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.  Transiting Saturn then soon made its own bearish contribution as it opposed Venus and then hit the 6th house cusp (29 Libra) in November.  I had thought that Jupiter's station at 28 Cancer in December might have provided a temporary lift but this never really materialized as the transit was offset by ongoing difficult progressed alignments.   

Last week's bounce may be partially the result of some better progressions as well as the approaching Jupiter-Uranus aspect that is exact on March 3rd.  This aspect will line up exactly on the natal Mercury in the Futures chart so there is some reason to expect more gains in the next few weeks.  Of course, there are some negative influences at work here, too, not the least of which is Ketu's conjunction to the Sun and Pluto's square to Mercury which is exact during much of February.   Ketu's conjunction will be conjunct in March.  Both of these latter alignments are more troublesome so they could dampen the enthusiasm for any rally that coincides with that Jupiter-Uranus aspect.  Nonetheless, that Jupiter influence may well prevail for a while as prices firm up.  Once Jupiter begins to separate from Uranus in early March and into April there may be less optimism.  A re-assessment of the key influences will be necessary at that time. 

Financial Markets Update

US stocks powered higher last week as fears receded over Greece.  The Dow climbed more than 3% closing at 17,824.  I thought there would be some upside early in the week on the Mercury-Venus-Neptune alignment but that the second half of the week looked more uncertain with some down days likely.  This was partially correct as Wednesday and Friday were lower as most of the week's gains occurred on Monday and Tuesday.  Indian stocks actually declined on profit taking after making fresh all-time highs the previous week. 

This week looks somewhat bearish biased as Mars changes signs and enters sidereal Pisces.  As a malefic planet, Mars tends to be associated with rising tension and anxiety and therefore markets tend to decline when it forms significant placements and alignments.  The sign change is one such placement that is a fairly reliable indicator of a down day or two.  The sign change takes place on Thursday.  This time around, the Sun will form an alignment with Mars so that could magnify its significance as well as modify its most likely day of manifestation.  Thursday is still focusing on, but Wednesday and Friday could also be suspect.