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Rick Ackerman

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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 - Wednesday’s Fed announcement of another 25-basis-point tightening came exactly as expected, but the stock market took it poorly.  Shares initially swooned, but the session ended with a plunge to new lows that had the smell of fear.  Earlier, I had told subscribers to short the September E-Mini S&Ps if they fell to 2730, about 50 […]

Rick's Picks - The stock market was already brain-dead, but it’s no longer even twitching sporadically as traders prepare for what promises to be a less-than-momentous announcement from the FOMC on Wednesday. Wall Street is expecting a rate hike of 25 basis points, which would put the fed funds rate at 1.875%  That’s the exact midpoint of the […]

Rick's Picks - News accounts of the G7 summit have been so dismal that one could begin to doubt Trump will have the tariff problem licked by July.  I’m holding to my prediction that he will, however, but it’s going to take some artful dealing in the meantime to get it done.  Merkel called Trump’s blunt rejection of […]

Rick's Picks - It’s probably just coincidence, but Facebook is the headliner in the latest social-media scandal sheet just as we were giving Zuckerberg & Company the benefit of the doubt (see the tout below). It would appear that the privacy of 14 million subscribers has been compromised due to the latest online SNAFU.  A software bug reportedly […]

Rick's Picks - Although AMZN’s follow-through on Wednesday didn’t have the wattage we were looking for to pull the stock market higher, the broad averages themselves provided a clear confirmation that they will continue their upward trek, at least for a while. I’ve provided a precise target at 25,803 that I am 90% certain will be reached, which […]

Rick's Picks - How will the U.S. economy, particularly exports, cope with a rising dollar? Pretty well, we should expect. Even though a strong dollar will create drag for U.S. companies geared to selling abroad, there are reasons to doubt that it will slow the steady trek higher this summer that I’ve projected for U.S. stocks.  For one, […]

Rick's Picks - Last week Rick’s Picks projected a nearly 300-point rally in the S&P 500, although we couldn’t say why. Now we know the answer:  Trump.  Even if the half of America afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) can’t see it, much less applaud it, just about everything the President’s done lately has come up a winner.  First, he […]

Rick's Picks - Elsewhere on the page, I’ve detailed the case for a nearly 300-point rally in the S&P 500.  This goes squarely against my gut feeling that the U.S. economy will be in recession before the year ends.  The chart I’ve presented starkly refutes this. It says the economy is more likely to stumble along, producing stock-market […]

Rick's Picks - The Dow Industrials recouped about a third of their rather significant losses before the bell — all within what we must acknowledge as a 2000-point ‘comfort zone’ ranging from around 23,000 to 25,000. The swings could become mind-numbing even if gurus continue to predict, as is their wont, that ‘something’ is about to happen. But […]

Rick's Picks - Without going too deeply into the technical details, I’ll mention that the Dow Industrials look primed to lay an egg in the days ahead, if not for significantly longer. The ABC-type trade set-up shown in the chart usually works as a kind of bullish springboard, but the fact that buyers couldn’t make hay with it […]

Rick's Picks - I’ve become more bluntly opinionated in these pages lately because following the markets from a purely technical perspective has become almost too boring to care about. Gurus by nature are wont to predict that ‘something’ is about to happen. However, long stretches of tedium, including such innumerable, senseless rallies to nowhere as we’ve seen in […]

Rick's Picks - Henny Penny or more commonly called Chicken Little in the U.S. is a folk tale about a chicken that believes the sky is falling when an acorn lands on its head. That’s what I see when I turn on television everyday. Just one Henny Penny after another proclaiming the end of the bull market. The […]

Rick's Picks - As a recovering Gold bug I have great sympathy for what die-hard bitcoin fans are about to experience. Years and years of grinding lower with the occasional wicked spikes up that bear markets are known for. Don’t get me wrong– I’m with the minarchists (e.g. Libertarians) and anarcho-capitalists in my excitement for crypto-currencies and their […]

Rick's Picks - The 10 year treasury hit 3% today and 2 year treasuries haven’t been this high since back in 2008.  Is the 5,000 year low in rates behind us? Let’s just say I don’t think we’ll see these lows again in my lifetime. If you are considering selling your house this could be your last chance […]

Rick's Picks - The Euro/USD looks to have made a temporary low and should bounce a bit here. We don’t normally discuss currency pairs and the Forex market at Rick’s Picks but it’s important to understand what’s happening globally to understand what will happen domestically. With the constant bashing of the Fed compared to what’s going on in Europe the […]

Rick's Picks - Stocks ratcheted higher Thursday, taunting bears to short each new peak as the day wore on. We tried once ourselves, using a 2721.50 target in the E-Mini S&Ps that in retrospect was probably a little too obvious. The eventual top occurred at 2725.00, but the shallow pullback that followed would make any bear nervous about […]

Rick's Picks - Here’s a headline that cries out to be rebuked: Oil Traders Have Already Priced in the Effects of Sanctions. I’m not so sure myself — am on record, actually, with a prediction that prices will top $80 a barrel before this run-up ends. I should mention that the headline was not in some rinky-dink newspaper that […]

Rick's Picks - Give DaBoyz credit for levitating the Dow by 2.89 points on Tuesday. That may seem like a pittance, but it was actually quite a feat for them to eke out a small gain with the price of crude head-butting the psychologically crucial $70 level. Although there is room to disagree about how much higher oil […]

Rick's Picks - With surgery and an indeterminate recovery period just ahead, I’ve given my colleague David Isham (EYE-sham) free rein to speak his mind here in my absence (which I hope will be brief). I was somewhat startled to see that, in his first Morning Line at-bat here yesterday, he boldly predicted that the Dow Industrials would hit 40,000 […]

Rick's Picks - The DOW remains in a broad trading channel currently ranging between 28,000 on the top and as low as 18,000 on the bottom side. Consider bonds are 10 to 1 in size compared to equities globally.  Just a small amount of money coming out of bonds will blow the stock market through the roof.  How […]

Rick's Picks - If they ever make such a film, Andy Warhol’s Empire could serve as an artistic model.  A cult classic that is seldom if ever screened outside of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Empire runs slightly longer than eight hours. Every thrill-packed moment of it is devoted to a static image of the Empire State Building on a sultry night […]

Rick's Picks - It’s been a long time since anyone on Wall Street cared about what was going on in the geopolitical world, but that may be about to change. A quiet war has been heating up between Israel and Iran with the potential to send an already weak U.S. stock market into a steep dive. Recently, a […]

Rick's Picks - Buyers were spent before the opening bell Monday after rallying index futures moderately overnight. The failure to make headway in the early going gave way to a begrudging 150-point selloff in the Dow that took bears more than two hours to get rolling. That’s why I am not looking for much follow-through on Tuesday. Whatever […]

Rick's Picks - Quiet buying Sunday night has pushed index futures to a decisive level where just a little more progress would tip the short-term outlook sharply in bulls’ favor. They had more inspiration from AMZN’s crazed rally last week than they could handle, but merely playing catch-up in the days ahead is likely to lend buoyancy to […]

Rick's Picks - Several days ago, I wrote here that AMZN’s reaction to earnings released after Thursday’s close would determine whether the bull market, now in its 111th month, would live or die. The key test was whether the stock could get past two important peaks on the daily chart. It did so with ease when the news […]
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