Predictions & Forecasts

 Jupiter continues to underwrite stocks

(25 May 2015)  Stocks remained fairly strong last week as the release of the minutes of the latest Fed meeting suggested an early rate hike was very unlikely.  Markets love zero interest rates of course (literally, free money) as investors chase yield in riskier assets like equities since safe assets like cash and bonds offer very little return.   US stocks were actually mostly unchanged on the week as the Dow closed at 18,232, just a stone's throw away from its all-time high.  Indian stocks were more positive as foreign institutional buying picked up as the Sensex gained 2% closing at 27,957. 

In last week's stock market forecast, I thought we might have got more downside on the Saturn alignments on Monday and Friday but only Friday was mildly negative.  The midweek gains more or less coincided with the positive Venus-Mercury alignment.  Read more...


What do the stars predict for the NYSE this year?

(17 May 2015)  The New York Stock Exchange is 223 years old today.  On May 17, 1792, near the corner of Broad and Wall Streets in lower Manhattan, the first regulated trading of stocks and bonds took place.  The auspiciousness of the planets on that date would foretell the NYSE becoming the largest and most well-known stock exchange in the world. 

As a time-based science, financial astrology takes special notice of birthdays.  Each birthday marks the return of the Sun to its place at the time of birth. The resulting Solar Return (or Varshphal) chart can provide hints of what will happen in the year to come.  When benefic planets like Venus or Jupiter are prominent in the Solar Return chart, positive outcomes are more likely.  Conversely, a birthday that falls at a time when malefics like Saturn or Mars are prominent will tend to indicate a year of difficulties and challenges. 

This year's Solar Return chart for the NYSE is very mixed.  Read more...


UK election aftermath: Cameron wins big

(10 May 2015)  By all accounts, Thursday's UK election was one of the most dramatic in years as David Cameron's Conservatives scored a surprising victory over a humiliated Labour Party.  The Conservatives shocked pollsters by winning an outright majority of seats and therefore they did not require a coalition as in the previous parliament.   Nicola Sturgeon's SNP was the other big winner on Thursday as her pro-independence party took 56 out of a possible 59 seats in Scotland.  Despite last year's defeat of the Scottish referendum, this huge win will likely put the independence issue back on the table.  

The big losers on the night were Labour's Ed Miliband who resigned immediately after the disastrous results were announced.  Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats were reduced to a rump of just eight seats and he also resigned after the election.   Finally, UKIP's Nigel Farage kept his promise and resigned after he failed to win his own seat. 

Cameron's win was certainly in line with my interpretation of the planets of the party leaders.  Read more...


Cameron seeks a second term as UK goes to the polls

(3 May 2015)  Britain goes to the polls on Thursday as the electorate decides if Prime Minister David Cameron deserves a second mandate.  Cameron and his Conservative Party won the last election but required a coalition with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats to form a government.  Most observers are predicting another "hung parliament" in which no single party has a majority of the 650 seats.  

Recent polls show a virtual dead heat in popular support for the Conservatives and the Labour Party.  However, most seat projections gives the Tories a slim edge over Labour due to uneven vote distribution but not enough to form a government.  It therefore seems likely that the winner of this election will again require to form another alliance with a smaller party to reach the critical 326 seat threshold.    Read more...


Why have Chinese stocks doubled in the past six months?

(27 April 2015)  China's stock markets continued their stunning rally yesterday as investors reacted to the government's intention to launch its own QE program of buying assets in order to boost its slowing economy.  The Shanghai Stock Exchange Index has doubled in value since November and now stands at 4500.  The huge rally is the result of several factors including the electronic linking of the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, the expectation that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) will undertake an even larger quantitative easing program as well as more relaxed margin rules that allow more investors to borrow money to buy shares. 

