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July 7, 2024 | Nostalgic for Summer Doldrums?

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.

The dog days of summer have returned with a vengeance to Florida this year, especially in my home. The air conditioner’s condenser coil sprang a leak, which is hardly unusual considering that it’s eight years old. What is unusual, and causing more than a little inconvenience, is that the broken part will take a month for the factory to replace. So far, I haven’t been able to determine why the manufacturer, Lennox, would be having such a hard time scrounging up the part. Regardless, if you’re in the market for a new cooling system, consider Trane, Rheem or some other brand before you plunk down $8k on a Lennox system that could fail in the intense summer heat of such hellholes as Miami, Phoenix, Houston or Charleston. The interior temperature of my home has continued to rise daily and is now at 91 degrees. There is no cooling it off at night, either, since the air has been soupy, with temperatures only a few degrees cooler than during the daytime.

It’s an odd time of year for the pace of so many things to be quickening. The stock market, for one. Far from being locked in summer doldrums, the bull rally in the lunatic stocks has lurched into high gear and is being loosely controlled by the one-decision whizzes who manage money. They are not so much pushing shares higher as allowing them to rise on urgent short-covering to speculative heights that in the past have invariably led to disaster. The talking heads say investors sniff Fed easing, finally — and who could begrudge them a wild display of revelry to make up for their merely festive toga party earlier in the year, after they realized the central bank had no plans to loosen.

Six-Three = MAGA High-Fives

On the legislative front, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has six-three’d a bunch of bad laws that 1) excessively regulated our right to bear arms; 2) allowed ‘Joe Biden’, with an imperious sweep of the hand, to cancel more than a trillion dollars of student debt; 3) allowed the admissions offices of Harvard and the University of North Carolina to practice reverse racism; 4) and, most recently, put the nanny state on notice that they will no longer be able to levy huge fines without giving alleged violators a jury trial.

Change is in the air, and it is not requiring a push from Trump and all the supposed ‘MAGA crazies’ to throw off the oppressive weight of wokeness and political ineptitude at the top.  Although it appears that Kamala Harris is all but certain to oppose Trump in November, her fellow Democrats, especially Hillary, are not going quietly into the night. A long, hot summer lies ahead, and chants of ‘Burn, baby, burn!’ could turn Chicago into a literal blast furnace.

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July 7th, 2024

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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