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January 19, 2017 | The Good News, and the Bad…

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.

Yet another day of gratuitous, grueling ups and downs, punctuated around mid-session by a swoon that had been nearly recouped by the time we went to press. If traders are thinking what I think they are thinking, they are expecting the stock market to find direction — possibly with a vengeance — once Trump’s inauguration is behind us. But suppose not? That would certainly seem paradoxical, since the transition from Obama to Trump arguably will represent the most radical political shift in American politics since the Civil War.  For the moment, and perhaps for the next four years, it would appear that a quite sizable number of Americans still can’t believe November’s election results, let alone accept them. So how will Wall Street react now that the feel-good period is about to run out of steam? The good news is that it hardly matters, since the bull market has been fueled not by decision makers, but by a torrent of digital money created out of thin air by the central bank. The bad news is that there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, and sooner or later a stock market that has seemed to defy this immutable law will succumb to cyclical forces that lie not only beyond the control of hedge funds and money managers, but beyond all understanding.

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January 19th, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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