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February 6, 2020 | Booming U.S. Consumption ‘a Mystery’

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.

What’s powering the U.S. economy? ‘It’s a mystery,’ concludes a think-piece by Noah Smith posted Wednesday at He ultimately settles on a boring economic environment as the main reason why U.S. consumers continue to spend. While we may be living in all-too-interesting times from a geopolitical standpoint, the U.S. economy is arguably on a modest glide path, with no misguided Fed policies, oil price spikes or wild speculation to trigger a recession.  Of course, the eternal optimists who nurture and sponsor bull markets have voiced similar thoughts just ahead of every recession that has ever occurred, so we should probably take what they are saying now with a grain of salt. Stocks are priced, if not for perfection, then for expectations that nothing will go seriously wrong. Paradoxically, the worst thing that could actually could go wrong, and eventually will, is the onset of a bear market. It is predictable that it will begin for reasons that will not be apparent until we are all waist-deep in it.

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February 6th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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