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February 21, 2018 | Stocks Plunge on Word of Little Nell’s Death

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.

Stocks dove late in Wednesday’s session on news that the minutes from the January FOMC meeting were more than a little hawkish. From where we were sitting, the selloff looked like a brazen shakedown. It amounted to a 475-point reversal in the Dow, but that’s the kind of plunge that Wall Street’s thimble-riggers engineer whenever they are hungry for shares at bargain prices. For their part, the Fed governors seem convinced that U.S. economic growth is strong enough to handle who-knows-how-many more rate hikes without trouble. The Masters of the Universe no longer seem to care about dosage levels, but it seems predictable that this attitude will be validated shortly when stocks reverse after having fallen on news that was all too obviously ‘bad’. When observing the ceaseless, criminally manipulated ups and downs of stocks, it is wise to keep Oscar Wilde’s famous quote in mind: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”  Similarly, one must be an imbecile to think that the spectacle of stocks falling on ‘bad’ news is bearish.

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February 21st, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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