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January 24, 2022 | Anxiously Awaiting AAPL’s Verdict

With the bull market in an apparent topping process, it will always be insightful to ponder Apple’s chart. It offers a window into the minds of money managers, many of whom have staked their careers on the uptrend of just one stock. Some of these guys would be sorely challenged to analyze a game of Chutes […]

January 17, 2022 | The Good News About Rising Rates

The chart above suggests that interest rates on 30-year T-bonds could be on their way up to 3.02%, a more than 40% increase over the current 2.11%.  That is not necessarily bad news for investors, since a market adjustment of that magnitude would make it unnecessary for the Fed to tighten.  It would also make […]

January 10, 2022 | What Could Possibly Go Right in 2022?

What could possibly go right in 2022?  Merely posing this question is courting ridicule from some quarters, since we have grown an asset bubble with the potential to equal 1929’s. Still worse is that it sits on a geopolitical powder keg as big and dangerous as the one that detonated a decade later. The best outcome imaginable […]

January 2, 2022 | No Uncertainty About Two Key Bellwethers

Happy New Year and welcome back!  Things are beginning to return to normal at Rick’s Picks following the disastrous rollout of a new web site earlier this month by a company that had been working on it for nine months.  I’ve restored the old Rick’s Picks pages and replaced the firm with the highly capable Brian ‘Catman’ Catalucci, […]

December 26, 2021 | The Wall of Worry

All bull markets supposedly climb a wall of worry, moving higher and higher regardless of how bad the news and how grave the economic and political uncertainties. Supposedly, the worry warts are sitting on the sidelines waiting to deploy surplus cash as soon as the picture brightens. However, you’d have to be a crazy optimist […]

December 19, 2021 | Winter’s Arrival on Wall Street May Have to Wait

The bull market’s agitated death dance continued last week, challenging bulls and bears alike to sell the dips for a rare change. The E-Mini S&Ps seemed to promise the perfect opportunity for this as the week shuddered to a close. On Thursday the futures trapped bulls with a short-squeeze spike overnight on the usual zero volume. They […]

December 13, 2021 | Two Biggies May Be About to Peak

The charts of AAPL and the S&P 500 are synced to imply that a potential bull market top lies not far above.  Both would require a rally of 4.5% from current prices to achieve ‘Hidden Pivot’ rally targets of major degree,  This means there’s a good chance the respective tops would be important ones and […]

December 5, 2021 | Concerning All of That Cash on the Sidelines…

Mr. Market blew a great opportunity on Friday to scare the hell out of everyone, concluding the session with a mild short-squeeze rather than the devastating rout that Wall Street’s years-long wilding spree so urgently needs. The continuing ascent of Apple shares as always remains key to the global illusion of prosperity and the surreal […]

November 28, 2021 | AAPL Could Yet Spoil Permabears’ Celebration

  Friday felt like a Pearl Harbor attack on Wall Street. Since when did a Thanksgiving Friday fill investors with dread and fear? The day was supposed to have passed quietly, with second-string prop desks locked on a glide path toward what remained of the four-day holiday. Instead, the Dow plunged by 900 points, closing […]

November 21, 2021 | The Old ‘Flight to Safety’ Story

  Did you notice last week’s tone change? The whole, eternally benighted world of pundits, economists, Bloomberg news producers, forecasters et al. has been disbelieving the bond rally as the Fed’s ultimately unredeemable portfolio of Treasury debt has grown from merely massive to intergalactic in size. Now the talking heads are having to change their […]

November 14, 2021 | America’s Savings Are Trapped in a Bubble

  John Doerr, the venture capital zillionaire, thinks America should go all-in on measures to control the weather. Although Doerr fears it may be too late to save Earth and its inhabitants from the ravages of global warming, he says a massive investment program would still be better than doing nothing. His role model is […]

October 31, 2021 | Building the Mother of All Tops

  So much for seasonality. Bears were counting on the cyclical fury of autumn to rebuke revelers, but instead it is they who got rebuked, and badly. The stock market’s strong rally during the traditionally difficult month of October has left many wondering what it will take to pop the bubble. It is almost invariably […]

October 24, 2021 | Bitcoin Mania Still Has Miles to Go

The performance of Apple shares has been a reliable harbinger of where greed and hubris would take this seemingly invincible bull market next. Apple is the biggest-cap stock of them all, worth $2.5 trillion, and it has increasingly become a sure thing for institutional investors since bottoming a generation ago below $5. With its broad […]

October 17, 2021 | Inflation Fears Won’t Survive a Bear Market

Inflation fears are at a generational peak, pushing our stubbornly unfearful Fed chairman against a wall. He may yet prove right in saying inflation will be transitory, but for reasons that should comfort no one. In the meantime, the U.S. dollar seems resistant to the nervous chatter while Treasury bonds, although struggling for altitude, continue […]

October 11, 2021 | Has the Fat Lady Sung?

