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April 1, 2020 | A Two-Week Ordeal, then What?

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.

Traders looked beyond the two-week national ordeal that officials have diligently tried to prepare us for and evidently saw more ordeal further down the road.  The Dow dropped a thousand points on Wednesday, but there was no fear, just a mood swing back toward darkness. It will surely pass, at least briefly, but don’t take that as a guarantee of a rally by week’s end. I’ve projected much lower prices for stocks and expect the Dow to trade under 10,000 in search of a bear-market bottom perhaps two or three years down the road.

We are all hearing so many scary personal stories these days that it’s difficult to judge whether it is anecdotes that are collectively weighing down shares on a given day or more-arcane concerns, such as the central bank’s extraordinary efforts to keep real estate paper from imploding. It is unavoidable that the tangible side of this problem — the impending plunge in commercial and residential property values — will make the Fed’s death-defying paper-shuffling act seem like a relative walk in the park. Jim Grant, the most learned observer of interest rates around,  puts this grave problem in perspective in an interview posted at Dudley’s Reports.

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April 1st, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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