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June 19, 2022 | What Doc Copper Can Tell Us

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.

Copper’s long-term chart suggests that the global economy could have one last hurrah once the bear market begun in January has run its course. Copper is reputed to have a PhD in economics because of its supposed ability to predict major turns accurately, In actuality, its track record is pretty impressive. The chart above shows its upturn in 2008 had a months-long head start on the bull market that followed the Great Financial Crash of 2007-08. Copper again proved prescient when the Covid selloff in the first quarter of 2020 turned into one of the steepest bull-market run-ups in history.

So what is it saying now?  There are a few things to notice in the chart. Most important is the ease with which buyers pushed past the ‘midpoint Hidden Pivot’ resistance at $3.63/pound (shown as a red line). A decisive move past this impediment is usually a reliable sign that the trend will reach the pattern’s D target, in this case $5.33, It didn’t, however, and that implies the sideways move that has occurred over the last 14 months is a bearish distribution, not a consolidation. To use a Groundhog Day analogy, we will likely face six more months of winter, give or take a couple of months, before the bear market and a still unacknowledged recession have run their course. The downwave could be steep and the recession brutal, since Doc Copper’s expected dive looks all but certain to crush the red line. That makes a further fall to the green line likely. It would amount to a 40% correction from the $5 high and a 33% correction from the current $4.

A Screaming Buy

At $2.78 (the green line), Comex Copper would become a screaming buy, technically speaking. That’s because, under the simple rules of the Hidden Pivot System, the plunge will have created a textbook opportunity to get long ‘mechanically’. The trade would be predicated on a bounce to as high as $5.33. My gut feeling is that the global economy is extremely unlikely to experience a resurgence powerful enough to push copper quotes to those heights. But a false spring seems entirely possible — a monster rally in the context of a long-term bear market that eventually will see the Dow Industrials fall from a current 30,000 to below 10,000.

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June 19th, 2022

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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