December 29th, 2014
by Rick Ackerman, Rick's Picks
In the past, Rick's Picks has shunned year-end predictions because there are far too many variables to handicap accurately. I've decided to take a crack at it anyway this year because I was curious to see what conclusions purely technical analysis would yield for some widely followed issues. I'm no seer, just a chartist, and I'll say up front that the question of whether the Dow Industrials are trading at 23,000 at the end of 2015, or at 14,000, is probably no better than a coin-toss bet.
Also, because the stock market is a house of cards and only distantly connected to economic reality, only a fool would try to predict the timing of The Big One that we all know is coming. Stocks could collapse at any moment, to be sure, and although I doubt this will occur next year, the odds are hardly remote. If you absolutely need to know when calamity will strike, I recommend checking the year-end predictions of Bob Prechter, Martin Armstrong and Ross Clark, since they are the very best timers in the guru world.
Keeping the foregoing in mind, I've allowed for both bullish and bearish scenarios in most of the forecasts above. Those designated 'N/A' imply outcomes that are unimaginable to me. For instance, the shares of Snipp Interactive, a penny stock that is my number one bullish pick for 2015, seem unlikely to head lower no matter what happens to the economy. The firm provides personal-device-based marketing solutions to a growing list of blue-chip clients, and they are nimble and imaginative enough not only to excel in their niche, but to expand it. Similarly, Apple looks like a surefire winner, especially with the company positioning itself via Apple Pay to take a small piece of every retail transaction that occurs. Indeed, if there is a good reason to think U.S. stocks will continue higher in 2015, it is that the shares of Apple, the most valuable company in the world, look so promising. I'll mention T-Bonds as well. They were my no-brainer, shout-it-from-the-rooftops bull trade in 2014, producing capital gains of 20%-plus, and so they shall remain. I expect long-term Treasurys not only to continue their long-term uptrend and yields to continue falling in the year ahead, but for years to come.
Dow 'Only' to 19457?
Some final notes: Some of the bull/bear targets paired in the table above could both be hit, although not necessarily in the same year. That goes for bullion, where my forecast allows for a bull market to begin after a bottom is reached sometime next year. Obviously, the $2.06 target for a barrel of crude is an extreme outlier. I've included it simply because, strictly speaking, that's what the charts indicate now that January Crude has fallen beneath a key 'midpoint Hidden Pivot' at 55.43. A rally back to that price would theoretically be short-able. Indeed, any target given above can be used in two ways: 1) getting long or short with the implied trend; and/or 2) playing for a reversal at the target itself. Regarding the Dow, I was surprised myself to see that, from a purely technical standpoint, a mere 19457 would seem to be as bullish as it gets. You should also jot down 18973, since that Hidden Pivot also has the potential to reverse the bull's nearly six-year rampage.
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