Forecasts March 2007 - December 2011









 
Week of August 29 - September 2

Stocks rise into Jupiter station; midweek Mercury-Rahu may create uncertainty


So stimulus if necessary, but not necessarily stimulus.  US Stocks staged an impressive rebound last week as Friday's speech from Fed Chair Bernanke put off any decision on further quantitative easing (QE3) until September.   This deferred decision was good enough for markets as the Dow climbed 4% closing at 11,284 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1176.  The picture was more bearish in Mumbai, however, the Sensex made new lows for the year closing at 15,848.   The Nifty ended the week at 4747. 

This outcome was disappointing as I had expected more across the board selling on the late week Mars-Saturn aspect.  While Thursday was lower when the aspect was exact, the size of the decline was more modest than expected.  Indian markets were more directly affected by this bearish combination, however, due to a close affliction in the BSE natal chart.  We also saw some significant gains on most global markets in the early week period from the Sun-Venus-Neptune pattern. The Sun-Neptune opposition coincided quite closely with the precipitous drop in gold on Tuesday and Wednesday just as the Sun was entering tropical Virgo. 


Transits for Monday August 29, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York



So while bearish Saturn still seems to be the dominant energy these days, we saw a glimpse of Jupiter's optimistic nature last week ahead of its retrograde station on August 30.  It is not unusual for planets to express themselves more fully around the time of their direct and retrograde stations, especially a slow moving and powerful planet like Jupiter. Bernanke's tentative approach to the Fed's next move was perhaps an appropriate manifestation of this competing energy of both Saturn and Jupiter.  A weaker Jupiter might have precluded any further easing, but on this occasion we got a kind of stalemate between the need to expand and the need to constrain.  Interestingly, the next Fed meeting will occur on September 20-21, just a few days before the Saturn-Ketu aspect.  This suggests that optimism may be in short supply and there could be a limited appetite for more easing as Saturn's preference for austerity is more in evidence.  The interaction with Ketu suggests some kind of fundamental or structural reordering may be in the air.  This could result either from new and unusual moves the Fed makes, or perhaps from the reaction to its announcement.  What would happen if the Fed threw another stimulus party but nobody came?

This week looks like a mixed bag.  Jupiter's retrograde station on Monday and Tuesday could be a mostly positive influence here.  A bullish Venus-Jupiter aspect early in the week gives way to another dubious looking aspect between Mercury and Rahu by Wednesday.  The end of the week offers up a dog's breakfast of aspects as the bullish Sun-Jupiter aspect occurs simultaneously to a nasty Mars-Rahu aspect. These could conceivably cancel each other out, butthe presence of Mars is cause for some concern here.





Week of August 22 - 26

A slow motion crash?: markets fall with Saturn
 
They say that when you're in a car accident, everything slows down.  You become acutely aware that it's going to happen, and your senses heighten to take in the details as it all unfolds.  These days the stock market appears to be involved in its own version of a slow motion accident.  Stocks fell for the fourth straight week last week as the meeting between Merkel and Sarkozy produced little in the way of tangible solutions for the European debt crisis.  In New York, the Dow fell more than 4% closing at 10,817 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1123.  It was a similar story in Mumbai as the BSE-Sensex lost 4% closing at 16,141 with the Nifty ended the week below the 5K level for the first time since 2010 at 4845.   While the extent of the late week declines were a little surprising, I was correct in my forecast for gains around the early week triple conjunction of Sun, Mercury and Venus.  Most markets rose into Wednesday around this bullish alignment, but once the planets began to separate and weaken, the selling resumed.   As I noted in last week's post, the Rahu aspect to Mercury created more the potential for more uncertainty and opened the door to unexpected and sudden developments.

With fear and anxiety rising over the renewed possibility of a recession, the declines have for the most part been fairly orderly.  The 500 point daily swings in the Dow notwithstanding, we have not a proper crash yet, as the correction has been marked by a series of down days with the usual number of rebound up days sprinkled in to keep people guessing.  The absence of any big news shock-type crash event has allowed the decline to inflict its damage piece meal.  Most investors have largely stayed in the market hoping that this gradual decline will eventually turn around.

But as I have been suggesting for a while, the planets do not favour a reversal higher any time soon. Saturn the pessimist is very much in control here as it comes under the dual influences of Mars and Ketu.  Both Mars and Ketu are considered negative and tend to bring out the worst in Saturn, i.e. excessive fear and caution.  The Mars-Saturn aspect has been gathering energy over the past few weeks and may well peak this week as the exact aspect occurs on Thursday, August 25.  The Saturn-Ketu aspect isn't due to be exact until September 23 so there is some reason to expect that the current negative outlook won't change significantly in the near term.  Nonetheless, the first (slim) chance for a reversal will occur after Thursday.


 

Transits for Thursday August 25, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


What's doubly problematic for the markets right here is that Mercury, the planet of trading and commerce, ends its retrograde cycle on Friday.  Its direct station at 24 Cancer therefore still falls under the influence of Rahu at 26 Scorpio.  This increases the possibility of more unexpected movements in the markets and is generally a negative influence, especially given the Mars-Saturn square aspect.  Coincidentally, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke will make his annual speech from Jackson Hole on Friday morning -- just hours after the exact Mars-Saturn aspect and hours before the Mercury direct station.  The proximity of these events increases the odds that his speech will move markets significantly, although the direction is somewhat less clear.  We can see some positive aspects in play that day such as the Sun-Venus aspects to Uranus and Pluto.  However, the Mars-Saturn square is about as bad as it gets.  But since it will be separating from its exact aspect at the time Bernanke is speaking, it is possible it will have less negative impact.  Bernanke is expected to announce some kind of new policy to help the flagging US economy but it is unclear just what he has in mind.  Since expansionary Jupiter turns retrograde on August 30, it seems more likely that Bernanke will offer some new program to increase liquidity and credit availability.  However, it seems less likely that any new program will have the same positive market effect as last year's QE2 announcement.

The bottom line is this Mars-Saturn aspect could well produce more downside this week.  It also increases the possibility of some larger, crash-type moves.  I'm not saying a crash is probable, but the presence of these difficult aspects increases the odds of a crash from the usual 1 in 1000  to something quite a bit higher, like 1 in 4. That's no where near probable (50%+), of course, but it is something to consider.  Perhaps 2011 will be remembered as the slow motion crash.
 


 




 

Week of August 15 - 19

Mars panics markets in wake of downgrade; triple conjunction offers relief
 
Markets suffered from a bout of temporary insanity (or perhaps schizophrenia?) last week following the US debt downgrade as investors sought out safer places to put their money.   After gyrating more than 500 points in both directions on four consecutive days, the Dow was only 2% lower for the week closing at 11,269 while the S&P finished at 1178.  Indian markets were less volatile although the Sensex still lost more than 2% overall closing at 16,839 with the Nifty ending the week at 5072.

All the panic and turmoil was very much in keeping with expectations as I anticipated that the Mars alignment with Uranus and Pluto would be negative.  While we did not see any obvious manifestations of literal violence, the market did move violently as the unpredictable and powerful energy of the Mars affliction took its toll.  I thought we would see most of the damage in the first half of the week and that was indeed the case in the US, Europe and Asia as Tuesday marked the low, at least on an intraday basis.  Once the Mars alignment began separating after Wednesday, there was a gradual lessening of volatility and trading volume as prices rose into Friday. 

While we can correlate the gradual strengthening of Saturn in recent weeks with the return of pessimism and caution, the US debt downgrade may also be seen in terms of the Uranus-Pluto square aspect.  As I have written previously, the Uranus-Pluto square is the ultimate celestial prime mover these days as these two distant planets will remain in aspect until 2013.  This aspect is mostly negative because it erodes stability and is often correlated with long term structural changes in the economy and society.  This loss of stability therefore increases uncertainty and as we know, markets do not like uncertainty.  As a result, the Uranus-Pluto aspect is usually negative for the value of riskier assets like stocks and positive for safe havens like gold, bonds, and certain unimpeachable currencies. 



Transits for Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7.30 p.m.  New York



The passing Mars alignment to this destabilizing Uranus-Pluto aspect last week was a significant release of this powerful energy for change and disruption.  The US debt downgrade to AA+ by S&P is emblematic of this fundamental change, as the world's leading economy is no longer as strong as it once was.  The debt downgrade may ultimately mark a key historic turning point in the eventual decline of the US from its previously unchallenged status as world superpower.  Such epochal changes are typical of Uranus-Pluto aspects as old orders stagnate and decline while new structures and organizations rise to fill the vacuum. 

This week looks calmer and even rather positive.   There is a triple conjunction of Sun, Venus and retrograde Mercury that occurs in the last degree of Cancer on Tuesday/Wednesday.  This is likely to generate more optimism and help to boost prices.  The presence of the aspect from Rahu (North Lunar Node) is somewhat of a wild card, however.  Rahu can distort and confuse the issue so this can reverse the polarity of a planet from positive to negative or exaggerate its effects.  I think exaggeration is more likely this week as a dose of unsustainable Rahuvian enthusiasm could take over.  The insanity continues in a different form.  No matter how positive the news may be here, the planets suggest that the longer term prospects for economic recovery do not look very promising.




 





 

Week of August 8 - 12

Stocks plunge on Mercury-Neptune; Mars-Uranus-Pluto is next


The tumultuous events in the markets last week reminded me of Karl Marx's description of capitalism: "All that is solid melts into air."  Financial stability evaporated last week in the aftermath of the US debt ceiling deal and the spreading debt contagion in the Eurozone.  What was remarkable was the speed at which safe, reliable assumptions about future growth seemed to disappear as investors got a harsh reality check.  In New York, the Dow lost more than 6% closing at 11,444 while the S&P finished the week at 1199.   The damage was less severe in Indian markets as the BSE-Sensex lost 4% closing at 17,305 with the Nifty ended the week at 5211. 

As expected, the Mercury-Neptune opposition did coincide with significant fallout from the US debt deal.  To make matters worse, Mercury stationed and turned retrograde on Tuesday so this amped up the strength of this affliction and Mars joined the alignment on Thursday, the day the Dow tumbled 500 points.  Score one for astrology.   While I had been unsure if the US would make the Aug 2 deadline, I was fairly certain that the market would react badly, which it did. Some of those mitigating Jupiter aspects only offered passing relief to the rising fear as Monday's Sun-Jupiter aspect delivered gains in Asia as well as a positive open in New York.  These gains were the result of the immediate sense of relief from the signing of the debt ceiling deal.  But it was all Mercury-Neptune after that as disillusion and dismay ruled the roost.  Now that the US is compelled to follow a more austere regime of government spending, who is left to stimulate a stagnating economy that seems to be on the verge of a double dip recession?  Well, no one it seems and therein lies the root of the sell-off.  With Obama's hands tied and Fed Chair Bernanke also seemingly "out of bullets" despite new rumours of a possible QE3, markets are beginning to realize that the past two years was based entirely on "free" borrowed money which has not created a solid foundation for a sustainable bull market. 

While I was surprised by the intensity of the decline, I noted in last week's forecast that the planets for early August looked quite bad and that one couldn't "rule out any negative or disappointing scenarios" for the next two weeks.  We have a truckload of disappointment and negativity now, especially since Standard and Poor's has downgraded US debt to AA+ for the first time in its history.  This sets up the likelihood of more downside this week as investors try to adapt to the new glass half-empty reality. 

 
Transits for Tuesday August 9 2011 9.30 a.m. New York



If last week's Mercury-Neptune was the first shoe to drop, this week's potent Mars-Uranus-Pluto alignment will the second.  More like a boot perhaps.  This is a very nasty pattern that can manifest as situations of shock and violence that are extremely disruptive.  The debt downgrade is likely the partial result of this pattern as Mars slowly moves into position in the celestial cockpit.   I have noted in previous forecasts how we are entering an extended period of upset and reorganization from the Uranus-Pluto square aspect.  This aspect between these slow moving planets began earlier this year and will last into 2012 and 2013.  It is likely to reshape the economic and political landscape much as it did the last time around.   The previous Uranus-Pluto square occurred in 1931-1932 at the height of the depression and the beginning of Nazi Germany and FDR's New Deal in the US.   Fast-moving Mars is currently activating this pattern so we should expect more chaos and uncertainty this week.  I would not rule out a crash here, although governments may intervened to mitigate the damage so they may be able to prevent worst case scenarios.  The alignment is closest on Tuesday and Wednesday so the first half of the week is perhaps more dangerous than the second half.  I would expect some rebound to occur by Thursday and especially Friday on the Sun-Venus-Uranus pattern. 





 




Week of August 1 - 5

Washington fiddles as markets burn; Mercury opposes Neptune


Markets did not take kindly to the protracted US debt ceiling negotiations as the risk of a default loomed larger with the approach of the August 2 deadline.  Stocks in New York fell more than 4% with the Dow closing at 12,143 and the S&P500 finishing the week at 1292.  It was a similar story in Mumbai as the RBI's surprise fifty-point rate hike on Tuesday only added to anxiety levels.  The BSE-Sensex lost more than 2% closing at 18,197 with the Nifty ending the week at 5482.  I thought the chances were high for early week decline on the entry of Mars into sidereal Gemini and that corresponded with Tuesday's significant losses. However, my expectation for a late week recovery was wide of the mark as markets remained on edge as the debt drama entered its final act.  While I had expected some disappointment and confusion over these debt ceiling negotiations, I thought we would see them closer to the deadline.  However, the problems inherent in the critical Mercury-Neptune opposition have manifested somewhat earlier here. 

As I have noted previously, the poignant coincidence of Mercury turning retrograde while in close opposition to Neptune exactly on the August 2 deadline is already delivering its karmic payload in the form of all the confusion surrounding the debt talks.  Not only is it unclear if a deal will get done in time, but no one is really certain how binding the deadline actually is.  Some commentators have suggested that Obama could extend it a few days in order for both sides to hammer out the details.  Others have suggested the government won't run out of money for another week or two.  And even if a deal is struck, US debt may still suffer a credit downgrade anyway by one of the rating agencies.  In the end, it's all about preserving a good credit rating so that the US can continue to borrow money at low interest rates.  Anything that jeopardizes confidence in the ability of the US to repay its loans will result in higher rates which will hurt the economy.  The stock market is also likely to take a negative view of higher interest rates.


Transits for Wednesday August 3, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York



Mercury's retrograde station this week -- due near midnight EDT on Tuesday -- heightens the negative effect of its aspect with Neptune.  Since Neptune is no friend to clear logical thinking, we should expect more fallout from these negotiations as uncertainty and unproductive analysis is likely to persist for much of the week.  Could the US actually default here?  While I had not seriously considered the possibility, I have noted that this Mercury-Neptune aspect did boost the possibility of such an outcome.  A more likely outcome is some kind of confused interregnum where somehow the key players buy extra time to work out a deal.  This may or may not be before the August 2 deadline.  The planets look pretty bad over the next couple of weeks so I would not rule out any negative or disappointing scenarios.

With Mercury turning retrograde late Tuesday/early Wednesday, we could easily see more downside in stocks.   That said, there are a couple of Jupiter aspects that could give a temporary lift to sentiment.  The Sun forms a square aspect with Jupiter on Monday and into Tuesday while Venus does likewise on Thursday and into Friday. The presence of this influence offers some possibility for gains, although it is unclear to what extent the gains will apply to stocks.  Perhaps commodities like gold and oil will be more directly influenced by these bullish aspects. 






 

Week of July 25 - 29

Stocks rise on Greek bailout;  US debt ceiling deal looks problematic


Stocks generally moved higher last week as the EU attempted to arrest the ongoing debt contagion by agreeing to a second Greek bailout.  In New York, the Dow was ahead by almost 2% closing at 12,681 while the S&P500 finished at 1345.  Indian markets followed suit as the BSE-Sensex moved above a key resistance level closing at 18,722 and the Nifty finished at 5633.  Not surprisingly, Monday's Mercury-Rahu aspect turned out to be bearish across the board.  Buyers came back on Tuesday as the market reversed higher near the entry of Mercury into Leo.  This was largely in keeping with expectations as I thought the midweek would be more positive.  Sentiment continued to stay mostly strong all the way into Friday, however, as the potential trouble from the Mars-Ketu conjunction did not manifest until after markets had closed for the week, i.e. Boehner suddenly ended debt talks with Obama and the Norway attacks.

The US debt ceiling talks appear to be going right down to the wire as Republican Speaker John Boehner walked away from negotiations with President Obama late Friday.  If a deal is not reached by the August 2 deadline, the US will default on its debt since it could no longer borrow enough money to cover its expenses.  Nobody really expects this to happen, but what is unknown is the kind of deal that will be struck and who will gain political advantage.  The political posturing is likely more important here as both parties are vying to make their case for the 2012 election cycle.

Transits for Monday July 25, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York

Since neither Jupiter nor Saturn are especially dominant in the sky right now, it seems unlikely that the Republicans will get their way and force large spending cuts.  Such austerity measures are more symbolic of a strong Saturn but we don't seem to have that here as Saturn is moving forward at its normal speed through sidereal Virgo and is not forming any significant aspects with other planets.  This suggests that either a compromise short term solution will be found or Obama's preference for a blend of cuts and increased taxes will carry the day.  Obama's chart looks quite stressed at the moment so it seems unlikely that he will win his version of the deal in the coming days.  Of course, the other problem with this debt ceiling deadline is that Mercury will turn retrograde on the same day.  It's a peculiar coincidence that suggests that the deal may not be final or some of the details may be disputed after the fact by one of the parties. 

This week sees Mars enter sidereal Gemini on Monday and Tuesday.  This excess of Mars energy can be a disruptive influence which may increase the odds of declines early in the week.  But the mood is likely to turn positive by midweek as the Sun forms a alignment with Uranus and Pluto on Wednesday and Thursday.  The late week period also features a supportive configuration involving Mercury, Venus and Neptune.  So while we could see some downside in the first half of the week, the chances are fairly good that the subsequent rebound will more than make for it.


 




 

Week of July 18 - 22

Stocks fall on Venus-Saturn; Sun and Mercury to change signs


Despite Ben Bernanke's best efforts to talk up the market by keeping the door open for a possible QE3, markets drifted lower this past week as the world seems increasingly mired in debt quicksand.  The more it struggles to escape through bailouts and austerity programs, the deeper it sinks.   In New York,  the Dow tumbled lost about 2% closing at 12,479 while the S&P500 finished at 1316.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as the BSE-Sensex fell back below technical support levels closing at 18,561 with the Nifty finishing at 5581.  Amidst all this uncertainty, gold reached a new all-time high closing at $1590.

This bearish result was in keeping with expectations given the influence of aspects involving malefics Mars and Saturn.  Monday's decline fit nicely with the Mercury-Mars aspect while Tuesday's loss reflected the Venus-Saturn aspect with a good dose of Moon-Mars that bumped up the arrival time by a day.   The midweek rally attempt on the Moon-Venus aspect fell short, however, and weakness returned in time for Friday.

All the talk this week was about debt and how to avoid its worst consequences.  The news out of Europe suggested that current debt levels in Ireland and Italy were unsustainable as bond yields shot up to reflect the increased risk of default in these over-leveraged economies.  The bond vigilantes are back in force and they smell blood.  In the US, the debate over the debt ceiling reached a new level of urgency as there appears to be no deal on the horizon yet with the August 2 deadline fast approaching.   Both parties agree on the need for some austerity measures and significant government spending cuts, but Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes also and thereby bridge the budget gap from both sides.  A major agreement to cut spending in the long term looks more unlikely now, as both parties may have to content themselves with a short term fix.  Whether financial markets will be satisfied with such a band-aid solution remains to be seen, although the Moody's downgrade threat of US credit rating from AAA would suggest there could be some negative fallout.  A minor deal would likely send bond yields higher as it would increase the risk of default as well as increase future supply.   Of course, failure to make any kind of deal would trigger a US default and generate even nastier consequences in the bond market. This would likely increase volatility in the stock market with potential short term gains, closely followed by declines as investors would realize that the whole financial house of cards would be one step closer to collapse.

In astrological terms, all this talk about debt and austerity is very Saturnian.  After two years of Jupiter's faith in a Keynesian future of borrowing and spending, the return of Saturn's "less is more" approach has marked a discernible shift in tone.  There is a growing realization that Jupiter-driven stimulus measures cannot solve our current economic problems alone.  Saturn reminds us that sometimes the best solutions are ones where we pare back to essentials and discard what is no longer needed.  Saturn's solutions tend to be harsh, not unlike purging the system of toxins.  Although they can be unpleasant, they can be effective in the long run.  However, Saturn is not fully in command of the sky at the moment as Jupiter still exerts some influence.  This suggests that bailouts and the Keynesian spending approach will likely retain some appeal for governments such as the EU alongside the demand for greater responsibility and austerity. 


 

Transits for Monday July 18, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


 
The more immediate concern for the US government, however, is whether they can get a deal before the deadline.  While the planets look somewhat cooperative over the next week or two, I do note that the August 2 deadline corresponds with the beginning of the Mercury retrograde cycle.  This is not a indication of a successful action that relieves anxiety and resolves a problem.   It reminds me of the situation on November 7, 2000 when Mercury turned retrograde right on election night in the US.  That produced the famous hanging chad recount between Bush and Gore that went all the way to the Supreme Court.  The election was ultimately decided more than a month later.  What's worse is that Mercury will be opposite Neptune at the time it turns retrograde.  Mercury-Neptune combinations speak to confusion and deception and lead to eventual disappointment. Perhaps there will be a deal but we could see some buyer's regret once the deadline passes, as one side recognizes they've been had. It seems a little implausible to expect there to be no deal at all, although the difficult planets at this time do increase the odds of this scenario as well.  It seems more likely that the market will be disappointed with whatever transpires up to and including August 2.

This week is more of a mixed bag.  The early week Mercury-Rahu aspect could go either way, although it's always hard to put much trust in Rahu.  Mercury enters Leo on Wednesday so that may suggest some upside is more likely.   The Sun's entry into sidereal Cancer this week could signal a change in direction, especially for the gold market.  A reversal lower in gold would therefore be somewhat more likely. I will be paying close attention to the late week period as Mars approaches its conjunction with Ketu (south lunar node).  This is a potentially explosive pairing that could spark some hard selling, although the exact conjunction will only occur after the close on Friday in New York.  This may mute its effects.

 

 




 

Week of July 11 - 15

Stocks rise with Jupiter again;  Venus-Saturn due this week


Stocks ended higher last week as improved corporate earnings kept the summer rally going for another week.   Despite Friday's decline on the disappointing jobs report, the Dow added 75 points for the week closing at 12,657 while the S&P500 finished at 1343.  Indian stocks also rose as the Sensex broke above some important technical resistance and ended the week at 18,858 while the Nifty closed at 5660. 

This bullish outcome was not unexpected as I thought that Jupiter's optimism would carry the day.  The early week gains in Mumbai coincided quite closely with Monday's Venus and Jupiter aspects, even if they were fairly modest.  As expected, the midweek Mars-Saturn aspect tempered Jupiter's bullishness and we saw some mild selling occur in most global markets.  Once that negative influence had passed, Jupiter took over again and stocks and commodities moved higher on Thursday's Venus-Uranus aspect.  And as often happens, we got a reversal just as the powerful Jupiter-Pluto aspect peaked on Friday.  


Transits for Monday July 11, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York



With all of the main medium term Jupiter aspects now out of the way for a while, one wonders where stocks are headed to next.  The easy gains are likely behind us now as bulls will be harder pressed to find other sources of planetary fuel.   They may well be running on fumes for a while. And yet Saturn doesn't appear to be offering much to the bears here either in the way of aspects, so we could see some aimless wandering for the key indexes. 

This week offers up some decent bear food in the form of Saturn's square aspect to Venus.  This makes its tightest angle on Tuesday/Wednesday, although I would expect the Moon's position opposite Mars on Tuesday makes that day somewhat more negative.  The early week also features a Mercury-Mars aspect that is iffy at best so it's hard to imagine stocks making much more headway here.  There could be a bias towards caution this week that generates some selling.  Of course, we should see some up days along the way too, although they are likely to be offset by Saturn's influence.



 




 

Week of July 4 - 8

Stocks take flight on Jupiter;  New Moon/eclipse cycle to be tested again


Jumping Jupiter!  Stocks soared last week as investor confidence was restored following Greece's approval of the EU's austerity program.   The biggest gains were in New York as the Dow climbed 5% closing at 12,582 while the S&P500 finished at 1339.  Indian stocks also rose by almost 3% as the Sensex briefly touched 19K before settling at 18,782.  The Nifty closed above a key technical resistance level of 5600 ending the week at 5627. 

While I had expected some upside on the strong Jupiter aspects, I did not expect the move to be so forceful.  It was an impressive manifestation of Jupiter's bullish energy as its more powerful aspects with Uranus and Pluto aligned nicely with its aspect with the faster-moving Mars.   All this Jupiter energy translated into a big relief rally as stocks bounced off their recent lows.  What was more perplexing, however, was the failure of Friday's solar eclipse to generate any selling pressure.  Indian markets pulled back modestly on Friday, but US markets continued to run higher.  It was a sobering reminder of the limits of my astrological knowledge, and perhaps the epistemological limits of astrology itself.

While the eclipse may not have exactly coincided with a decline, it is still a phenomena worthy of our attention.  Recently, US markets have tended to make highs near the New Moon, and then fall into the period of the Full Moon.  Eclipses are a special type of New Moon where the orbits of the Moon and Earth intersect sufficiently for the Moon to cast a shadow upon the Earth.  The May 2 high occurred right on the day of the New Moon, while the lower high on June 1 also fell within one day of a New Moon and solar eclipse.  If stocks begin to fall this week in the wake of the eclipse, then the pattern will have repeated once again.  I'm not sure we have seen a high, since this New Moon cycle is only one of several that affects the markets.  But it nonetheless increases the odds somewhat that a reversal lower is imminent. 


Transits for Tuesday, July 5, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York



One reason why this New Moon/eclipse reversal may not quite fit with that pattern is that Jupiter still looks quite strong.  It will form its exact trine aspect with Pluto on Friday July 8 and then begin to weaken once again.  This suggests there will be a significant amount of bullish buying power available for this week so that may reduce the probability of an immediate post-eclipse decline. 

But astrology is nothing else if not a multi-headed hydra, and there are always other influences to consider.  Wednesday's Mars-Saturn aspect, although technically a "minor" one, is a potential source of bearishness.  This could depress sentiment in the midweek period, especially since Monday and perhaps Tuesday appear to be fairly positive with the Mercury-Jupiter aspect.  The end of the week offers the bulls another opportunity to take the reins as Venus moves into alignment with Uranus and Jupiter.  So while those short-term aspects look mixed to positive this week, we will still have to wait and see if the New Moon cycle will assert itself once again.  I'm not holding my breath on that, but Jupiter's bullish influence may well be fading after this week.



 




 

Week of June 27 - July 1

Stocks attempt rebound; Saturnian solar eclipse due Friday


Stocks attempted to rebound from their recent lows last week as falling oil prices and the adoption of a new austerity program in Greece gave some reason to cheer.  In New York, the rebound didn't quite take as the Dow ended slightly lower on the week closing at 11,934 while the S&P500 finished at 1268.  Indian stocks fared better, however, as the BSE-Sensex rose by 2% closing at 18,240 with the Nifty ending the week at 5471.   I had expected more weakness early in the week on the Mercury-Saturn aspect.  India caught the full force of this influence as stocks declined sharply on Monday.  World markets then reversed and we saw some gains in US markets over the next couple of days.  Interestingly, the late week bullishness I was expecting from the Sun-Jupiter combo only showed up in Mumbai as Thursday and Friday posted impressive performances as the markets there rallied off support.  US markets were a very different story, however, as growth anxiety pushed stocks back to their support levels.

All this talk of austerity and bailouts for Greece is getting a little old, and one wonders if the market may have already discounted a default.  The Euro is showing signs of more weakness here but has yet to break below 1.40.  I would have thought we might have seen more in the way of constructive policy pronouncements and subsequent cheer leading by this point as Saturn's influence should be beginning to recede.  No such luck, although at least markets have stopped falling for the time being.  In the current environment, that is at least something.

Solar Eclipse - Friday July 1, 2011 4.38 a.m. New York



It may well be that the negative Saturn mood will come to the fore once again this week in the form of Friday's solar eclipse.  The eclipse takes place in the early afternoon in India (before sunrise in NYC) and could correspond with another shock of volatility.  Eclipses can be destabilizing events at the best of times but this one has the added bonus of occurring in a tight square with Saturn.  That could amp up the bearish mood considerably at the end of the week.  

Before that time, there are some fairly decent aspects that could bring gains.  Mars with Jupiter on Monday, Venus with Mercury, and somewhat more precariously, Venus with Ketu on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Saturn seems reluctant to give up its recent high profile so maybe this eclipse will be its last kick at the can for a while.  Just how much damage it will do is an open question, however.



 


 

Week of June 20 - 24

Stocks shaky on lunar eclipse;  Jupiter aspect may offer some relief


Fears of a possible Greek default raised volatility last week, even if the EU eventually cobbled together another bailout package to delay the inevitable collapse of that Mediterranean nation.  In New York, the Dow made new lows Wednesday but rallied by Friday closing slightly higher on the week at 12,004 while the S&P500 finished at 1271.  Indian stocks were more negative, however, as the RBI boosted interest rates again to deal with its intractable inflation problem.  The Sensex lost more than 2% closing at 17,870 while the Nifty ended the week at 5366.

As expected, last Wednesday's lunar eclipse did shake things up as stocks and commodities like oil and gold fell sharply at midweek.  The downgrade of Greek debt, coupled with Asian central bank tightening created a pessimistic mood throughout financial markets.  While the Mercury-Jupiter aspect did deliver some rebound by Friday, this rise did not occur in Mumbai where caution over domestic inflation prevailed.  There is a growing sense that there will be no quick fixes for the world's economic woes.  The Fed has signaled it won't launch QE3, most likely because it's between a rock and a hard place at the moment.  A new round of stimulus would sink the Dollar and likely boost interest rates on Treasuries as buyers of US debt would likely demand a greater risk premium.  Of course, by doing nothing, the Fed is allowing the economy to sink or swim.  But high unemployment, falling house prices, and a burgeoning government debt are all acting like very heavy millstones.

It's all very Saturnian of course as the ringed planet infuses its distinct brand of gloom and fear into our collective psyche.   After completing its retrograde cycle last Monday, Saturn is now moving forward, albeit very slowly.  Reversals in planetary direction can often mark changes in market direction, especially when other evidence supports.  Wednesday's eclipse could definitely qualify in that regard, although we still have one more to go on July 1. 

 

Transits for Monday June 20, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


Eclipse periods tend to be more volatile than normal periods, and occur every six months lasting from between two to four weeks.  This one began on June 1 and will last until July 1.  Eclipses can coincide with reversals and declines, especially when the eclipses are afflicted by malefic planets.  Saturn is considered malefic and it likely made this recent eclipse more negative.  The upcoming solar eclipse on July 1 will also be quite Saturnian since Saturn will exactly square the Sun/Moon conjunction.  This does not necessarily mean the market will keep falling until July 1 or beyond, however,  It does mean that it increases the likelihood of more uncertainty and pessimism around that date.  Whether or not it shapes the larger trend and invites a larger reversal higher depends on other factors and their relative influences.

This week looks like a mixed bag as Mercury is squared by Saturn on Tuesday.  There is also an alignment of Sun, Mars and Neptune on Tuesday and Wednesday that could correspond to some additional anxiety.  I would therefore expect the first half of the week to be more bearish, with a chance of a nasty decline.  On the other side of the cosmic ledger, we can see that Jupiter may be increasing its profile here.  Jupiter tends to be bullish in its effects and its approaching aspect with Uranus will be highlighted by its contact with the Sun on Friday.  That should increase the odds of some kind gain towards the end of the week.  Where the market ends up overall is harder to say, although it is possible we could finish close to current levels. 



 




 

Week of June 13 - 17

Stocks fall into Saturn-Pluto;  Lunar eclipse due on Wednesday


Stocks slumped again last week as the Fed Chair Ben Bernanke ruled out any additional stimulus plan (QE3?) for the foreseeable future.  In other words, the buffet is closed and there will be no more free lunch.  In New York, the Dow lost almost 2% closing at 11,951 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1270.   In keeping with recent trends, Indian stocks fared somewhat better, however, as the Sensex slipped by less than 1% closing at 18,268 while the Nifty ended the week at 5485.  While the early week period looked a little shaky with the Mercury-Saturn aspect, I thought we would have more of a bounce later on as the Jupiter-Neptune aspect tightened.  As it turned out, only Thursday got the benefit of the Jupiter bounce in the US market.  Friday's decline corresponded fairly closely with the approaching bearish Mars-Rahu aspect.

So this is still very much a Saturnian market.  Saturn's portfolio of pessimism, loss, and recession is very much front and centre here as fears about inflation have been pushed into the background.  This plausibly reflects the current planetary geometry quite well as inflationary and growth-oriented Jupiter lost some influence in the wake of its early May aspect with Rahu.  In its place, Saturn has strengthened as it prepares to reverse its direction and square Pluto this week.  As we know, a slow Saturn is a powerful Saturn.  And a powerful Saturn tends to focus public attention more on the intractability of the Eurozone debt crisis, the flagging US recovery, and the unsustainability of emerging market expansion in countries like India and China.

 

Lunar Eclipse  Wednesday, June 15, 2011 4.12 p.m. New York


This week could bring some important new developments that shift financial thinking in significant ways.  Saturn ends its 4-month long retrograde cycle on Sunday night and forms its tightest aspect with Pluto at that time.  This is generally a difficult combination, although Saturn's change in direction from backwards to forwards can mark an analogous change in sentiment.  However, there are a number of difficult aspects in the mix here that suggests more downside in the near term.  Mercury conjoins Ketu on Monday while Mars forms an aspect with Mercury on Tuesday.  Of course, Wednesday has a big asterisk beside it because the lunar eclipse occurs in the afternoon before the end of the trading in the US. There is a lot of celestial traffic here and it should produce some noteworthy moves both in the markets and perhaps also on an institutional and policy level. Eclipses are all about interruption of the status quo so trend reversals are somewhat more likely at this time. The late week period features some short term Mercury aspects that seem fairly benign so perhaps that increases the likelihood of gains by Friday.

