Can the market rally continue after Mercury enters Pisces?

(2 April 2019) Stocks have moved higher over the past week on hints that the long-awaited US-China trade deal may be getting closer to completion.  As the month of April begins, the Dow has again pushed above 26,000 matching its February high.  Indian stocks have fared even better as the BSE Sensex set a new all-time record high today of 39,056.  While economic growth threatens to stall the economies of the US and Europe, Indian stocks have outperformed because of a significantly higher growth rate and improving investment climate under the Modi government.  While it is possible the results of the upcoming elections could change that favourable equation, the default expectation is for Modi to return to power.

These gains are in keeping with expectations as I suggested that last week's entry of Jupiter into sidereal Sagittarius was likely to correlate with some upside.  The bullish outlook was even more likely due to the midweek Venus-Uranus-Chiron alignment.  This prevailing optimism is a reflection of the approaching Jupiter retrograde station on April 10.  As I have noted previously, stocks were likely to trend higher leading into that date due to the generally bullish influence of Jupiter. 

But all this optimism may not last.  Jupiter's influence is likely to wane fairly soon after April 10.  And as it happens, Mercury begins its transit of sidereal Pisces on April 11.  (Please note that I use the traditional Indian sidereal zodiac and not the Western tropical zodiac to calculate sign transits.)  This is a potentially negative influence on the stock market because Mercury is said to do poorly in the sign of Pisces (the Fish).   Mercury is the planet of logic and analytical discrimination and is closely associated with commercial activities such as trading and investing.  Pisces has an almost diametrically opposite symbolism of empathy, sensitivity, intuition, and transcendent knowledge.  Since the energies of Mercury do not fit well in Pisces, it is said to be debilitated in this sign. 

In terms of financial astrology, Mercury's transit of Pisces has a somewhat bearish effect.  To be clear, this transit is only one factor out of many and therefore is usually not the determining factor of whether the market rises or falls.  But recent transits through Pisces suggests the market does relatively worse during its two or three week transit period.  And even if it finishes higher by the end of the Pisces transit, there is often a pullback of some size during the transit.

Year    Mercury in Pisces (entry/exit) Net result
2014          April 4 - 19 -1.5%
2015          Mar 28 - Apr 11    +2.0%
2016          Mar 19 - Apr 2    +1.3%
2017          Mar 10 - 26    -1.5%
2018          Mar 1 - May 9 (incl. Rx)    -1.0%
2019          Apr 11 - May 2      ???

Indeed, some Pisces transit periods have been positive as in 2015 and 2016.  And yet there is usually a good reason why stocks might rise in those anomalous Mercury-in-Pisces periods.  In 2015, Mercury was conjunct the Sun and Uranus alongside Ketu and all of those planets were aspected by bullish Jupiter in Cancer, its sign of exaltation.  Overall, that is a classic astrological signature for a rising stock market.  In 2016, Mercury was also conjunct the Sun and Uranus so this set up a more bullish baseline for Mercury's transit through Pisces.

Fast forward to today.  From April 11 to May 2, Mercury will again transit Pisces.  Besides the approaching Saturn retrograde station in late April, this is another reason to expect a rise in volatility.  Also we can see the situation of Mercury will be quite mixed.  Uranus has moved out of Pisces and into Aries now so it lacks that bullish co-factor.  Mercury's dispositor, Jupiter, is strong in its own sign of Sagittarius, so that could support sentiment somewhat.  However, we should note that Jupiter will move back into the less commodious confines of Scorpio on April 24 so that could have somewhat negative knock-on effect upon Mercury.

The bottom line is the stock market will be more prone to declines in April, especially after the Jupiter station on the 10th and Mercury enters Pisces on the 11th.


The outlook for this week
is also not looking great.  We could eke out another up day on Wednesday (Apr 3) but the late week looks less positive as Mercury is aspected by Saturn while the Sun and Moon are in a tense 90-degree alignment with Saturn.  Friday's US jobs report is therefore more likely to correlate with some downside. 

For a more detailed analysis, please check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks, as well as currencies, gold and oil. 

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