Ralph Acampora has historically been a market bull when it comes to equities. But the so-called godfather of technical analysis has become more cautious after the Dow Jones industrial average surpassed his “Hail Mary” forecast more than two months early.
“I had two targets, one was 19,000 and the other was my ‘Hail Mary’ pass: the 22,900,” Acampora said Thursday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “When I really pushed the numbers I got 22,900. Here we are now and fortunately we hit the target. I’m not willing to throw another Hail Mary pass.”
“I’m not bearish, but I do not feel comfortable giving long-term estimates because I think the market is stretched.”
The 76-year-old analyst now estimates that the Dow will reach 23,300 — roughly 200 points higher — by year’s end.
He also said that he’s going to be taking his targets up slowly through the end of the year so he doesn’t get into “nosebleed” territory.
Acampora, one of the first on Wall Street to correctly forecast that the Dow would break above 10,000 during the 1990s dot-com bull market, agreed with many others that the market is likely “baking in” hopes for President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform.
“If you want to compare it to Ronald Reagan, his honeymoon lasted six months and then he got a pullback,” he said. “I’ll go with the trend as long as it’s there. Taxes, or at least the anticipation thereof, are baked in. Business loves [Trump], let’s face it.”
The Dow closed above 23,000 for the first time ever Wednesday, having smashed through Acampora’s 22,900 target. Some investors have highlighted an eerie similarity to the stock market’s crash 30 years ago, known as Black Monday.
On Oct. 19, 1987, stocks markets around the world crashed, pushing the Dow into a 508-point freefall. Many blamed program trading as the lead cause of the crash, with computer technology exacerbating the damage by automatically selling stocks as the markets fell. Acampora was working at Kidder, Peabody & Co. at the time.
“I know what it must have been like being on the deck of the Titanic,” recalled Acampora. “Forget the charts, they were melting in your hands. The government just threw money at it. I had friends on the floor of the stock exchange, and they told me they ran out of money at 10:30.”
“It was quite an experience.”