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March 15, 2018 | Is That a Black Swan Gliding Our Way?

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.

Anyone following the markets closely on Thursday risked falling into a trance (see chart inset). Buyers and sellers threw sissy-boy punches all day long, effecting price action so listless and dithering that it’s difficult to imagine Friday bringing a discernible change.  In short, it’s just the kind of lull Mr. Market creates in order to set up a Sunday evening surprise — what I referred to the other day as a ‘Pearl Harbor attack.’  Yeah, I know: An important point that Nassim Taleb made in his 2007 best-seller The Black Swan is that, by definition, such events cannot be anticipated or described in advance.  Even so, hope springs eternal that the stock market will at some point get the crap kicked out of it, the better to start the cycle over again with chastened markets that might bend more easily toward rationality if not honesty.

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March 15th, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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