Financial astrology offers its own account for this rapid rise in Chinese stocks.  As is often the case, the planet Jupiter is pivotal in most bull market situations.  Jupiter is the planet of optimism and expansion and when it is activated in a natal chart by transit, we can see that stocks tend to rise. The Shanghai Stock Exchange was opened -- or rather re-opened -- on December 19, 1990 at 9.30 a.m.    Read more...


Libyan migrant ship sinking forcing EU to act

(20 April 2015) European governments are weighing their options this week after the tragic sinking of a ship of migrants off the coast of Libya.  Almost 700 people are believed to have drowned as the migrants were escaping the political instability in Libya.  The sinking highlights the plight of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and now Libya who have witnessed their societies descend into war and chaos in recent years.  Europe's proximity to the troubled region has forced it consider its humanitarian responsibility despite its own ongoing economic stagnation.  The influx of refugees and immigrants from these Islamic countries has tested European values of tolerance and openness and has provided fuel for right wing political parties.  The emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers today will attempt to formulate a better response to the refugee crisis.  Read more...


Hillary Clinton announces her campaign for President

(12 April 2015)  Hillary Clinton finally ended the pseudo-suspense today and announced her candidacy for the nomination for the Democratic Party in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Ms. Clinton made the announcement via a Youtube video that was released shortly after 3 p.m.  The exact timing of the announcement is important for astrological reasons since the timing of the launch of the campaign marks the official beginning of her endeavour to become President. 

In my experience, the horoscopes of these launches reveal important information about the nature of the candidacy as well as providing clues about the eventual success or failure of the campaign.  Clearly, Ms. Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner at this point as no serious challenger has yet stepped forward.  She also stands a decent chance of winning against any Republican candidate according to recent polls.  So what does this campaign launch chart tell us about her chances?  Read more...


Andreas Lubitz and the tragedy of Germanwings 9525

(29 March 2015)  In the end, Andreas Lubitz got what he wanted.  The 27-year old Germanwings pilot had told a former girlfriend that he wanted to make a spectacular gesture so that 'everyone would know his name'.  The world has recoiled in shock and horror on learning that Lubitz deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps killing himself and all the other 149 people on board on March 24.  It has now emerged that young pilot had hidden his history of clinical depression from his employer in order to keep his job.

There is some uncertainty about the the birth date of Andreas Lubitz.   Some sources report he was born on 18 December 1987 while others say he was born on 28 December, in the town of Montabaur, Germany.  I prefer the chart for 18 December for reasons I outline below.  As an additional obstacle, his birth time is unknown so a full analysis of his horoscope is impossible. However, even his birth date chart reveal some major planetary stresses for the present time.   Read more...


Is the Fed's patience wearing thin?

(16 March 2015)  All eyes in the financial world are on Janet Yellen this week as the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meets on Wednesday.  In recent weeks, there has been a growing sense that Yellen will shift the language around a possible interest rate hike later this year.  The Fed's "patient" stance on a possible rate hike may be dropped as the US economy picks up steam and inflationary pressures build.  

Although any actual hike may still be months away (June at the earliest), markets are keenly aware that any changes in wording could move stocks significantly.  An abrupt shift in language could persuade investors to trim their holdings and push the market lower.  A retention of "patient", or a substitution of any similarly accommodative language would be unexpected and could spark a rally.  So are there any astrological clues that may reveal what will she say?  Read more...


The Hillary Clinton email controversy

(10 March 2015)  Hillary Clinton has been back in the news recently, but for all the wrong reasons.  The frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic Party nomination has come under scrutiny for her emails during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Ms. Clinton apparently did not use government email as required by the rules and instead used a private email address.  In addition, she sent and received emails through a private email server located in the Clinton house in New York.

It's really the last thing she needs right now as rumors were rife that she was on the verge of formally announcing her candidacy for President.  She is likely to speak publicly about the email controversy soon as she hopes to clear the air in order that she can declare in the coming weeks.  Whether or not she can quickly douse this fire remains to be seen, however.   Read more...


