Ralph’s Fearless Forecast

Ralph Acampora is the Chief Technical Strategist for Prudential Equity Group (part of Wachovia). Too many years ago, I took Ralph’s Advanced Technical Analysis class at the New York Institute of Finance. He’s a terrific guy, and I highly recommend his class.

Every year, Ralph puts out his “Fearless Forecast.” For 2005, Ralph is rather Bullish. He’s looking for a cyclical bull market with targets of:

  • SPX 1450-1475
  • Nasdaq 2700-2800
  • DJIA 13,000 – 13,300

All of Wall Street makes year out predictions (present company included), and by definition, they are problematic at best. What I found most impressive in Ralph’s Fearless Forecasts for 2005 was buried towards the end. It was his short list of “anticipatory technical indicators that materialize before the cyclical bull comes to an end.” These are Ralph’s signs that can warn you the end is nigh:

  • NYSE Advance/Decline Line usually peaks several months before the leading averages score their final highs;
  • The DJ Utility avg usually rolls over 6 months before the other leading averages score their bull market highs;
  • The number of 52 week new highs will stop expanding as the leading averages push into new high ground;
  • The relative strength line of value stocks versus growth issues will transition back in favor of value;
  • The price action on individual stock charts will begin developing top (distribution) patterns;
  • Noticeable contraction in volume while prices expand;
  • The Lowry Selling Pressure line trends up for several months.

Good stuff. Ralph’s insights are always well worth noting.

Category: Markets

A Different Kind of Top 10 Music List For 2004

It’s year’s end, and that means list time.

The annoying thing about the ubiquitous year end list — best Books, best Movies, best Albums — is that they tend to be compiled by people who read, watch or listen to stuff for a living.

Most of the listed items are nanoseconds old. And while that’s de rigueur for someone who does that professionally, it has little correlation to the lives the rest of us lead. Gotta job, family, obligations? Then you probably don’t get to listen to hundreds of new releases each year. Good luck then, making an intelligent top 10 list.

Movies? The days of waiting on line opening night are long since gone for this old man. A majority of the films I ended up renting, buying or pay-per-viewing this year were not 2004 releases. Wanna make a helpful list for me? Tell me the best stuff on HBO next weekend; Knowing 2004′s most critically acclaimed Eastern European documentaries is of little use for most people.

OK, rant over. Here’s a different kind of top 10 list; these favorite CDs are what actually got listened to in 2004. While a few of these came out this year, that wasn’t a requirement. These are what actually spent the most time this year on the iPod or in the CD player of a person with a job and an ever decreasing amount of spare time.

The task was made infinitely easier by iTunes, which shows me the chronological order of when CDs were ripped, and purchases made via ITMS, or downloads via a P2P service, as well as the number of plays each song got. Incidentally, the correlation between my downloaded P2P tunes and subsequent CD purchases is extremely high; I’ll bet others have had similar experiences. Don’t expect an RIAA study looking into that phenomenon anytime soon . . .

Anyway, on to the top 10 list:.

~ ~ ~

Roman Candle  Says Pop

Roman Candle’s debut is a joyful assortment of finely crafted pop
tunes. If FM Radio didn’t suck, this is the sort of music you would be
hearing on it right now. Finely crafted lyrics mated to delightful
melodies delivered by a tight power pop five-some in a surprisingly
slick production. Like nearly all the discs on this list, this one is
really good from start to finish.

Why didn’t you ever hear of these guys? Roman Candle hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and signed with an independent label. No payola, no Clearchannel — and no radio play.

Roman Candle   Says Pop
(2002)

Bonus:  I discovered Roman Candle through BBC 2’s Bob Harris Check him out.

~ ~ ~

 

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