 
 
 




 
Week of June 6 - 10

Stocks fall with Saturn and eclipse; Jupiter strengthens this week


US stocks staged a significant retreat last week as disappointing employment data suggested that the recovery may be in trouble.  In New York, the Dow fell by more than 2% closing at 12,151 while the S&P500 finished at 1300, just above a critical technical support level.  This bearish outcome seemed to reflect the planetary energies fairly well as the midweek Sun-Saturn aspect and solar eclipse coincided with Wednesday's big drop.  I had been uncertain about Friday given the Neptune retrograde station but that decline was not a surprise.  Indian stocks fared better, however, as they benefited from more early week upside which US markets missed due to the Memorial Day holiday.  Despite two losing sessions at the end of the week,  the Sensex rose by almost 1% to 18,376 with the Nifty settling at 5516.

The glass is looking half empty here as concerns grow that all the stimulus measures from the US Federal Reserve over the past two years are no longer working as advertised.  But if QE1 and QE2 aren't enough, then surely this makes another round of stimulus more likely in the form of QE3?   Well, one should never discount a government's desire to print more money to get out of jam, but there may be less tolerance for such a move now. 

 

Transits for Monday, June 6, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


It turns out that all that "free" money really isn't free at all and comes with a price. The US debt has ballooned to $14 trillion and counting, the Dollar has plunged, and commodities like oil and gold have risen sharply. This has created an inflationary environment all around the world which has wreaked havoc in many emerging markets. It now also threatens to overtake the US economy as the implications of Bernanke's currency devaluation scheme are becoming more apparent.  There is more talk that the US is running out of policy options and may simply have to face the music, even if it means rising unemployment, more falling house prices, and little or no growth for the near term.  All this negativity is very much in keeping with strengthening Saturn as debt, recession and economic pessimism now predominate the discussion.  I tend to think that Saturn could well remain in control up until the conclusion of its retrograde cycle on June 13 when it forms a square aspect with Pluto.

For all the gloomy Saturn influence, we could see more Jupiter this week as it forms an aspect with Neptune.  While Neptune does have a bearish side, its aspects with Jupiter tend to be more bullish.  Upside is perhaps even more likely in the second half of the week as Venus joins the alignment.  Ahead of that time, however, Saturn will again be front and centre as its aspect with Mercury on Tuesday could indicate shakier markets in the early part of the week.



 





 
Week of May 30 - June 3

Stocks slip on Mars-Saturn; Neptune turns retrograde on Friday


Stocks edged lower last week as uncertainty over the strength of global recovery continued to weigh on sentiment. In New York, the Dow rebounded at the end of the week but still closed slightly lower at 12,441 with the S&P500 finishing at 1331.   Indian stocks followed a similar script as a late week rally wasn't enough to erase previous losses.   The BSE-Sensex closed a little lower at 18,266 with the Nifty ending the week at 5476.   As expected, we did see declines coincide with the alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn in the first half of the week.  Monday's decline was larger as Venus conjoined Mars while in difficult aspect with bearish Saturn.  However, I thought we might have had a little more downside on Wednesday's exact Mars-Saturn aspect.  As it happened, Indian stocks were lower on Wednesday but the mood changed by the time US markets opened as New York reversed and began to rally off its lows. 

Some disappointing US economic data last week saw a broad-based selloff in the Dollar as investors priced in another delay in an interest rate hike, perhaps to 2012.  There is increasing chatter among commentators that further weakness in the US will force Bernanke to cobble together yet another stimulus package to keep the sinking ship that is the US economy afloat for another few months.  As QE2 winds down at the end of June, rumours of QE3 may become a more important factor in the market dynamic in the weeks and months ahead.  As a rule, such stimulus programs are associated with expansionary Jupiter since they aim to boost demand and invigorate economic activity.  With Jupiter still taking a backseat to Saturn these days, it seems somewhat unlikely that any hint or formal announcement of QE3 will be immediately forthcoming.  Saturn is moving very slowly ahead of its direct station on June 13, so the main focus is likely to remain on Saturn-type issues such as debt, slowdown and general pessimism.  After that time, we may see more Jupiterian energy prevail as Jupiter forms a succession of putatively bullish aspects with Neptune, Uranus and Pluto in June and July before it makes its retrograde station at the end of August. This latter time frame is therefore a more likely window when we could see the announcement of some kind of additional Fed stimulus.



Transits for Tuesday May 31, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


This week we may see a bit of everything.  The early week again seems bearish as Monday's Mercury-Rahu aspect is quickly followed by a Sun-Saturn pattern on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday is also noteworthy because there will be a solar eclipse at 17 degrees of sidereal Taurus on that day.  This is likely to reflect an increase in caution in many markets including stocks and commodities. A minor contact between Mercury and Jupiter on Thursday offers some hope for a rebound, however.  Friday may be the most interesting and unpredictable day of all.  That is the day that Neptune turns retrograde.  What's interesting about this retrograde station is that it will occur while in a tense square aspect with Mercury. This is normally a bearish combination.  The complicating factor is that Neptune is sitting very close to its aspect with bullish Jupiter.  For this reason, the retrograde station could end up being a positive influence, even with the dubious input from Mercury.  While the final outcome is somewhat uncertain, it does suggest that a larger than normal price move is more likely on Friday.




 


 
Week of May 23 - 27

Stocks slip on Mercury-Mars; Saturn poised to strengthen this week


Stocks trended lower last week as renewed worries over Greece offset positive earnings reports.  In New York, the Dow fell less than 1% closing at 12,512 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1333.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as the Sensex lost 200 points closing at 18,326 with the Nifty finishing the week at 5486.  I thought we might have seen more early week upside on the Sun-Jupiter and Mercury-Venus-Neptune alignments but it seems that the market is still working through the after effects of that Jupiter-Rahu aspect from early May.  In addition, a shadow Saturn aspect to this alignment generated more caution than I had anticipated.  We finally got a reversal higher midweek as Mercury and Venus teamed up with Uranus.   As expected, Friday's Mercury-Mars conjunction was bearish, although this only manifested later in the day in Europe and the US, after Indian markets had closed. 

Not surprisingly, we saw more developments in the Eurozone debt problem as Fitch downgraded Greece's debt another two notches while Germany showed greater reluctance to cut blank cheques for their spendthrift southerly neighbours.  This appears to be conforming to the strengthening of Saturn here as the focus shifts from speculation and inflation (Jupiter-Rahu) to debt and recession (Saturn).   Saturn symbolizes caution and pessimism so it tends to be associated with economic contraction and declining prices.  In that sense, it is the necessary antidote to inflation.  In other words, Saturn is deflationary in its effects.  When Saturn is strong and afflicted, prices tend to fall.  Saturn tends to strengthen around close aspects with other planets and when its velocity is reduced near its stations.   Saturn is due to station next on June 13 when it ends its retrograde cycle and return to its normal forward motion.  At that time, it will form a fairly close square aspect with Pluto.  So on that basis, it is tempting to think that the markets will stay weak until that time. 

 

Transits for Monday May 23 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


This week will be an important test of this approaching Saturn energy.  Early in the week, there will be a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Mars. Mars is a potential troublemaker here so that may increase in the chances of lower prices.  But Saturn will also form a close 150 degree aspect to this triumvirate so is another potentially bearish influence.  If we do get a decline into midweek, then that will provide additional evidence that Saturn is strengthening and would boost the odds for a larger correction that lasts into that mid-June station. 

 

 


 

Week of May 16 - 20

Stocks end flat in wake of Jupiter-Rahu; Sun-Jupiter offers hope early


Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as renewed concerns over Greece were offset by improving economic data.  In New York, the Dow edged lower closing at 12,595 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1337.  Mumbai was similarly indecisive as the Sensex ended pretty close to where it started at 18,531 and the Nifty following suit at 5544.   While it wasn't very exciting, the end result was not hugely unexpected.  I was not wrong in thinking there could be more upside leading into Wednesday's triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.  Most global markets rose in the first half of the week as the positive influence from these planets overshadowed any potential bearishness from the aspect with Rahu.  Significantly, this affected most asset classes including oil, gold and silver as commodities also rallied back from the previous week's sell-off.   Indian markets did not participate in the early week rise perhaps because of the more negative implications of rising oil prices. As expected, stocks and commodities were mostly bearish in the aftermath of the triple conjunction as the US Dollar gained more ground.

Transits for Monday May 16, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York
 

Now that the Jupiter-Rahu aspect is behind us, we may well wonder what lies ahead.  This aspect has highlighted the dangers of excessive speculation and we have seen commodities decline sharply in recent weeks.  Its growing separation suggests that the unwinding of the "risk trade" out of commodities may become less important here.  While the gradual reduction in the negative Rahu influence may free up Jupiter to become more optimistic and bullish, we should also be watching for the possible increase in Saturn's influence.  Saturn will end its retrograde cycle on June 13 as it returns to normal forward motion in the sky.  At this time, Saturn will also form a fairly close square aspect with Pluto.  Saturn-Pluto aspects are often negative in their effects as pessimism over economic growth prospects can take over.  Saturn also represents debts and losses so it is possible that the problem of indebtedness may become more pronounced.  Worries over Greece and the Eurozone have re-surfaced in the past week and this may well foreshadow more concerns in the weeks ahead.

This week actually features some positive aspects, especially in the early part of the week.  Monday's Sun-Jupiter aspect is complemented by a very nice Mercury-Venus-Neptune aspect which should increase the likelihood of gains in the first half of the week.  Wednesday's Mercury-Venus-Uranus alignment should add another layer of optimism to the proceedings.  Of course, the market could still decline in spite of these bullish short term aspects as we are in the shadowy, leeward side of the Jupiter-Rahu aspect.  Nonetheless, declines may be further delayed until the short term picture becomes more difficult.  The end of the week is perhaps a better example of this tense energy as Mercury catches up with Mars while in aspect to Pluto. 

 

 



 

Week of May 9 - 13

Stocks fall amidst commodity selloff; triple conjunction this week

Financial markets went into spasm last week as the speculative commodities trade came to a crashing halt.   The Humpty-Dumpty world of gold, silver and crude oil all came tumbling back down to earth with a thud against a backdrop of central bank tightening in Asia, a dollar recovery in the US and the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone, not to mention the US assassination of Osama Bin Laden.   Stocks did not escape the turmoil as equities succumbed to inflation fears and poorer than expected US economic data.  In New York, the Dow closed down more than 1% at 12,638 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1340.   Indian stocks also declined by more than 3% as the Sensex closed at 18,518 and the Nifty finished at 5551.

All this turbulence appears to be an adequate reflection of the slow-moving Jupiter-Rahu aspect which finally comes exact on May 7.  As I have noted over the past several weeks, the approach of the Jupiter-Rahu aspect has the potential to disrupt the financial landscape in fundamental ways.  Specifically, the focus of this aspect centered around notions of speculation and growth expectations.  Jupiter symbolizes growth and optimism but Rahu often creates a distorting or unsustainable greed effect so it is quite fitting that this speculative froth would have be taken out of the market at this time.  Silver has fallen 30% in the span of a single week while crude oil has declined by 10%.   It is possible that we could be at the beginning of a major sea change in assumptions as the long-struggling US Dollar may have turned the corner now as it rose 2% for the week.  Once the Dollar gets back on its feet, it will likely fuel further exiting of the "risk trade" in commodities and likely in stocks as well. 


Transits for triple conjunction  -- Wednesday May 11 2011


Another reason why we could be witnessing a shift in the prevailing trends is that Saturn is now backing up into a square aspect with Pluto.  The aspect will still be four degrees away from exact so it may not be as powerful as it might be, but it could well provide another source of Saturnian caution for the market in the weeks ahead.  Once Saturn returns to direct motion on June 13, this aspect will begin to separate and eventually weaken.

Since Jupiter makes its exact with Rahu this week, it would be tempting to think that it's all downhill from here.  It very well could be, although there may be sources of bullish sentiment in the mix also.  Of critical importance will be the triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter on Wednesday May 11.  These are three normally bullish planets that should generate some buying in and around their exact alignment.  As a general rule of thumb, sentiment usually rises before the aspect is exact.  The complicating factor here is that this bullish triple conjunction will occur under the shadowy aspect of Rahu.  That may increase the likelihood of a quick reversal lower at any point in the proceedings and could seriously undermine rally attempts.  In any event, it promises to be an active and interesting week.

 

 


 

Week of May 2 - 6

US stocks gain on Jupiter-Rahu inflation play;  Mars is stronger this week
 

US Stocks rose last week as investors cheered Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's restated commitment to the zero interest rate policy for the foreseeable future.   In New York, the Dow gained more than 2%
closing at 12,810 while the S&P500 finished at 1363.  Bernanke's comments also prompted gains in inflation hedges as such gold, silver and oil.  It was a different story in India's already inflation-ravaged economy as the Sensex lost more than 2% closing at 19,135 while the Nifty ended the week at 5749.

As expected, we did see some decline on Monday's Mercury-Saturn opposition aspect.  The US market rebounded after that as the bullish Sun-Venus-Pluto pattern coincided with gains that lasted for the rest of the week.   The gains were largely a response to the pro-inflationary stance of the Fed, as most asset classes gained ground against a falling dollar.  The Indian market fared less well, however, since the Fed policy would likely increase inflationary pressures that are already threatening the domestic economy.  Interestingly, Friday's gains in crude and gold coincided with the Moon's entry into sidereal Pisces.  I suggested last week that this transit might well coincide with gains in crude as it would enhance the strength of the five planets (Uranus, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter) that already occupy this constellation.

 

Transits for Monday May 2, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York
 


The recent gains in most asset classes is very much in keeping with the speculative nature of the approaching Jupiter-Rahu aspect. Jupiter's tendency towards expansion and growth is exaggerated by Rahu's penchant for distortion and disruption.  The combination of these influences can result in greed and speculative excess that are commonly found in bubbles and manias.  It is therefore no surprise that we see gold reaching new all-time highs every week and silver going parabolic. One of the features of Rahu, however, is that while it can generate gains, these are often unsustainable in the long term.  Once the Jupiter-Rahu aspect begins to separate on May 7 (or May 13 depending on which measurement of Rahu/NN one uses), we will need to watch for signs of a trend reversal.   There is an increased likelihood that this aspect may bring about changes in the financial landscape.  Nothing is guaranteed obviously, but it is a combination that has the power to change the status quo.

This week begins with a potentially tricky aspect between Mars and Rahu.  Since Mars is also entering sidereal Aries on Tuesday, this could increase the probability of some downside in the early week.  This may be strong enough to manifest in most markets.  But we could see a return to the pro-inflation bullishness after that, as the approaching conjunction between Venus and Mercury is likely to bring some gains into midweek, and perhaps later. Friday looks somewhat less positive, however, as the Moon conjoins Ketu/SN.

 

 



 

Week of May 2 - 6

US stocks gain on Jupiter-Rahu inflation play;  Mars is stronger this week
 

US Stocks rose last week as investors cheered Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's restated commitment to the zero interest rate policy for the foreseeable future.   In New York, the Dow gained more than 2%
closing at 12,810 while the S&P500 finished at 1363.  Bernanke's comments also prompted gains in inflation hedges as such gold, silver and oil.  It was a different story in India's already inflation-ravaged economy as the Sensex lost more than 2% closing at 19,135 while the Nifty ended the week at 5749.

As expected, we did see some decline on Monday's Mercury-Saturn opposition aspect.  The US market rebounded after that as the bullish Sun-Venus-Pluto pattern coincided with gains that lasted for the rest of the week.   The gains were largely a response to the pro-inflationary stance of the Fed, as most asset classes gained ground against a falling dollar.  The Indian market fared less well, however, since the Fed policy would likely increase inflationary pressures that are already threatening the domestic economy.  Interestingly, Friday's gains in crude and gold coincided with the Moon's entry into sidereal Pisces.  I suggested last week that this transit might well coincide with gains in crude as it would enhance the strength of the five planets (Uranus, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter) that already occupy this constellation.

 

Transits for Monday May 2, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York
 


The recent gains in most asset classes is very much in keeping with the speculative nature of the approaching Jupiter-Rahu aspect. Jupiter's tendency towards expansion and growth is exaggerated by Rahu's penchant for distortion and disruption.  The combination of these influences can result in greed and speculative excess that are commonly found in bubbles and manias.  It is therefore no surprise that we see gold reaching new all-time highs every week and silver going parabolic. One of the features of Rahu, however, is that while it can generate gains, these are often unsustainable in the long term.  Once the Jupiter-Rahu aspect begins to separate on May 7 (or May 13 depending on which measurement of Rahu/NN one uses), we will need to watch for signs of a trend reversal.   There is an increased likelihood that this aspect may bring about changes in the financial landscape.  Nothing is guaranteed obviously, but it is a combination that has the power to change the status quo.

This week begins with a potentially tricky aspect between Mars and Rahu.  Since Mars is also entering sidereal Aries on Tuesday, this could increase the probability of some downside in the early week.  This may be strong enough to manifest in most markets.  But we could see a return to the pro-inflation bullishness after that, as the approaching conjunction between Venus and Mercury is likely to bring some gains into midweek, and perhaps later. Friday looks somewhat less positive, however, as the Moon conjoins Ketu/SN.

 

 



 



Week of April 25 - 29

Stocks gain on Sun-Venus; more gains possible this week

Stocks rebounded across the board last week as positive corporate earnings offset Monday's surprise US debt warning.  In New York, the Dow climbed more than 1% closing at 12,505 while the S&P500 finished at 1337.  In Mumbai, the indices also recovered after Monday's decline as the BSE-Sensex added about 1% on the week closing at 19,626.  After trading as low as 5725 early in the week, the Nifty ended the week at 5884.  With the further weakness in the US Dollar, gold hit new all-time highs last week trading above $1500 and crude oil futures once again moved above $110.

This outcome was more or less in line with expectations as the Mercury-Mars-Saturn alignment on Monday and Tuesday was likely to induce more selling.  Monday was lower but the market generally reversed higher by Tuesday resulting in perhaps a somewhat abbreviated negative influence from these planets.  The midweek gains correlated quite closely with the bullish Sun-Venus-Neptune pattern as investors pushed up prices through to the end of the week.

One wonders how long Bernanke will let the Dollar fall.  While a low Dollar helps to make exports cheaper and boosts job growth, all that imported oil the US relies upon for its energy needs is becoming a burden on the economy.   $5 a gallon gasoline is going to reduce discretionary consumer spending and this will tend to reduce economic growth.  Eventually, something will have to give.  Either the Fed defends the Dollar and lets the stock market fall, or the Dollar is permitted to devalue indefinitely which will drive up inflation and reduce growth.  Jupiter moves into alignment with Rahu in early May so that may well reflect some changes (Rahu) in growth outlook (Jupiter). 
 
Transits for Monday April 25, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York


his week begins in the immediate aftermath of a Mercury-Saturn opposition.  Mercury actually turns direct on Saturday, but it will still be just one degree from its exact aspect from bearish Saturn.  So it is possible this could be a drag on sentiment, especially in Indian markets.  But more upside looks fairly likely going into midweek as the Sun and Venus will align with Pluto.  This is likely to boost most asset classes.  The end of the week is somewhat fuzzier, however.  Stocks may be more mixed, with oil perhaps more likely to rise as the Moon enters watery Pisces on Friday.

 

 



 


Week of April 18 - 22

Markets drift lower; Mercury-Mars-Saturn this week


Stocks edged lower last week as inflation fears and unimpressive corporate earnings weighed on markets.   In New York, the Dow rallied late in the week but still ended lower closing at 12,341 while the S&P500 finished at 1319.  In Mumbai, the Sensex reversed after Wednesday's gain and closed lower at 19,386 while the Nifty finished at 5824.  I thought we might see more early week upside on the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction but we only saw some gains arrive on Wednesday.  Friday's Sun-Rahu aspect was more of a toss-up and this coincided with a decline in India, although the US market continued to  rise.

Inflation remains an ongoing concern here as oil and gold are both seen as hedges against rising prices and a falling US Dollar.  Both phenomena are at least partially due to the Fed's QE2 policy which comes to an end on June 30.  The debate now is whether the economy and the market are strong enough to stand on their own two feet once this policy ends.  While the jury is out on that question, it does seem reasonable to assume that once the injection of Fed cash ends, there will be less inflationary pressure around the world.  This will tend to moderate or lower asset prices including stocks, oil and gold.  However, it seems unlikely that prices will simply begin to fall the day after QE2 ends.  Markets typically don't work that way.  

 

Transits for Monday April 18, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


It seems more likely that we could get some adjustment in asset prices before the end of the Fed's buy back program.  We have seen some correction already, especially in emerging markets like India, although oil and gold are still riding high.  As Jupiter approaches its aspect with Rahu in early May we could see a new dynamic enter the market.  Rahu tends to disrupt the status quo so its association with Jupiter (wealth, finances, growth) may interrupt the prevailing trend.  Rahu can also symbolize speculation and greed, so it's possible that some markets will continue to rise until the aspect is exact. 

This week begins with a difficult alignment of Mercury, Mars and Saturn.  Mars opposes Saturn on Monday while Mars conjoins Mercury on Tuesday.   Since the bearish planets (Mars, Saturn) outnumber bullish Mercury, there is a greater likelihood of declines this week, especially in the early going.  The late week period offers somewhat more positive outcomes as the Sun and Venus form aspects to Neptune. 



 



 



Week of April 11 - 15

Stocks flat after Sun-Jupiter-Saturn; Mercury-Jupiter upcoming
 
Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as optimism from improved corporate earnings was offset by concern over rising oil prices and the stalemate in Libya.  After pushing to new highs for the year midweek, the Dow settled at 12,380 while the S&P500 finished at 1328.  It was a similar story in Mumbai as Indian stocks pushed higher early in the week only to lose the momentum by week's end.  The BSE-Sensex closed at 19,451 with the Nifty ending at 5842. 

This flat result was not wholly unexpected as I noted we would see both positive and negative aspects in play.  The cluster of planets in the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn alignment made outcomes more difficult to predict.  US markets peaked with Wednesday's Sun-Jupiter conjunction while India peaked Monday, albeit with some intraday rally attempts in midweek that failed to hold.  (Wednesday actually marked the intraweek high.)  I thought we might see more downside early on around the Mars-Uranus conjunction but aspect passed uneventfully.  It is interesting to note that many world markets made some significant highs last week around this alignment.  In the case of the Dow, it made a new high for 2011 while India's Sensex pushed to a new high in this post-correction rebound.  Whether these highs will hold for any length of time remains to be seen, but given the importance of the planets involved in this alignment, it adds just a little more evidence to the bearish view that more downside may be around the corner.  Market reversals will sometimes occur near multi-planet alignments not unlike what we saw last week. 
 
Transits for Monday April 11, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York

This week begins with a conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter.  Since both planets are considered positive influences, the most likely outcome is a rise.  The conjunction is exact on Monday, although it is possible that the positive influence may not be felt until the Moon enters Cancer on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Moon may be strengthened by the aspect it receives from Jupiter at this time.  Indian markets are closed Tuesday and Thursday, so that may complicate matters somewhat.  The Sun leaves the friendly confines of sidereal Pisces late Wednesday and enters Aries.  The Sun's transit of Pisces (March 15 - April 13) has been quite beneficial for the market this time around due to the presence of Jupiter, Mercury and Mars in Pisces.  This has created a hub of positive energy which has correlated fairly closely with rising prices.  Once the Sun enters Aries, some of this positive influence may be lost. 

The other thing worth noting is that the Sun will also be in aspect with Rahu (North Lunar Node) at the end of the week.  Rahu is a more unpredictable planet so this aspect may increase the likelihood of declines.  While gains are still possible under this combination, it is not a reliably bullish factor.

 

 



 



Week of April 4 - 8

Stocks rise with Venus; Sun aligns with Jupiter-Saturn
 
Stocks extended their rebound last week as investors chose to look beyond the Middle East and focus on improving growth prospects.  In New York, the Dow was up over 1% closing at 12,376 while the S&P500 finished the  week at 1332.  While we did see some early week declines around the Mars-Ketu aspect, the pullback was most modest than expected.  The midweek Moon-Venus conjunction also corresponded fairly well with the midweek gains.  Investors were even more upbeat in India as the Sensex rose 3% closing at 19,420 and the Nifty ending the week at 5826.  There was no downside at all in the early week, however, as the Mars-Ketu aspect failed to correlate with any selling.

While most markets have rallied back from recent lows, stocks still appear to be trapped in a corrective phase, especially in emerging markets such as India.  This is broadly in keeping with the bearish influence of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition.  As this influence is now gradually weakening, the next major aspect on the horizon is the Jupiter-Rahu aspect in early May.  If Jupiter symbolizes optimism and growth, Rahu is associated with distortions and excessive acquisitiveness.  Rahu (North Lunar Node) is considered a natural malefic that can cause problems of indulgence and excess, such as in speculation.  While it is sometimes linked to an expansion, this is often unstable and is subject to sudden collapse.  Often, the influence of Rahu brings negative consequences. 

In February 2009, Jupiter conjoined Rahu in Capricorn just as stocks were falling rapidly toward their eventual low in early March.  While other factors no doubt also played a role in that decline -- the tight Saturn-Uranus opposition quickly comes to mind --  the close proximity of Jupiter to Rahu is noteworthy.  We will have an roughly analogous situation in early May so that warrants close observation. 
 

Transits for Monday April 4, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York

This week will see the Sun act as a potential triggering planet to the Jupiter-Saturn aspect as it aspects Saturn on Monday and then conjoins Jupiter on Wednesday.  In addition, Mars conjoins Uranus on Sunday/Monday so that may increase energy levels and trading volumes.  It also may make the early week period more susceptible to declines. The close alignment of the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn makes the timing of the effects of specific aspects somewhat more uncertain, however.   Nonetheless, the second half of the week would therefore be more positive given the Sun-Jupiter conjunction and the approach of the Sun towards retrograde Mercury. 
 
 

 



 



Week of March 28 - April 1

Markets rise on Sun-Uranus; Mars-Ketu due on Tuesday

Stocks rebounded forcefully last week as fears about Japan lessened and US growth prospects continued to show signs of improvement.   In New York, the Dow climbed more than 2% closing at 12,220 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1313.  Indian markets were even more bullish, as the BSE-Sensex soared 5% closing at 18,815 with the Nifty finishing at 5654.   This bullish outcome was perhaps a reflection of Monday's Sun-Uranus conjunction which I had suggested was a fairly positive influence in the early going.  I had been more unsure about the rest of the week, however, given the unreliability of the midweek Venus-Ketu aspect and the mix of energies at the end of the week.  

This recent rise in stocks is perhaps somewhat anomalous with the close opposition aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, now just one degree from exact.  As a general rule, closer aspects are more powerful in their effects and if this aspect is mostly negative, then stocks should tend to decline around the date of their exact aspect, which is March 28-29 in this case.  While that is likely true, it is important to note that both Jupiter and Saturn are slow moving planets and usually require faster-moving triggering planets to release their energy.  We didn't have a triggering 3rd planet last week, so that was one reason why the markets recovered.   So even though the aspect will begin to separate and therefore weaken after Monday, its mostly bearish energy can be released for days or even weeks afterwards if we get the right triggering planets involved in the alignment.  This appears to be the case now as we have a series of transits involving fast-moving inner planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars) that will all conjoin Jupiter in the month of April.  It promises to be a fascinating time.

It's also worth noting that planetary energies for good or ill will not always manifest clearly in the market.  Negative energy such as what we see with Saturn aspects can sometimes show up in the form of a war, or natural disaster that may not have any obvious economic implications.  The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean was an example of this type of event that occurred near a negative planetary alignment of Saturn and Pluto and yet did not have any effect on the market.  All of which is to say that there is still a lot we don't know about the relationship between the motions of the planets and life on Earth.  Astrology's empirical foundation is fragmentary at best (not unlike economics perhaps!), and this is why it exists in a rather isolated, dark corner safely away from the mainstream.

Transits for Monday, March 28, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York

 

This may be quite an interesting week.  Not only will we see the exact Jupiter-Saturn opposition late on Monday (GMT), but we will also have a square aspect between Mars and Ketu (South Lunar Node) in the first half of the week.  Mars aspects with the nodes can be quite lively and energetic and often correlate with quick action and sudden changes. Since both planets are considered natural malefics, there is a somewhat higher possibility for declines here.  And given the Jupiter-Saturn encounter, we can't rule out some major "volatility", as they euphemistically say in the business media.  This Mars-Ketu aspect doesn't quite qualify as a "trigger" since it will not aspect Jupiter-Saturn, but it may act as a kind of pseudo-trigger.  Mercury turns retrograde late Wednesday (GMT) in fairly close aspect to Rahu.  This may be a mostly neutral influence, although the Rahu influence here suggests an overload or distortion of information.  In some instances, this could be a good thing but it should be treated with caution.  At the same time, the Moon conjoins Venus and Neptune on Wednesday and Thursday, so that may exert a mildly calming effect.  Friday's Mars-Neptune aspect seems more negative, especially since the Moon will be in the proximity of Mars later in the day in the US.

 


 



 



Week of March 21 - 25

Global markets slide on Japan; Jupiter-Saturn tightens its grip


Japan's nuclear crisis delivered another blow to the markets last week as investors pondered the implications of a disruption of the global supply chain. In New York, the Dow broke below the 12K level falling almost 2% to 11,858 while the S&P500 finished at 1279.  It was much the same result in India as another RBI rate hike added to the inflation anxiety with the BSE-Sensex slipping 2% to 17,878 while the Nifty ended the week at 5373. 

This negative outcome was very much in keeping with my bearish general expectation ahead of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition aspect.  However, some of the intraweek moves did not perform quite as anticipated, even if I suggested a higher level of ambiguity here.  The early week Mars-Saturn aspect was bearish as expected in the US, although India ended flat over Monday and Tuesday.  More interesting was the outcome of the midweek Mercury-Jupiter conjunction.  Usually this is a bullish influence, although I noted that the proximity of Saturn's aspect might mitigate of those effects.  Well, Saturn not only mitigated them, it basically reversed them as US stocks fell into Wednesday.  Indian markets appeared to adhere more closely to the negative effects of Fridays' Mercury-Saturn aspect as this activated a key pattern in the natal horoscope of the BSE. 


Transits for Monday March 21, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York



So far, the Jupiter-Saturn aspect appears to be fulfilling its bearish promise as we prepare for the exact opposition on March 28-29.  As I have noted, these two giants of the solar system usually make news whenever they come together by aspect.  As symbolic opposites, they represent the extremes of optimism/pessimism, expansion/contraction and gain/loss.  While their energies some sometimes be constructively combined  when they are favourably placed or aspected by benefic planets, they tend to be somewhat incompatible.  While one might think they are roughly equal in strength, in practice Saturn tends to carry the day.  That's because as a more distant planet, it moves more slowly.  In astrology, the general maxim is: the slower the planet, the greater the strength.  This is perhaps a sobering reminder of the nature of the human experience: the strongest of the visible planets symbolizes structure, pessimism, and loss!  Thanks, I needed that.

This week presents another mixed bag of aspects starting with Monday's Sun-Uranus conjunction.  Uranus' risk-seeking outlook often manifests as gains on aspects like this, although the upside may not last long as the conjunction is exact before the start of trading in New York (although after the close in Mumbai). The Venus-Ketu/SN aspect may exert an influence on proceedings starting on Wednesday and lasting into Thursday.  This is often a negative influence, although it is somewhat unreliable in that respect.  Due to natal chart hits, Indian markets may be feel its effects more than the US.  The end of the week is quite mixed as Venus heads towards its conjunction with Neptune.  This is quite a bullish influence, especially for gold and oil, but it may well pan out to include most asset classes.  However, it is exact only on Saturday so Asian markets may be less likely to feel it.  But potentially offsetting influence here is that Mars enters sidereal Pisces on Friday and that can be a bearish influence.  Given that mix of energies, I would not rule out any outcome.

 

 



 



Week of March 14 - 18

Markets slide on growth worries;  Mercury-Jupiter conjunction this week

Stocks slipped again last week as new data out of China suggested slowing economic growth in an increasingly inflationary environment.  This double whammy was too much for New York to bear as the Dow fell more than 1% closing at 12,044 while the S&P500 finished at 1304.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as Indian stocks declined on the prospect of continued high oil prices.  The BSE-Sensex tumbled almost 2% closing at 18,174 while the Nifty ended the week at 5445.  This outcome was not wholly unexpected as I noted the likelihood of declines on Monday's Sun-Saturn aspect and at the end of the week.  Most global markets fell on Monday and again towards the end of the week.  I also corrected noted the probability of gains in the midweek period around the Mercury-Uranus conjunction.  I thought we might see a little more offsetting upside on this conjunction that we got, but Tuesday and Wednesday were nonetheless mostly higher across the board.   Of course, my medium term expectations were pretty bearish here in any event as we approach the Jupiter-Saturn opposition on March 28-29. 

It's interesting to see how the discussion about inflation has evolved in recent weeks.   Back when Jupiter (optimism, expansion) was in fairly close conjunction with Uranus (risk, change), we saw rising inflation in the emerging economies like India and China but the potential downside risks seemed fairly minimal as growth was expected to continued at a brisk clip.  That optimism began to waver after the exact conjunction in early January as India's market began to decline in earnest.  Clearly, more investors were realizing that inflation could be a big problem that could hamper growth in the future. 

 

Transits for Monday March 14, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


But US and European markets continued to climb as inflation was less of a problem in those recession-ravaged economies.  It was only with the ongoing Middle East crisis and the spike in the price of oil that inflation became a concern in developed countries.  This was a reflection of the weakening of Jupiter's optimism as it began to separate from risk-seeking Uranus and approach cautious and pessimistic Saturn.  The notion of good, or at least, benign inflation is now being replaced by bad inflation.  Now that Jupiter is moving close to Saturn's aspect, worries about growth are increasing, the Eurozone debt problem is back on the table and the glass is very much half-empty.  In other words, Jupiter's rosy outlook is getting schooled by Saturn's sobriety.   This is a similar planetary set up to May 2010 when the last Jupiter-Saturn opposition coincided quite closely with the stock market correction and the Flash Crash.

This week features a high number of aspects, both bullish and bearish.  Monday begins with the key Mars aspect to Saturn.  This is a full strength 8th house or quincunx aspect that definitely has the potential to pack a punch, especially in India.  In this instance, however, Venus will also be part of this three-planet alignment, so that may moderate some of the difficulties here.  Nonetheless, I would be surprised to see anything other than a decline on Monday.  US markets may fare somewhat better, if only because the aspect is exact at the open and will begin to weaken thereafter.  The midweek period looks more positive as Mercury conjoins Jupiter on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Both of these planets are considered bullish influences, so their combination here is likely to produce some significant upward thrust.  Even here though the presence of Saturn's aspect suggests a potential mitigation of the inherent positive energy of Mercury-Jupiter.   The late week period looks more negative again as Mercury lines up exactly opposite Saturn on Friday.  Mercury-Saturn aspects usually correspond with pessimism and disappointing economic news so it is quite possible that any midweek gains may come under threat.

