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July 10, 2017 | Will This Bell Ring at the Top?

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.

I don’t often use volatility as a timing indicator, but we’ve got a promising Hidden Pivot target in VXX that could conceivably serve that purpose. So far, VXX, an equity-based ETF that that tracks short-term S&P 500 volatility, has done a good job, keeping us properly bullish on stocks as we wait for it to sink to a very compelling bear-market target. Because it moves more or less inversely with the S&Ps, a falling VXX would indicate a continuation of the steady uptrend that has characterized the bull market in recent months. Nothing kills volatility like a month or two of ratcheting upwardliness followed by a month of sideways. That’s how things have been going since February, and so it’s no surprise that VXX has recently flirted with record lows. We should also tune to AMZN, a key bellwether that cannot but telegraph price action in the broad averages. If AMZN were to be trading around 1083, a potentially very important Hidden Pivot resistance with the potential to cap the bull market, at the same time VXX is banging on its respective downside target, that could be the bell that’s not supposed to ring at market tops.

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July 10th, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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