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December 30, 2016 | Hunkering Down Ahead of January

Rick Ackerman

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.


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 a diabolically elusive turn. On Wednesday, they went into a steep dive minutes after the opening bell after taking mincing steps higher for 15 hours. The fact that the plunge came just after the March contract generated a bullish impulse leg on the hourly chart made the sharp reversal even more difficult to anticipate, and to trade. Regardless, shorting by hook or crook ahead of New Year’s Eve still makes sense to me, since the TrumpSanta rally has probably gotten way ahead of whatever positive changes Trump might bring to the U.S. economy in the first six months of his term. An additional reason to expect a tone change on Wall Street next week is that the housing sector looks shaky. The combination of rising home prices due to limited supply, and rising mortgage rates, has already killed re-fi business and threatens to dry up first-time buyers completely. Rising interest rates will also impact auto sales, another key component of the economy. Even if there are a dozen good reasons to be bullish on Trump, the U.S. economy will face some serious headwinds as 2017 begins. Traders should position themselves accordingly, and subscribers should check the chat room ‘Scoreboard’ intraday for real-time trading ideas.

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December 30th, 2016

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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