 



 



 

 
Week of March 7 - 11

Stocks mostly rise with Venus; Mercury-Uranus this week


US Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as the market digested the implications of the February jobs report against a backdrop of an emerging civil war in Libya.   Although the Dow did enjoy some midweek gains, Friday's selloff left it only marginally higher than last week at 12,169 while the S&P500 finished at 1321.   Indian stocks fared much better rising 4% as the balanced approach of the latest Union Budget was warmly received.  The Sensex closed at 18,840 while the Nifty ended the week at 5538.   Gold and oil continued to benefit from the Libya crisis as gold made new highs over $1420 and oil ended the week over $100 for the first time since 2008.

In last week's post, I had suggested that the early week Venus-Uranus-Neptune aspect would likely tilt the market towards the bulls, especially in India.  This was certainly the case in Mumbai as Monday was higher and then Tuesday saw the Sensex soar 600 points.   US markets were less reactive to this Venus influence although stocks did rise on Monday.  Tuesday's selloff in New York anticipated the bearish midweek Mercury-Saturn aspect.  I had also suggested that the late week period would generally be weaker on Friday's New Moon.  While India was merely flat on Friday, US markets sold off fairly significantly as the over-hyped jobs report disappointed many investors.

As I have noted previously, the current geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East is an appropriate reflection of the Rahu-Uranus square aspect that became exact as the end of last week.  This volatile pairing of Rahu (greed, deception) and Uranus (change, freedom) has been drawing closer to its exact aspect over the past few weeks.   This is perhaps one astrological factor behind the recent instability in financial markets and the soaring price of oil.  But now that the aspect will begin to separate, we should look for a possible shift in this dynamic.  Of course, the weakening of this Rahu-Uranus aspect does not necessarily mean that we can quickly move back to the status quo ante.  Rather, it seems more likely that markets will move into a new phase.  The initial shock phase is therefore likely winding down and we may be entering the next period of adjustment. 

Transits for Monday, March 7, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


I continue to underline the importance of the approaching Jupiter-Saturn opposition on March 28-29.   As in economics perhaps, there are no guarantees in astrology.  Where human behaviour is the object of analysis, there can only be probabilities in the best of times.   And yet we know that the interaction of these two giants of the solar system often brings about significant market moves.  Sometimes these aspects correspond with approximate low points, as happened in May 2010 after the Flash Crash.  In other situations, it may correspond with a trend reversal lower as Saturn's pessimism finally asserts itself over the enthusiastic entreaties of Jupiter.  And still other situations will see very few immediate effects.  In most cases, however, this coming together of positive and negative influences has major implications for human psychology and hence for stock prices.

While we move one step closer to the Jupiter-Saturn opposition  -- now just separated by 6 degrees -- there is the prospect for more gains on the midweek conjunction of Mercury and Uranus.  Mercury (trading, commerce) and Uranus (risk, speed) are usually a bullish combination, especially in the day or two leading up to the conjunction.  On this occasion, there is likely to be an increase in urgency and perhaps volatility also due to the co-presence of the Rahu aspect.  While the week could well begin bearishly (perhaps more likely in India), the midweek period could well see stocks more higher.  The late week period would seem to be less positive for stocks, even if this translates into further gains for oil and gold.

 

 



 
 


Week of February 28 - March 4

Stocks slide on Mars-Ketu;  Venus offers some relief this week


Stocks tumbled on most global markets last week as rising oil prices from the Libyan crisis heightened fears of inflation.  In New York, the Dow fell 2% to 12,130 and the S&P500 finished at 1319.  This was the largest weekly decline for US markets since November.  Indian markets also declined as the BSE-Sensex lost 3% to 17,700 while the Nifty closed at 5303.  This bearish outcome was very much in keeping with expectations as I noted that last week's Mercury-Mars-Neptune-Ketu alignment could be quite potent and increase the likelihood of steep sell-offs.  Somewhat anomalously, the Indian market rose on Monday on the Mercury-Mars conjunction but it was mostly downhill after that as the Mars-Ketu aspect became dominant.  Friday's recovery also closely followed last week's forecast as the bullish combination of Sun-Mercury-Jupiter coincided with a return to optimism.

The ongoing crisis in Libya is the immediate market mover at the moment as Gaddafi's regime appears to be on its last legs.  A protracted civil war is still possible, however, so it is unclear just how negative this worse case scenario would be for the market.  From an astrological perspective, this rise in protest and civil disruption appears to be linked to the current Rahu-Uranus aspect. Rahu (the North Lunar Node) symbolizes the interruption of the status quo  while Uranus represents the drive for freedom and independence.  While both planets are related to change and instability, Uranus is more closely associated with rebellion and revolution.  The Rahu-Uranus aspect becomes exact on March 4 so there is some reason to expect the situation may be resolve fairly soon.  The larger protest movement across the Middle East may be traced back to the solar eclipse on January 4th which was visible throughout the region.  This eclipse horoscope was quite afflicted as the Sun and Moon were conjunct violent Mars and in a difficult square aspect with destructive Saturn.
 

Transits for Monday February 28, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


This week likely begins on a more optimistic note as Venus will be in aspect with Uranus and Neptune on Monday and Tuesday.  Needless to say, Venus is a much happier planet than Mars, so that increases the likelihood of stability and the prospect of rising stocks.  India's Union Budget is also slated for release on Monday, so the positive planets would tend to suggest a favourable reception.  The good vibes may wane somewhat as the week progresses as Wednesday's Mercury-Saturn aspect would increase the possibility for midweek declines.  Friday's New Moon may also reflect a negative mood as it occurs in fairly close aspect with Saturn.  With these two contrary influences in play, it's harder to call the overall direction of the market this week. 
 

 



 


Week of February 21 - 25

Markets move higher on Sun-Neptune; Mars and Ketu may destabilize


Stocks in New York inched higher yet again last week as more positive earnings reports kept the QE2 rally intact.  The Dow closed up 1% to close at 12,391 while the S&P500 finished at 1343.  This bullish outcome was not unexpected given the Sun-Neptune conjunction that was exact on Thursday.   This was a favourable pairing that corresponded fairly closely with larger up days.  I had expected a little more in the way of downside due to the Saturn aspects on Monday and Friday, but the result was unimpressive as Monday-Tuesday was only mildly negative while Friday was actually an up day on the Dow, although broader indexes like the NYSE Composite were mostly flat.

Indian markets staged an impressive rebound last week as bargain hunters moved in and bought banking and metal shares.  Despite a fairly sharp decline Friday, the BSE Sensex climbed almost 3% to 18,211 while the Nifty ended the week at 5458.  While I thought the early week might be somewhat bearish, the overall strength of the market was not unexpected given the favourable placement of the Sun with Neptune. Friday's sell-off was a reminder of the continuing power of Saturn as its aspect with Venus saw a loss of optimism.  Indian markets are attempting to rally after a severe correction and may also be buoyed by the fact they are in pre-budget mode as the government releases its Union Budget on 28 February.   On the day of the budget, there will be an alignment of Jupiter and Pluto which will reflect bold and assertive plans to deal with pressing financial problems such as inflation. While this combination seems quite bullish, it also may ultimately be inflationary in the long run.  We will have to see how that shakes out.

Transits for Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


As reports of the economic recovery increasingly fill the US media, one wonders when this positive feedback loop will come to a stop.  The good news continues to bring new money into the market as more fund managers put the recession behind them, and yet there is an irony here that poses a risk to the rally: if the economy recovers too quickly, the Fed may be forced to wind down its QE2 stimulus measures ahead of schedule.  Fears of inflation are lurking in the background here so too much growth could cause the Fed to hit the brakes and withdraw the liquidity from the market.   This would likely be problematic for stocks.  With the Jupiter-Saturn opposition aspect coming up at the end of March, it would seem that we are getting closer to a more pessimistic view of the economy.  This may or may not reflect new economic data.   Since the market is all about perceptions, Saturn's growing influence may mean that we are simply shifting towards a 'glass half-empty' outlook.

This week promises to be very interesting as Mercury and Mars are in conjunction with Neptune and all three are in aspect with Ketu, the South Lunar Node.  Mars-Neptune combinations generally reflect difficulty and the nodal influence from Ketu has the potential to both magnify and distort market behaviour.  Since the aspects are closest in early and midweek, markets may be more vulnerable to declines then. (N.B. US markets are closed for a holiday Monday)  Some markets may be subject to steep sell-offs here.  The late week period appears to be somewhat positive as Mercury conjoins the Sun and both move into alignment with Jupiter on Friday.

 

 


 



Week of February 14 - 18

US extends gains; Sun-Neptune this week

US Stocks climbed higher last week buoyed by a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Egypt.  The Dow finished more than 1% to the good closing at 12,273 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1329.  I had expected some upside to manifest on the midweek Venus-Pluto conjunction, and we saw significant gains on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.  The absence of any downside on Monday's Sun-Mars conjunction was a little puzzling, although US markets have largely been immune to many otherwise negative planetary influences. 

It was quite a different story in Mumbai as Indian markets continued to slide last week losing more than 1%.  Inflation fears are running rampant and that is prompting many investors to turn cautious.  The Sensex ended Friday at 17,728 while the Nifty finished at 5310.  Indian stocks have been falling through much 2011 due to a powerful Saturn affliction to the horoscope of the BSE.  Since this Saturn affliction will last for most of the year, stocks will probably have a difficult time of it.

Over the coming weeks, bearish Saturn will oppose bullish Jupiter in the sky.   Encounters between these two giants of the solar system often occur near major turning points in the market.  The previous opposition in May 2010 coincided fairly closely with a market correction and an intermediate low on most global markets.  Trine aspects have similarly corresponded with significant lows as occurred in January and November 2008.  While there are few certainties in financial astrology, these Jupiter-Saturn combinations do have a tendency to bring down prices near their exact aspects.   The date of this exact opposition is March 29. 

Transits for Monday, February 14, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York


For all its potential significance in foretelling prices, the Jupiter-Saturn aspect is perhaps less reliable in highlighting when a correction may begin.  That requires consideration of other factors, along with an assessment of the horoscopes of major stock exchanges.  It nonetheless seems that we are getting very close to a decline.

This week looks somewhat mixed as Monday begins with a Mercury-Saturn trine aspect.  Saturn aspects tend to be bearish, although the aspect may be more strongly felt in Asian markets.  On a more bullish note, the Sun conjoins Neptune by midweek so that may well lift sentiment across the board.  Saturn steps back into the limelight by Friday as it forms a tense square aspect with Venus.  This increases the likelihood of declines towards the end of the week.


 





Week of February 7 - 11

US Stocks rise on Mercury-Venus; Sun-Mars to conclude

US stocks resumed their ascent last week as worries over Egypt were pushed aside in favour of improved corporate earnings.  The Dow gained more than 2% to close at 12,092 while the S&P500 finished at 1310.  Indian stocks fared less well, however, as the selloff continued in earnest on growing fears that domestic inflation may be out of control and could require a series a punishing rate hikes.  The Sensex declined 2% to close at 18,008 while the Nifty ended the week at 5395. 

I had expected some probable upside on the early and midweek Mercury-Venus aspect and we did in fact see US and European equities chalk up impressive gains on Tuesday along with smaller gains on most other days.  Indian markets have been severely lagging however and did not experience any lift until Wednesday and Thursday's positive sessions.  Most commodities also saw rising prices on these bullish planetary patterns.  I had also suspected some significant downside was possible near the Sun-Mars conjunction late in the week.  While US stocks were temporarily immune to this bearish combination, Indian stocks were not as Mumbai declined more than 2% on Friday.  Commodity markets such as oil and gold also followed this negative Sun-Mars cue and sold off on Friday.


Transits for Monday, February 7, 2011  9.30 a.m. EST New York


Perhaps the real news last week was the rising yields in the bond market.  Both 10-year and 30-year treasuries saw yields breakout above a technical resistance level as they appear to be heading substantially higher.  What is strange is that Ben Bernanke's QE2 program was designed to lower bond yields in order to support the housing market recovery and keep mortgage rates down.  Clearly that isn't happening as bond buyers are now demanding a higher premium as compensation for perceived inflation risk.  So while the US stock market is not very worried about the long term implications of the Fed's unapologetic exercise in money printing, the bond market now is.  If rates continue to rise, it will eventually put pressure on stocks as investors will choose to park their money in high-yielding treasuries.  The QE2 inflationary bubble is already wreaking havoc in China and on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and now appears to be in the process of bursting in Mumbai.  But the US may have to play catch up in that respect.  Let's see if Ben Bernanke's BBQE2 chickens ever come home to roost.

This week will begin with a possible hangover from the Sun-Mars conjunction that was exact over the weekend.  Its aspect with Saturn is still just one degree from exact on Monday so it is quite possible this could produce some skittishness, especially in New York.  At the same time, a more optimistic Venus-Jupiter aspect could subsume some of the gloom.  Venus will retain a starring role this week as it moves into conjunction with pecuniary Pluto by Wednesday.  This ought to increase the appetite for buying and boost the appeal of many risk assets such as stocks and commodities like gold and oil.  The late week period looks less positive, however, as there are no obvious sources of planetary strength.

 

 


 

 

Week of January 31 - February 4

Markets tumble as Saturn turns retrograde;  fiery Sun-Mars conjunction this week


Has the worm finally turned in the US stock market?  The current wave of civil unrest in Egypt shook investors out of their QE2-induced complacency as the Dow broke its eight-week winning streak declining by less than 1% to 11,823 with the S&P500 closing at 1276.  Indian markets fared worse, however, as inflation worries and the prospect of further rate hikes continued to weigh on investors.  The BSE Sensex tumbled more than 3% to 18,395 and the Nifty ended the week at 5512. 

This bearish outcome was more or less in keeping with expectations as last Wednesday's Saturn retrograde station may have helped usher in a new, more cautious investor mindset.  I had thought we might have seen more midweek downside to go along with the tense Mercury-Saturn aspect, but that appeared only to manifest in more vulnerable markets such as India, China and commodities (gold, oil) all sold off significantly. This is perhaps understandable since these more speculative markets have been the biggest beneficiaries of the easy money Fed policy that has pumped up asset prices.  With Saturn extra-strong here as it stands still in the sky, it may coincide with a less tolerant mood towards free spending, inflation and risk-taking -- all of which were the hallmarks of the recent Jupiter-Uranus fueled rally. 

Saturn's penchant for restraint and austerity was reflected in news last week that the Standard and Poor's rating agency warned that a US downgrade may not be far off.   This debt warning came in the aftermath of Obama's SOTU speech where precious little attention was paid to reducing the massive US debt.  The US government is playing a risky game here as it is betting that bond markets will target other more spendthrift governments first before it has to face the music.  As if to put an exclamation point on Saturn's renewed influence, Moody's downgraded Japan's debt rating as that country may soon face its own "high noon" with the bond vigilantes as its debt burden becomes unmanageable in the face of demographic stagnation.
 

Transits for Monday, January 31, 2011  9.30 a.m. New York

 
As Saturn is now begins its backward retrograde journey through sidereal Virgo, it is due to encounter its arch-rival Jupiter in an opposition aspect on March 29.   The last Jupiter-Saturn opposition occurred on May 22, 2010 in the midst of the correction that followed the May 6 flash crash.  While history does not repeat itself exactly, this combination tends to be bearish and suggests a more stringent and cautious atmosphere may prevail in the market for the coming weeks.  We can also expect some more unexpected events along the lines of these escalating Middle East protests as Rahu (greed, disruption of status quo) will form a square aspect with Uranus (risk, independence) on March 5.  Between Saturn's pessimism and this unpredictable Uranian quality, it should prove to be a very eventful time.

The highlight this week is the Sun-Mars conjunction on Friday, February 4.  These two fiery planets combine about once every two years but this time around they will be in close trine aspect to Saturn.  The closest aspect actually occurs over the following weekend, but they could be close enough to produce some effects during the trading week.  Since all three planets are considered malefic, this is definitely an alignment that "bears" close attention!   Ahead of that, however, Mercury and Venus will combine their more positive energies in a configuration with Uranus and Neptune that hints at some early or midweek strength.  This will likely apply to most world equity markets as well as commodities such as gold and oil.

 
 
 
 
 
 


 


Week of January 24 - 28

Markets mixed ahead of Saturn retrograde station


Stocks were mixed last week as more positive earnings reports took the edge off a possible rate hike in China.   In New York,  the Dow was higher for the eighth week in a row closing with a 1% gain to 11,871, although the broader averages such as the S&P500 lost about 1% to close at 1283.  In Mumbai, the BSE-Sensex finished with a gain of less than 1% to 19,007 while the Nifty ended the week at 5696.  Meanwhile, gold continued to languish as it lost another 1%.

This outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations as the bulk of the gains coincided with the early week aspects involving the Sun, Uranus and, of course, Jupiter.  Tuesday was the most positive day of the week, just ahead of the Sun-Jupiter aspect.  As expected, gold also rallied modestly on this alignment.  Sentiment turned more negative on Wednesday, however, as irascible Mars combined with disruptive Ketu as most global markets sold off and were generally weaker through the end of the week.

As Jupiter moves away from Uranus, we may be witnessing a change in attitude towards risk and inflation.  While much of the recent rally in stocks and commodities has been fueled by the conjunction of these two planets, it has also contributed to rising inflation throughout much of Asia.  As optimism and risk-appetite wanes with Jupiter losing some of its power, we could see a new approach to inflation as emerging economies try to grapple with the fallout to the Fed's easy money QE2 program.  Perhaps this will take the form of raising interest rates in China and India more than expected.  This would send a message that inflation is a serious problem and the government is willing to sacrifice some measure of economic growth in order to secure a more stable price regime.  Alternatively, it may also translate into a more cautious reaction by investors to central bank moves, whatever they may be. 


Transits for Monday January 24, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


This week Saturn turns retrograde so we could well see more evidence of a new approach to risk and growth.  What's especially interesting here is that India's central bank meets on Tuesday and will likely announce new measures to tackle the problem including some kind of rate hike.  Saturn actually turns retrograde on Wednesday, although there may be some manifestation of Saturn's penchant for caution and pessimism before then.  What makes this Saturn retrograde station more problematic is that Mercury will be in close square aspect.  This increases the likelihood of a mood of disappointment, perhaps coming from poor economic data.  This is quite a similar planetary alignment as occurred in mid-January 2010 that coincided with the beginning of a significant decline across most world markets.  At that time, it was Mercury that was turning retrograde and it formed a tense square aspect with forward-moving Saturn.   We shall see how reliable this usually bearish pattern is this time.  There is a greater likelihood for some kind of gains later in the week, especially on Friday as the Moon joins Venus in sidereal Scorpio.


 

 


 


Week of January 24 - 28

Markets mixed ahead of Saturn retrograde station


Stocks were mixed last week as more positive earnings reports took the edge off a possible rate hike in China.   In New York,  the Dow was higher for the eighth week in a row closing with a 1% gain to 11,871, although the broader averages such as the S&P500 lost about 1% to close at 1283.  In Mumbai, the BSE-Sensex finished with a gain of less than 1% to 19,007 while the Nifty ended the week at 5696.  Meanwhile, gold continued to languish as it lost another 1%.

This outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations as the bulk of the gains coincided with the early week aspects involving the Sun, Uranus and, of course, Jupiter.  Tuesday was the most positive day of the week, just ahead of the Sun-Jupiter aspect.  As expected, gold also rallied modestly on this alignment.  Sentiment turned more negative on Wednesday, however, as irascible Mars combined with disruptive Ketu as most global markets sold off and were generally weaker through the end of the week.

As Jupiter moves away from Uranus, we may be witnessing a change in attitude towards risk and inflation.  While much of the recent rally in stocks and commodities has been fueled by the conjunction of these two planets, it has also contributed to rising inflation throughout much of Asia.  As optimism and risk-appetite wanes with Jupiter losing some of its power, we could see a new approach to inflation as emerging economies try to grapple with the fallout to the Fed's easy money QE2 program.  Perhaps this will take the form of raising interest rates in China and India more than expected.  This would send a message that inflation is a serious problem and the government is willing to sacrifice some measure of economic growth in order to secure a more stable price regime.  Alternatively, it may also translate into a more cautious reaction by investors to central bank moves, whatever they may be. 


Transits for Monday January 24, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York


This week Saturn turns retrograde so we could well see more evidence of a new approach to risk and growth.  What's especially interesting here is that India's central bank meets on Tuesday and will likely announce new measures to tackle the problem including some kind of rate hike.  Saturn actually turns retrograde on Wednesday, although there may be some manifestation of Saturn's penchant for caution and pessimism before then.  What makes this Saturn retrograde station more problematic is that Mercury will be in close square aspect.  This increases the likelihood of a mood of disappointment, perhaps coming from poor economic data.  This is quite a similar planetary alignment as occurred in mid-January 2010 that coincided with the beginning of a significant decline across most world markets.  At that time, it was Mercury that was turning retrograde and it formed a tense square aspect with forward-moving Saturn.   We shall see how reliable this usually bearish pattern is this time.  There is a greater likelihood for some kind of gains later in the week, especially on Friday as the Moon joins Venus in sidereal Scorpio.


 

 


 



Week of January 17 -  21

US Stocks climb higher on Jupiter; Saturn waits in the wings

US Stocks defied gravity for another week as investors cheered positive earnings reports and more upbeat government data.  The Dow rose 1% to close at 11,787 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1293.  As expected, the bullish effects of Jupiter proved to be a durable influence on markets as its early week aspect with Mercury put stocks an solid footing.  Not even the more ambiguous Mars-Jupiter  aspect late in the week could upset the mood as Friday's session ended with a respectable gain.  

It was a very different outcome in Mumbai, however, as inflation worries continue to undermine sentiment.  New December data suggested that inflation was worsening and that increased the likelihood of a rate hike from the RBI.  As a result, the Sensex lost another 4% last week to close at 18,860 while the Nifty ended Friday at 5654.  India's market may have bucked the otherwise bullish global trend due to specific afflictions to the Sun in the BSE 1875 horoscope. 

On the surface, it may appear that little has changed in this post-eclipse period. US and European stocks have extended the rally and taken prices to new highs.  And yet a number of more speculative markets have fallen since the first week of January.  Many emerging markets like India and China have fallen while a number of commodities have also been subject to declines, gold being the most noteworthy.  While it is possible to regard the eclipse and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction as non-events, I still see them as important sign posts due to the worsening of sentiment in these other markets.  This is perhaps the thin edge of the wedge as the downside of the Fed's QE2 policy may be on the verge of coming home to roost. 

 

Transits for Tuesday, January 18, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York

 

The Fed's plan to buy up treasuries has encouraged a flow of 'hot money' into riskier currencies and asset classes.  This is creating serious inflation problems in Asia and they are now being forced to come to terms with it by raising rates and choking off excessive growth.  Eventually, the lowered demand out of China and India will likely reduce economic activity in the US and Europe, but for now, investors are choosing to ignore this possibility.  Perhaps they will be reminded of the risks of Bernanke's excessive liquidity by Saturn's retrograde cycle which begins on January 26.

This week holds the promise of another mostly positive beginning as the Sun forms aspects with Uranus, Neptune on Monday, and then with Jupiter by Wednesday.  This is likely to produce some buying for at least one or two days, especially in markets which have been bearish like India's.  Gold may also benefit from this Jupiterian influence on the Sun.  With US markets closed for the MLK holiday on Monday, however, some of this upside may be more muted there.  The midweek Mars-Ketu aspect may nullify some of this enthusiasm so it is quite possible that optimism may fizzle with sellers prevailing into Thursday as the Moon opposes Mars.  In other words, there is a good chance we will see more upside before any profit taking.  But as Saturn slowly grinds to a halt in the sky ahead of its retrograde station, there is also an increased risk of more negativity here.  Saturn is waiting in the wings for its moment on the stage.  
 


 


 



Week of January 10 - 14

Gold falls after eclipse; Mercury-Jupiter ahead

 
Stocks in New York edged higher for another week as better than expected manufacturing data fueled hopes for a sustainable recovery.  The Dow gained 1% to close at 11,674 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1271.  Not surprisingly, the biggest rise came from Monday's Venus-Jupiter aspect with the market gradually weakening after that.  The combination of Tuesdays' solar eclipse and Jupiter-Uranus conjunction had little immediate effect on equities, although it did send commodities such as gold and oil down sharply.  Gold lost more than 3% for the week and finished below $1370.  As expected, the late week Sun-Saturn aspect did exert a drag on sentiment as we saw modest declines on both days. 

It was a more dramatic story in Mumbai, however, as Tuesday's eclipse appeared to divide the trend with gains on Monday's Venus-Jupiter aspect and then losses prevailing thereafter.  The Sensex closed below the 20 K level at 19,691 with the Nifty finishing at 5904.  Friday's sizable decline coincided closely with the Sun-Saturn aspect as this pairing often marks a loss of confidence and rise in pessimism.

So while most global stock markets appeared to have shrugged off the solar eclipse and the culmination of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, we may have seen a possible turn in commodities as they moved lower across the board last week.  Whether or not they remain weak in the days and weeks to come is an open question.  With Jupiter's optimism now in shorter supply, it may be harder for commodities to make speculative gains in this post-eclipse and post Jupiter-Uranus environment.  The other additional factor to consider is, of course, Saturn.  If Jupiter is the gas pedal, Saturn acts as the brake. The markets may have lost some of Jupiter's gas here in January but Saturn is due to put on the brakes.  Saturn begins its retrograde cycle on January 26 and it promises to be a significant period owing to the concurrent bad aspect with Mercury.  Remember that Saturn began its retrograde cycle in May 2010 while in bad aspect with Venus and then Jupiter -- just as the market was undergoing a major correction.  While nothing is certain, it definitely is a pattern that warrants further watching.
 

Transits for Monday, January 10, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 


This week features some minor aspects involving the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction so that tilts the table towards gains.  The early week is perhaps more positive in that respect as Mercury is in square aspect with Uranus and Jupiter on Monday and Tuesday.  Mars then takes the reins for the rest of the week as it aspects this bullish planetary duo.  Mars is a more unpredictable factor than Mercury, however, so the probability of late week gains is somewhat lessened and indeed losses are also quite possible.   Perhaps "mixed" is the word that best sums up the situation.

 

 


 


Week of January 3 - 7

Jupiter conjoins Uranus; Solar Eclipse due Tuesday


US Stocks tread water in the last week of 2010 as economic data supplied mixed signals in quiet holiday trading.   The Dow was unchanged at 11,577 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1257.  Indian stocks fared somewhat better as the Sensex rebounded after early weakness and closed 2% higher at 20,509 with the Nifty finishing the year at 6134.  I thought we might see more downside from the Mars-Saturn square but there was only a very mild hiccup in Mumbai, although Chinese equities did appear to suffer early in the week.  The late week period was generally more bullish on the Moon-Venus conjunction, although not all global markets participated and the US in particular stayed mostly flat.

The continued market effervescence is perhaps more in keeping with the approaching Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.   These two planets have been bullish dance partners in sidereal Pisces since mid-2010 as they have rarely been more than a few degrees away from each other.  The optimism of Jupiter and the risk-seeking of Uranus have combined to fuel the substantial rally in the second half of the year.  Once the conjunction culminates exactly on Tuesday, January 4, this bullish pairing will not conjoin again until 2024.  Obviously, their distinctly bullish energies will interact much sooner than that through aspecting (e.g. early 2012), but another protracted period of conjunction will be a long time coming. 



Transits for Monday, January 3, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York
 

Curiously, a solar eclipse at 19 degrees of sidereal Sagittarius is also slated for 3.50 a.m. EST on Tuesday.   This is an intriguing coincidence of phenomena which increases the possibility of major new developments, including the prospect for major trend changes in the days to come.  Eclipses are famous for stirring things up and interrupting the status quo, so we will have to see what kind of effects may manifest here.

The week will also feature a number of close planetary aspects.  Benefic Venus is aspected by Jupiter early in the week so that generally boosts confidence and encourages buying.   But Mercury and Mars are also in fairly tight aspect through much of the midweek period so that may let some air out of the balloon, especially after the eclipse has passed.  The Sun is in a partial strength square aspect with Saturn on Thursday and Friday and that should also be seen as a negative influence on sentiment.  Sun-Saturn aspects often have a special relevance for gold, and prices often fall near their aspects.

 

 


 

 

Week of December 27 - 31

Markets drift higher into Christmas; Mars-Saturn threatens next week


Stocks edged higher last week as retail and housing numbers continued to show improvement and boosted hopes for the recovery.  In New York, the Dow rose about 1% to close at 11,573 while the S&P500 finished the holiday-shortened week at 1256.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as the Sensex added modest gains before closing at 20,073 with the Nifty standing at 6011 at the end of Friday's session.  The universe unfolded more or less as expected as the early week Mercury-Jupiter-Uranus aspect pushed stocks a little higher ahead of the Christmas break.   Predictably, some of the enthusiasm faded by week's end as Venus was damaged by bearish Saturn.   Indian stocks also gained ground early in the week but failed to get above some important resistance, although they did manage a modest gain on Friday.

Tuesday's lunar eclipse garnered a lot of media attention, mostly because it happened to coincide with the winter solstice for the first time since 1638.  I'm not sure this means anything special, although it may be more significant that the eclipse occurred when Mercury was in square aspect to Jupiter and Uranus.  This bullish trio of planets can lift sentiment but the eclipse would almost seem to negate or even reverse that influence since eclipses are celestial mechanisms of interruption where the status quo breaks down. 
 

Transits for Monday, December 27, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

The next eclipse in the current pairing arrives on January 4, 2011, just as Jupiter is in exact conjunction with Uranus.  It's quite a coincidence to be sure, and greatly increases the chances for some big changes in our economic assumptions such as how risk is assessed and how future earnings are calculated.  Jupiter (optimism) and Uranus (risk) have been in close proximity for the past four months and that has been a major reason for the sustained rally from the summer lows.  Once Jupiter separates Uranus, the stage will be set for a dissolution of that bullish, confident energy.   While it could take place gradually over several weeks, the fact that an eclipse occurs at the same time may increase the likelihood of a sudden shift in sentiment or revision in thinking.  January promises to be a very interesting time indeed.

This week will feature a square aspect between Mars and Saturn.  Both of these planets are considered natural malefics so that greatly increases the probability of declines.  The aspect is closest on Tuesday so perhaps that early to midweek period will be the focus of negativity.  The late week period may be somewhat more positive as the Mars-Saturn aspect separates while the Moon conjoins Venus on Thursday and Friday.

 

 


 
 


Week of December 20 - 24

Stocks edge higher on Sun-Jupiter;  lunar eclipse due this week


Stocks edged higher last week as the Fed reaffirmed its commitment to stimulate the economy by any means necessary.   The Dow closed at new highs for the year at 11,491 while the S&P500 finished at 1243.  It was much the same result in Mumbai as markets rose almost 2% with the Sensex closing at 19,864 and the Nifty at 5948.  While I thought we might see more downside on the Mercury-Mars conjunction early in the week, we can't be overly surprised that markets continue to rally here on the approach of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.  The midweek aspect between the Sun and Jupiter-Uranus manifested a little early as stocks generally rose through Tuesday.  The same was true for gold as it once again traded above $1400 in Tuesday's session before turning lower for the rest of the week.

So the optimism of Jupiter continues to operate in a bullish syncopation with the risk-orientation of Uranus.  It is tempting to think the good times will continue all the way to their exact conjunction on January 4 2011.  After all, that is in keeping with standard astrological thinking as conjunctions are most strongly felt right at the point of exactitude.  But even here it is important to note that conjunctions sometimes do not act exactly as advertised.   Some conjunctions peak earlier than expected due to the presence of other factors, while the effect of others last well after they are exact, as we saw with the previous Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on September 15.  This not only sparked the rally off the late August bottom, but the rally continued well into November.  This was perhaps due to the fact that although past exact, the retrograde motion of both planets meant that they would continue to be in close proximity (less than 3 degrees) to each other for over three months.   But once the faster moving Jupiter passes Uranus on January 4, there will be no future conjunctions until 2024.  So that is an argument perhaps that the upcoming conjunction may not behave as bullishly as the last one did.

As always, other facts have to be considered.  One such factor is the impending eclipse period, which begins with a lunar eclipse on Tuesday, December 21.  Eclipses generally occur in pairs and the accompanying solar eclipse is slated for January 4 2011.   That is certainly an intriguing coincidence given that this second eclipse will fall on the same day as the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.   Eclipses are generally seen as destabilizing events which can change market direction and upset the status quo.   Just as the light of the Sun is blocked or interrupted in a solar eclipse, so are prevailing trends "interrupted" by solar eclipses.   That is one reason why earthquakes and volcanoes tend to cluster around eclipse periods -- there is an upset in the Earth's status quo. 
 
Transits for Monday, December 20, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

Readers may recall that the previous two eclipse series were closely implicated in market reversals.  In January 2010, the market topped in the US on January 19, just four days after a solar eclipse, and then tumbled more than 10% over the next three weeks.  The solar eclipse followed a preceding lunar eclipse which had occurred on Dec 29.   The next eclipse period happened very close to the US market bottom on July 2, as a lunar eclipse occurred on June 26 and this was followed by a solar eclipse on July 11.   In light of the tendency of eclipses to reverse trends, there is additional reason to think that the current rally and underlying optimism surrounding the market may be "interrupted" quite soon.  The fact that the solar eclipse falls on the same day as the completion of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction only adds to the likelihood that changes are afoot. 

Besides Tuesday's lunar eclipse, this week will see Mercury forming aspects with Uranus and Jupiter.  Since all three of these planets are nominally positive energies, there is some reason to expect more upside, presumably earlier in the week when the aspects are closest. After Tuesday, however, the positive effects of these aspects will likely wane and caution may soon move in on the Venus-Saturn aspect later in the week.  Sentiment is likely to get even more cautions and perhaps downright tense in the week after Christmas as Mars squares Saturn. 


 

 



 

 

Week of December 13 - 17

US Stocks drift higher on Jupiter-Uranus; Mercury runs gauntlet this week


Stocks in New York drifted higher last week as favorable economic data supported the belief that the recovery is 'just around the corner'.   The Dow was slightly higher at 11,410 while the S&P500 fared somewhat better closing at 1240, its highest level since 2008.  Indian stocks were lower, however, as domestic inflation concerns and the outbreak of more financial scandals sent investors to the exits.  The BSE Sensex tumbled more than 2% to 19,508 with the Nifty finishing at 5857.  Meanwhile, gold fell back below $1400 last week as currency worries were put on the back burner.  I had pointed out the probable negative effect of the early week Sun-Saturn aspect and all markets were generally weaker at that time, although Mumbai continued to fall through Thursday, possibly due to natal afflictions.  Gold's decline arrived more or less on schedule with this aspect as prices tumbled more than 2%.  