Euphoria confronts reality: the BJP's cautious first budget

(2 March 2015)  The new government of Narendra Modi announced its much-anticipated first budget last Saturday to initially positive, if muted, reviews.  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's budget was expected to begin the herculean task of reforming the Indian economy away from its statist and populist orientation towards a more deregulated, pro-growth stance.  The budget was seen as rather cautious and piece-meal, however, as Jaitley did not reduce subsidies nor did he introduce a general sales tax which is widely seen as necessary to fund infrastructure improvements.  Markets rose only modestly on Saturday in reaction to the budget and Monday's session similarly only mildly positive suggesting a lack of enthusiasm and perhaps even a twinge of disappointment.  All of the optimism over the promise of sweeping change from the Modi government now appears to fading as reality takes over.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that PM Narendra Modi has been having a tough go of it lately.   Read more...


Ukraine suffers humiliating defeat at Debaltseve

(22 February 2015)  Score one for Vladimir Putin.  Again.  Ukraine suffered an embarrassing military setback in eastern Ukraine this week as pro-Russian rebels took control of the strategic town of Debaltseve.  The Ukrainian army was forced to flee the town on Wednesday after the superior weaponry of the rebels (courtesy of Russia) made the town impossible to defend.  The irony was that it all took place just a week after a much-heralded ceasefire that had been brokered by Germany and France.  To make matters worse, there is growing evidence that Russian troops are now actually fighting alongside the rebels.      Read more...


The lies of Brian Williams

(9 February 2015) Brian Williams finds himself in a lot of hot water at the moment.  The respected anchor of the NBC Nightly News has been caught out in a lie, or as they say in current damage control media parlance, a "misremembered" fact about his experience in the Iraq War in 2003. He had claimed to have been shot at and forced down while riding in a helicopter only to have that story exposed as false by US servicemen who were present at the time.  The scandal forced Williams to make a on-air apology last Wednesday. 

Unfortunately, this seemed to only make matters worse as perceptions were that Williams did not come clean with the public. Other claims are now also being questioned as Williams may have embellished the truth while covering stories such as Hurricane Katrina.  Williams has taken a voluntary leave from NBC and canceled a Thursday appearance on the David Letterman show.   With their trust in him now broken, polls suggest that 80% of the public want him to resign.   Where did it all go wrong?    Read more...


Oil prices surge: is this the beginning of a rebound?

(8 February 2015)  After its long and relentless decline through the second half of 2014, the price of crude oil showed signs of life last week as investors were buoyed by improving demand prospects in Europe.  Crude oil enjoyed a 10% gain last week as West Texas Intermediate crude rallied over the $50 level.   It had previously traded as low as $44.  So we can ask the question: can oil begin to recover now and gradually climb back to its more familiar levels of $80, $90 or even $100?  Most financial analysts do not expect a swift return to its previous heights and many even think that crude will decline further in the months to come as the shale oil shakeout will continue.

The horoscope of Crude Oil Futures offers some useful clues to this question.   As noted in previous posts, the beginning of the decline in crude occurred just as transiting Ketu (South Lunar Node) conjoined the natal Mars. This is a classic bearish combination that began the correction.   Read more...


Greece attempts to renegotiate its EU debt deal

(3 February 2015)  Anxiety in financial markets seems to have eased a bit in recent days as the newly-minted Greek government endeavours to negotiate a new debt deal from the EU.  The anti-austerity Syriza government is trying to postpone their debt repayment in order to give a boost to the domestic economy.  Spearheading these efforts is the new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who has become something of a celebrity through his wit and casual style, as contrasted in this picture with the buttoned-down formality with his UK counterpart, George Osborne.  Varoufakis has reiterated his government's desire to remain in the Eurozone under any circumstances by citing the lyrics to the old 70s pop song Hotel California, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Varoufakis has the horoscope of someone who is both intellectually inclined and who seeks novel solutions.   Read more...


