Cyprus bailout deal calms markets; Jupiter separates from Pluto

(31 March 2013)  Stocks moved higher yet again last week as an 11th-hour bailout deal was struck and thereby avoided the worse case scenario from occurring in Cyprus.  Under the terms of the deal, large depositors with savings over $128,000 will lose 60% of their money to a special tax designed to rebuild the crippled Cypriot bank sector.  Using arbitrary and confiscatory taxes on depositors seems like strange way to rebuild confidence in ailing banks.  In any event, US stocks inched higher as the Dow finished the week at 14,578 and the S&P 500 set an all-time record close at 1569.  Indian stocks were also modestly bullish as the Sensex gained 100 points closing at 18,835.   The week unfolded more or less as we expected.  I thought the triple conjunction of the Sun, Venus and Uranus on Thursday and Friday would likely push up prices in the second half of the week and that is what happened.  I also noted the presence of a potentially troublesome Mars-Saturn aspect on Monday which could coincide with declines.  This also proved to be the case on most global markets.

So what next for the markets?  With US stocks making new all-time highs, many observers are wondering if it is a good time to take profits as some kind of pullback or consolidation is more likely.  To be sure, the "double top" pattern is one that is often correlated with significant declines.  This is precisely what happened in Indian markets in November 2010 after the previous 2008 high of 21,000 on the Sensex was matched.   Once the old high was reached, stocks sold off sharply in 2011 and have yet to regain their previous levels.

The current planetary picture would tend to support the notion that stocks are risky at these levels.  After making a series of key aspects in the past three months, Jupiter is finally moving away from its exact angle with Pluto.  This is the last (for a while) in a series of aspects that began with the Jupiter-Uranus aspect in January.   Financial astrology asserts that Jupiter is a bullish influence and that its aspects are often correlated with a rising market.  With Jupiter now apparently weakening as it separates from its Pluto aspect, the risk of some kind of decline would seem to be rising in the weeks ahead.  Jupiter will again form significant aspects with other slow moving planets (i.e. Saturn to Pluto) in June but between now and then, the bullish energy will have to come from some other planetary source.  This is still possible since close aspects between other outer planets (e.g. Pluto and Chiron) can be bullish but they may be less reliably positive for the markets. 

This week may be dominated by the planet Mars.  Mars forms an aspect with Rahu, the north lunar node, on Wednesday and then aspects Mercury and conjoins Venus on Friday and Saturday.  Mars is considered a malefic planet by nature that can sometimes coincide with frustrating and anxious situations.  In financial terms, its aspects tend to correspond with declines although we should note that numerous exceptions abound.  Monday's Sun-Jupiter aspect could be bullish but the unchecked and volatile energy of Mars may be something we have to watch out for the much of the week.

Transits for Mumbai Wednesday, 3 April 2013 9.00 a.m.


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