Transits for Monday December 13, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York



As most global markets inch higher here, we may well be seeing the "glass half-full" thinking that comes with Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions.  Now that Jupiter is only two degrees away from Uranus, most markets are choosing to not "fight the Fed" and just get on board with all the cheap money Bernanke is injecting into the financial system, regardless of the downstream consequences.  Jupiter's confidence and optimism is combining with Uranus' love of excitement and risk-taking to create something of a monster that has lost its sense of caution and fear.    Well, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.  The exuberance of Jupiter with Uranus may be seen as an astrological equivalent of a bubble.  Even as more commentators openly question how long this game of musical chairs can go on, the bubble continues to be inflated.  When will it pop?   One possible answer might lie in the date of its exact conjunction on January 3, 2011.  Once conjunctions are exact, they begin to lose energy as the planets separate.  This is a general rule of thumb, however, as other influences must also be factored into the overall equation.  Certainly, we are getting pretty close to that point where the balloon cannot expand any further without popping.


This week we will see the immediate effects of the bearish quadruple conjunction of Mercury, Mars, Rahu and Pluto.  While this alignment has not been very negative in the US, it has had more impact in Asian markets where the negative effects of the inflation of Jupiter-Uranus is in full view.  Mercury may be the key planet to watch here as it symbolizes trading and information flows.  Now in its retrograde cycle until Dec 30, Mercury will conjoin Mars and Pluto early in the week with its closest pass on Tuesday.  Around the same time, however, we will have a more bullish Sun-Jupiter aspect that is likely to boost confidence.   Its effects are perhaps more likely to arrive midweek.  Gold may be benefited in particular by this Sun-Jupiter aspect.  The late week period looks mixed as Mercury suffers from its contact with Rahu on Thursday but the Sun teams up with Uranus which could spark more speculative interest.


 

 





Week of December 6 - 10

Stocks rally on Mercury-Venus; rare quadruple conjunction to come

 
Despite another disappointing US employment report that, stocks rebounded last week as the European debt crisis showed signs of coming under control.   In New York, the Dow gained 3% on the week closing at 11,382 while the S&P500 finished at 1224.  It was a similar tale in Mumbai as the BSE Sensex rose 4% closing at 19,966 and the Nifty at 5992.   Last week, I had noted the unreliability of Monday's Mars-Jupiter aspect.  This combination was often bullish due to its symbolism of excessive risk but it seemed less conducive to gains in the current climate.  While we saw gains in Asia on this aspect, much of the rest of the world was modestly lower.  The midweek pairing of Mercury and Venus delivered gains more or less as expected across the board as Wednesday saw prices climb sharply.  The end of the week saw an ebbing of enthusiasm, although it was nowhere near as negative as the aspects would have suggested.  The proximity of Mercury with Rahu and the Mars-Uranus square seemed to portend bigger moves than what we got. Since Mercury is slowing down in advance of its retrograde cycle which begins this Friday, some of the confusion and uncertainty from this Mercury-Rahu conjunction could conceivably be protracted over several days. 

The world is awash in debt these days with stimulus plans, bailouts, and of course the Fed's QE2 program of quantitative easing.  The aim of all these market interventions is to restore confidence, boost demand and economic activity, and avoid losses that would otherwise result if the market was left to its own devices.  These are all understandable and commendable actions and yet with each new bailout comes an increased risk of inflation and debt default.  Inflation occurs because too much money is being printed relative to the amount of value produced by an economy.   In an attempt to restore economic confidence in indebted companies and countries, there is a risk that inflation will devalue fiat currencies and paper money.  This is the main reason why the price of gold has been rising, as it once again closed above $1400 last week, and why money has been pouring into stocks of late.  With the likelihood of currency debasement down the road -- as this risk-loving Jupiter-Uranus thinking goes -- it makes more sense to be invested in the stock market.  But the risk of default is also growing as the amount of outstanding debt continues to mount. As a reflection of this increasing supply of debt, yields on debt are starting to rise all over the world.  This is even happening with US Treasuries despite the Fed's buy back program.  If bond yields continue to rise, it will begin to set off alarm bells as the debt will become too expensive to service.  The danger here is that if yields continue to rise it could start chain reaction of ever-greater borrowing to pay the interest, higher inflation, devalued currency, and ultimately economic collapse.  Bailouts are often necessary, but they are not risk-free.  



Transits for Monday December 6, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week begins with Jupiter entering Pisces (actually on Sunday), a Sun-Saturn aspect and a Uranus direct station.  Jupiter entering a new sign is usually a bullish indication and it is now just two degrees away from Uranus.  While their exact conjunction is still four weeks away, this is background influence is bullish, albeit somewhat diffuse.  However, Sun-Saturn aspects usually sap confidence so this is often a difficult influence in the short term.  Gold is also susceptible here since the Sun is its planetary significator.  With Uranus returning to forward motion this week, there is a greater chance for sudden developments which may change some prevailing trends.  When Uranus last changed its direction on July 5, the market had formed an important low just 3 days before.  The midweek period features a Venus-Pluto aspect which will eventually blend into a Mercury-Venus aspect by the end of the week.  These are usually positive influences.  However, Friday's close Mars-Rahu conjunction is not a bullish combination and increases the chances for uncontrolled bursts of energy, irritation and hostility.  The formation of the quadruple conjunction of Rahu (distortion, greed), Pluto (power,control), Mercury (communication), and Mars (action, urgency) over the next week or two is an unusual and awkward blending of energies that does not promote stability in either the financial markets or in the geopolitical sphere. 




 






Week of November 29 - December 3

Market slides on more Rahu-Pluto; Mars to square off with Jupiter

Stocks moved lower last week over Eurozone debt worries and geopolitical uncertainty in the Korean peninsula.  In New York, the Dow lost about 1% during Thanksgiving week closing at 11,092 while the S&P500 finished at 1189.  Indian stocks suffered deeper losses as the housing loan scandal merely added to the headwinds.  The Sensex lost more than 2% to 19,136 as the Nifty closed at 5751.  The fairly gloomy mood here was more or less in keeping with my expectations for more uncertainty and pessimism from the recent Rahu-Pluto conjunction.    The early week was fairly bearish in the US and this roughly correlated with the aftermath of the Mercury-Mars conjunction.  The midweek Mercury-Jupiter aspect delivered the goods on time as most world markets rallied strongly on Wednesday's improving job picture. And as expected, the late week saw an increase in caution as the Sun was in aspect to Pluto. 

Transits for Monday November 29, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

November is thus far shaping up to be quite a negative month as the Rahu-Pluto conjunction continues to dominate the proceedings.   Rahu's penchant for narrow self-interest and distortion is expressed through the lens of Pluto's desire for power and control over large scale structures.   The circumstances surrounding the EU bailout of Ireland last week perhaps speaks to this influence as the political implications of the proposed austerity package is coming under much scrutiny.  While austerity may be necessary to restore confidence of the bond market, more citizens are asking why it is necessary that average people are having to foot the bill for mistakes made by privately-owned banks.  In other words, if gains are private, then why are losses socialized?   It will be interesting to see how this discourse of fairness plays out as Rahu and Pluto are joined by Mercury and Mars over the coming weeks.  I would expect some kind of peaking or resolution of these power-related issues by mid-December.

This week begins with a close square of Mars and Jupiter.  Recent experience suggests that the combination of Mars' energy with the optimism of Jupiter tends to increase risk appetite and take prices higher.  That may well be the case here, although the general situation seems less favourable than it has been previously.  On Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a minor aspect between benefics Mercury and Venus which could boost sentiment, at least temporarily.  But the cloud hanging over the market is still the approach of Mercury and Mars to that dangerous Rahu-Pluto combination.  Mercury will conjoin Rahu on Friday just as Mars squares Uranus.  Since both of these aspects are negative influences, the late week period looks much more uncertain. 
 
 



 
Week of November 22 - 26

QE2 continues to stoke inflationary fears; quadruple conjunction due in Dec.


US Stocks were mostly flat last week on offsetting signals from China's bank tightening and Ireland's acceptance of the EU's bailout package.  After briefly dipping below the 11K level, the Dow closed at 11,203 while the S&P finished at 1199.  Indian shares fared worse as inflationary fears and tighter credit markets in Asia persuaded more investors to take profits.  The BSE Sensex closed down 3% at 19,585 while the Nifty ended the week at 5890. 

It was an interesting week in astrological terms as Monday's bullish Sun-Jupiter aspect did push up prices in Mumbai but optimism faded around noon in New York.  Stocks then began to drift lower in the afternoon and continuing through the day Tuesday and into Wednesday.   I had expected some significant downward pressure on prices going into the midweek Mercury-Saturn aspect and that was more or less what happened.  As expected, Thursday was higher as risk appetite increased on the Sun-Uranus aspect.  I was puzzled about what Friday might bring given the twin direct stations of Venus and Jupiter.  While normally bullish, the coincidence of the nasty Mercury-Mars conjunction definitely took the shine off those benefic planets.  Mumbai was sharply lower owing to some specific afflictions in the key natal charts while New York ended mostly flat as the early pessimism faded into equanimity.
Transits for Monday November 22, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York



The Fed continues to come under fire for QE2 and the inflationary pressures it has created in many emerging markets now awash in hot money.  This is in keeping with the symbolism of the Rahu-Pluto conjunction that emphasizes the notion of power exercised by large organizations in the service of narrow and greedy self-interest.   Not exactly a ringing endorsement of humanity's better impulses, but then again these are two malefic planets that are associated with some of the more base human qualities.   While the exact conjunction of Rahu (the North Lunar Node) and Pluto occurred back on November 9, the slow velocity of these planets could mean a lingering influence into December.  The quadruple conjunction involving Mercury and Mars in the second week of December may well mark a significant manifestation in this assertive and difficult energy.   

This week will begin with the aftermath of the Mercury-Mars conjunction.  On the face of it, this is bearish combination although since it is separating, it may not have a lot of negativity left in the tank.  By midweek, we could see a rebound in sentiment as Mercury approaches its aspect with bullish Jupiter.  This is perhaps not unexpected given the usual positive bias around the US Thanksgiving period.  After Mercury loses Jupiter's glow later in the week, there may be a return to uncertainty, especially in Asian markets.
 




Week of November 15 - 19

Stocks slide on Rahu-Pluto; Venus and Jupiter turn direct on Friday

Stocks moved lower last week on concerns that China's inflation problem would force its central bank to raise interest rates and thus choke off growth.   In New York, the Dow closed 2% lower at 11,192 while the S&P500 finished at 1199.  Indian stocks suffered even larger losses as the Sensex had its worst week since May falling 4% to 20,156 with the Nifty closing at 6071.  This negative outcome was largely in keeping with expectations as the ongoing Rahu-Pluto conjunction is highlighting international tensions around trade and currency.  The midweek aspect between Mercury and Rahu seemed to act as a kind of trigger for the slow moving Rahu and Pluto and this was perhaps exacerbated by the approach of the stressful Saturn-Mars aspect on Friday. 

It is interesting to see how the growing tensions around the Fed's QE2 stimulus plan and the resulting destabilization of world currencies can be seen through astrological patterns.  Rahu (thoughtless self-interest, greed) and Pluto (power, large organizations) conjoined exactly on November 9 just as the G20 were about to meet in South Korea to fashion some kind of an agreement over currency and trade.  No agreement was reached as export-oriented nations continue to be hurt by the appreciation of their own currencies.  The US wants to create jobs as a lower Dollar will boost exports, but this is bad news for its trading partners which are seeing a loss of its export markets as its goods become more expensive.  In keeping with the symbolism of greedy Rahu and assertive Pluto, this appears to be a time where narrow national self-interest is being laid bare for all to see.


Transits for Monday, November 15, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


But the upcoming stations of Venus and Jupiter this week offer some kind of hope for an end to the impasse.  Both Venus and Jupiter end their retrograde cycles on Friday and will resume their normal forward motion in the sky.  Since both are considered naturally benefic (and bullish) planets, there is some reason to expect some kind of reconciliation or agreement is possible.   Whether such an agreement will be good for stocks remains to be seen, however, since a coordinated plan to bolster the US Dollar would likely lessen risk appetite and make stocks less attractive.

Ahead of Friday's possible trend reversal, there is an unusually dense mixture of positive and negative aspects this week.  Monday will feature both the completion of the bearish Mars-Saturn aspect and the start of a supportive Sun-Jupiter aspect.  This suggests the possibility of higher volatility with gains quickly following upon losses.  By Wednesday, Mercury falls under the influence of pessimistic Saturn so that is may somewhat increase the likelihood of declines.  Thursday's Sun-Uranus aspect may make risk more attractive and thus tend to boost prices.  The week concludes with "The Venus and Jupiter Show".  While these planetary reversals would appear to be bullish, they occur at the same time as Mercury conjoins Mars.  Since Mars is usually a negative influence, there is still the possibility that things may not proceed according to plan.  So that is something of a wild card influence on the situation.  The end of the week looks interesting to say the least, with an increased likelihood of a large price move.


 

 




Week of November 8 - 12

Stocks rise on Fed QE2 announcement; focus on Rahu-Pluto

Stocks rose sharply last week as Fed Chair Ben Bernanke announced the much-anticipated QE2 stimulus measures designed to boost the listless US economy.  In New York, the Dow rallied to new highs for the year and closed at 11,444 while the S&P500 finished at 1225.  Indian stocks likewise took a shine to Bernanke's freshly minted rescue package as the Sensex closed at an all-time high of 21,004 with the Nifty coming in at 6312.   I thought we might see more downside on midweek Mars-Ketu aspect but the late week Mercury-Jupiter appears to have trumped all other influences.  As a result, Wednesday's weakness was quite mild and didn't last long.  Monday's Venus-Pluto aspect produced significant gains in Mumbai while Thursday's Mercury-Jupiter aspect sent stocks soaring.  Neither of these up moves was especially surprising, although with Ketu's influence largely invisible here, the market rose overall.



Transits for Monday, November 8, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


An aspect worth watching this week is the conjunction between Rahu and Pluto which is exact on Tuesday.  Rahu symbolizes speculation and greed and is considered a malefic planet.  It is also connected with situations that break with the status quo and cause uncertainty.  Pluto is also a nominally malefic planet and represents power and control, especially as it pertains to large organizations.  It is possible that we could see further rally attempts with this intensification of greed, but it seems like a fairly precarious set up.  With the G20 meeting in South Korea this coming weekend, one wonders if some significant changes are afoot.  Some member nations have expressed frustration with the Fed's stimulus measures since they are devaluing the US Dollar and thus forcing up the value of their own currencies.  This is creating problems by fueling inflation and making their exports more expensive.  If there was a major change to the current currency regime, it could throw a wrench into the recent stock market rally since much of it has been driven by a falling US Dollar.   The combination of Rahu and Pluto certainty has the power to effect such a change, although its full force may take some time to be released.  The early December quadruple conjunction of Mercury, Mars, Rahu and Pluto is perhaps the most obvious potential configuration in that respect.

The week begins with a fleeting Mercury-Venus aspect that may boost sentiment and spur some more buying.  By midweek, Mercury will form an alignment with Rahu and Pluto and this may correspond with distorted communication and confusion. These conditions would therefore seem to encourage greater caution and lower prices.  At the same time, we can see that Mars is gradually coming under the influence of Saturn's full strength sextile aspect, so this may be another drag on sentiment as we move through the week.  This aspect is not exact until next Monday the 15th but it will bear close watching.


"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."                                                                                                     -- George Bernard Shaw

 

 





Week of November 1 - 5

Stocks flat ahead of Fed meeting and Mars-Ketu

US Stocks were mostly flat last week as offsetting economic data was enough to maintain the holding pattern ahead of the midterm elections and this week's crucial Fed meeting.  The Dow finished slightly lower at 11,118 while the S&P500 remained stuck at 1183.   Indian markets fared somewhat worse as the Sensex closed less than 1% lower at 20,032 and the Nifty at 6017.  While I thought the heavy planetary traffic might create a little more movement last week, the outcome was not unexpected.  Monday's gain coincided nicely with the Mercury-Venus conjunction, while the midweek Sun-Ketu aspect also fit well with Wednesday's decline, even if prices rebounded somewhat by the close. Thursday was also higher as expected on the Sun-Venus conjunction although most of the gains occurred at the open.  

This week could see a significant break from the recent narrow trading range as the Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and will likely announce the scope of its latest round of stimulus measures, so-called QE2.   As far as stocks are concerned, bigger is better so any amount of treasury buy backs in excess of $1 Trillion will likely spark some buying.  This seems unlikely, however, as Fed bankers have been hinting that QE2 will likely be smaller, perhaps closer to $500 Billion.  Since this number has largely been discounted already by the market, it could possibly spark a "sell the news" reaction.  Interestingly, the Reserve Bank of India also meets on Tuesday so that will be another important piece of information for the market to consider.  The consensus view is for a modest 25 point hike as the RBI tries to tame inflationary pressures. 


Transits for Monday November 1, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


In astrological terms, the early week has a decent chance for gains as Venus, Mars and Pluto form an alignment on Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday look more uncertain as Mars forms a close aspect with Ketu, the South Lunar Node.  Mars-Ketu aspects are very unpredictable and are often connected with fast-changing circumstances.  Since these are both considered negative planets, there is a greater likelihood that markets will selloff midweek, perhaps in reaction to either the US midterm elections or the Fed announcement.  The possibility of a major reaction to the news is boosted somewhat by the fact that Ketu is involved in a close opposition to Pluto.  While this opposition will become exact early next week on Nov 9, some of that energy may be released through this Mars aspect here.  The end of the week looks somewhat more stable as Thursday's Mercury-Jupiter brings together two positive planets. 
 

"Doubt is not a pleasant state but certainty is a ridiculous one."  -- Voltaire


 


 



Week of October 25 - 29

Stocks hold steady; Venus and Ketu strengthens

Stocks mostly treaded water for another week as positive earnings reports offset the fallout from China's unexpected interest rate hike.  In New York, the Dow briefly traded at levels last seen in near its April high before closing at 11,132 while the S&P500 finished at 1183.   The Indian market was also mostly unchanged despite growing worries over the fast rising Rupee.  After trading below 20,000 midweek, the Sensex ended the week at 20,165 with the Nifty closing at 6066.  While I thought we might see more downside towards the end of the week on the Mars-Neptune aspect, prices adhered fairly closely to the storyline described by the key aspects, at least in the US.  I had expected some upside from the Sun-Jupiter aspect on Monday and the Mars-Jupiter aspect on Wednesday and we did indeed see broadly based gains on both those days.   (In Mumbai, however, the effects from the Mars-Jupiter aspect lagged somewhat as the 2% gain arrived on Thursday.)   Tuesday's decline was quite steep and roughly corresponded to the difficult Venus-Saturn aspect, although I did not have an inkling that the selloff would be as large as it was. 

As Fed Chair Ben Bernanke continues to promise endless stimulus through the purchasing of US treasuries, market sentiment has remained quite positive.  Much of the rally since September has been driven by the assumption of another round of quantitative easing (so-called QE2) which will likely be announced sooner rather than later.  With the next Fed meeting slated for November 3, it's worth reflecting on the possible outcomes of any announcements.  Ketu (aka the South Lunar Node) will be in aspect with Mars on that day and this may well capture the jittery market mood then.  Mars-Ketu combinations are usually found in situations that release a lot of energy in a short time and are sometimes found in accidents, violence, and other unpleasant circumstances.  While Mars-Ketu contacts are not always connected with "negative" events, both planets are considered malefic by nature and there could be an urgency there that is incompatible with smooth or routinized behaviour.  At very least, we know that trading volumes will likely rise sharply around that time. 

Transits for Monday October 25, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


This week will see an unusual blending of positive and negative forces as there will be two Venus conjunctions along with a strengthening of Ketu (South Node).   Mercury conjoins retrograde Venus on Monday and when these two benefic planets combine there is usually a lift in the mood that accompanies higher prices.  At the same time, however, this conjunction will occur in fairly close aspect to Ketu.  Ketu can be a disruptive influence which undermines the status quo and generates surprising outcomes.  This could either act as a mirror that flips the expected outcome from positive to negative or it may act as a magnifier that actually intensifies positive outcomes.  A more clearly problematic set up occurs midweek on the Sun-Ketu aspect as confidence may ebb as government and leadership is called into question.  On Thursday, there is a second Venus conjunction, this time with the Sun.  This is also usually a favourable alignment of planets that boosts happiness although again, the presence of weird Ketu confuses matters somewhat.  If nothing else, the impact of these two Venus conjunctions will probably be exaggerated in either direction, so larger price moves are more likely.


 



 

Week of October 18 - 22

Stocks stay firm in wake of Venus retrograde


US stocks edged higher last week on the hope that the Federal Reserve would undertake a new round of stimulus measures to revive the flagging economy.  Despite the the deepening of concern over the foreclosure scandal that implicates many large banks, the Dow closed slightly higher at 11,062 and the S&P500  finished the week at 1176.   It was a somewhat different story in India, however, as investors took profits on worries the rising Rupee might undermine exports and outsourcing.  The BSE Sensex lost 1% to close at 20,2125 and the Nifty ended Friday's session at 6062.  This was our first glimpse at the possible effects of the Venus retrograde period (Oct 7 - Nov 18) and the results were a little underwhelming.  A change in direction in Venus might have corresponded with the rally coming to an end and prices moving lower.  It's harder to make that argument now since prices have generally drifted higher, albeit not by much.  Last week's Mars aspects on Monday and Friday saw some weakness, especially in India, although the early week period was fairly strong.  The midweek Venus-Uranus aspect did correlate nicely with Wednesday's big gain.


Transits for Monday, October 18, 2010 9.30 am New York

 
This rally that began in September is largely rooted in the assumption that Ben Bernanke will continue to pump liquidity into the system in order to stave off a deflationary spiral.  With interest rates near zero, stocks become a very attractive investment, especially as the US Dollar is on the verge of turning into a Third World currency.   This belief in the power of cheap, risk-free government money to paper over any economic shortcomings might be linked to the recent Jupiter-Uranus conjunction that was exact in September.  Jupiter symbolizes expansion and wealth, while Uranus embodies the notion of risk and excitement.  Together, these planets increase the appetite for risk and may well reflect the market's infatuation with the Fed's intention to "pump it up", regardless of the consequences.  While this conjunction is now separating and therefore weakening, there seems to be a continued reservoir of belief in this 'glass as half-full' approach. The retrograde motion of Venus offered the possibility that the current approach to shopping, buying and the valuation process may be undergoing some kind of change or review. 

This week has an unusually high number of close aspects involving both Jupiter and Saturn.  On the face of it, it would seem that the optimists may claim bragging rights as Monday's Sun-Jupiter aspect inclines towards the bullish camp.  Wednesday's Mars-Jupiter aspect appears to support wise (Jupiter) actions (Mars) and in the past often coincides with gains.  In between these configurations is more of a mixed picture, however, as Venus is in aspect with Saturn in the midweek and afterwards.  The Mars-Neptune square late on Friday also seems more negative as actions may lose their focus or be subordinated by hidden or deceptive means.  And with Mars simultaneously in a harmonic aspect with Saturn here, the late week period could be significantly negative.


"The only principle that does not inhibit progress is: anything goes". 
                                                                                                       -- Paul Feyerabend


 




Week of October 11 - 15

US Stocks rise into Venus retrograde station; Mars asserts itself


Despite another bad employment report, stocks moved higher last week on the likelihood of further Fed stimulus measures.  The Dow rose 2% on the week to close at 11,006 while the S&P500 finished at 1165.  It was a different story in Mumbai as Indian stocks lost 1% as the Sensex ended the week at 20,250 and the Nifty at 6103.  Gold also surged to new highs near $1350 as more investors abandoned the US Dollar in favour of safer havens.  I thought the early week conjunction between Venus and Mars would generate some skittishness and we did see stocks fall on Monday and into Tuesday in Asia when the aspect was exact.   As noted last week, the midweek Sun-Venus aspect also appeared to correlate quite well with the big rise on Tuesday in the US and Wednesday in India.  The late week period tilted towards the negative with the approach of Friday's Venus retrograde station.  I had wondered if Friday might be significant in some way, either with a major move or perhaps in hindsight through the marking of a high point.  For US markets, Friday was quite positive as a key technical resistance level was broken to the upside.  Of course, it remains to be seen if this will mark any kind of high point here. 



Transits for Monday, October 11, 2010 9.30 a.m.  New York


This week we will get our first look at the quality of the six-week Venus retrograde cycle.  In addition, the planet Mars will figure prominently in the sky as it forms aspects with the Sun and Mercury. 
Owing to its often excessive nature, Mars is usually a negative influence so that stacks the deck somewhat towards the negative.  A minor Sun-Mars aspect occurs on Monday while the late week features a Mercury-Mars aspect.  As a rough rule of thumb, Mercury-Mars aspects are often more damaging.  In between these Martian power plays, the midweek aspect between Venus and Uranus may offer some relief, so that could boost sentiment on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  

The gold rally is taking on a life of its own over the past month as the US Dollar is being unceremoniously dumped around the world.  With the US Federal Reserve promising to stimulate the economy without limit, there is a growing risk of inflation and Dollar devaluation.  The growing currency instability is not a positive sign for long term global financial prospects as the falling Dollar is causing severe problems for export-driven economies.  The main beneficiary of the falling Dollar has been gold as prices have risen 20% over the summer.  In astrological terms, part of the reason for the run-up was likely the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction which encouraged speculative activity.  Now that that aspect is losing steam here, we may wonder how much higher gold can go in the short term.  Venus may also be relevant to the gold story here since it is symbolic of luxuries.  On the face of it, retrograde Venus may not be very good for gold, although the fact that the cycle will take place in the sidereal Libra may lessen the damage that would otherwise be forthcoming.


"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
                                                                                                           -- Andy Warhol

 

 



Week of October 4 - 8

Stocks flat ahead of Venus retrograde; Mars increases strength this week

Stocks took a breather from their recent rally last week as mixed economic signals lessened the appetite for risk.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down slightly for the week at 10,829 while the S&P500 closed at 1146.   Indian stocks fared better, however, as they extended their impressive winning streak for another week with the Sensex gaining 2% at 20,445 with the Nifty finishing at 6143.   While the US market was more tentative last week, I thought we might get more bearishness on the Saturn-Ketu square aspect.  Friday's positive performance across the board also seemed anomalous given the apparently negative Sun-Saturn conjunction that day.  Sometimes these aspects act as reversal points rather than simple market correlates although the latter view is somewhat more common.  Moreover, the ability of these planets to move sentiment is also contingent on any forthcoming alignments.  With the retrograde cycle of Venus beginning on Friday, October 8, we have to wonder if the whole Saturn-for-Jupiter hand off scenario could be forestalled until then.



Transits for Monday, October 4, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


Not only will we have the beginning of the Venus retrograde cycle this week, but it is important to note that Venus will be in close conjunction with Mars.  Given the red planet's reputation for nastiness, this could have a onerous effect on Venusian activities such as spending, buying and enjoying luxuries.  Mars is an active energy so it may well increase trade volume here, and there is an unreliable, erratic quality to Mars that could take things off the rails.  The combination of these two measurements therefore increases the likelihood of price declines through the week.  The Venus-Mars conjunction is exact on Sunday, so that could inflict damage on Monday's market.  We can spot a passing Sun-Venus aspect on Tuesday and Wednesday that could inject some optimism in the equation.  The late week period will center around the end of the forward motion of Venus on Friday and the commencement of its backward journey through sidereal Libra that lasts until November 18.  It's worth noting that the last Venus retrograde cycle occurred at an important reversal in the market in March 2009.  At that time, Venus began its retrograde cycle on March 7, just one day after the stock market reached its lowest point in the market meltdown that began in 2008.   While these reversals in planetary direction do not always correlate with changes in market directions, they nonetheless increase the likelihood of such a shift in sentiment especially if coming after an established trend has been in a place for a while as we have now.  

Friday also has the distinction of a Mercury-Saturn conjunction.  As the planet of trading and commerce, Mercury's contacts with pessimistic Saturn often translate into selloffs as news of reduced economic activity may tilt the mood toward caution.  Conjunctions are somewhat less negative than other aspects, however, so we will have to see how this plays out.  But the fact that it is coming the same day as the Venus retrograde increases the potential for something significant to occur, either at the time or in hindsight.


"One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star."     -- G.K. Chesterton


 



 



 



Week of September 27 - October 1

Rally continues on Sun-Jupiter; Saturn poised for shift


The September rally took another step higher last week as positive housing and manufacturing data persuaded more investors to buy in.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2% to close at 10,860 while the S&P500 finished at 1148.  It was much the same story in Mumbai, as Indian equities continued their torrid pace with the Sensex again reaching the 20,000 plateau for the first time since January 2008.  The Sensex closed Friday at 20,045 and the Nifty ended at 6018.  Not to be outdone, gold futures touched $1300 an ounce and made a new all-time high.  The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is the gift that keeps on giving as the last weekend's conjunction is still overflowing with sunny optimism and an appetite for risk-taking.  The early week gains arrived more or less on schedule as Tuesday's Sun-Jupiter aspect produced the expected gains.  On Tuesday, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke reaffirmed his commitment for further stimulus measures to prevent a deflationary spiral from taking hold in the event of further sluggishness in the US economy.  While the market had risen into his afternoon announcement, stocks embarked on a modest selloff afterwards and this down trend continued into Thursday.  Friday's gains provided further evidence of the strength of Jupiter here despite the fact the conjunction is now separating.


Transits for Monday, September 27, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 


This week offers another opportunity for a change in the trend as Saturn is thrust into the spotlight through its square aspect with Ketu, the South Lunar Node.  As the planetary maestro of pessimism, Saturn's relative strength in the sky is an important indicator of where sentiment is tilting.  When Saturn is prominent through the formation of significant angles with other planets, then the odds of a decline increase.  When Saturn is tucked away into the background, then optimism has a better chance to flourish.   The Saturn-Ketu aspect this week combines two clearly negative energies so caution and fear are more likely to manifest.  That said, these two slow moving planets sometimes require a third planet to release their karmic payload.  On paper, the role of that third planet may well be assumed by the Sun as it conjoins Saturn in sidereal Virgo on Friday.  So the end of the week could be significant in terms of marking a trend change.  To make things more interesting, Friday will be the first day of October and the first day of the fourth quarter.  With the possibility of end of quarter window dressing, the new quarter may kick off with a bang.  It will bear close watching.


"Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys. 
                                                                                         -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 





Week of September 20 - 24

Stocks rise into Jupiter-Uranus conjunction; Saturn-Ketu waits in the wings


Stocks moved mostly higher last week as growth prospects in emerging economies lifted sentiment.  In New York, the Dow was higher by more than 1% closing at 10,606 while the S&P500 finished at 1125.  In Mumbai, the atmosphere was almost euphoric as India continued to attract interest from foreign institutions.  The Sensex jumped another 4% to close at 19,594 as the Nifty ended the week at 5884.  Gold also made new all-time highs closing near $1280.  Market sentiment appears to be flourishing under the protective umbrella of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction as stocks have rallied off their late August lows.  While I expected this pairing would act as a sort of insurance policy against any major declines, its ability to block out most other influences has been a little surprising.  What was less surprising, however, was the early week strength that coincided with the Mars-Jupiter aspect.  If the market was set to rise, this seemed like the combination to do it.  However, we didn't get much negativity afterwards despite more aspect activity involving bearish Saturn. 

So when it all this Jupiterian optimism going to end?  Next week will offer more clues to that question since we will be in the post-conjunction phase of the Jupiter-Uranus aspect.  As a rule of thumb, planetary aspects begin to lose their power only after they are exact and begin to separate.  Today, September 18, Jupiter exactly conjoins Uranus.  By next week, it will slowly begin to move away from Uranus and thereby begin the process through which its energy begins to fade.  Well, that's the theory anyway.  There are many exceptions here, but it is nonetheless worth considering.  And while Jupiter's optimism may be waning, gloomy Saturn maybe ready to assume a larger role.  While the aspects with fast-moving Mercury and Venus did not deliver much in the way of caution, Saturn gets another opportunity to strut its stuff thought its square aspect with Ketu -- aka the South Lunar Node.  The aspect is exact on September 27 and is perhaps a more reliably bearish influence since Ketu is considered a malefic planet, just as Saturn is.  by contrast, both Mercury and Venus are both considered benefic influences.   In this case, then, malefic planet + malefic planet = a very negative result!  Just when the effects of this aspect will be felt is a little unclear since these distant, slow moving planets often require triggers from faster moving planets. 
 
Transits for Monday, September 20, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week promises to be quite eventful.  Not only will we get our first glimpse of what a post-Jupiter-Uranus world feels like, but the Sun will aspect this conjunction on Monday and Tuesday.   On paper, this is a very bullish alignment that ought to increase risk appetite and put investors in a buying mood. At the same time, there is a sense that this aspect could act as a final cherry on top of the this recent run-up, since after this aspect is out of the way, there won't be much else Jupiter can do for an encore.  This sense of finality is reinforced since Saturn-Ketu looms just two degrees out of range waiting to assume center stage.   To add to the excitement, there is also a tight Venus-Ketu aspect in the early part of the week that may distort buying patterns in some way.  Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is due to speak Tuesday, so the fate of the markets may well hinge on his comments.  If he offers new stimulus measures to boost the sagging economy, there is a chance for a sudden rally.   But with Venus harmed by Ketu's aspect, I wonder how long that buying opportunity may last.  Days, hours, or even just minutes?  There is an instability here that would seem to incompatible with a durable rally, both in the economy and the stock market.   Tuesday should be very interesting indeed.  I would not be surprised with any outcome, but I do think the market is quite vulnerable here.


"In practice, randomness is fundamentally incomplete information."
                                                                                             -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb


 



 



 
 
Week of September 13 - 17

Stocked edge higher on Venus-Jupiter; Mercury reverses direction this week

Stocks edged higher in the US last week despite government reports indicating the recovery would be slower than expected.   After putting in a losing day Tuesday, stocks rebounded and closed slightly higher for the week with the Dow standing at 10,462 and the S&P500 at 1109.  In Mumbai, buyers came out in force as the Sensex rose more than 3% before closing at 18,799 while the Nifty finished at 5640.    The continued optimism in the market was not surprising given the alignment of Venus, Jupiter and Uranus that was at its closest on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Since both Venus and Jupiter are benefic planets, a rise was the most likely outcome here although there were locally unique expressions of this bullish energy.  Most of the rise in Indian markets arrived on Monday while the US rallied more strongly on Wednesday.  Interestingly, we saw very little evidence later in the week of the approaching aspect between Mercury and Saturn.  Normally, this combination would tend to depress sentiment. 