Anti-austerity Syriza romps to victory in Greece

(26 January 2015)  Yesterday's election in Greece of the anti-austerity Syriza Party opens a new and uncertain chapter in European politics.  The new PM Alexis Tsipras has vowed to renegotiate the EU bailout agreements and end the harsh austerity policies that has seen the GDP of his country fall by more than 30% over the past four years.  While both sides have avoided sounding publicly intransigent thus far, it is unclear how Tsipras will manage to walk the tightrope between increasing public spending and therefore incurring yet more debt and keeping his European paymasters happy who understandably want their loans paid back.

Financial markets are keenly watching developments in Greece as there is a greater risk to the Eurozone as a whole if Greece should decide to default on its loans or if it leaves the EU.     Read more...


Swiss abandon peg to falling Euro

(18 January 2015)  Investors got another bone to nervously chew on last week as the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abruptly removed the cap on the value of the Swiss Franc relative to the Euro which had been in place since 2011.  In recent months, this cap on the value of the Franc had come under increasing pressure as the Euro had lost 15% of its value.  With the ECB expected to launch its own QE program this week, the cap on the Swissie's value would increasingly distort the Swiss economy as speculators would take advantage of the undervalued Franc and bid up local stocks and real estate to bubble-like levels.  The SNB announcement of the decoupling sent shock waves through financial markets as the Franc shot up 20% in just one hour.  The Euro naturally continued its slide as it fell another 3% and ended the week at 1.15 against the US Dollar.

None of this current slide comes as a surprise as I have been forecasting a major decline in the Euro in my newsletter over the past couple of years.  In previous posts, I have also alluded to the probability of a sharp decline and possible re-organization of the EU and the Eurozone starting in 2014.   The horoscope of the Euro (Jan 1 1999 at midnight) reveals several layers of affliction for the 2014-2016 period which made this current situation quite predictable.   Read more...


Islamist terror attack in France reignites debate over Western values

(11 January 2015)  France is reeling from its worst terrorist attack in decades after an assault on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday in Paris.  The murder of a dozen leading journalists of the magazine was perpetrated by three radical Islamists who had taken offense at the magazine's depictions of Mohammed.  The attack has once again highlighted the problem of Muslim immigration in France, who now comprise 10% of the population.  Muslims have typically not assimilated very easily into French society and the resulting disaffection has made them more susceptible to appeals from radical groups.     Read more...


A question for investors in 2015: Do you feel lucky?

(4 January 2015)  As Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry famously noted, it sometimes just comes down to luck.  The New Year is upon us now and investors are once again assessing the risk-reward ratio of this vastly inflated stock market. As the world economy continues to struggle, central banks have been desperately trying to stimulate growth by various clever means of money printing.  Even though the average person isn't doing much better, the stock market has responded favourably to all this borrowed government money as the bull market now enters its six year since its 2009 low. 

Can the stock market rise for yet another year despite unimpressive economic fundamentals and so-so job growth in the US and a deflationary stagnation taking shape in Europe and Japan?   Read more...


New Year's Chart 2015: a look ahead

(2 January 2015)  As the calendar turns over for another year, we can again look up to the heavens to see what signals the stars may be giving for 2015.  Although it is not conventional astrological practice, I have found the planetary alignment at the stroke of midnight on January 1st can provide intriguing hints for what may come during the coming year.  As with all astrology, it is as much art as science, and we have to reserve significant room for interpretation.  The effects of the planets cannot be read deductively or according to some simple formula as one might do in chemistry or physics.  Human beings are not atoms or molecules.  They are endowed with consciousness and free will and this makes prediction an inherently uncertain and open-ended process. 

For example, my analysis of last year's New Year's horoscope left something to be desired.  I had spotted Mars rising in the Ascendant in Virgo at midnight and saw the nasty-looking square aspect with the Sun, Mercury and Pluto and thought some kind of significant destructive or violent events were more likely during 2014.  The fact that unpredictable Uranus was also in a hard angle with these planets seemed to increase the impact of any of those kinds of events.   Read more...







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