If I had to pick one chart that shows why the bull market is probably not over, it would be the one above. To be sure, the 157.26 peak recorded by Apple shares a month ago was a great place for an important top to have occurred; this chart shows why. But THE top? I have my […]

October 4, 2021 | How Mr. Market Could Set the Hook, Big-Time

The chart above shows how bull-market tops are made when nearly everyone is expecting one. That’s the case now — for so many good reasons that I won’t bore you with a checklist. Just take my word for it: the bull is dying. Most of the reasons the pundits are giving would have us believe […]

September 26, 2021 | Is the Fed Quietly Preparing for an Evergrande Tsunami?

[Recently I wrote here that the world’s biggest financial institutions are in Evergrande muck up to their eyeballs, even if they claim that their exposure is small in relation to their respective assets. The trouble is, the supposed assets are as ethereal as Evergrande’s grotesquely inflated real estate holdings. In the guest commentary below, Shawn […]

September 25, 2021 | ‘Katie-Bar-the-Door’ Time for Evergrande Speculators?

  Bears had a rare chance to get short with impunity last week — arguably the first such free-money opportunity since the bull market began more than 12 years ago. With the Evergrande saga unfolding in real time, shares appeared to be doing a Wile E. Coyote ahead of Friday’s opening. Their gravity-defying behavior reflected […]

August 29, 2021 | The 800-Pound Tapeworm in the Room

Jackson Hole hubris was operating at full strength last week as investors around the world anxiously awaited the announcement on Friday that would send the markets into hyperdrive. The broad averages had in fact churned impassively for several days ahead of whatever lame twaddle concerning The Tapeworm lay in store. The question of when the […]

August 22, 2021 | From Doug Behnfield…

[Editor’s note: The following was sent out to clients in mid-July by my friend Doug Behnfield, a financial advisor and senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boulder, CO.  Long-time followers of Rick’s Picks will be familiar with Doug’s work, since his thoughts have appeared here many times. I have always referred to him not […]

August 15, 2021 | Why This Wall of Worry Is Different

There is increasing confusion in America about how to handle the rapid spread of Covid’s delta variant. The stock market can usually tell us how much fear is out there, but this time Wall Street seems, if not quite clueless, then certainly heedless. The broad averages have moved steadily higher in recent weeks, caused more […]

August 8, 2021 | Why ‘Work-at-Homes’ Darken America’s Future

  Bloomberg missed the real news in its flippant headline, “Return to the Office Five Days a Week? How About Never Again”. The article was just family-page pap about how work-from-home employees aren’t complaining about the indefinite postponement of a back-to-the-office mandate. With the delta variant on a headline rampage, exile in suburbia seems to […]

August 1, 2021 | Why Low Rates Can’t Save Us

  If you’re worried that interest rates are about to explode because of inflation, the graph above would seem to offer comfort. From a visual standpoint, the gentle rollover that has occurred over the last several months has sapped the vigor from a menacing spike that had pushed yields on the 10-Year Note from 0.40% […]

July 25, 2021 | Deflation Hinges on a Dollar that Refuses to Die

  My friend Greg Hunter at USA Watchdog weighed in recently with such a despairing outlook for the dollar that it’s probably a good time to determine whether the charts support this view. Here’s the post from his site, which over the years has featured my own thoughts on deflation, the global economy and other topics: The […]

July 18, 2021 | Dollar’s Fans Needn’t Fear Biden SDRs

  The latest attempt to move the global economy away from the dollar’s dominance involves a plan by Biden to issue $650 billion of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) through the IMF. Ardent fans of the greenback needn’t worry, however, since this sum, as large as it seems, is just a drop in the bucket compared […]

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