As the market mood remains relatively buoyant, we have to look no further than the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction for its source.  Once these two planets exactly conjoin on September 18, however, this optimism may begin to wane as Jupiter starts to move away.  A weaker and less prominent Jupiter could mean that gains will be harder to come by in the near term.  At the same time, bearish Saturn may be strengthening as it is in aspect with both Mercury and Venus this week and then it forms a square aspect with the Moon's Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, on September 27.  A stronger Saturn often translates into a falling stock market, although there are some exceptions to that notion.  Nonetheless, the simultaneous weakening of Jupiter and strengthening of Saturn would appear to limit the upside here.
 

Transits for Monday, September 13, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week we have the somewhat unusual phenomenon of two planets reversing their directions with days of each other.  Mercury ends its retrograde cycle on Sunday while Pluto ends its retrograde cycle on Tuesday.  Reversals in planetary direction can sometimes reflect reversals in market trends, so we should be aware that there is an increased possibility of a change in the prevailing mood.  At the same time, aspects are usually more reliable indicators of sentiment, even if their influence may be fairly brief.  On that score, we can see a close aspect between Mars, Jupiter and Uranus early in the week (especially Monday) that could mimic some of last week's rise.  The difference here, however, is that Mercury is sitting very close to an aspect with Saturn through the whole week.  I thought some of this caution might enter the equation last week but it seems we may have to wait until this week.  The aspect isn't exact until Wednesday, though, so perhaps the midweek period is a more probable window for it.  Later in the week, we get another dose of Saturn as Venus moves into aspect.  Even against the backdrop of Jupiter-Uranus optimism, all this Saturn should find a negative expression in the markets sometime this week.


"All money is a matter of belief."   -- Adam Smith
 



 




Week of September 6 - 10

Stocks rise as Venus enters Libra; Mars enters Libra this week

Some mildly encouraging US economic data made the glass look half-full again last week as investors pushed stocks higher.  After early weakness, the Dow gained more than 3% to close at 10,447 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1104.  In Mumbai, the Sensex added 1% closing at 18,221 with the Nifty finishing at 5479.   In last week's post, I noted how the entry of Venus into sidereal Libra on Wednesday would tend to be positive for the stock market.  Venus, the planet of shopping,  can more readily deliver its positive energy when in the conducive environment of Libra.  Wednesday saw stocks around the world rise with the Dow gaining almost 3% in a single day.  It was an intriguing reminder just how neatly these sidereal ingresses can work.  Unfortunately, they don't always work this way (alas, astrology is rarely simple), and hence I was tentative about the prospect for gains last week given the range of factors, both positive and negative.

After bouncing off a key support level early on, stocks appear to have embarked on a new up trend as we enter September.  The month of August was quite bearish for the market as stocks in the US fell up to 7%.  What is interesting here is the correlation with the planet Venus and its transit of sidereal Virgo.  It entered Virgo on August 1 and completed its transit of this sign on September 1 when it then entered Libra.  As I pointed out in my July 31 update, Venus typically does not do well in Virgo where it is said to be debilitated and this may constrict spending and act as a depressive factor upon stocks.   So that's a nice correlation of a very negative outcome (-7%) with a debilitated Venus.  Even more provocative is the fact that the market made an interim high within a few days of the entry of Venus into Virgo and it made a low on the last day that Venus was in Virgo.  Of course, this is only one data point and can still be written off as coincidence, particularly given the other bearish aspects I have noted through last month.  I'm certainly not so blinded by the stars to I can't acknowledge that coincidences do happen, not everything is meaningful and that some things are simply random noise.   Still, it's interesting. 

Transits for Tuesday, September 7, 2010  9.30 a.m. New York



We will see the effects of another ingress this week as Mars follows Venus into sidereal Libra on Monday.  Whereas Venus is a benefic planet that generally lifts prices, Mars is a malefic planet that should be considered a negative influence.  There are a couple of complicating factors here, however, that may undermine the transparency of the effects of Mars.  First, US markets are closed for Labor Day Monday, so other markets may be the ones to experience any effects. Second, and more importantly, Venus forms a minor aspect with both Uranus and then Jupiter early in the week.  Two out of these three planets are benefics and in such a situation, Uranus often acts as a booster rocket that generates optimism that leads to more buying and rising prices.  So these two forces are somewhat at odds with each other -- Monday's Mars ingress and then Tuesday and Wednesday's Venus-Jupiter-Uranus alignment.  Perhaps the market will simply take their cues sequentially with weakness evident on Monday but recovery into midweek. Astrology rarely operates to simply, but it may be useful to think heuristically here.  Later in the week, Mercury slows down ahead of the culmination of its retrograde cycle on Sunday and will form a fairly close aspect with Saturn.  Saturn usually does not blend well with Mercury so this may coincide with greater caution. 

In the background, of course, Jupiter is inching closer to its conjunction with Uranus and is now just one degree away.  This bullish planetary combination comes exact on September 18 so that will tend to keep any down moves from going too far and may act as a reservoir of optimism in the event of any passing rallies.

"Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of facts."   -- George Santayana

 



 

Week of August 30 - September 3

Stocks fall on Mercury retrograde; Venus enters Libra as Sun meets Mercury

Financial markets continued to look shaky last week as poor US housing data provided more evidence that the recovery may have stalled.  Despite Friday's post-Bernanke rally, the Dow nonetheless closed down for the week at 10,150 while the S&P500 finished at 1064.  Indian markets finally broke their winning streak and moved lower by more than 2% as the Sensex ended Friday's session at 17,998 with the Nifty closing at 5408.  This latest weakness in the markets was perhaps a reflection of the Mercury retrograde cycle that began on August 20.  Last week, I suggested that Mercury retrograde periods can be an added burden on sentiment which is often incompatible with higher prices.  In addition, there were several difficult planetary combinations that would tend increase anxiety and take stocks lower.  Interestingly, I had specified Thursday as a possible down day since there were two pairings that did not look favourable that day -- Mercury-Mars and Sun-Saturn. Thursday was lower in Europe and the US but India actually put in a positive performance.  This is a reminder that there is always a margin of error in astrology, especially when dealing with global markets separated by many time zones.  Sure enough, the Indian market then experienced a stronger selloff one day later on Friday while the US market  rebounded after Bernanke's 10 a.m. promise to prevent deflation by any means necessary. 

Like most complex knowledge systems, one of astrology's greatest challenges lies in trying to combine a high number of variables into one coherent picture.   Nine planets, twelve signs, a dozen different aspects, 27 nakshatras, and so on -- that makes for millions of potential outcomes.  And to make matters that much more intricate, there is comparatively little empirical evidence for the likely effects of each of these factors, much less what may happen when they occur simultaneously.  This means a lot of astrological forecasting has to rely on deductive thinking from untested assumptions and theories about the potential effects of various planets and their interactions.  Given this epistemological minefield, probabilistic thinking is a best case scenario and even that limited approach may come up short more often than we would care to admit. 


Transits for Monday, August 30, 2010  9.30 a.m. New York
 

The current situation is perhaps typical of many planetary setups that can best be described as "mixed".  On one hand, the Mercury retrograde period extends to September 12 and may correlate with negative sentiment and repeating what has already been encountered i.e. retracing previous trends whether up or down, but often down.  But Jupiter is fast approaching its conjunction with Uranus (exact September 18) and these two planets ought to increase risk taking and optimism for investment.  Perhaps the result may be short term moves in both directions that ends in a sideways market. 

This week we will get the effects of the second week of Mercury retrograde while Venus enters sidereal Libra on Wednesday.  Venus tends to do better in the sign of Libra so we may see a greater focus on spending and the enjoyment of money.  From a purely deductive perspective, this should be seen a positive factor for stocks, although it is only one out of many factors.   By Friday, the Sun will conjoin Mercury while in close aspect with shadowy Rahu. This is an unusual combination of planets that suggests greater uncertainty and increases the potential for major moves. Rahu (North Lunar Node) is considered a malefic planet by nature, although it can sometimes  have the opposite effect when circumstances support it.    Given the close proximity of Mars to Venus, and the various Saturn aspects that are still in play, we may not have enough favourable energies to entice a positive result from Rahu.  We shall see.


"It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer."  -- William of Occam







 
Week of August 23 - 27

US Stocks decline on Venus-Mars conjunction; Mercury retrograde takes hold

US Stocks trended lower last week as more bad jobs numbers suggested the recovery was more talk than reality.   The Dow fell about 1% for the week and closed at 10,213 while the S&P500 finished at 1071.  As has been the case recently, Indian stocks were able to sidestep most of the trouble as the Sensex closed at two-year highs at 18,401 with the Nifty ended the week at 5530.  Considering how many bad planets were in play last week, this outcome actually wasn't too negative.  I thought Monday's Mars-Rahu aspect might correspond with more selling but Asia was only down modestly and New York recovered after the open. The midweek gains appeared to fit neatly with the Venus-Rahu aspect as Rahu's devil-may-care attitude loosened the purse strings for Venus.  As expected, sentiment turned sour by the end of the week as impressionable Venus kept the bad company of Mars.  US and European markets fell sharply after Wednesday while India confined its bearishness to Friday only, the day of the exact Venus-Mars conjunction. 
 

Transits for Monday, August 23, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 
 
Mercury turned retrograde on Friday afternoon and this is yet a potentially disruptive element to the already dense planetary picture.  Mercury's retrograde cycle will last from August 20 to September 12.  As the planet of commerce and trading, Mercury naturally figures prominently in financial astrology.  When it is afflicted by Saturn, stocks generally fall.  When it is in aspect with benefics like Jupiter and Venus, stocks usually rise.  When it changes its direction and begins to move backward from our perspective on Earth, sentiment often undergoes a shift.  This is perhaps less reliable as an indicator of market direction and is better understood as a background influence.  Astrological lore says that new business is best avoided during Mercury's retrograde periods, since its outcome will often be unexpected and unwanted.  That is why astrologers usually recommend going back over old business to tie up any loose ends, or review already existing work.  It's generally sensible advice in any event, but in market terms it can sometimes mean that the market will go over or "retrace" over previous territory.  For example, if the market has been rising, then it may go lower in order to revisit its previous levels.   In my experience, Mercury retrograde cycles are much less reliable than aspects for predicting outcomes.  That said, we ignore Mercury's condition at our peril since it is such a crucial planet for business and commerce.  And I would note that the previous correction during April and May corresponded fairly well to the Mercury retrograde cycle of April 18 - May 12.  Again, nothing is ever perfect in astrology (or in life for that matter), but there does seem to be something there worth paying attention to. 

So the retrograde Mercury cycle adds another burden to the markets this week.  The Sun forms a minor aspect with Mars on Monday that could generate an unproductive level of energy that could be too much for the market.   Some positive aspects are available going into midweek, however, so short-lived gains may still occur.  The Sun aspects Jupiter on Tuesday, as does Mercury and Venus.   These could well carry over into Wednesday. Later in the week, the picture appears to darken as Mercury teams up with irascible Mars (esp Thurs) while the Sun tries to make nice with pessimistic Saturn.
 
"A jug fills drop by drop."  -- Buddha

 

 

 





Week of August 16 - 20

Dow slides 3% on weak Venus; Jupiter opposes Saturn this week


Stocks slumped on most world markets last week amidst growing fears of a double dip recession in the US.  The Dow broke below key technical support levels to close more than 3% lower at 10,303 and the S&P ended the week at 1079.  Indian stocks resisted the down trend as the Sensex closed slightly higher for the week at 18,167 with the Nifty at 5452.    This negative turn certainly comes as no surprise as I had noted the weakened condition of Venus in Virgo caught between a rock and hard place, aka the malefics Mars and Saturn.  Fed Chair Ben Bernanke also dutifully played out his cosmic role as he announced further stimulus measures to kick start the sagging economy.   The early week alignment between Venus, Jupiter and Pluto signaled some kind of need for increased spending, regardless of the consequences.  Indeed, Monday's gains more or less corresponded with the Venus-Jupiter aspect while things began to unravel shortly after the aspect had passed.

So it seems that there are growing signs that the current skein of planetary aspects may finally be exerting some effects here.  There is a sense that the economy isn't right and is not on the path to recovery anytime soon.  More observers are noting the inability or unwillingness for government to address economic problems head-on.  Europe's problems also appear poised to return to the front burner here as bond yields are once again rising for peripheral countries such as Greece and Spain.  This is an indication that sovereign debt loads may becoming too large for most market participants to accept.
 

Transits for Monday, August 16, 2010  9.30 a.m. New York


This week continues the parade of potentially notable aspects.  Saturn exactly opposes Jupiter on Monday.  This confrontational meeting between the celestial bearers of optimism and pessimism often corresponds to significant market moves.  The last time they were in aspect in May, the market was in a serious down trend.  Of course, the usual caveats apply.   Like economics, astrology lacks infallible axiomatic knowledge and instead takes note of probabilities and tendencies, both empirical and symbolic.   So what we do know is that Jupiter-Saturn aspects is an energy that does not necessarily favor expansion or risk taking.  The early week period has the added feature of a tight square aspect between Mars and Rahu (North Lunar Node) that often represents a sudden or powerful release of force or energy.  When it occurs alongside other tense patterns, it is often associated with negative situations and suggests higher volatility and sudden moves.  Later in the week, Venus will finally catch up to Mars as they will conjoin near Friday's close of trading in New York   A strong Venus often coincides with buying and gains, but when it comes in contact with malefics like Mars, its harmonious nature is compromised.  Since Venus is already in a weakened state due to its transit of Virgo, this seems to be another negative astrological input.  

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."  -- Niels Bohr

 



 
 
Week of August 9 - 13

Lingering Jupiter-Pluto sparks gains; Venus in bad company this week


Neither Mars nor Saturn could stop the melt up last week as stocks extended their rally on more better-than-bad economic data.  In New York, stocks climbed another 2% with the Dow closing at 10,653 and the S&P at 1121.  In Mumbai, the Sensex again traded near its highs for the year, closing at 18,143 as the Nifty finished the week at 5439.  Despite the plethora of apparently troublesome aspects in the sky, financial markets are holding there own here.  In the past two weeks, we've seen the often negative influences of Saturn-Uranus and Mars-Saturn come and go with barely any reaction from the markets.  Does this negate the notion of any major financial problems from this rare alignment of outer planets?  Or more to the point, should we simply dispense with all this astrology nonsense altogether and get with the program?  

While I'm hopelessly biased, I would say "no" to both suggestions.  Last week, I suggested that the bullish effects of Jupiter may be tested this week given the Mars-Saturn conjunction and the entry of Venus into sidereal Virgo.   While Jupiter is separating from its positive aspect with Pluto and hence losing energy, this is a slow process since the separation is taking place at a rate of just one arc minute per day.    Clearly, there is still a fair bit of Jupiter's optimism lingering here.  And there is another complicating factor.  This huge traffic jam of planets has blurred the immediate effects of individual planets and aspects.  The Mars-Saturn-Uranus alignment on July 31 might typically generate more instability and fear but in the present circumstance, Jupiter is just a few degrees away from Uranus.  Since it is a calming and edifying influence, Jupiter's close proximity may have delayed or transformed some of the the nastiness contained in the various Saturn aspects.  In this case, I wonder if we will have to wait for Jupiter's opposition aspect with Saturn on August 16 to see just what kind of karma this unusual and monumental alignment is packing. 

 

Transits for Monday, August 9, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


While the entry of Venus in sidereal Virgo did not spell any trouble early in the week, the midweek Mars-Jupiter aspect did correspond fairly closely with continued enthusiasm for stocks.  Dips were bought, and prices generally stayed firm through Wednesday.  The later week action also seemed to find a celestial correlate as the more bearish Mercury-Rahu aspect may have produced some modest declines in both New York and Mumbai.

This week we will see Venus aspect Jupiter-Pluto on Monday and into Tuesday.   Any transits to this powerful Jupiter-Pluto aspect have closely coincided with gains so that seems a likely outcome here.  It's especially interesting that this aspect will roughly concide with the FOMC meeting on Tuesday where Fed Chair Ben Bernanke will update his assessment of the US economy.  There is some speculation that he might announce new stimulus measures to jump start a flagging recovery.  This combination of planets would tend to support that notion since together they symbolize spending and expansionary thinking.  On a more cautionary note, however, Venus will be further weakened this week.  Not only is it debilitated in its transit of Virgo, but now it will be "hemmed in" between malefics Mars and Saturn.  This makes it that much more unable to deliver its positive blessings.  Later in the week, Venus will move very close to Mars, just as Mars forms an aspect with Rahu.  This is an unfortunate combination of planets that will upset confidence and reduce comfort levels with the status quo.  Neither contact is exact until next week, but this may not be the best time to split hairs.


"Doubt grows with knowledge."  -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


 

 



Week of August 2 - 6

Stocks slip after Saturn-Uranus aspect; Venus enters Virgo this week


Stocks took a breather last week from their July rally as the flow of upbeat economic news was countered by more signs the economy is slowing as US GDP numbers missed estimates.  Despite some gains early in the week, the Dow relented  and ended mostly flat closing at 10,465 with the S&P leveling off at 1101.  Indian stocks eased off their recent highs as the Sensex fell more than 1% to close at 17,868 and the Nifty finished at 5367.  The inability of stocks to push higher here was not surprising given the apparent passing of the baton from Jupiter to Saturn.  Last week, I noted how the Saturn-Uranus opposition on Monday April 26 may mark a shift in the overall planetary energy.  After all, the previous market top had occurred on April 26 and coincided with another Saturn-Uranus opposition.  Did this phenomenon repeat its uncanny delimiting of the end of a rally and initiating a new, more negative phase?  As always, time will tell, but last week's action has so far conformed to this expectation since the interim highs were put in within just one trading day of that aspect -- Friday in Mumbai and Tuesday in New York.   Prices largely retreated afterwards as New York failed to push above key technical resistance levels.
 

Transits for Monday, August 2, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

 
So now we've had Saturn stare down Uranus.  Now what?  Has Jupiter really run out of gas and is no longer in a position to produce optimism that can push prices higher?  Jupiter's proximity to Uranus is one important factor that could help support prices in the wake of the Saturn-Uranus opposition.  And yet since Pluto is also now increasingly in the mix, there may simply be too much stressful energy available that would be conducive to buying.   The problem for the markets is that Jupiter's aspect with Pluto is now separating and therefore it is losing energy.   Since this was one of the engines of the July rally, this could be a worrisome development.  And now Saturn appears to dominate the list of major aspects for the next few weeks.  Mars conjoins Saturn today (July 31) and then Venus conjoins Saturn on August 8, Saturn opposes Jupiter on August 16 and Saturn squares Pluto on August 21.   That's a lot of Saturn and given the high number of hard aspects involved in the near term, it seems unlikely the markets will be able to proceed in an orderly, predictable and especially positive way.  Large swings may be more likely as a result of these aspects with the caution increasingly becoming the lowest common denominator. 
 
Venus enters sidereal Virgo this week so that is another brick in the wall of worry that the market has to contend with.  Venus is debilitated in Virgo so its usual free spending, happy-go-lucky self cannot fully express itself when it transits this sign.  The presence of malefics Mars and Saturn in Virgo only compounds this problem and could well make spending and risk taking more problematic.   As an added twist, Venus is coming up to its retrograde cycle that begins in October, so it is slowing down now.  This means it will spend more time in its weakened state in Virgo and will transit in a close conjunction with Mars for several weeks.  While this ongoing Venus-Mars combination may be suitable for courtship and athletic endeavours, it seems less favourable for investing.  Mars aligns with the Jupiter-Pluto aspect midweek so that may spark some impulse buying although it is likely to be misconceived in some way and ultimately wasteful.   Later in the week, Mercury is aspected by shadowy Rahu so that is likely to disrupt communication and normal patterns of commerce and trading.

"On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity."  -- Adam Smith
 


 

 



 

Week of July 26 - 30

Stocks rise as Jupiter turns retrograde; Saturn opposes Uranus on Monday


Stocks climbed another rung up the ladder last week as positive earnings news persuaded more buyers to allay their fears and enter the fray.  By the time all was said and done, the Dow gained more than 3% to close at 10,424 while the S&P finished at 1102.   Sentiment was similarly bullish in Mumbai as the Sensex hit a new high for the year before closing at 18,130.  The Nifty ended the week at 5449.   This positive outcome was unsurprising given the twin influences of Jupiter and Venus last week.  Jupiter's tight aspect with Pluto is still dominating the sky, all the more so perhaps because it stationed and began its retrograde cycle on Friday.   And as expected, the midweek Venus-Rahu aspect roughly corresponded with higher prices as Venus (money, consumption) was teamed up with speculative Rahu (desires). 

 

Transits for Monday, July 26, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

 

Now we're in the thick of the planetary jungle.  There are an unusually high number of close planetary aspects this week which may correspond to new directions and solutions, as well as contributing to a more intense atmosphere.  Jupiter's optimism appears to be receding into the underbrush here since it has embarked on its retrograde journey on July 23.  Saturn will oppose Uranus on Monday, so this may signal a new dynamic or pattern into the marketplace.  Their previous opposition aspect occurred on April 26 and coincided exactly with the top of the US market for 2010.  This renewed Saturn influence may have a special poignancy in India since the Reserve Bank will likely raise interest rates on Tuesday.  After all, Saturn is the planet of restraint and caution and India is facing major inflation problems.   All this Saturn may not sit well with those who crave profits from their investments.  To make things even more interesting, there is an alignment between Mercury (commerce), Mars (action), and Neptune (imagination, deception).   This trio does not seem especially conducive for more risk taking.  In fact, it may coincide with some kind of disappointment, perhaps from a plan that goes wrong.   Mars is set to conjoin Saturn on Saturday July 31 so that is another potentially powerful combination of malefic energies that bears careful scrutiny.  We may be on the cusp of something fairly important here, and not just for the markets. 

Finally, I should note that the current planetary configuration conforms to a bearish pattern isolated in the research of Thomas Rieder in his book, Astrological Warnings and the Stock Market.  Using the historical price record of US stocks, Rieder showed that if Mars was in conjunction to a slow moving outer planet (Jupiter on out) while in hard aspect (90 and 180 degrees) to one other outer planet, stocks would then fall significantly about 70% of the time.   Here we have Mars conjunct Saturn while in opposition to Uranus and Jupiter and square to Pluto.  Rieder's model only required one aspected planet, but we currently have three.  It's hard to say if that increases the likelihood or the scope of the expected decline. 


"Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency."   -- Franz Kafka

 

 


 




Week of July 19 - 23

Venus charms markets; Mars enters Virgo this week


After a promising start to the week, disappointing Q2 earnings from heavyweights like Google and Bank of America pushed stocks lower by Friday's close.  The Dow closed down 1% for the week at 10,097 while the S&P finished at 1064.  The story was somewhat better in Mumbai as Indian stocks continued to defy gravity hitting new highs for the year midweek.  The Sensex ended Friday up almost 1% at 17,955 with the Nifty closing at 5393.    As expected, Venus came through for investors in the earlier part of the week as its minor aspect with the Jupiter-Pluto aspect focused some positive energy that boosted sentiment.  We saw gains accrue on most global markets into Wednesday when luxurious Venus was forming a close angle with optimistic Jupiter -- a very sweet combination indeed.  Once Venus took her leave, doubts about the recovery returned as bad earnings reports and consumer numbers put a damper on the bulls' glee club.   Last week I noted that the entry of the Sun into sidereal Cancer on Friday might "introduce a new dynamic into the mix".  Did it ever!  After previously topping out around 10,400 midweek, the Dow plunged almost 3% on Friday.

We're currently residing in a sort of planetary antechamber now awaiting the main event to unfold at the end of July.  Jupiter begins its retrograde cycle on July 23, then it forms its exact square aspect with Pluto on July 25, while Saturn opposes Uranus for the last time on July 26 and Mars conjoins Saturn on July 31. Planetary calendars don't get much busier than that. 
 
Transits for Monday, July 19, 2010  9.30 a.m. New York



This week Mars enters sidereal Virgo on Tuesday ahead of its conjunction with Saturn.  As we saw with the Sun's ingress into Cancer last week, sign changes can bring about significant market developments.  Mars is a malefic planet and its surplus of energy can sometimes correspond with urgent or sudden situations that require quick reactions.  The emphasis here is on action, so we could see increased volatility early in the week.  Virgo is a sign that is associated with analysis and logical systems so the simultaneous occupation of this sign by Mars and Saturn suggests that rational adherence to formal knowledge systems may suffer increased stress in the days and weeks ahead.  (N.B.  Mars will remain in Virgo until  September 6 while slow moving Saturn loiters for a full two years.)  We can also spot a close aspect between Venus and unpredictable Rahu going into midweek that might increase speculative activity.  Rahu is often a negative influence on stocks due to increased uncertainty but its combination with Venus, the eternal shopper, could convince some people to buy something they don't really want or need. 

"Life is a school of probability."  -- Walter Bagehot



 

 



 
 
Week of July 12 - 16

Stocks rebound after Uranus station; Jupiter-Pluto in focus this week


Stocks rebounded worldwide last week as we got a let up in the stream of bad economic data and investors went bargain hunting.  In New York, the Dow gained more than 5% before closing at 10,197 and the S&P finished the week at 1077.  In Mumbai, gains were somewhat more muted as the Sensex climbed 2% to close at 17,833 and the Nifty ended Friday at 5352.  Last week, I had written about the potential for "reversals of fortune" and "changes in plan" around the Uranus retrograde station on July 5 and the Solar Eclipse on July 11.  As it happened, the recent losing streak may have come to a temporary halt around the 5th and the Uranus station as most markets bounced higher after the long holiday weekend in the US. 

Now that Uranus is moving backward it is approaching its final opposition aspect with Saturn due for July 26.  While it is possible we could see some negative fallout from this aspect ahead of that date, recent evidence would tend to suggest that stresses and disruptions arising from this clash are more likely to appear after the aspect is exact, i.e after July 26.  The rise in prices in the wake of this Uranus station is perhaps testimony to its inherent symbolism towards freedom, independence and risk taking.  A stronger Uranus will therefore often translate into higher stock prices since risk will feel more appropriate to the investment community.  This prevailing sentiment may shift once Uranus again encounters the full force of Saturn's conservative and pessimistic nature in late July. 

Transits for July 12, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

In the meantime, we can spot another intriguing pairing of slower moving planets in the square aspect between Jupiter and Pluto.  Due to Jupiter's slower than normal motion in the month ahead of its retrograde station on July 23, this aspect seems to offer some help to investors since Jupiter's optimism is connected with Pluto's drive for power and large organizations.  Perhaps we see significant attempts to solve major financial challenges facing the economy in the coming weeks.  And yet given the backdrop of the Saturn-Uranus aspect, one wonders how successful such efforts might be. 

Of particular note this week is an early week alignment between Venus, the planet of happiness, and the Jupiter-Pluto square.  While Pluto is often malefic, this meeting involving two benefics tilts the scales towards the positive.  The Sun enters sidereal Cancer late in the week so that may introduce a new dynamic into the mix. 


"Chaos is inherent in all compounded things.  Strive on with diligence."   -- Buddha

 

 





Week of July 5- 9

Ketu punishes markets;  Uranus and solar eclipse loom this week

 
Gloom pervaded most world markets last week as the economic data coming out of the US continued to disappoint.  There were more long faces on Wall Street as US stocks fell another 5% with the Dow closing under 10,000 at 9686 while the S&P ended the week at 1022.   Indian markets were more steadfast against this bearish onslaught and ended only modestly lower as the Sensex closed at 17,460 and the Nifty at 5237.     This negative outcome was unsurprising given the dominance of ascetic Ketu (South Lunar Node) in the sky last week.  As I noted last week, spiritual ascetics like Ketu do not take much of an interest in money, and when they do, they can be dismissive of its importance.  While Monday's Sun-Mercury conjunction did offer a short-lived boost to sentiment, especially in Asia where stocks managed a decent gain, the rest of the week was more decidedly bearish as US markets fell for five straight days.   Both the Sun and Mercury had conjunctions with crazy, mad Ketu last week so that was the immediate cause for the rush to the exits. 
 

Transits for Tuesday, July, 6 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

More generally,  we can see how the approach of the next Saturn-Uranus opposition is starting to take its toll on the market mood as US markets seem to have entered a new and more dangerous phase of this current correction that began in late April.   Indian markets have largely been spared the bloodletting so far, although that can't continue indefinitely.  Certainly, the economic fundamentals in India are stronger than the US economy and therein lies part of the explanation for their different paths.  Astrologically, the natal horoscopes of the Indian stock exchanges are proving to be stronger in the face of these bearish transits.  Natal charts are unique and so each entity -- whether a person, stock exchange, or corporation -- will be influenced in different ways by the same transits. 

This week looks no less eventful as the Saturn-Uranus opposition is again highlighted by the retrograde station of Uranus on Monday, the 5th.  As the planet of freedom and independence, there may be an even greater uneasiness in global sentiment as the restlessness of Uranus confronts the harsh reality of Saturn's unyielding structures.  Volatility is likely to rise as investors may seek to reorganize and rebalance their portfolios in the face of new realities.  There is a hectic or even occasionally frantic quality at work here that could manifest as sudden reversals of fortune, and unexpected changes in plan.  And to up the ante even more here, there is a total solar eclipse on Sunday July 11.  Like planetary stations, eclipses also function as times of greater intensity and that are marked by interruptions of the status quo.  Reversals are also more common near eclipses so if we have seen a down trend prevail leading into an eclipse, then the tables may turn around the eclipse date.    Interesting times to be sure.

"All that is solid melts into air."  -- Karl Marx

 

 




Week of June 28 - July 2

Markets stumble as Sun and Mercury enter Gemini

 
More dark days in the market last week as the disappointing economic data coming out of the US is conjuring up images of a Recession 2.0.   In New York, the Dow slid almost 3% to close at 10,143 while the S&P finished at a meager 1076.    As has been the case recently, Indian stocks fared somewhat better as the Sensex was little changed on the week at 17,574 and the Nifty at 5269.   I had expected some upside in the early going on the Sun-Jupiter-Uranus pattern and we did get it although it was excruciatingly fleeting:  Monday closed higher in Mumbai but we only saw significant intraday gains in New York which faded away by the close.  I wondered if Mercury's entry into Gemini on Tuesday might would tilt the game in favour of the bears and that seems to have largely come to pass.  US markets fell on all days this week with the exception of Friday's flat performance, while Mumbai was significantly lower Thursday and Friday.  It's worth noting that the bearish Mercury-Saturn aspect that I mentioned last week did deliver its gloom on schedule as Thursday saw a down day in most global markets.
 

Transits for June 28, 2010 9.30 a.m. EDT New York

Mercury and the Sun continue their transits through the minefield of sidereal Gemini this week.  While the worst of Saturn's aspect is now behind them, they still have to contend with Ketu, the planetary equivalent of a ornery curmudgeon who hates money.   Ketu, (a.k.a. the South Lunar Node) is known as a planet of renunciation and spirituality in Vedic lore.  Since it is more inclined towards otherworldly pursuits, it often takes a dim view of such mundane matters as speculation and profit.  In most cases, this is a bearish influence but we should note that Ketu is also known for its unpredictable quality, like a holy man who buys lotto tickets just to challenge stereotypes.    Before the midweek encounter with Ketu, we will see a Sun-Mercury conjunction in Gemini.  Since Mercury rules Gemini, this ought to generate some enthusiasm for trading and presumably give a Burroughsian shot in the arm to prices. 

At the same time, however, Mars will be in aspect with Rahu which may create an unstable environment in some way.  By itself, the Mars-Rahu suggests an excess of energy that one finds in accidents and disputes.  In the context of the market, it could translate simply in terms of high trading volumes and a rapid cycling of porfolios.  With Sun-Mercury providing some positive cover, one would be forgiven to think that optimism will prevail.   In the current cosmic climate of Saturn-Uranus oppositions and such, that is not a certainty.   And all of this comes on the heels of today's (June 26) partial lunar eclipse at 10 degrees of Sagittarius.  Now that we're into eclipse season -- the solar eclipse arrives on July 11 -- we should look for an increase in intensity of both actions and their consequences. 

"Maturity of mind is the capacity to endure uncertainty."  -- John Finley


.  

 


Week of June 21 - 25

One more time: Jupiter-Uranus this week


Stocks continued to rebound last week as Europe showed hints of stabilizing with bond yields stepping back from the brink.   In New York, the Dow closed almost 3% higher at 10,450 while the S&P finished at 1117.  Mumbai also continued its winning ways as the Sensex ended the week at 17,570 with the Nifty at 5262.  Gold also made news as it climbed to a new all-time high of $1260.  Overall, the bulls took the reigns and took the key indexes over their 200 day moving averages, a key technical indicator.  While I expected some upside last week, I thought it might be confined more to the early week and the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus alignment.  Certainly, that did lift markets here but I overestimated the negative effects of the Sun's entry into Gemini later in the week.  Markets were mostly flat after Tuesday, so while gains were harder to come by, the selling has yet to materialize.
 

Transits for Monday, June 21, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

It's important to note that the Sun will transit sidereal Gemini for the next four weeks until July 16.  I believe that this will mean that rallies will tend to be shorter and selloffs steeper during the duration of this transit.  Again, my reasoning here is based on very basic astrology:  Saturn at 4 degrees of Virgo casts its full strength square aspect to Gemini and while Ketu (South Lunar Node) currently sits near the middle of the sign at 18 degrees of Gemini.  This is a double dose of potential bearishness that is likely to act as a drag on optimism.  Besides the powerful aspects involving slow moving planets (Saturn to Neptune; Saturn to Uranus, etc), the upcoming Gemini transit of the Sun and then Mercury demands close attention. 

This week will see the Sun form square aspects to the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction early in the week.  The Sun will first aspect Uranus on Monday, and then follow suit with Jupiter on Tuesday and into Wednesday.  While square aspects are not the most positive angles, this trio of planets work quite well together so we should expect buyers to outnumber sellers and hence prices should rise.  Mercury enters Gemini on Tuesday so that may complicate matters somewhat, although any negative fallout from this ingress may take a few days to appear. Mercury comes under the aspect of Saturn on Thursday so that increases the likelihood of a decline near that day.

All this increasingly feels like the calm before the storm. 

 
"Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act."   -- Paulo Coelho







 


Week of June 14 - 18

Jupiter-Uranus props up market but for how long?

