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December 17, 2017 | Mixed Economic Picture Seems Unthreatening

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.

This week’s economic news will include reports each day on some aspect of the housing industry: sales, starts, buyer confidence and prices. I’d made much of the downturn in the housing sector earlier this year, when I’d assumed recession was just around the bend. Car sales were starting to falter badly as well. Now, with just two more weeks left in 2017, housing sales have revived, even if prices have receded somewhat from their peaks. The car industry is another matter, however, as the table (click on inset) makes clear. A mixed picture, for sure, but not one that would seem to threaten recession. A recession will happen eventually, triggered not because of a weakening housing market or falling auto sales, but because stocks have fallen sharply for reasons that will not be apparent at the time.

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December 17th, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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