Ralph Acampora, “the Godfather of Technical Analysis” and one of the founders of the Market Technicians Association, was the main speaker for the Minnesota chapter’s annual holiday party on Thursday.

The MTA is a professional association that was started in New York during the 1970s to establish, maintain and promote professional standards for technical market analysts.

Acampora was one of the early proponents of Dow Theory and a regular guest on the “Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser” program in the 1970s and 1980s.

Acampora gave a brief history of the association and shared war stories of the association’s founding and the work it took to get official recognition for the association’s Chartered Market Technician credential.

Since its modest beginnings of 18 founding members the MTA has now grown to over 4,500 professionals in 85 countries.

Acampora, who has been living in Prior Lake for the past five years, expects the market to trade in a much wider range in 2016 than in 2015. He said active investing will work best in that environment and favor technical analysis. He likes financial, technology, consumer discretionary and health care sectors for next year.

With an annual trophy at stake members finished the evening with their Dow predictions. Members showed how wide the range could be in 2016 with the picks varied by as much as 5,865 points. Acampora’s Dow prediction for 2016 was 19,150.

Three Minnesota companies get ‘Very Dangerous’ ratings

The investment research firm New Constructs published a slew of research reports on Minnesota public companies last week.

New Constructs looks at the financial statements of public companies for accounting distortions it believes make a difference between a company’s reported earnings and its economic earnings after adjustments.

New Constructs issued sell ratings on seven Minnesota-based companies and its lowest rating, “Very Dangerous,” to three: SPS Commerce, H.B. Fuller and Garden Entertainment.

New Constructs ranked Garden Entertainment, formerly known as Lakes Entertainment and now a Las Vegas-based company, 448th out of 449 Consumer Discretionary stocks.

In the Garden Entertainment report, New Constructs made 21 income statement and balance sheet adjustments to convert reported earnings to economic earnings.

New Constructs valued the adjustments at $258 million.