Markets teetered near their recent lows before bouncing higher last week as Euro concerns moved to the back burner on more hopeful economic data.   In New York, the Dow climbed back over the 10k level and ended almost 3% higher at 10,211 with the S&P coming in at 1091.  The situation was a little less rosy in Mumbai, however, as markets edged lower with the Sensex finishing at 17,064 and the Nifty at 5119.  US markets survived a near-death experience on Tuesday as the key indexes flirted with recent May low, a violation of which would have likely sparked near panic selling.  Astrologically, this coincided with the high-energy alignment of Mars with the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.  The move by Venus into Cancer introduced a measure of optimism midweek which got a further boost Thursday and Friday when Mercury joined the party with Jupiter-Uranus.  While we are currently trapped in the vice-like grip of some very heavy and portentous planets, I did expect some relief rally here so it was nice to see that come to fruition.
 

Transits for Monday, June 14, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

Meanwhile, the nightmarish never-ending oil spill in the Gulf is reaching a point that it may be affecting overall US market sentiment.  Revised leak rates and more dire predictions of environmental damage are contributing to the overall gloomy mood on Wall Street, even if there may be relatively little direct impact on the economy as a whole.  As we know, the markets are driven by sentiment in all its glorious "animal spirits" irrationality, and this is where understanding planetary influences can become so helpful for gaining extra insight.   So while there may an increase of entrepreneurial enthusiasm from the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction here, it is important to note that Jupiter is now separating from Uranus, so this effect may be prone to weakening in the days to come. Furthermore, Saturn will begin to replace Jupiter as the primary interface for Uranus.  It was Saturn and Uranus that started this latest negative phase in the market back on April 26 when it last formed its opposition aspect.  Yes, folks, its coming back for yet another return engagement.  In other words, we cannot expect too much smooth sailing anytime soon.
 
This week begins with a text book instance of favorable planets.  Venus, the planet of love, luxury and enjoyment, will come under the aspect of Jupiter-Uranus on Monday and Tuesday.  Since Jupiter is the very embodiment of bullish optimism, one would tend to think a positive result would be likely.  Of course, all the background influences are looking unsettled at best, so we should not become too complacent even with bullish patterns.  On Tuesday, the Sun enters sidereal Gemini.  This may result in more sober thinking (hint: this is a euphemism for gloom) since the Sun will come under the aspect of plodding, deliberative Saturn. Later in the week Mercury, the planet of commerce and communication, forms an aspect with Ketu, the planet of sacrifice and renunciation.  Not a good combination for financial markets I should think.

"Caution is the eldest child of wisdom"  - Victor Hugo
 



 



 


Week of June 7 - 11

Mars inflicts pain on stocks;  hopes pinned on upiter-Uranus


Another week of fear and loathing in the financial world amidst a sea of less than cheery news.  Hungary's potential for default pushed the Euro below 1.20 for the first time since 2006, a US employment report that showed precious little in the way of new jobs, and the never-ending oil Gulf spill threatens to put the entire US eastern seaboard in a choke hold.   After gamely pushing back to its 200-day moving average on Thursday, Friday's jobs report sent the Dow below 10,000 closing at 9931 down more than 2% on the week.  In Mumbai, the picture was somewhat rosier since Indian markets were largely spared Friday's carnage.  The Sensex closed at 17,177 while the Nifty finished at a respectable 5135.  Mars over-fulfilled its role as the planetary villain last week as the Mars-Saturn aspect coincided with Tuesday's decline worldwide.  The Mars-Neptune opposition manifested a little later than expected (but still right on time), as Friday's selloff occurred when Mars (4 Leo 41) was almost exactly opposite Neptune (4 Aquarius 47). 

Transits for Monday June 7, 2010 9.30 a.m.  New York
 


Of course, these Mars aspects have become extremely potent here because the planets being aspected (Saturn, Neptune) are involved with larger and more clearly negative celestial alignments.  It is critically important to recognize that these aspects are going to hang around for while and will create more tension and anxiety in financial markets for much of 2010.  For example, Saturn and Uranus are in close opposition aspect until late July.  Saturn and Neptune will form a quincunx aspect until the beginning of July.  And by the time August rolls around, Pluto will join in and square Saturn.  All told, this sequence of aspects this year is among the very the worst imaginable. 

This week begins with Mars aspecting the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus.  This looks like a very energetic and intense combination that suggests major moves are possible.  Jupiter and Uranus are often seen as optimistic and risk-taking planets but against the larger backdrop of all that Saturn energy, it will interesting to see how these divergent impulses play out.  Mars is not an energy that is easily integrated into an already tense environment although Jupiter can be a very forgiving planet.  Later in the week, Venus enters Cancer and Mercury will move in sync with Jupiter and Uranus which suggests that despite the gathering gloom, the cup may actually be half full -- if only for a short while.  

 


 




 

Week of May 31 - June 4

Mars-Saturn-Nepune may bring more uncertainty; Jupiter-Uranus awaits


After a near death experience early in the week, stocks regained their footing later on as some improved economic data and soothing words about Europe from the Chinese government induced buyers to part with their money.  For all the volatility, stocks in New York closed mostly unchanged as the Dow closed at 10,136 and the S&P at 1089.  Indian markets fared somewhat better as shares added more than 2% as the Sensex ended Friday's session at 16,863 while the Nifty finished at 5066. 

The approach of the twin stations of gloomy Saturn (May 30) and sickly Neptune (May 31) did not disappoint as our prediction for more market mayhem and intensity was more or less realized.  Tuesday's plunge revisited levels last seen in February and thereby became a basis for a fledgling low volume rally into the end of the week.  While current prices are still perilously close to the 200 day moving average, there may be a ray of hope emerging on the sense that the markets may have dodged a bullet -- at least for now. 

 

Transits for Tuesday, June 1, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

 

Mars will be a key player in the planetary soup this week as it forms a minor aspect with Saturn and Neptune early in the week.  Mars is often a bitter taste, especially when combined with malefics such as Saturn and Neptune.  This appears to be a destabilizing influence that will reflect some kind of dysfunctional quality in the economy.   This does not seem like a positive combination at all.  Towards the end of the week, Mars will leave the negativity behind and move towards Uranus and Jupiter.  This is an entirely different sort of cosmic picture where risk, action and restlessness will be the watchwords.  In fact, the trio of Mars, Jupiter and Uranus would seem to be the perfect planetary profile of "the speculator". 

 


 




 

Week of May 24 - 28

Markets continue to fall ahead of Saturn-Neptune reversal


It felt like 2008 all over again last week as markets teetered over mounting fears surrounding the Euro and the Eurozone economies.  As volatility spiked in New York, stocks fell more than 4% for the week with the Dow closing at 10,193 and the S&P at 1087.    The sell-off also took hold in Mumbai as the Sensex closed down 3% to 16,445 and the Nifty at 4931.  The market looks to have broken down here as psychology has undergone a fundamental shift.  This is very much in keeping with the extremely tense and powerful alignment of planets that marks the sky at the present time.   While I thought we might have seen more gains later in the week -- only Friday's session was higher in the US -- the overriding pessimism out there was not surprising as we approached the extremely nasty Saturn direct station on May 30.
 

Transits for Monday, May 24, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

 

Interestingly, the Euro did manage to rebound, although it was mostly fueled on the belief that the European Central Bank had begun to intervene in the market and was buying up unwanted Euros.  As the turbulence has grown, even gold has fallen out of favour as investors are wary of another deflationary spiral like we saw in 2008.  Gold's weakness is very much a reflection of the recent weakening of the planet Venus.  Its parabolic run-up occurred while Venus was transiting sidereal Taurus, a sign that Venus is said to rule and do well in.   It left Taurus and entered Gemini on May 14 -- the very same day of its all time high at $1250 on the futures contract.  Gemini is a less favourable sign for Venus and it has been in retreat ever since that date.  The prospect of Mars entering Leo on Wednesday this week may deliver another blow to gold.  Leo is a sign with a strong affinity for gold and when it is connected with a malefic planet like Mars, it may make it even more vulnerable to declines. 

Market analysts point to the breakdown of the 200-day moving average last week as a technical sign that we may have entered new territory here.  Whenever the key stock indexes are above this moving average, the market is said to enjoy positive momentum as most people believe it to be a bullish condition.  But when prices fall below this line, gloom descends and investors become more fearful.  What is interesting is that this new and dangerous situation is very much reflected in the stars.  The twin stations of Saturn and Neptune on the 30th and 31st are quite unusual and, when combined with their tense aspects to Uranus and Jupiter, quite portentous of difficult events and outcomes.   All told, the next two weeks or so could be quite intense.

 

 




Week of May 17 - 21

Euro worries plague stocks; Sun and Venus to join Big Alignment this week

 
Despite the EU's munificent $1 Trillion bailout package, markets ended the week with another bad case of the shakes.  For all the reassuring talk and seemingly endless supplies of paper money, a growing number of investors are not convinced that the high debts levels in Europe are compatible with economic growth.  Nonetheless, stocks did finish higher on the week as the Dow climbed 2% to close at 10,620 while the S&P finished at 1135.  A similar story unfolded in Mumbai as equities ended higher on the week but left a bad taste in the mouth.  As of Friday, the Sensex stood at 16,996 with the Nifty at 5093.  While I thought we would see some supporting sentiment form after the flash crash, I thought much of it would follow Wednesday's Mercury direct station closer to the exact aspect between the Sun and Venus.  As a probabilistic enterprise grappling with the vicissitudes of the human condition, the only thing we can say about astrology is that it is about as scientific as economics.   As I noted last week, the growing influence of Jupiter over the second half of May could well buttress stocks somewhat in the face of an otherwise harsh planetary environment.

To be sure, this correction has found a close correlation with the planetary geometry in the current sky.  Most global equity markets formed a top on April 26, the same day as Saturn (4 Virgo) formed an exact opposition angle with Uranus (4 Pisces).  These incompatible energies have manifested in struggles over austerity and regulation (Saturn) at odds with the desire for risk and freedom (Uranus).  As troublesome Neptune (4 Aquarius) joined this extremely rare alignment in May, the market has undergone a significant correction which threatens to bring the recovery rally of the past 13 months to a screeching halt.  These are very powerful planets that can signal not only changes in investor mood, but can serve to disrupt and ultimately reorganize some of our most fundamental human institutions.  The current Saturn-Uranus-Neptune configuration is just the most recent phase in the much more complex planetary pattern that will unfold from 2008 to 2013.  Just to give some indication of the kind of significant economic and societal changes that might be in store, we have not seen an alignment of this many outer planets since the early 1930s.

Transits for Monday, May 17, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week features the transits of the Sun and Venus into the thicket of the Big Alignment on Monday and Tuesday.  This is likely to coincide with at least another down day, although we should note that the tell-tale Saturn aspect only occurs on Tuesday as the more comforting Jupiter aspects to Venus and the Sun hit exactly on Monday.  Given the close degree proximity of Jupiter (2 Pisces) to Saturn (4 Virgo), these transit effects may become blurred as the market gyrates in both directions in the early part of the week.  After Venus and the Sun escape from Saturn, they will have the opportunity to form aspects with Uranus and Neptune starting on Wednesday.  These appear to be much more risk-positive influences that we often associate with rising stocks.  Jupiter's tightening aspect to Saturn could bring further relief here although that picture may not last as Saturn ends its retrograde cycle and turns direct on May 30. 
 

 


 
 
Week of May 10 - 14

Mercury turns direct on Wednesday;  Sun joins Venus by Friday


The party on Wall Street came to (flash) crashing halt last week as stocks sank 6% on fears that the European sovereign debt problem may not be solved by the Greece bailout.  Out the nowhere on Thursday, the Dow plunged almost 1000 points by mid-afternoon below the 10,000 level, albeit recovering somewhat by the close to end the week at 10,380. Mumbai was also down by 5% on the week as the Sensex finished at 16,679 and the Nifty closing at 5018. 

It was a strange and tumultuous week to be sure as investors were left wondering if they had returned to the financial storm they thought they had left behind in 2008.  This outcome was pretty much in line with expectations given the raft of aspects involving malefic planets.  Last week I had warned about the possible effects of the Sun-Mars square aspect, especially since it would feed into the larger, more powerful aspects of the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune alignment.  And so I wrote: "This appears to be a tense combination of fiery energy that may coincide with sudden or instinctive reactions".  The Sun-Mars aspect therefore acted as a trigger for the Saturn-Uranus opposition which was exact back on April 27th.  All that conflicting energy between Saturnian control and restriction and Uranian freedom and rebellion created an situation without easy resolution.  While the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune alignment has altered the financial terrain here, this does not mean that the downturn will unfold imminently.  It may take several more months and the next (and final) Saturn-Uranus opposition aspect in July to move the situation to the next level of crisis.

 

Transits for Monday, May 10, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

Now it seems that no amount of Saturnian discipline and austerity can solve the situation in Greece or indeed in other Club Med economies such as Portugal and Spain.  The debts levels may simply be too high relative to the amount of revenue those economies are capable of generating. Risky assets are taking the hit as investors seek to protect their capital from any possible downdraft in the future by moving them to safe havens like US Dollars, US Treasuries, and gold.

As I have been suggesting since 2008, the financial crisis didn't end in 2009, it was merely put on hold through massive infusions of liquidity (i.e. money to you and me) from central banks such as the Federal Reserve.  The reduction of  interest rates to zero has made borrowing pain-free once again so the bubble has re-inflated all over again.  Why would Ben Bernanke think you could fix the first bubble with another bubble?  All it will do is delay the inevitable flushing of bad debt out of the system.  The stock rally of the past 13 months has been predicated on easy money.  Now it is dawning on people that all that bad debt from the sub-prime housing crisis in 2008 didn't simply go away.  It merely re-appeared like a shape-shifter as sovereign debt in the guise of  numerous government bailouts to prevent bankruptcies.   So now we are finally waking up the reality that these heavy government debt levels are not sustainable either and Greece is currently the weak link in the chain. 

This week will see Mercury change direction as its retrograde cycle comes to an end on Wednesday.  It will station at 8 Aries in fairly close quincunx (150 degree) aspect with Saturn (4 Virgo).   This is not a good angle for these planets so more weakness seems possible ahead of this direction reversal.   More positively, the Sun has moved away from the Mars influence and will form a supportive aspect with Venus towards week end so some recovery seems more likely.   With Jupiter approaching Uranus over the next few weeks, we may see some of the extreme negativity mitigated somewhat.  Looking down the road, there are two large alignments that warrant our attention.  The first one May 18-20 will involve the Sun, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and looks more benevolent than last week's combination.  The second one arrives on June 2-4 and will feature Mars in aspect with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.  As we saw last week, Mars is often a harsh influence, so this alignment may prove more difficult.    



 


 

Week of May 3 - 7

Sun-Mars aspect intensifies energy this week


Stocks slumped last week on renewed worries over European sovereign debt and the possibility of criminal charges against Goldman Sachs.  In New York, the Dow closed down 2% to 11,008 while the S&P finished at 1186.  In Mumbai, equities also lost ground as the Sensex finished at 17,558 and the Nifty at 5278.  As the planetary drama between Saturn, Uranus and Neptune played out last week, markets responded negatively as Tuesday's exact Saturn-Uranus opposition coincided with a major decline in US markets.  This manifested on Wednesday in Asia and effectively bumped the more bullish sentiment implied in the Wednesday's Sun-Mercury conjunction to later in the week.  The good vibes then lasted until Friday in Asia but US markets turned lower again on more Goldman Sachs developments as Neptune joined the party in force.    With the Sun's condition boosted by the passing Mercury, gold climbed to $1179.

Transits for Monday, May 3, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

The current Saturn-Uranus-Neptune alignment is quite rare and has the capacity to produce some major structural changes in the world.  We can see this is happening already as there is widespread recognition of the need for greater government regulation of the financial industry.  Capitalism itself may be undergoing a kind of overhaul in the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown.   Thus far, however, these three planets have not generated much in the way of market reaction.  Saturn and Uranus may have sparked the initial crisis in 2008 on their first opposition aspect in this series, but subsequent aspects have been less momentous.  Last week's decline was potentially significant in that it may have marked a kind of turning point but we will have to wait for events to verify that claim.

The highlight this week will likely be the Sun-Mars square that is exact on Tuesday.  The Moon may act as a catalyst here when it forms a t-square with Sun and Mars on Wednesday.  This appears to be a tense combination of fiery energy that may coincide with sudden or instinctive reactions to undesirable or even violent events.  While it is conceivable the market could rise in this outburst of frenetic activity, the more likely outcome would appear to be greater anxiety. To make matters worse, the Sun and Mars will form minor aspect with malefics Saturn and Rahu.    Jupiter entered sidereal Pisces over the weekend so that could provide some kind of temporary boost to the overall equation but it seems unlikely to radically alter the dynamics.  Jupiter's approach to Uranus over the next few weeks will be interesting to watch since it could shore up excessive pessimism from Saturn's aspects.   Alternatively, Jupiter may simply serve to hasten and clarify the larger changes reflected in the Saturn-Uranus aspect.

 


 


 

Week of April 26 - 30

Saturn-Uranus aspect exact on Tuesday


Stocks drifted higher last week as positive earnings reports gave hope that the economic recovery would continue.  In New York, the Dow closed at its highest level for the year at 11,204 while the S&P finished at 1217.  In Mumbai, gains were more modest as the Sensex ended Friday below its 2010 highs at 17,694 with the Nifty closing at 5304.  Gold futures also rebounded last week closing at $1157.  Last week, I had cautioned about Monday's alignment of the Sun, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and this did in fact correlate with a decline of 1% in Asia and Europe.  However, once the fast moving Sun had passed its exact aspect with Saturn early on Monday morning (EDT), the tense bearish influence diminished and US markets ended higher.  The entry of Venus into sidereal Taurus (the bull!) on Tuesday also appeared to correspond with a boost in prices as Asian markets generally reversed higher while US markets continued their winning ways into Friday.  Interestingly, the approach of Friday's aspect between Venus and Saturn saw prices rally even further.  While this was somewhat counterintuitive, it nonetheless offered evidence that Venus was now in a stronger position to engage with the troublesome energy of Saturn. 

Transits for Monday, April 26, 2010 9.30 a.m New York
 

The highlight this week is the exact opposition aspect between Saturn (4 Virgo) and Uranus (4 Pisces) on Tuesday.  Saturn symbolizes control, discipline, caution and fear and its energy often does not blend well with the more libertarian and rebellious urges of Uranus.  In some instances, this aspect can underline internal structural conflicts in the world such as what we are now seeing with Goldman Sachs.  Regulatory agencies such as the SEC assume a Saturnian role of enforcer that seek to limit the freedom of Goldman Sachs who are represented by Uranus.  With Neptune (4 Aquarius) also forming an important leg in this alignment, there will also be some element of deception and illusion.  The fraud charges against Goldman Sachs are emblematic of this Neptunian energy and suggests that the role of deception will be an ongoing theme in any future reordering of the financial industry.  With Jupiter soon to conjoin Uranus in June, we could see legal and judicial issues to play a larger role in the weeks to come.

As if to punctuate the the importance of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, a powerful Full Moon occurs on Wednesday in Aries.  This pattern is made more noteworthy due to the close conjunct of the Sun with retrograde Mercury.  This is often a bullish pattern for increasing risk appetite such as stocks and commodities, although it is likely to be short lived. Ahead of the Full Moon, Mercury will form a difficult square aspect with Mars early on Monday morning (IST) that could cast a pallor over the market.  At the other end of the spectrum, there is a nominally positive mix of planets late on Friday between the Moon, Mercury, and Venus. 

Given the continuing strength of stocks, we should pay close attention to the possibility that the exact Saturn-Uranus opposition this week will form an interim peak in prices. 

 

 



Week of April 19 - 23

Goldman Sachs and the Sun-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune pattern


A potential trend changer emerged last week with the fraud charges against financial giant, Goldman Sachs.  Stocks in New York tumbled over 1% as the story surfaced, although the were unchanged on the week with the Dow closing at 11,018 and the S&P at 1192.  Indian stocks lost almost 2% on interest rate worries as the Nifty closed at 5262 and the Sensex at 17,591.   It seems as though the short term positives like the late week Venus-Jupiter aspect was overruled by the medium term influences.  As I noted last week,  the culmination of the long-standing Uranus-Neptune aspect on Tuesday and the Sun's entry into sidereal Aries on Wednesday may both be interpreted as increasing negative sentiment.  While neither of these influences is amenable to precise predictions, they nonetheless add weight to the bearish case.  Of course, back here on Earth the SEC attack on Goldman Sachs may well serve a similar purpose as Wall Street's "business as usual" model comes under threat and markets react accordingly. 

Transits for Monday, April 19, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week begins with a planetary alignment of considerable heft as the Sun (5 Aries), Saturn (5 Virgo), Uranus (4 Pisces) and Neptune (4 Aquarius) are all situated around 4 or 5 degrees of their respective signs.  Saturn's presence in any multi-planet aspect needs to be watched carefully, as the planet of caution and restraint is often implicated in declines.  The combination of the Sun with Saturn in this instance may reflect intransigence and inhibitions involving government and large firms.  Uranus here suggests a frustrated desire for freedom and lack of regulation (= Wall St) while Neptune may represent the deceit employed by Goldman Sachs on an unsuspecting public. While Venus enters the more friendly confines of sidereal Taurus on Tuesday, it, too, will form a pattern with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune by week's end.  While this is unlikely to have the same effects as the Sun's Monday alignment, it could still see tensions increase as the appetite for risk wanes.

The Saturn-Uranus opposition becomes exact next week on Tuesday, April 27.   Last week, I suggested that this combination of incompatible planets often creates troubles, especially where the markets are concerned.   Outcomes may vary due to other factors, such as the conditions of Saturn's sign dispositor.  I mentioned last week that since Saturn was in Virgo, the condition of its ruler, Mercury, was heightened in its importance.  Mercury is currently in a tense 6th house relationship with Saturn, so that is one reason to expect the current Saturn-Uranus aspect to correspond with lower prices on the markets and with an increase in general mayhem in the world.  The eruption of the Icelandic volcano that has interrupted air travel across Europe is perhaps a reflection of this difficult aspect. 

But Neptune (4 Aquarius) is also present in this alignment and that only ratchets up the potential for damage especially since it sits exactly 6 houses away from Saturn.  In Vedic astrology, 6 is not a fortunate number so we are more likely to experience some uncomfortable Neptunian consequences from this aspect.  In its negative iteration, Neptune governs illusion and deception so those themes are likely to become more prominent over the coming weeks. Certainly the Goldman Sachs' fraud episode can be seen as having a Neptunian component so it seems that this issue will not be resolved quickly or easily.

 


 


 
 

Week of April 12 - 16

Sun enters Aries, Uranus waves good-bye to Neptune

Taking cues from encouraging US employment data, stocks extended their seemingly somnabulant ascent with another modest gain.  In New York, the Dow added less than 1% to close at 10,997 while the S&P finished at 1194.  Foreign investors were similarly enthralled with Indian economic prospects, as stocks in Mumbai climbed almost 2% with the Sensex closing at 17,933 and the Nifty at 5361.  While I thought we might see more negative Mars energy become manifest last week, it wasn't too surprising to see Monday begin positively as the Mercury-Mars was past exact hence much of its bearish energy had already been drained away.   And the late week Sun-Jupiter aspect did appear to coincide with more confidence as stocks and commodities mostly moved higher.  Gold was perhaps the main beneficiary of this aspect as it climbed back to $1160, and this was in keeping with my comments from last week. 

Transits for April 12, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

We have yet to encounter any planetary pattern that has sufficient strength to reverse the prevailing trend.  I had wondered if the gradual build up of planets in sidereal Aries might be enough to activate the nastiness of Mars (which, of course, rules Aries) but there is precious little evidence for this hypothesis thus far.  The Sun enters Aries on Wednesday this week so that could provide more celestial material for the bearish side, but sign placement alone may not be enough to shut down this liquidity party.   This week will also be significant since the long term aspect between Uranus (4 Pisces) and Neptune (4 Aquarius) finally becomes exact.  It is possible that some of this rally may be linked to the geometric connection between these distant outer planets since they have been in fairly close orb for several months. With the faster moving Uranus now moving beyond its aspect with Neptune, we should pay close attention to any changes that may occur here.

The early week features a Venus-Rahu aspect which may entail some speculative buying and higher prices, but given the other influences at work here, buying may be a short term distraction this week.  The late week period features the Moon conjoining benefic Mercury and Venus and then Venus approaches an aspect with Jupiter on Friday.  Both of these influences would appear to be congruent with higher prices.

And waiting in the wings is the latest iteration of the Saturn-Uranus opposition that comes exact on April 27.  So it may finally be time for the bulls to take a breather after all.


 

 
 

Week of April 5 - 9

Mercury-Mars-Pluto to start the week


Stocks edged higher for yet another week as positive US economic data suggests that the recovery may be taking root.   In New York, the Dow ended the week less than 1% higher at 10,927 while the S&P finished at 1178.  The gains were more fractional in Mumbai as the Sensex closed at 17,692 and the Nifty at 5290.  Last week, I had noted the possibility of gains on the multi-planet aspects involving Venus on Monday and Mercury on Wednesday.  This is more or less what happened as Monday rose on the Venus (3 Aries) aspects to both Uranus (3 Pisces) and Neptune (3 Aquarius).  Wednesday's favourable Mercury alignment was apparently delayed as stocks ended up gaining in Thursday's session.  The delay may have resulted for Mercury "waiting" for the nice Moon-Jupiter-Ketu grand trine.   Nonetheless, in the absence of these positive aspects, the market sagged -- a possible sign of background weakness from the stronger influence of Aries and Mars.  So while this shot of negative Aries energy did plausibly weaken sentiment, it was not enough to lower prices overall.   Since Venus transits sidereal Aries until April 19 and Mercury until June 6, we will have to pay close attention in order to track these more latent effects.   We should also note that the Sun will transit sidereal Aries from April 14 to May 14 so that could is another potentially disruptive energy for the financial markets.

 

Transits for April 5, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York



On paper, this week looks more bearish than last week as Monday's alignment of Mercury with Mars and Pluto suggests a rise in fear and frustration.  While this should incline stocks towards lower prices in the early part of the week, the key square aspect between Mercury and Mars is nonetheless a little past exact.  This may reduce its capacity for damage somewhat, especially in US markets.  We can also note that this is only a partial strength square aspect since Mars' 270 degree aspect does not pack the same punch as its more damaging 90 degree aspect.   Even with those caveats, however, it will be interesting to see how the market responds to thse tense planetary energies.   Towards the end of the week, a minor Sun-Jupiter aspect may lift sentiment somewhat, with commodities like gold perhaps enjoying special benefit.

As the Saturn-Uranus opposition draws closer -- now less than three degrees -- we can be attuned to more clues about its eventual impact on stocks.   While it is often a tense and difficult combination as evidenced by its role in the October 2008 meltdown, it is not always going to correspond with negative outcomes.  Its ultimate effects depend on secondary and tertiary factors such as transit contacts, and the condition of planetary dispositors.  While Saturn is a natural malefic, its energy can be made more benign if its dispositor, i.e. the ruler of its sign, is strong.  In November 2008, Saturn was in the sign of Leo, which is ruled by the Sun.  At the time of the sharp sell-off, the Sun was debilitated in Libra.  This weakness in the Sun was therefore transfered onto Saturn to some extent and was another factor why the Saturn-Uranus opposition corresponded with such a large decline. In February 2009, Saturn was again in Leo but its dispositor Sun was now in Capricorn.  The Sun is in an enemy's sign in Capricon and moreover Capricorn is six signs from Leo, which suggests tension.   The market fell another 15% after this Saturn-Uranus opposition.  Finally, in September 2009, Saturn was in sidereal Virgo at the time of its third opposition with Uranus.  Saturn's dispositor was therefore Mercury.  But Mercury was also in Virgo, which is its sign of exaltation.  With a strong dispositor, Saturn created less of an atmosphere of difficulty as  stocks generally rose through this particular aspect.    There are other factors to consider, of course, but dispositors are nonetheless an important part of the overall equation. 

This time around the Saturn-Uranus opposition occurs on April 26th with Saturn in sidereal Virgo.  Saturn's dispositor Mercury will be retrograde in Aries conjunct and combust the exalted Sun.  This seems less favourable than the September 2009 circumstances although perhaps not a grievous as the opposition in November 2008.  While Mercury (and hence Saturn) may receive some benefit from its association with an exalted planet (the Sun), Mercury will be six signs from Saturn.  In astrology, 6, 8,and 12 are generally seen as unfavourable house/sign relationships.   The relatively difficult condition of Saturn's dispositor would tend to support the view that this Saturn-Uranus opposition will accompany lower stock prices.    Let's see how it all plays out.
 


 


 

Week of March 29 - April 2

Venus and Mercury enter Aries


Stocks continued to melt higher last week as positive US employment data was enough to offset worries about European sovereign debt.   In New York, the Dow gained less than 1% to close at 10,850 and the S&P finished at 1066.   Mumbai stocks were also higher as the Sensex made a fractional gain to close at 17,644 with the Nifty ending the week at 5282.  Monday's Sun-Saturn aspect did little to curb the enthusiasm for stocks although it is worth noting that Indian stocks did decline on Monday just before this aspect became exact.  However, New York's session began just after the Sun was separating from the aspect and hence the negative Saturn influence was already on the wane at the open.   The result was falling prices at the open followed by a modest rally.  Despite this recent series of aspects, we have yet to see Saturn assert itself here as specified down days have seen only orderly and controlled pullbacks. 

 

Transits for Monday March 29, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 
This week we may see more of Mars in the equation as Venus and Mercury enter sidereal Aries on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively.  This stronger Aries influence invokes Mars since Mars is said to rule Aries.  Aries is associated with bold action and courageousness but here we note that since Mars is debilitated in Cancer, planets transiting through Aries may be adversely affected.  Therefore, there is a greater chance we could see the more negative side of Aries, such as sudden and rash moves motivated by ego and bravado.  While we cannot rule out investors staking out new long positions taken on faulty reasoning, the more likely manifestation is selling out of self-preservation and thus falling prices.  Nonetheless, there are a couple of favourable aspects this week that suggest some possibility of gains.  Monday will feature a Venus-Uranus-Neptune alignment that may increase risk appetite.  This is more likely to manifest in Asian trading since the aspect will be separating by the time US markets open.  Similarly, Mercury will slip into the same spot on Wednesday and that could incline stocks towards more gains than chance might otherwise suggest.  But the effects of Aries and hence Mars would appear to undermine whatever positive consequences these specific aspects might promise. 

With Saturn opposing Uranus on April 26, it seems very unlikely that this rebound rally can continue indefinitely. 

 

 



 






Week of March 22 - 26


Stocks continued their upward drift last week as Fed Chair Bernanke promised to keep handing out free money indefinitely.  The Dow made new highs for the year and added another 1% to close at 10,741 while the S&P finished at 1159.  Ahead of Friday's surprise rate hike by the RBI, Indian markets advanced more than 2% as the Sensex climbed to 17,578 and the Nifty to 5262.  This rise was in keeping with general expectations since the Sun-Mercury-Uranus conjunction was likely to increase risk appetite. Interestingly, we did not see much of a fall in the wake of Wednesday's Sun-Uranus conjunction and the opposition aspect between Mercury and Saturn also did not generate much selling. US markets imbibed in Saturn's bitter austerities as Thursday was flat and Friday was negative, albeit only modestly.  The rate hike by India's central bank is a reflection of the growing influence of Saturn as inflation is becoming more of a concern.   Saturn is the planet of limits and tightening in the face of runaway optimism and spending so it is possible we may be seeing a changing of the planetary guard here. 

Transits for March 22, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York


This week will feature the third of three quick transits to Saturn as the Sun opposes it early on Monday. With Mars also forming a minor angle here, there is good reason to expect bearish sentiment to increase.  The more important question, however, is whether this activation of Saturn will fundamentally shift the mood of the market and start a downtrend as these aspects separate.  Certainly, a trend change is more possible here since Saturn is now fast approaching Uranus for the fourth of five oppositions in this series.  This occurs on April 25 and while the exact date may not be significant in terms of market dynamics, it does underline the importance of the current period.  The 2008 low was created very near the first Saturn-Uranus opposition (Nov 4) , as was the March 2009 low (Feb 5).  The third opposition in September 2009, however, saw the market continue its rally without significant interruption.   So it is not certain that the market will form lows near this aspect but we can nonetheless make a plausible case. 
 


 




Week of March 15 - 19

Sun and Mercury prepare to leave congenial energy of Uranus


US Stocks extended their winning streak as stocks edged 1% higher last week on reduced sovereign debt worries and some encouraging retail data.  Erasing all the losses of the recent correction, S&P matched its January high and finished Friday at 1149 while the Dow played laggard closing at 10,624, some 100+ points below its previous high.   Indian equities largely followed suit as the Sensex added another 1% to close at 17,166 while the Nifty finished at 5137.   I had expected a little more volatility, especially early in the week on the Venus-Saturn aspect.  But the gains were not entirely unexpected given the clustering of Sun and Mercury between the benefic bookends of Jupiter and Uranus which has largely propelled stocks higher off the early February bottom.
 

Transits for Monday March 15, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

With many US indexes at or near highs for the year, can Jupiter's optimism and Uranus' restless energy push the market even higher?  As the Sun and Mercury conjoin Uranus early this week, we could get a glimpse of the future trend.  This triple conjunction may correspond with sudden or unforeseen developments, with technology and innovation being the short term benefactors.  It may well be market positive in the (very) short run.   But we must remember that once the Sun and Mercury move past Uranus it could alter sentiment since the bullish Jupiter-Uranus pairing will be de-emphasized.  And as the Sun and Mercury leave Uranus behind, they may begin to activate the caution and pessimism of Saturn as they move into closer opposition aspect later in the week.  Saturn is generally unkind to risk takers, the only beneficiaries of its influence would be safe havens such as the US Dollar or government bonds.  Let's see how much Saturn is brought into the planetary mix this week.
 

 




Week of March 8 - 12

Venus opposes Saturn; Mars turns direct

Stocks jumped higher last week as positive US employment numbers convinced more investors that the recovery could actually be real.  Stocks in New York were 3% higher with the Dow closing at 10,566 and the S&P at 1138.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as Sensex added 3% to close at 16,994 while the Nifty finished at 5088 as investors basked in the afterglow of the union budget.   This bullish outcome was largely in keeping with expections as the midweek Venus-Uranus conjunction kept the bears at bay and fueled enough optimism to take prices to within a few percent of their January highs. 

Interestingly, once Venus began separating from Uranus, the post-budget rally in Mumbai stalled while New York enjoyed more gains on Friday.  As always, transit influences form a foundation from which the relevant natal charts pick and choose to resonate different energies.  Last week I wondered if the recent rally might stumble as Venus left the friendly confines of sidereal Aquarius and the clustering of benefic planets there.  The jury is still out on that hypothesis, although the strong showing of US and European markets on Friday would suggest that the Aquarian bulls are doing just fine, thank you, even without Venus.  New York continued to rise despite the departure of Venus, probably due to  favourable midpoint activation among the stellium of Mercury, Jupiter, Sun and Uranus.



