage workers received in many cities and states where this issue was on the ballot in […]

Rick's Picks - The Dow Industrials impaled a crucial resistance at 19492 with such force on the final trading day of 2016 that they appeared all but certain to achieve a related target at 21,101 that first appeared here several weeks ago. That’s 1159 points above Wednesday’s closing price. At the rate things are going, the target could […]

Rick's Picks - It’s been a while since I’ve updated my forecast for a rise in long-term Treasury rates to 3.409%, a benchmark that sits well above the current rate of around 3.047%. Although the target is still in play (see TYX tout and chart at bottom), I am not suggesting buying the pullback at these levels because […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - Trump still wants trade, just better deals for the US

December 30th, 2016 | Hunkering Down Ahead of January

Rick's Picks - A longstanding E-Mini S&P target at 2270.00 that we used to predict the spectacular post-election rally and its precise high continues to thwart bulls from making any further headway in 2016.  Although we’d been looking to get short near this target toward the end of the week, the futures, true to their nature, have taken […]

Rick's Picks - With America’s unprecedented abstention from a U.N Security Council vote condemning Israel, Obama has stabbed a steadfast and loyal ally in the back, radically destabilizing the geopolitical world ahead of Trump’s inauguration and setting the stage for possible all-out war in the Middle East.  That’s quite a feat for a lame-duck president who had already […]

Rick's Picks - There has been precious little buying power behind the TrumpSanta rally these last few days, but the selling has been even feebler. The net result has been a slow, steady waft higher that has not quite recouped what was lost in just two hours of selling on Friday. If you do the math, you can […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - US housing market slowing due to higher mortgage rates

December 18th, 2016 | Real Hope and Change?

Rick's Picks - If traders should awaken on January 3 in an inexplicably downbeat mood, the new year could begin with a thud.  It wouldn’t be the first time a jubilant December gave way to a sullen January. Whatever happens, there’s no reason to think the stock market will weaken significantly between now and December 30, the final […]

Rick's Picks - With just one more moderate selloff, gold will have given up 90% of the $300 gain it achieved in the first half of 2016. We’ve been using a downside target just above $1100 as a minimum price objective since shortly after bullion spiked on election night. That turns out to have been one of the […]

Rick's Picks - Tuesday’s close was a cliffhanger of sorts, since the E-Mini S&P futures had slightly exceeded a major Hidden Pivot rally target before the session ended. Such is the clarity of the target that even the mere three-point overshoot that has occurred so far has tipped the odds in favor of bulls over the near term.  […]

HoweStreet.com Radio -  Can Dow skyrocket ride continue?

December 6th, 2016 | A Warning to Crude-Oil Bulls

Rick's Picks - My latest crude oil tout is lengthy and detailed because it is important that we get it right. For if the long, powerful rally from January’s lows in the mid-$30s is near an end, then so is the spike in long-term Treasury yields; the sell-off in gold and silver; the ageless, stock-market bull; talk of […]

Rick's Picks - Data due out this week will offer an accurate snapshot of the economy as Trump takes the reins from Obama. The most important news will concern mortgage applications, a key indicator of re-fi activity that is critical to maintaining household liquidity in our moribund economy. Car-sale data scheduled for release on Thursday will tell us […]

Rick's Picks - Many of those who voted for Hillary have been scratching their heads wondering why the stock market has performed so well since the election. Will consumer confidence numbers for November due out on Wednesday show that consumers in general, and not just voters, are more optimistic about the economy’s likely direction under President Trump in […]

HoweStreet.com Radio - US Fed Rate Hike Possibility Overrated

Rick's Picks - The Dow Industrials were feeling their oats Monday, forging higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. At the intraday peak the Indoos were just 39 points shy of the 19000 threshold. This round-number benchmark undoubtedly has exerted a magnetic pull up till now, but we might expect it to turn at least mildly resistant as buyers […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve spotlighted copper in today’s list of touts, since it has the ability to tell us whether the U.S. economy is about to pick up in any significant way.  There are many reasons for the stock market to have rallied on the election of Donald Trump. First and foremost is that, with the backing of […]

Rick's Picks - Thursday will be a big day for the kind of manufactured ‘news’ that can move markets. Fed clown-in-chief (and imminent lame duck) Yellen is scheduled to speak at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, presumably to obfuscate whatever genius plan the central bank is thought to be hatching for December.  You can bet the news media will be […]

Rick's Picks - There are good reasons for the stock market to have celebrated Trump’s victory with a strong rally. For one, a Republican Congress will be able cut taxes on small businesses, particularly the biggest, most job-asphyxiating tax of them all — Obamacare — when legislators convene in January. With respect to protectionism, only Trump’s detractors, including […]

Rick's Picks -   It’s starting to feel like we’ll be bombarded with exit-poll ephemera until Campaign 2020 begins in earnest the day after Trump is sworn into office. The news media have become so addicted to political gossip, and to foisting it off as hard news, that they may have lost their ability to discern what constitutes […]
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