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November 17, 2020 | Scampering Up the Wall of Worry

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.

Rick’s Picks has tracked the Russell 2000 ever since it became apparent in mid-summer that the chimps paid to throw your hard-earned money at a relative handful of stocks and invented themes had agreed to shovel most of it into small-caps. It should be obvious by now even to hard-core permabears that the ballistic skew of the Russell Index and others is oblivious to such matters as concern us in our daily lives. America polity may be unraveling before our eyes, and a fresh wave of Covid-19 has already crushed hopes of an economic resurgence. But as long as the stock market is held buoyant by a practically limitless inflow of cheap capital from around the world, how could it possibly crash? Indeed, it cannot.  And yet, charts like the one above allow us to at least imagine a top, even if we have no clue what could cause it. The chart makes clear that nothing is likely to stop IWM, an ETF proxy for the Russell, from reaching the 184.73 target. But this Hidden Pivot resistance is sufficiently clear and compelling to suggest that it won’t be a pushover when bulls get there and want more. That is not to say IWM can’t pop through. But if it does, we’d have to concede that the small-caps, perhaps joined by FAANGs and other growthies that have been relatively quiet lately, are embarking on a blithe path higher that will see the Dow well above 30,000 by 2021.

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November 17th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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