Transits for Monday, March 8 , 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

There is a genuine chance for a shake up this week as Venus (7 Pisces) moves into opposition aspect with Saturn (7 Virgo) early in the week.  Given Saturn's well deserved reputation for all things gloomy, this is not a positive influence and the proximity of Mars (6 Cancer) by degree to both planets has the potential to seriously interrupt the prevailing mood.   To make things more interesting, Mars ends its retrograde cycle and turns direct on Wednesday.  This will inject an additional layer of Martian energy into the mix and could exaggerate moves in either direction.  However, the fact that Mars is, by nature, a malefic planet tips the probabilities towards the bears here.  At the same time, the clustering of planets in the second half of Aquarius is still a potential source of optimism here so some up days are still likely, especially later in the week as Mercury approaches the Sun.

 







Week of March 1 - 5

Venus enters Pisces and conjoins Uranus; last chance for bulls?
US Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as Ben Bernanke's promise to keep interest rates low was offset by news of more woes in the bottomless housing market.  The Dow lost less than 1% to close at 10,325 while the S&P finished at 1104.  In Mumbai, investors reacted favourably to the tax relief in Friday's union budget as prices rose by 2% on the week.  The Nifty edged towards 5000 at midday Friday before closing at 4922 while the Sensex stood at 16,429.  This outcome was more or less in keeping with last week's comments since I had suggested that the early part of the week would be weaker with strength returning by Friday.  In New York, Monday and Tuesday were both down days after which the bulls once again took the S&P back above 1100 for the rest of the week, albeit including Thursday's morning shake out.  Mumbai reflected the bullish bias of Friday's Sun-Jupiter conjunction more closely as Indian markets moved higher after trading in a narrow range in the lead up to the budget. 
 

Transits for March 1, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York

 
This week sees Venus leaving Aquarius on Tuesday as it prepares for its conjunction with Uranus.  As I speculated last week, the multi-planet stellium in Aquarius may offer a partial explanation of the recent rally off the February 5 lows.  Since Venus and then later the Sun have entered Aquarius to join Jupiter, prices have steadily risen.  However, once Venus leaves the company of the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter, we should be careful to detect any reduction in optimism.  Certainly, the conjunction of benefic Venus with energetic Uranus is a fortuitous combination that should offer further support to stocks for at least the first half of the week until the conjunction is exact.  As an added bonus, we should also note that Venus is entering Pisces, the sign of its exaltation.  So there is the potential for significant and sudden gains.  However, we can also see a potentially troubling alignment between Mercury, Mars and Saturn at the same time.  This may siphon off some of the optimism and produce a down day somewhere along the way, but  there is good reason to expect the bulls to stay in control this week.

Once Venus passes Uranus on Wednesday, however, the dynamics may begin to shift.  After Uranus, Saturn looms as Venus' next dance partner.  As the planet of austerity and limitation, we may see a reduction of risk appetite before too long.

 

 

Week of February 22 - 26

Venus-Jupiter coincides with bounce; Sun-Jupiter conjunction due Saturday


A sense of calm returned to financial markets last week as fears over Greece temporarily subsided and positive US economic data pointed to stronger growth down the road.  Despite Bernanke's surprise late week move to raise the discount rate, the Dow added 3% to close at 10,402 and the S&P at 1109.  Mumbai enjoyed a more modest gain as the Sensex finished the week at 16,191 and the Nifty at 4844.   Much of the planetary credit for rise should go to the conjunctions of Sun and Neptune on Monday and then the Venus-Jupiter conjunction on Wednesday.   While the Sun-Neptune influence can create unrealistic demands on governments to solve problems, its immediate effects are often positive.  Venus-Jupiter are naturally positive planets that encourage optimism and we saw markets move up smartly on Tuesday immediately prior to the conjunction.  Interestingly, any residual sense of privation and duress from the early week Mars-Saturn aspect was overwhelmed by these twin sources of confidence. 

Transits for Monday, Feburary 22 9.30 a.m. New York


All eyes this week are on the Sun-Jupiter conjunction that becomes exact on Saturday, the 27th.  This is another combination that usually spurs risk taking and spending so there is good reason to expect a bullish bias here, especially later in the week.  We should also note that the Indian budget will be announced on Friday very close to this conjunction and that should see further stimulus spending and government largesse since the Sun represents government and Jupiter represents generosity.  The early week period may be more difficult, however, as both the Sun and Mercury form minor aspects with Saturn on Monday and perhaps into Tuesday.

As long as the clustering of planets in sidereal Aquarius continues, there is good reason to expect the relative strength to continue.  The February 5 low occurred just before Venus entered Aquarius to conjoin Jupiter, the bullish planet of expansion.   Once Venus joined Jupiter in Aquarius, markets began to bounce.  Now that the Sun has made it a planetary threesome, prices have continued to recover.   Mercury is about to enter Aquarius also on Thursday, so that could well be another positive influence that might support prices.  But this grouping of three inner planets with Jupiter will be short-lived since Venus will leave Aquarius and enter Pisces on March 2.    We should pay close attention to how Jupiter's changing planetary dance partners might affect sentiment as March unfolds.

 

 
Week of February 15 - 19

Dueling Planets: Mars-Saturn vs. Venus-Jupiter


The EU sent Greece an early Valentine's Day gift last week in the form of loan guarantees that would prevent any sovereign debt default.   Markets were appropriately impressed by this declaration of true Eurozone love, however expedient, as stocks broke their string of declines and posted their first winning week in a month.  In New York, the Dow rose a little under 1% to close at 10,099 while the S&P closed at 1075.  Despite China's attempts to choke off any emergent financial bubble by raising bank reserve requirements (Oh, the liquidity!), Mumbai followed the trend higher as the Sensex added more than 2% before finishing at 16,152 with the Nifty at 4826.  Gold futures also joined the relief rally as it added 3% to close at $1093.  In keeping with expectations, the early week Venus-Neptune aspect provided some support for prices as did the Mars-Jupiter-Saturn alignment midweek as Thursday posted a strong gain.  Friday's decline in New York coincided nicely with the Mercury-Mars aspect, although this affliction turned out to be more anemic than expected as the sell-off at the open was countered by bargain hunting for the rest of the day.   The gain was a reflection of good (Neptunian) faith, however, as investors await details of the EU bailout before they can put their debt paranoia to rest -- at least until the next victim comes out of the shadows.
 

Transits for Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

We may see another display of Neptunian faith this week as the Sun conjoins Neptune on Monday.  While US markets will be closed for a holiday, this combination of planets may be an expression of government (Sun) action that inspire hope (Neptune).   While this may give the credulous some reason to put pressing existential questions aside, Neptune can often lead to disillusionment and illness, another unfortunate manifestation of the mythical God of the Sea.  The Mars-Saturn aspect is an ongoing concern this week also since both planets are moving very slowly through their retrograde cycles. This is generally not a positive influence although in the right circumstances the two malefics can symbolize "doing what is necessary" no matter how onerous or painful it may be.  In the present situation, that could mean extending some kind of  lifeline to profligate Greece, but Mars-Saturn rarely offers solutions without someone enduring some suffering.  The EU-enforced austerity measures will obviously mean some suffering on the part of the Greek people. 

But the picture is made more complicated by the fact that Venus and Jupiter will conjoin on Wednesday.  In planetary terms, Venus and Jupiter is a bit like someone eating a seven-course meal with champagne next to person with on a Mars-Saturn diet of stale bread and water.  Perhaps Wall St vs. Main St is a more apt description.  So there are some opposing energies at this week as the financial world comes to terms with the realization that credit markets may be a little less robust than previously thought.  Bond yields are starting to rise to reflect this emerging nervousness and it may well be only a matter of time before Ben Bernanke's version of Pump It Up comes back down to earth.

The high number of simultaneous aspects makes direction harder to call this week.  It may result in an unsatisfying stalemate, albeit with a day or two of large moves.  Wednesday's Venus-Jupiter conjunction looks a little more suspicious than other days so if there's a hangover from the EU bacchanalia bailout, it may show up around this combination.   Even if the market moves lower,  there is likely to be a bounce that should extend into early March on the strength of the conjunctions of Sun-Jupiter and Venus-Uranus.  After that, the planets are again dominated by Saturn, the cruel teacher of necessary lessons. 

 


 

 


Week of February 8 - 12

Eurozone debt weighs on stocks; Mercury approaches Mars on Friday
 
Stocks retreated for the third week in a row last week as fears over European sovereign debt pushed investors out of riskier asset classes and into the safety of treasuries and the US Dollar.  After Friday's afternoon rebound, the Dow was down less than 1% at 10,012 while the S&P finished at 1066.  The losses were steeper in Mumbai as emerging markets bore the full brunt of the rising risk aversion.  The Nifty closed down 4% to 4712 while the Sensex ended the week at 15,790.  The aftermath of Wednesday's Mercury-Rahu conjunction appears to have increased volatility towards the end of the week as  Jupiter's aspect to Saturn and Pluto coincided with the sell-off.

Since mid-January's Solar Eclipse, financial markets have been in correction mode as the the voices of caution have grown louder about rising debt levels from government stimulus spending.   Greece and now Portugal are now under scrutiny as governments attempt to conform to the EU standard of 3% debt to GDP.  The threat of default is causing a run of the Euro which has lost 10% of its value in the past two months.  Stocks and commodities have also suffered as the carry trade in cheap US Dollars has perhaps begun to unwind.

 

Transits for Monday February 8, 2010 9.30 a.m New York


From an astrological perspective, debt -- and losses in general -- is said to be ruled by Saturn.  When Saturn is prominent in the sky, we are confronted with the notion of loss in some way.  Certainly, Saturn has been prominent for the past year or two.  In 2008, Saturn (loss) formed an opposition aspect to Uranus (shock) .  That was one of the critical planetary correspondences of the economic meltdown that led to the Great Recession.  Now Saturn is in a square aspect with Pluto, the planet of change and power.   Since the optimism of Jupiter and Neptune has largely dissipated, the negative fallout of Saturn and Pluto may now be more dominant.  Notions of Saturnian debt is now undergoing some painful Plutonic transformation through the application of power.  The European Central Bank is forcing financial compliance on its lesser lights like Greece, despite growing public opposition to the austerity measures and rising taxes.  Since this Saturn-Pluto square will last throughout most of 2010, this issue of government debt and loss will be a recurring theme.  Will there be any actual government defaults from this crisis?  Well, nothing says "Plutonic transformation" quite like erasing or re-structuring of debt so it's very possible that we could see some major defaults in the weeks and months to come. And with the prospect of a Grand Cross looming this summer, there is every reason to expect the financial crisis to deepen.  

This week will see a number of close planetary angles involving Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto.  The week may begin pleasantly enough on a Venus-Neptune conjunction which might correspond with the articulation of a vision or plan for creating wealth.  Actually, this aspect is exact before the open on Monday so some of the positive energy may already be done. By contrast, the end of the week may see the effects of a difficult Mercury-Mars opposition which looks quite nasty, especially since it may tap into the larger reservoir of Saturnian pessimism.   A gain is possible this week, but the overall tone of the markets still looks shaky.  And even if February produces some temporary gains (e.g. the Venus-Jupiter conjunction Feb 16 or the Sun-Jupiter conjunction Feb 26),  the month of March offers no relief as Mars completes its retrograde cycle on March 10 while is close aspect with Saturn. 

So it looks like there won't be any quick fix for global financial markets here.  We may have to wait until the spring equinox before the markets are once again on solid footing.

 


 

 


 

Week of February 1 - 5

Decline extended by Mars; Mercury conjoins Rahu this week


Stocks continued their losing ways last week as worries over China's tightening credit and a possible debt default by Greece cast a shadow over the market.   Despite the successful reappointment of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, US stocks lost 2% as the Dow closed at 10,067 and the S&P at 1073.  It was a similar story in Mumbai, as the RBI warned of inflation down the road and stocks fell 3% as the Sensex closed at 16,357 and the Nifty at 4882.  This negative outcome was in keeping with expectations given the plethora of Mars aspects last week.   Most of the bearish sentiment in the US occurred towards the end of the week on the Sun-Mars opposition whereas Indian markets experienced its deepest decline on Wednesday on the Venus-Mars opposition.  One possible explanation for the slightly different timing around the Mars energy could be that the Venus-Mars aspect also coincided with a specific affliction in NSE natal chart.  As always, transit afflictions need to be interpreted through the template of relevant natal positions.

 

 
This week will feature a Mercury-Rahu conjunction on Wednesday and a very close alignment of Jupiter with Saturn and Pluto on Friday.  Rahu (North Lunar Node) is normally seen as a malefic and unpredictable planet, and its conjunction with Mercury, the planet of commerce, suggests volatility and excessive speculation.   We should not be surprised to see uncertainty about global financial markets to persist leading into the Wednesday conjunction, so that may well increase the likelihood for down days early on.  Jupiter's influence on the Saturn-Pluto square later in the week will be an intriguing blending of optimism and pessimism.  Generally speaking, Jupiter's influence is a positive one, even on planets that may symbolize difficulty or contraction.  

The current corrective phase in the markets has coincided with the near-simultaneous reversal in direction of Mercury (forwards) and Saturn (backwards) that occurred in mid-January.  As if to give these reversals added oomph, the Solar Eclipse of January 15 may have punctuated their importance in marking a shift in sentiment.   Of course, we may also note the potential role of other planetary measurements.  While stocks continued to rise around the time of the Mars retrograde station on December 19, the fact that Mars is still moving backwards in the sky is nonetheless significant.  Mars retrograde periods have a historical correlation with negative price trends in the market, so this should give investors added caution for the duration of its period of retrograde motion which concludes March 10. 


 



 

Week of January 25 - 29

Saturn increases caution; Mars aspects loom this week


Storm clouds gathered over the financial markets last week as China tightened lending rules and Obama's new banking plan put things in a new light.   Much of the new reality in the US was brought about by the upset victory of Republican Scott Brown in the special Massachusetts Senate election.  This has meant a loss of the Democrats 60 seat supermajority and has forced Obama to adopt a more populist anti-Wall St stance.   The new-found Republican confidence will also likely mean increase concerns over the growing government deficit and will therefore diminish any future stimulus measures.  The new political reality in Washington has also jeopardized the confirmation of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke for a second term as more senators are reluctant to be seen to be too close to Wall St in a mid-term election year.   The net effect was negative on stocks as investors wondered if the days of easy government bailout money was now over. 

Transits for January 25, 2010 9.30 a.m. EST New York

The Dow closed down 4% on the week to 10,172 while the S&P closed at 1091.  The story was similar in Mumbai as the Sensex backed off its recent highs to close at 16,859 with the Nifty finishing at 5036.  While I did not foresee the extent of the decline I correctly noted last week that we could see new highs put in early in the week on Jupiter's influence.  I also warned about growing pessimism later in the week on the Venus and Sun aspects to Saturn.  Since Saturn is a planet of caution and limitation is seems that these aspects have played an important role in the losses.

This week may well extend the dark mood as Mars forms a series of aspects through the week with Mercury, Venus and the Sun.  Given the proximity of the aspects, declines could occur on any day this week.  Gold is also likely to come under further pressure since both Venus and the Sun, two planets that symbolize gold, will come under the malefic aspect of the debilitated Mars in sidereal Cancer.  Despite the heavy Mars influence, we should still see some up days this week.  But the overall tone of the market will likely reflect the sense of Mars -- urgency, quick action, agitation and possibly more fear.

Last week's sell-off and the prospect of all those Mars aspects this week increases the chances that we saw an important top in the market with the Solar Eclipse and twin reverses of Saturn and Mercury on Jan 13-15.  Whether or not it can stand up as high water mark in the medium term will depend on how low the market corrects in the coming weeks.   With Mars staying retrograde until March 10, there is some reason to remain cautious here.  And we will also have to integrate the effect of Jupiter aspecting both Saturn and Pluto in the first week of February.  This is a very close three planet alignment that could provide additional input into sentiment.

 


 

 



 

Week of January 18 - 22

Jupiter and then Saturn


Stocks mostly treaded water last week as mixed earnings reports did not provide a sufficient push in either direction.  In New York, the Dow closed at 10,609 while the S&P finished Friday at 1136.  It was much the same story in Mumbai as investors were reluctant to extend the rally further.  The Sensex ended the week at 17,554 and the Nifty at 5252.  It seems we had something of a celestial saw-off, as the series of apparently positive aspects involving the Sun and Venus with slower moving planets was offset by the stations of Saturn and Mercury and Friday's disruptive solar eclipse.  While I had been agnostic about the overall outcome here, I was a little disappointed by the relatively small moves on most days, with Friday being a significant exception as the New York market declined.  The loss was in keeping with the general tone of a Mercury Direct station conjunct Pluto square Saturn.  This definitely qualified as a "not very nice" combination, especially when you factor in the simultaneous solar eclipse.  Whether these changes in planetary directions may mark a top to the market remains to be seen.  Certainly, the market did not advance after Wednesday's Saturn station, but it's early days so we will have to wait and see.
 

Transits for January 18, 2010 9.30 a.m. EST New York


This week again offers broadly offsetting influences.  The early week seems to be dominated by the double aspecting of Jupiter by the Sun and Venus.  Whenever Jupiter is involved, we can expect optimism and expansion to be more prominent.  These are only minor 30 degree aspects so we may not see much in the way of upward lift here.  But is there enough planetary fuel for stocks to rise to new highs?   Hard to say, but if it going to happen, it will likely happen by Wednesday.  That's because later in the week Saturn looks to be more the focus as Venus will form a trine aspect on Thursday and the Sun will follow suit on Friday.  Saturn inclines towards caution and pessimism, so it is often correlated with declines. 

Gold made another rally attempt last week but failed to go anywhere.  As I expected, Gold was a little higher on Monday's Sun-Venus-Rahu conjunction but sellers moved in after that.  Interestingly, prices started to slump as soon as Venus began separating from the Sun.  Since the Sun is generally viewed as the planetary significator for gold, the gradual loss of the favourable influence of Venus coincided with falling prices.  Not even some positive aspects with Uranus and Neptune were enough to put gold back into the plus column.  This week could see another day or two of good gains on the Sun-Jupiter aspect but gold has lost an important planetary ally now that Venus has moved on so it's unclear how much of a rebound it can have this week.
 


 






 
Stocks started 2010 on a positive note as encouraging US retail numbers brought in new buyers eager to participate in the economic recovery.  In New York, the Dow was up 2% to 10,618 while the S&P fared somewhat better and closed at 1144.  In Mumbai, the enthusiasm was a little more subdued as valuation worries kept a lid on things with the Sensex edging higher to 17,540 and the Nifty to 5244.    Certainly, I had expected some upside from the close Sun-Mercury-Venus conjunction in the early going since Venus usually brings some element of joy to the proceedings.  But the extent of Monday's gain in New York was definitely food for thought as the positive Venus energy manifested before its exact conjunction.  Another reminder perhaps that no matter how precise we can do the mathematics in planetary geometry, there are always other unknown and largely unknowable "X" factors that are part of the equation that make forecasting such a challenge.   I wonder if Donald Rumsfeld ever pondered astrology's "unknown unknowns".  The latter part of the week saw a little more negativity and this correlated fairly well with the minor Mars aspect to the Sun and Venus.  Overall, last week's extension of the rally showed how little the medium term influences have changed.  The recent Mars and Mercury retrogrades have not provided enough counterbalance to the pervasive optimism of the rough alignment of Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus (and Chiron) near the same degree of their respective signs.  Jupiter is now moving away from Neptune so this should eventually weaken the bullish pattern, but it is not clear when the supports will fall away.

 

Transits for Monday January 11, 2010 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week will be an interesting test of that status quo optimism as we will see two planets change direction very close to a solar eclipse.  With the Sun now conjunct Venus, we can see how this can produce a happy mood which could correlate with rising prices.  On Monday, however, the Sun-Venus tandem will conjoin Rahu (North Lunar Node) at 27 degrees of sidereal Sagittarius.  Rahu can be a disruptive influence although if it is in proximity to benefic planets like Venus, it can often be swayed to go over the bright side of life. Sun-Venus will also form supporting aspects to Uranus and Neptune early this week so that is another positive influence.  Since gold is represented by the Sun, the ongoing conjunction of Venus will likely take gold prices higher in the short term.  Once Venus begins to pull away, however, gold's fortunes may become more uncertain.

Saturn will turn retrograde on Wednesday and begin its five-month backward journey through early sidereal Virgo. When planets change direction, there can be a subtle shift in mood and purpose so these retrograde stations need to be watched carefully for clues of new market trends.  If the market has been rising going up leading into a significant retrograde station, then stocks may be more vulnerable to pullbacks afterwards.  While there is a certain deductive and holistic appeal to this position, it's important to remember that the correlation is very loose in practice. Like most probabilistic astrological measurements, it is only one factor out of many.  What makes this Saturn station more noteworthy, however, is that it occurs just as the Moon, Mercury and Pluto are all in tense square aspect.   This is an unusual circumstance and may well indicate some sudden increase in pessimism or misapplication of authority in some area.  Friday is no less interesting as Mercury ends its retrograde cycle in square aspect with Saturn on the same day as a solar eclipse.  That is also quite an unusual circumstance and warrants close attention in terms of potentially marking any changes in market direction.   All in all, it should be a very compelling week as several positive aspects are tightly intermingled with a couple not-very-nice patterns.

 


 




 

Week of January 4 - 8

Sun-Mercury-Venus conjunction starts off 2010


As if to underscore the resuscitation of the global economy in 2009, stocks hit their highs for the year last week in advance of the New Year's holiday.  In New York, the Dow finally settled off its highs Thursday at 10,428 while the S&P closed at 1115.  In Mumbai, equities were up over 80% for the year as the Sensex finished the year at 17,464 while the Nifty closed at 5201.  The strength of the market through the second half of December presents a real puzzle, as the number of bearish influences appeared to be growing  while the bullish influences were on the wane.   In addition to the Mars retrograde cycle which began on Dec 20, Mercury also turned retrograde on Dec 26.  Neither of these is usually considered favourable for stocks, although it should be noted that their direct temporal effects are more amorphous than, say, a planetary aspect.  The Venus-Saturn-Pluto alignment on Dec 28-29 corresponded with continued strength, although future events may reveal this pattern as pivotal moment where trends were reversed, rather than anything especially bullish.  Lurking in the background, the afterglow of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, now two degrees past exactitude and still apparently fueling the optimism of prevailing market sentiment. 

The extended conjunction between Jupiter, the planet of expansion and wealth, and Neptune, the planet of idealism and dreams, has been a key part of the economic recovery this year.  Back in late 2008 near the depths of the meltdown, I expected this conjunction to boost the market through much of 2009 and thought that Dow 10,000 would be a possible target.  While that target has been achieved, I have to honestly say that I never expected the stock rally to last this long.  Between the Saturn-Uranus opposition in September and November's Saturn-Pluto I thought we would see markets subject to greater stress.  This hasn't happened as corrections have been relatively mild due in part to the lengthy contact between Jupiter and Neptune, with a close 30 degree aspect from Uranus lending a helping hand. 

 

Transits for January 4, 2010 9.30 a.m. EST New York
 

2010 begins with a close triple conjunction of Sun, Mercury and Venus early in the week.  Sun-Mercury conjoin first on Monday with Mercury and Venus coming together on Tuesday.   As the planet of commerce and trading, the condition of Mercury is of particular interest.   Its inferior conjunction with the Sun is often difficult as close proximity leads to the affliction known as combustion.  By contrast, the Venus influence is often positive, as harmonious feelings are more likely to pervade commercial transactions.  Later in the week the Sun and Venus form a minor aspect with retrograde Mars.   Contacts with a debilitated and retrograde malefic such as Mars are often problematic and this aspect may coincide with sudden events or a sense of urgency.  At the same time, the aspect is not a full strength one, so that would tend to mitigate its effects.  While the net effect of these short term aspects may well be negative, what is more important is how they will interact with some of the patterns that occur next week.   On the 13th, Saturn turns retrograde in close aspect to President Obama's natal Moon (housing market issues?).  Then just two days later, Mercury's direct station occurs on the same day as a annular Solar Eclipse at 1 degree of sidereal Capricorn.  

January offers more difficult planetary energies that should put pressure on stocks over the near term, but the planetary aspects generally look more difficult later in the year.  April and May will see a very awkward looking Saturn-Uranus-Neptune pattern that will likely prove inimical to further gains.  Then the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto t-square will dominate the summer and fall period.  This unholy trinity of slow moving bodies is evocative of a state of pessimism and hardship.  Although Jupiter will be a frequent visitor in this t-square configuration, it's unclear if its optimism will be enough to induce prices to move higher.  Overall, 2010 seems destined to undermine many of the economic gains that were achieved in 2009.
 


 

 



 
 

Week of December 21 - 25

Jupiter conjoins Neptune; Mars turns retrograde -- a turning point?
Despite the Fed's promise of continued low (or no) interest rates for the foreseeable future, the market failed to mount a meaningful rally.  Investors appear to be growing uneasy with the yin of a continued weak economy and high employment and the yang of a rising Dollar and the end to the carry trade .  Stocks were largely unchanged for the week with the Dow closing at 10,328  and the S&P at 1102.  Mumbai fared somewhat worse as inflation fears forced the markets south with the Sensex closing at 16,719 and the Nifty finishing at 4987.  I thought we might see more upside on the early week Sun-Jupiter aspect but we saw only modest gains in New York on Monday.  As expected, the market turned more negative as the week progressed.  Friday brought a small gain in New York which was not too surprising given the fairly close Venus-Jupiter aspect that I noted last week.   

With the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune on Monday December 21, the planets may be indicating an important pivot point in the market here.  The hope embodied in the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction has underwritten much of the stock rally of 2009.  As the conjunction comes exact this week, we are confronted with the very real possibility that the celestial source code for optimism may becoming more scarce.  The UN climate conference in Copenhagen was perhaps a reflection of this hopeful idealism and yet it has been heavily criticized for lacking any specifics.  For all the good intentions provided by Jupiter and Neptune, the whole conference may have been more of an exercise in public relations.  One wonders if the stock rally could fall prey to the same lack of follow up and practical considerations as the limits of Jupiter and Neptune are revealed by the unforgiving light of day.

 

Transits for Monday, December 21, 2009 9.30 a.m. New York
 

Besides Jupiter-Neptune, Mars turns retrograde on Sunday, December 20.   This is another potentially malefic influence that could make it more difficult to sustain current levels.  Thomas Reider's statistical study of Mars retrograde periods found they significantly correlate with major market declines of more than 10%.   This is not a perfect correlation but one that nonetheless merits attention.  Reider also found that declines were more likely to occur when Mars was in hard aspect to two outer planets, where one aspect is a conjunction.  This isn't the case here, but we do note that Mars is in a hard semi-square (45 degrees) Saturn while Saturn is squaring Pluto.  Venus makes a sextile aspect with Jupiter-Neptune on Monday so there's a possibility for gains in the early going, but exact aspects between benefics can just as much spark sell-offs upon their perfection.  The other significant aspect occurs Thursday when Sun is conjunct Pluto.  While we will see light trading volumes ahead of the Christmas holiday, this pattern seems to be difficult, especially for gold.
 
 


 





 
Stocks flat as gold falls further; Sun-Jupiter aspect on Tuesday

Week of December 14 - 18


Stocks were mostly flat last week as positive US retail data was offset by renewed worries over government debt levels in vulnerable jurisdictions like Dubai and Greece.  Blue chips performed a little better than the broader market as the Dow closed at 10,471 while the S&P finished at 1106.  It was much the same story in Mumbai where equities again failed to punch above resistance levels as the Sensex closed at 17,119 and the Nifty 5117.  While the early week Mercury-Saturn-Pluto alignment was bearish as expected, the relative easy rebound later on the Sun-Mars aspect demonstrates how much positive planetary energy is still available. 

No doubt part of the story is the approach of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction which comes exact December 21.  These two planets have played  a huge role in this rally that dates back to March.  Jupiter symbolizes optimism and expansion and Neptune embodies notions of idealism and image.  Together, they are a potent combination that says "hope" for the future.  It's not a coincidence perhaps that the Copenhagen climate conference is meeting just a few days ahead of the exact conjunction of these idealistic and hopeful planets. President Obama will address the meeting on December 18 at a time when Jupiter and Neptune will be separated by less than half a degree -- sounds like it could be a hopefest -- albeit one motivated by quasi-apocalyptic concerns as Saturn squares Pluto (death and suffering) and Mars (conflict and violence) is almost stationary.   In market terms, the presence of this underlying force of Jupiter-Neptune optimism has prevented the more negative aspects from taking the market significantly lower.

 

Transits for December 14, 2009 9.30 a.m. New York
 

This week offers more positive short term aspects as the transiting Sun will form a complex alignment with Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune early in the week.  This could well boost stock prices temporarily as well as give a lift to gold, which has been recently beaten down by the rising Dollar.   On Wednesday, a New Moon occurs in the first degree of sidereal Sagittarius and is another possible "reset" button for the market.   Given that the Sun will be separating from those outer planets, some declines are more likely as the week progresses.  That said, Venus is close on the Sun's heels at the moment so by Friday it will be within just two degrees of its minor aspect with Jupiter.  These are two bullish planets so it's not unreasonable to expect an up day towards the end of the week.

Besides the upcoming Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, Mars goes retrograde the previous day on Sunday, December 20.    We are fast approaching the apex of these two important medium term influences.  Financial markets may therefore undergo a substantial re-organization in the very near future.   A similar re-ordering of the currency markets just occurred with the Uranus station on December 1 when the Dollar finally reversed its decline as Gold topped out above $1200.   With the carry trade now in jeopardy, we could see other important ramifications from the appreciation of the US Dollar.

 

 








Gold plunges on Dollar strength ahead of Mercury-Pluto conjunction

Week of December 7 - 11

The US Dollar showed signs of life late last week as a better than expected jobs report created increased the likelihood of higher interest rate hike.  Stocks were generally higher with the Dow trading near 10,500 on several occasions before closing at 10,388 with the S&P at 1105.  In Mumbai, positive growth numbers from September lifted shares almost 3% for the week with the Sensex finishing at 17,101 and the Nifty at 5108.  While I had been more bearish, the market did generally follow expectations as most of the gains came early in the week on the Mercury aspects to Uranus and Neptune with declines occurring later as the harmonic aspect between Mars and Saturn tightened and Venus came under Saturn's sextile aspect. The most interesting day was Friday as the jobs report brightened the outlook for the Dollar.  While stocks were up sharply at the open, profit taking took over and markets slumped after that.  This was the first hint perhaps that more good economic news may longer be good for the markets since it risks ending Bernanke's low interest rate regime and the cheap dollar and the resulting carry trade that has fueled the bubble of 2009.  After making a high of $1227 on Thursday, Gold plunged over 5% on the renewed enthusiasm for the Dollar. 


 


Transits for December 7, 2009 9.30 a.m. New York


This week looks more clearly negative, at least in terms of fast moving transits, as two transits will dominate the sky.  First, Monday's Mercury-Pluto conjunction may trigger a lot of pessimism due to its 90 degree aspect with Saturn.  It's possible that the bearishness may spill into Tuesday since Mercury will still be close enough.  The Moon transits Leo early on the week and that may not help matters any since it will be hemmed in between malefics Mars and Saturn.  Wednesday's Virgo Moon applies to Saturn is another source of worry since it will again release that problematic Saturn-Pluto energy.  The second pattern of significance will be more prominent later in the week as the Sun will form an exact 120 degree aspect with Mars on Thursday.  While both planets are natural malefics, it's not clear if this will generate negative market sentiment.  It seems there will be enough malefic energy to generate one down day at the end of the week, but we should expect a bounce day here also.

As optimistic Jupiter slowly makes it way towards idealistic Neptune and their conjunction on December 21, it seems likely that we will see another manifestation of this hopeful planetary combination.  Off the top, we can see that the Copenhagen climate conference from Dec 7-18 is an embodiment of this idealism and hopefulness as world leaders will once again come together with the best intentions and grapple with this seemingly intractable policy problem. It remains to be seen, however, if anything of substance can be achieved from this meeting.   In market terms, the huge bubblicious rally that began back in March can be understood in terms of the initial conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune.  Due to retrograde motion, these two planets have been in fairly close proximity with each other for the past eight months. Previously, this optimism manifested as hope for an economic recovery which, in turn, sparked a rally in stocks as investors looked forward to improved corporate earnings.  While it is very possible that the December 21 conjunction could coincide with another move higher, there is another plausible interpretation.  This time hope for economic recovery may only translate into a higher Dollar since continued good news will boost the greenback.  This is exactly what happened on Friday as the Dollar soared against most other world currencies on good employment numbers which increased the likelihood for a rate hike sooner rather than later.  But what's good for the Dollar may be bad for stocks because much of the recent rally is rooted in the dollar carry trade.    If the dollar continues to appreciate on hopes for a recovery, the carry trade will unwind and this will generate a mass exit from equities.  Needless to say, gold is also extremely vulnerable here as the Dollar gets its mojo back.  






Markets shudder on Dubai fears

Week of Nov 30 - Dec 4

Stocks ended down last week as worries over the Dubai debt crisis brought back uncomfortable memories of the meltdown of 2008.   After moving higher in the early going New York was mostly unchanged as the Dow closed Friday at 10,309 and the S&P at 1087.  Mumbai was lower by 2% as the Sensex ended the week at 16,632 and the Nifty at 4941.  I had been more bullish on the Venus influence here and, indeed, the market was generally higher through Wednesday, especially in the US.  I was correct in expecting gains Monday in the US on the Moon-Venus-Jupiter aspect, and the market even backed off on cue in the afternoon as the aspect separated.  Tuesday did see some of the predicted selling in the morning come to pass on the bearish Sun-Saturn aspect, although I thought the decline might have lasted more into the close.  Instead buyers moved back in and bid up prices in the afternoon.  Wednesday also went more or less according to plan as stocks rose modestly on the Venus-Uranus-Neptune influence.  However, I missed the extent and precise timing of the late week Dubai decline.  While I correctly expected Friday to be down on Venus' ingress into Scorpio and the Moon-Saturn-Pluto pattern, the Dubai news broke Thursday.  One possible explanation here is that Thursday's Mercury-Mars "trine" (120 degree) aspect also played a key role in changing sentiment.  Although the trine is often thought of as a positive aspect, Mars may have been particularly damaging in this instance since it was 1) debilitated in sidereal Cancer and 2) moving more slowly than usual ahead of its retrograde station in mid-December.  Given the plausible role of a Mars aspect in this unfolding of the Dubai crisis, this may be a clue that the upcoming Mars retrograde cycle may not be kind to markets.


