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January 30, 2019 | Bogus Rally Unites Powell and Trump

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.

Well, there you have it: the most brazenly bogus rally in the history of the world. Are these guys good, or what? The fix was in even before Powell declared Wednesday afternoon that the Fed would be “patient.” (Now there’s a word that will reverberate through economic history!) AAPL’s and Boeing’s handlers had already gotten the jump on the Fed chairman’s latest PR mutterance, deftly engineering respective short-covering panics half a day ahead of him. It took patience, skill and timing to push Apple shares into their steepest rally in recent memory, considering this grim backdrop atop the front page of The Wall Street JournalApple’s iPhone Troubles Persist. That would be putting it mildly.  Corporate Apple helped hook by announcing a day earlier that the company’s business had “stabilized” and that management believes things are bound to improve. (Cue up a global sigh of relief!)

Although the Fed’s momentous shift toward “patience” had been baked in the cake for at least a month, that didn’t stop the usual bandits and lunatics on Wall Street from acting as though this non-news were a revelation. But repeating it publicly for perhaps the fourth or fifth time still had the desired effect: Stocks went ballistic, the dollar got cheaper and everything seemed right with the investment world. Trump himself would not have changed a word of Powell’s speech. Recall that the news media had us believing for a while that the two were philosophical enemies. In fact, they are of a like mind when it comes to providing free money to any prospective inflator of assets who is not in prison. Their only difference is that while Trump lets the behavior of the stock market guide his monetary thinking, Powell pretends it is everything but the stock market’s health that he cares about. Wednesday’s voracious bear rally undoubtedly will have pleased them both.

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January 30th, 2019

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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