Transits for November 30, 2009  9.30 a.m. New York
 


The main question on investors' minds this week concerns whether the Dubai problem can be contained or whether it will spread like a contagion and expose other areas of financial instability in the global economic system.  The planets this week point to the latter scenario as the tense aspects appear to have the upper hand in the near future.  Monday could be fairly mixed as we see both negative and positive aspects at work simultaneously.  Moon transits Aries in square aspect with Mars but Mercury forms a nice angle with Uranus.  The negative may carry the day here, especially in the US, but stocks should move higher going into midweek as the Moon is exalted in Taurus opposite Venus.  But even if we see a day or two of gains, I think the overall bias seems negative, with the possibility of a big down day at some point.  Mars' minor aspect with Saturn is exact on Friday so that identifies the late week as a potential danger zone. 

The potential Dubai default has emerged here as a reasonable catalyst for a significant market correction.  Certainly, the planets over the next few weeks would support some kind of pullback.   The upcoming Mars retrograde cycle occurs during a tight Saturn-Pluto aspect and even aspects it quite closely if minor aspects and divisional charts are used.   This are a very bearish confluence of measurements.  At the same time, we still have to try to make sense of the conjunction between Jupiter (growth, wealth) and Neptune (hope, illusion) conjunction that is exact on December 21.  This planetary combination of "growth" and "hope" is often correlated with gains and rallies as indeed we saw the rally in spring 2009 largely coinciding with this conjunction.   One possible interpretation is that the Jupiter-Neptune rally will occur but it will be squeezed into a relatively short time span in mid-December.  It may still be fairly strong in terms of amplitude but its overall effects may be mitigated by losses that occur before and after.  Just how this source of positive energy manifests will be an important question in the days ahead.  It's conceivable that it won't be enough to move markets very much at all.  Instead it may only reflect the role of inflationary (Jupiter+Neptune) spending from huge deficits in the current economic circumstance.  We will have to watch this aspect closely as it moves into position in the coming days.

 




 


Venus influence abounds

Week of November 23 - 27

After another strong Monday that pushed the market to new highs, enthusiasm for stocks in New York faded last week as the indexes ended mostly flat. President Obama's midweek comment on the possibility of a double dip recession appeared to tipped the scales in favour of the bears as the Dow closed at 10,318 while the S&P finished at 1091.  Indian stocks fared a little better as Friday's late day rally came on reassurances that the government would not tax foreign investment capital.  The Nifty gained 1% on the week to close at 5052 while the Sensex stood at 17,021.  Tuesday's Mercury-Saturn-Pluto alignment turned out to be a non-event as stocks showed only mild intraday weakness.  This outcome gave some support to the idea that not all aspects are created equal.  Last week I had wondered if the third house, sextile aspect was less malefic than the conjunction or square.   In the current circumstance, this relatively benign result supported that view, my own bearish forecast notwithstanding.  Empirical reality can be a cruel teacher.  The second main aspect for the week was the Venus-Mars square which arguably created more problems.  With Mars in debilitation in sidereal Cancer, even a strong Venus in Libra was put under significant stress by this aspect which coincided with modest selling in global markets Wednesday and Thursday.  Even there, one could argue that the Thursday's decline was not the result of the Venus-Mars square but rather the Moon-Pluto-Saturn alignment.  As I noted last week, this was the same pattern that sent stocks lower on the previous Thursday also.  With declines coming on consecutive Moon-Saturn-Pluto patterns, we have a better sense of what kind of reservoir of bearish sentiment may be contained within the Saturn-Pluto combination.  I believe we have only begun to tap into the possibilities in this malefic aspect.


Transits for November 23, 2009 9.30 a.m. EST New York

With holiday-shortened week due to US Thanksgiving, markets are usually fairly quiet and show a bullish bias.  This is likely to be the case also this year as benefic Venus will make its presence felt through several aspects.  Monday features a Moon-Venus-Jupiter pattern that ought to encourage optimism, at least at the outset.  Once the aspect is exact around midday, there could be some erosion of confidence.  At the same time, the Sun will come under Saturn's aspect Monday and especially Tuesday, so that is a potentially bearish influence.  There ought to be enough negative planetary energy there to generate several hours of selling which ought to be good for one down day.  Wednesday appears to be a return to the happy influence of Venus as it forms close aspects to both Uranus and Neptune.  This could well carry over into Thursday in many global markets.  Friday could signal a change in the mood as Venus enters sidereal Scorpio and will therefore weaken somewhat.  The Moon will oppose Saturn and may bring out the bleakness of Saturn-Pluto once again.  Friday may be worse in Asian markets since the Moon-Saturn angle will be that much closer. 

In the wake of Obama's trip to China, there is increasing concern to do something about the falling US dollar.  China has invested heavily in US treasuries and they can't be too pleased with their tumbling value.  Chinese banking officials are now openly complaining about the loose US monetary policy that lies behind the dollar's ongoing weakness.   The Fed's near-zero interest rate policy has produced a new speculative bubble in equities and commodities may lead to another crash in the near future.  While a crash may be overstating things,  markets are certainly vulnerable to substantial correction in this upcoming period of the Saturn-Pluto square and the beginning of the Mars and Saturn retrograde cycles over the next two months.    

 


 




Stocks extend gains; Mercury-Saturn this week may have "depressing" effect

Week of November 16 - 20

Stocks bubbled higher last week as the US Dollar continued to teeter on the edge of oblivion at its key support level of USDX75.  The Dow pushed to new highs midweek before closing at 10,270 while the S&P matched its October highs and finished at 1093 (beware the double top).  In Mumbai, the indices shook off the recent correction as the Sensex climbed 4% to close at 16,848 and the Nifty finished at 4998.  So the midweek Mercury-Uranus-Ketu pattern was mostly bullish, no doubt aided by the simultaneous Sun-Jupiter aspect. It's noteworthy that the high point for the week coincided with those two aspects after which there was a slight retreat.  Thursday was an important statement of the bearish potential of the Saturn-Pluto aspect as the Moon acted as trigger during its tight conjunction with Saturn in sidereal Virgo.  The release of this Saturn-Pluto energy pushed global markets down across the board.  As precise as the timing of this aspect was, it's worth noting that the Moon is the fastest moving planet in the astrological pantheon and therefore is a fairly weak trigger.  Usually, planetary power is inversely related with velocity: the slower the planet, the greater the capacity to manifest in human sentiment and action.  If the market dropped 1% with the fast-moving Moon, I wonder how much it could drop with a slower moving body like the Sun, Mercury or Mars, to say nothing of Uranus, Rahu or Ketu?

Planetary positions for Monday, November 16 at 9.30 a.m New York
 

This week may provide some useful data that may answer that question as Mercury falls under the full strength sextile (60 degree) aspect of pessimistic Saturn.  Mercury represents the mind and intellect so the Saturn influence here may bring mental labour, intense thinking, fear, and depression.  This planetary combination is bearish enough, but the fact that Saturn is in a close square aspect with cold, cruel Pluto increases the potential for a significant move.  The three-planet alignment makes its closest angle on Tuesday.  One possible saving grace is that the sextile is probably not as strong as the conjunction or square so its damage may be mitigated somewhat.  Nonetheless, this is still a dangerous combination. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Mars forms an exact square aspect with Venus.  Since Mars is debilitated here in sidereal Cancer, it has considerable potential to do harm.  Readers may recall the damage Mars did through its square aspect with the Sun back in late October.  The market dropped about 5% in a three-day pullback.  While there is some bearish potential here, it's important to note the differences.  The Sun was also debilitated in Libra at the time, so that may have increased the bearish potential of the aspect.  By contrast, Venus here is in its own sign (Libra) and hence much stronger.  As a result it may be able to better withstand Mars' unwelcome overtures.  We should also note that this Thursday will see an echo of last Thursday's bearish pattern as the Moon may once again activate the Saturn-Pluto square.  The Moon will conjoin Pluto at 8 Sagittarius (Lahiri) during the afternoon in New York.  History needn't repeat exactly since the Moon will be conjoining Pluto instead of Saturn, but it will nonetheless bear watching.


 



Markets rise on Sun-Mercury conjunction; Mercury-Uranus-Ketu this week

Week of November 9 - 13

Stocks bounced back last week on some less-than-awful US employment data and more cheap money happy talk from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.  In New York, the Dow climbed 3% to 10,023 while the S&P finished at 1069.  In Mumbai, equities rallied back after Tuesday's thumping as the Nifty ended Friday at 4796 and the Sensex at 16,158.  The midweek conjunction of Sun and Mercury delivered higher prices as expected, although the early and late week downside did not quite deliver the goods.  While New York was quite solid in the early going, Mumbai was down Tuesday on the Aries Moon and Mercury-Mars square, probably because of Mars afflictions to key placements in the NSE natal chart.   Despite a minor Mercury-Saturn aspect, Friday saw the bulls once again carry the day.  All in all, it was a victory for the bullish short term aspects over more challenging and shadowy medium term influences.  In other words, another edifying lesson in empiricism.
 


Transits for November 9, 2009 9.30 a.m. EST New York


This week could make or break the correction as the Mercury-Uranus-Ketu grand trine configuration takes root around midweek.  Both Uranus and Ketu are planets that symbolize change and sudden events and their close aspect here would seem to incline towards new and unforeseen developments.  As a fast moving planet, Mercury may be able to act as a trigger to release whatever surprises Uranus and Ketu have in store.  By itself, the Mercury-Uranus combination is often bullish, and all the more so given Neptune's additional harmonic influence there.  But Ketu changes things up considerably, and it's unclear if stocks can handle so much uncertainty and suddenness.  The background influence of the Saturn-Pluto square should also be seen as a negative factor, although it's precise due date is still up in the air.  Venus forms an alignment with Saturn and Pluto before trading on Monday, so that could generate some fear and disappointment.  However, this aspect clears out fairly quickly so it's conceivable that Monday may not be too bad.  Tuesday features the Sun-Jupiter square, a classic symbol of unfounded optimism and excessive expectations.  The market could rally briefly but it's perhaps more prone to quick pullbacks once it separates.   Thursday will be an interesting measure of the Saturn-Pluto square as the Moon will conjoin Saturn in sidereal Virgo before the close in New York.   This combination of energies represents solitude and isolation so it may be more difficult for investors to feel comfortable with their positions.  In addition, I think the hardship symbolized by the Saturn-Pluto aspect may correspond with a rebound in the US dollar very soon. All that coldness and cruelty could have investors rushing back to safe harbours. 




Stocks get beat up on Sun-Mars aspect

Week of November 2 - 6

Stocks moved lower last week on recovery worries and poor US consumer data.  Despite Thursday's rally on the upbeat Q3 GDP numbers, the New York market fell 4% as the Dow closed at 9712 and the S&P at 1036.  Meanwhile, Mumbai tumbled 6% on disappointing Q2 results as the Nifty closed at 4711 with the Sensex finishing at 15,896.  This bearish result was in keeping with last week's forecast as the double dose of malefic debilitation from the Sun-Mars square contributed to the anxious mood.   The tension inherent in the Sun-Mars tandem was powerful enough to counter much of the optimism of the passing Venus-Jupiter aspect.  Monday started higher in New York on the Moon-Jupiter conjunction but selling soon engulfed the rally faithful.  Thursday's 2% bump came on the same day as the exact Venus-Jupiter aspect so that is one possible explanation for it.  Not surprisingly, its effects didn't last long as the market sold off sharply on Friday as the Moon set up a nasty t-square pattern with Saturn and Pluto. 


This volatility is likely to continue this week as we will see more potential planetary trouble spots. Monday's Full Moon in sidereal Aries occurs at the tail end of a difficult Mercury-Mars aspect, a very dangerous combination that could prove anathema to investor confidence.  At the same time, however, Venus will form an aspect with Rahu, Uranus and Neptune which may offer some support.  While otherwise positive, its simultaneous occurrence here may not be enough to bring sellers back into the market.  As the Moon enters Taurus late Tuesday, the Sun and Mercury will form a conjunction at 18 degrees of sidereal Libra in midweek.  This is normally a favourable combination for stocks so some kind of bounce back is to be expected. Of course, the other medium term influences look less positive so it's unclear how much lift this configuration can generate here.  Friday looks like more skittishness as Mercury will fall under the minor aspect of Saturn, especially in New York.

The long-awaited correction seems to be fully underway now.   The bearish promise of the Saturn-Pluto and Ketu-Uranus aspects would tend to suggest that we're going to see a decline that is larger than a standard-issue 10% dip.  Even with some optimism returning for the Jupiter Neptune conjunction in early December, there's good reason to think this 7-month rally is undergoing some fundamental transformation. 


 


 



Market eases back after earnings reports

Week of October 26 - 30

Stocks slipped last week as investors took profits on positive earnings news.   In New York, the Dow backed off its highs and closed Friday down about 1% for the week at 9972 while the S&P finished at 1079.  In Mumbai, stocks retreated 3% as the Sensex closed at 16,810 and the Nifty at 4997.    No surprises here really given the mix of aspects in play, although as always the exact timing defied an easy logic.  The bullish Mercury-Jupiter aspect manifested a day early in Monday's gain while the midweek Sun-Saturn minor aspect similarly arrived somewhat ahead of exactitude as the market pulled back on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Interestingly, Friday's apparently bullish Mercury-Uranus-Neptune aspect did not pay off as stocks fell in New York, albeit after a positive open.  The failure of the market to hold onto its initial gains on this configuration is a possible sign of developing weakness.

This week's planets seem somewhat more difficult and will be an important test of the underlying sustainability of the rally.  For the bulls, Venus comes under the benefic influence of Jupiter early in the week, with gains possible on either Monday or Tuesday.   The Moon may play the role of midwife here as it conjoins Jupiter in Capricorn for both these days, although I am skeptical if we will see gains both days.   Actually, the aspect is exact early Thursday but it seems more likely to manifest early all things considered. 

For the bears, the Sun is entering into a potential tense square aspect with Mars, also on Thursday.  These fiery planets can produce a lot of energy for good or ill but the square aspect can mean that there is an uncontrolled or harmful element present here, particularly since Mars is debilitated in sidereal Cancer and the Sun is debilitated in Libra.  While it's conceivable that this combination may not reflect problems in investors sentiment, it's nonetheless an aspect to take very seriously.   In addition, Mercury is in a minor aspect with Saturn midweek so that is another potentially bearish energy. By the time Friday rolls around, Mercury (10 Libra) will be close to coming under the influence of that debilitated Mars (12 Cancer) so that is definitely a hazardous aspect for stocks.  It's still two degrees short of exactitude but that may not be enough to prevent fear from taking hold in the market.    As a special bearish bonus, on Friday the Moon forms a t-square with Saturn and Pluto, now just one degree away from an exact 90 degree aspect.  While these two slow moving planets will be in aspect for several weeks in November, this may be a possible early activation by the transiting Moon.  It will definitely bear close watching. 





Stocks hit new highs on Jupiter station

Week of October 19-23

Euphoria is back in fashion as the Dow hit 10,000 last week on a parade of encouraging earnings reports.   A double shot of Intel and JP Morgan on Wednesday was the big market mover coming just one day after Jupiter's direct station.  Despite the danger implied in the Venus-Saturn-Rahu pattern, Jupiter's extra dose of stationary energy prevailed as the Great Benefic did the heavy lifting this time around.  After Friday's retreat, the Dow finished the week at 9995 and the S&P at 1087.  In Mumbai, stocks were also buoyant as the Nifty climbed to 5142 and the Sensex hit a 17-month high of 17,322.  Heady days indeed for this rally that has bounced back from every correction thus far.  I had thought the Saturn-Rahu might have been enough to nullify the Jupiter station but again my best laid bearish plans were thwarted. 

What may be occurring here is a kind of planetary inversion where some apparently negative patterns are corresponding with highs rather than lows.  One of the most prominent features of the October 2008 crash was an alignment of mostly malefic planets -- Sun, Saturn and Rahu.  Negative sentiment and market declines correspond with "bad" planets in close aspect.  The lows are typically marked by the exact aspect after which prices rebound and move higher.   The March 2009 lows also occurred in a similar way as malefic Saturn was in close aspect with a stationing Venus.   The negativity of the aspect manifested at the same time as the market low.  But since this is the unknowable world of  astrology, there are many exceptions to this pattern.  In fact, global stock markets made their highs in October 2007 very close to a rare triple conjunction of Venus, Saturn, and Ketu.  While Venus is a benefic planet, Saturn and Ketu are first class malefics and thus render the pattern quite harmful.  So in that case, bad planets corresponded not with a low, but with a high.  Where did all that negativity go?  Perhaps some negative combinations only mark the beginning of a negative trend, like opening up a black door of bearishness.  Once the market made its highs in late 2007, it plunged 40% over the next 12 months. 

So it may be that some of these difficult patterns we've seen in September and October may actually be marking significant highs for the market.   While the market has rallied going into these patterns, the Saturn-Rahu and Saturn-Uranus aspects may well have opened the black door once again and some significant declines are about to unfold.

This week holds some promise for the bulls as Tuesday's Mercury-Jupiter aspect usually brings optimism and good news. And Friday sees Mercury moving into a minor aspects with Uranus and Neptune so that also augurs positively for stocks.  But on the other side of the ledger, Mars is in a harmonic aspect with Pluto on Monday and the Sun receives a minor aspect from Saturn on Wednesday and Thursday.  We could well see an increase in volatility this here leading into the very difficult Sun-Mars-Mercury square next week.
 


 





US stocks move higher on Mercury-Saturn conjunction; Venus-Saturn is next

Week of October 12 - 16

Taking cues from some positive earnings reports and the Australian central bank hike, stocks in New York erased last week's losses and gained 4% last week as the Dow closed at 9864 while the S&P finished at 1071.   This result was a bit of a head-scratcher given the apparently bearish Mercury-Saturn-Rahu configuration and the multi-planet sidereal ingress.  One possible explanation for the rise might be the relative strength of Mercury entering Virgo, its sign of exaltation.  While I noted this as a positive influence, I did not expect it would have the power to transform the outcome.  The array of minor aspects from this strong Mercury to Uranus and Neptune may have also played a role in throwing the bulls a lifeline for another week. By contrast, investors in Mumbai finally took some profits, although the 3% decline was more modest than expected as the Nifty closed at 4945 and the Sensex at 16,642.  Like meteorology or economics, astrology is all about probabilities and potentialities and one has to forgo scientific certainty and somehow make their peace with working with incomplete data, partially understood theories and, ultimately, a lot of interpretive error.  

While last week's decline never materialized, the planetary alignment is still in place and therefore the downside risk remains high.  While Mercury may have been strong enough to redirect the nastiness of Saturn and Rahu, this week will see a debilitated Venus in Virgo running the gauntlet as it takes its place in a conjunction with Saturn.  A decline is again the most likely outcome here and it could be fairly large, especially earlier in the week when the conjunction is closest.  Slow moving Uranus and Neptune are still just minutes from their respective ingresses into Aquarius and Capricorn, so that uncertain energy may still be in play.  Some rebound seems more likely at the end of the week as the Sun forms an aspect with Uranus and Neptune.

The current planetary environment strongly points to a major market decline at some point over the next three months.  This could begin as soon as this week (or last week!) or it may unfold more gradually as we move into November and December.
 


 



Next Forecast: Sunday October 18




Stocks continue retreat on Mercury-Mars; planetary trainwreck looms

Week of October 5 - 9

Last week US markets fell the for second straight week amidst growing fears that the recovery may not be just around the corner.  Stocks fell 2% as the Dow closed at 9487 and the S&P finished at 1025.  Indian markets bucked the worldwide negative trend in a holiday-shortened week as the stocks moved 2% higher.  The Sensex closed Thursday at 17,134 while the Nifty ended the week at 5083.  This outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations since I had been bearish on the unusually prolonged minor Mercury-Mars aspect last week.  After Monday's gain in New York, stocks fell over the next four days as the retreat from the previous week's highs proceeded apace.  So far, the Saturn-Uranus aspect is proving to be a significant signpost for the markets as stocks rose leading up to the exact opposition aspect on September 18, and have fallen as the aspect has separated.  This mirrors what happened in the two previous oppositions in November 2008 and February 2009.  Mumbai is an important exception to this trend so far, perhaps due to some benefic hits in the relevant natal charts that have offset  the transit energy.

The markets now stand on the precipice as we have an impressive array of foreboding planetary aspects this week.  Mercury (trading) conjoins Saturn (pessimism) while under the damaging aspect of Rahu (exaggeration).   While there is no certain interpretation of this configuration, I believe we are likely going to see increased fears and investor caution which will translate into greater selling and more declines.   As an added dimension, I note that we will have no less than four planetary ingresses this week.  When planets change signs, there is supposed to be a shift in energy.  Usually this is fairly subtle, and often undetectable (read: unfalsifiable) especially on a mundane level.  Now once again moving forward, Mercury re-enters Virgo on Sunday while Mars enters Cancer on the same day.  Virgo is generally kind to Mercury so that may be construed as a slightly bullish factor.  But Mars is debilitated in Cancer and that may increase volatility as aggression and conflict is more likely to come to the surface.  Mars is also in a close conjunction with unpredictable Ketu, so that ratchets up the chances for unusual or sudden outbursts of conflict or violent action.  (As a side note, the September 11th attacks took place under a Mars-Ketu conjunction).  So that's two planets changing energy on the same day and neither in is good planetary company -- Mercury is with grim, old Saturn and Mars is with nutty Ketu.  This is quite unusual, and perhaps destabilizing although the ingresses may be less important than the aspects and conjunctions

But we also have two outer planets, Uranus and Neptune, also changing their sidereal signs this week according to Lahiri or Krishnamurti.  Unlike inner planets which change signs every month or so, outer planets change signs every few years and hence their ingresses may be more noteworthy.  According to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha, Uranus enters Aquarius Monday while Neptune enters Capricorn on Thursday.  Since these distant planets move so slowly, their ingresses will vary by a few days depending on which ayanamsha is used.  I should also point out that this will not be the initial ingress for either Uranus or Neptune since both are retrograding back to a previous sign, and hence one could argue that the ingress may be less significant.   Nonetheless, having four planets changing signs in such quick succession is a very rare occurrence and may serve to amplify any developments we see in the markets or the world over the next week or two.  American astrologer Richard Houck noted that outer planet ingresses often coincide with major changes in the status quo.  Uranus in particular was associated with major stock market declines.  The 1987 US crash occurred the day Uranus entered Sagittarius, and the Dow lost 6% the day Uranus entered Capricorn in 1994.  It's by no means a certain correlation or even a probabilistic one since we can point to many Uranus ingresses when the markets were relatively calm.  But it should be seen as another potentially negative factor that could weigh heavily on markets, especially combined with the difficult Mercury-Saturn-Rahu and Mars-Ketu patterns.

This week nothing would surprise me.  Get ready for anything.
 


 


 



Stocks fall in wake of Saturn-Uranus aspect

Week of September 28 - October 2

World markets staged a modest retreat last week as investors grappled with disappointing economic data coming out of the US.   After some early week strength that saw indexes climb to new yearly highs, stocks in New York had three straight losing sessions as the Dow finished at 9665 and the S&P at 1044.  Indian markets also pulled back fractionally as the Nifty closed below 5000 to 4958 while the Sensex ended the week at 16,693.  This decline was in keeping with our expectations for a significant correction in the wake of the Saturn-Uranus opposition.    Tuesday's exact Mercury-Saturn conjunction coincided with gains rather than losses so that was an important anomaly that echoed a similar outcome of the Sun from the previous week.   The declines later in the week therefore reflected the dissipation of positive energy following the the exact aspect of these various planetary combinations.  Just as we saw a rise into the Saturn-Uranus aspect through the first half of September, the backside of this aspect may well see the market sell off.  The addition of trigger planets such as Sun or Mercury may also reflect this before/after dynamic.

The planetary picture appears even more entangled this week as Mercury turns direct on Tuesday while in close minor aspect with Mars.   Mercury's normally bearish retrograde period has been overshadowed by stronger bullish energies.  However, we should recall that its aspects with Mars can be troublesome for the market, such as in late August when Mars formed a square aspect with Mercury and the market experienced a small correction.  While this 60 degree aspect is considered less malefic, it's closeness and long duration of influence this week may well produce bearish results.   The close proximity of Saturn to stationary Mercury may not be helpful in that regard either and could well make matters worse.  And with Saturn and Rahu moving into closer aspect, there is good reason to be very cautious about this market this week and through much of October.

It's a dangerous time.


 


 



Markets rise into Saturn-Uranus opposition

Week of September 21 - 25

Fueled by a seemingly unending stream of positive economic reports, stocks continued their ascent to new 2009 highs last week.  In New York, the Dow rose 2%

 to close at 9820 while the S&P finished at 1068.  In Mumbai, the Nifty added 3% for the week and flirted with 5000 before ending the week at 4976.  The BSE Sensex closed at 16,741.  Commodities were mixed as crude oil rose to $72 USD while gold gave up midweek gains and ended mostly unchanged at $1007 USD.   While I had anticipated some higher highs here, the absence of any significant late week pullback on the Sun-Moon-Saturn conjunction was disappointing.  On the whole, the week was somewhat anti-climatic given the exact culmination of Saturn-Uranus opposition aspect.   The Venus influence delivered predicted gains into Wednesday when it formed its closest angle to the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune alignment and indeed we saw the biggest gains of the week at that time.  Against expectations, equities mostly held their own into the late week, however, as the Sun-Saturn conjunction only modestly damaged gold's prospects. 

With the Saturn-Uranus opposition now behind us, we need to pay extra close attention to any new developing trends this week.  Previous oppositions in this series have seen the bulk of the bearishness manifest after the exact opposition, so any downward moves this week would keep this correlation intact.  Higher prices this week would provide significant evidence against the bearish view of the aftermath of the Saturn-Uranus aspect.   With Mercury retrograding across Saturn, we would seem to be confronted with an even more bearish mixture of planetary energies than in past weeks.  The exact conjunction occurs Tuesday so the early week may be more prone to selling.  Of course, the Sun occupied a similar position last Thursday and we saw only a fractional decline.  Nonetheless, Mercury's condition may be more vulnerable given its retrograde status.  Some late week gains are likely as the Sun forms a minor aspect with Jupiter Thursday and into Friday.  We should also pay attention to the approaching aspect from Rahu to Saturn.  While not yet exact, the negative energy from this contact could begin to manifest fairly soon. 


 




Stocks make new highs on Venus-Jupiter aspect

Week of September 14- 18

Against a backdrop of improving economic data, stocks gamely added to their recent gains and made new highs for the year.  In New York, the Dow rose 2% and equaled its highs from late August closing at 9605 while the broader S&P500 finished at 1042.  In Mumbai, equities rallied more than 3% as the Sensex ended Friday's session at 16,264 while the Nifty broke above some significant resistance at 4750 closing at 4829.  This bullish outcome was more or less in line with our expectations as the Sun-Venus-Jupiter configuration strongly pointed towards some gains.   What was somewhat surprising was that the lion's share of the gains occurred early in the week, although solid momentum was maintained in the US for Wednesday and Thursday at the time of the tightest orb.  Friday saw a modest negative day in the US, probably due to the separation of the Venus-Jupiter aspect.

In astrological terms, this week promises to be a moment of truth of sorts, as the long-awaited Saturn-Uranus opposition aspect will become exact on Tuesday.  There is actually a lot more going on in the sky this week and that will only serve to ramp up the torque and increase the potential size of any moves.  As a possible triggering mechanism, the Sun will conjoin Saturn on Thursday while the Moon follows suit on Friday.  As an added source of planetary energy, Mercury will square Pluto late in the week and this should be seen as a burden on risk taking and optimism.  Notwithstanding the fairly negative outlook here, the earlier part of the week holds the possibility for further gains in both stocks and commodities as benefic Venus will enter into alignments with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. 

We should also note that this Sun-Moon-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune configuration (all in the first sidereal degree of their respective signs) not only increases the chances for declines, it may also function as a cosmic signal for a trend reversal.   Previous Saturn and Uranus oppositions in the current series have also coincided with significant pullbacks, although not during the immediate period around their aspect.   On November 4, 2008 Saturn opposed Uranus (along with a helpful square aspect from Venus) and that marked an interim high for the US market.   Stocks fell 20% in the subsequent three weeks into the November 21 lows.  Similarly, Saturn again opposed Uranus on February 5, 2009 near an interim high and the market fell 25% into the lows of early March.  In both instances, it was not the time around the exact aspect which took the market down, but rather the aftermath of the aspect which coincided with the decline.   This 'high water' scenario is something to ponder as we confront another Saturn-Uranus opposition this week. 
 


 




Markets back off highs on Mercury-Mars square

Week of September 7 - 11

Stocks staged a modest retreat last week as more investors entertained second thoughts about the sustainability of the rally.  After trading below 1000 earlier in the week, the S&P ended the week at 1016 while the Dow finished at 9441.  In Mumbai, caution was also the watchword as stocks fell four sessions out of five with only Friday's gains precluding a rout.  The Sensex ended the week at 15,689 and the Nifty backed off last week's highs to close at 4680.   While I had been ambivalent about the ultimate outcome last week due to the uncertain impact of Jupiter, the basic contours unfolded as expected with weakness early on followed by gains later.  Monday and Tuesday saw the bearish effects of the Mercury-Mars aspect prevail while the approaching positive aspect between Venus and Sun at the end of the week coincided with solid gains.  In the end, Jupiter's minor aspect with both Mercury and Mars did not provide enough encouragement for bulls to assume long positions but rather served to magnify the selling pressure, as Tuesday's across the board decline in New York was the sharpest in several weeks.   While Jupiter is most often a bullish influence because of its optimistic nature, it is also a planet that can sometimes serve only as an accelerator to prevailing trends regardless of their direction.

With US markets shut for the Labor Day holiday, Monday will feature the beginning of the retrograde Mercury cycle on September 7.  Since Mercury is the planet associated with trade and commerce, its reverse motion is often indicative of negative or sideways markets as investors take a 'time out' to review their positions and re-assess their portfolios.  The Mercury retrograde cycle will last until Sept 29 and should be seen as an additional bearish factor that will tend to work against the markets extending its rally.   With Saturn entering sidereal Virgo on Wednesday, we may see traces of its energy manifest in the world as it changes sign.  Saturn represents structure, authority, loss and tradition so some of these themes may be more in evidence in the coming days.  This needn't have an immediate effect on the market although the early week period may be more prone to selling.   We may see stocks rebound strongly Wednesday and Thursday (and possibly into Friday, esp. in Asia) on the opposition aspect between Venus (24 Cancer) and Jupiter (24 Capricorn).  This combination of benefics may promote spending and investing and encourage greater risk taking in the marketplace so we could well see stocks approach their previous week's highs.  The fact that the Sun (24 Leo) will be in minor aspect to this opposition may increase its bullish potential.   Since Sun symbolizes gold, we can expect gold to continue it recent rally, probably above $1000.  Given the preponderance of difficult aspects next week, however, this rally seems very short-lived indeed.






New York holds steady; Mumbai makes new highs

Week of Aug 31 - Sep 4

World markets continued to defy gravity last week new yearly highs were established on many bourses, including US and India.  After trading around 9600 in the week, stocks in New York closed mostly unchanged as the Dow ended at 9544 and the S&P at 1028.  Mumbai was even more bullish as markets rose in all five sessions, as the Nifty closed Friday at a 2009 high of 4732 while the Sensex finished at 15,922.   I had expected more downside on the Mercury-Mars-Rahu-Pluto pattern but it seems the offsetting Venus-Ketu conjunction on Wednesday may have been stronger than anticipated.  As expected, we did see some more gains later in the week, especially in India, as transiting Venus improved the overall energy in the Mercury-Mars aspect.  And while gold was weaker early on in the week as I had suspected it might be, it also staged a strong recovery by Friday.

This week offers another opportunity for the bearishness of the Mercury-Mars square to manifest, possibly early on when the Moon joins Rahu in Capricorn.  By midweek, however, this energy may be redirected by Jupiter's minor aspect to this square.  Jupiter is essentially an expansive influence so it has the capacity to enhance whatever trends are already underway.  This could conceivably amplify any down move, although given Jupiter's benefic default setting towards gains, one might think it could take stocks higher also.  By the end of the week, Venus will be moving into a minor aspect with the Sun, so that is another potential bullish energy source in the face of the negativity of the Mercury-Mars square and Mercury's imminent retrograde station on September 7.   As the planet of trading and commerce, Mercury's condition is of critical importance in understanding the market, at least on a short-term basis.  When it is strong, markets rise and when it is weak or afflicted, markets tend to fall.  Its current placement in sidereal Virgo (which Mercury is said to rule according to astrological tradition) is an indicator of strength and no doubt that is one reason the market has so far been able to continue to rise despite the problematic input from the Mars aspect.  But Mercury will likely come under further stress as we move into its retrograde cycle from Sept 7th to 29th. 

While the overall planetary picture looks increasingly tense here, I would not be too surprised to see higher highs this week.   Much will depend on what role Jupiter is playing midweek through its contact with Mercury and Mars.  If Tuesday sees gains, then that will likely tip the scales in favour of more gains overall for the week and a possible new high.

 

 



 


New York stocks make new highs

Week of August 24 - 28

Stocks in New York made new highs for 2009 last week as improving housing data supplied the hope necessary to extend the summer rally.  After Monday's sharp decline, stocks rebounded and ended 2% to the good with the Dow closing at 9505 and the S&P at 1026.  While I have a pessimistic view of stocks right now, this outcome was not that far out of line with last week's forecast -- at least in terms of ebb and flow.  Monday's pullback came right on schedule with the Mercury-Saturn conjunction, even if it was fairly mild, at least in the US. I had also suggested that some gains were likely Wednesday through Friday as Mercury and Venus were involved with better planetary company.   This bullish script also played out more or less as rehearsed as stocks went straight up after Monday.  There was a somewhat different story in Mumbai as stocks fell over 1% for the week, although the basic trends were the same.  Monday's decline was steeper (5%) and hence that perhaps better captured the extent of bearishness I was expecting.  The rebound was also somewhat more muted especially since Wednesday ended down.  Thursday and Friday were positive though so that was solid evidence for the benefic effects of Mercury and Venus.

The planetary focus this week is a fairly rare and powerful four planet alignment involving Mercury, Mars, Pluto, and Rahu.  All these planets will be a 6 degrees of their respective signs and will therefore be in mutual harmonic resonance.  In addition, Mercury falls under the full strength aspect of malefic Mars and disruptive Rahu.  On paper, it's a rogue's gallery of planetary evil-doers all ganging up on Mercury, the quintessential innocent bystander and has all the makings of a bear party for all markets, including oil and especially gold.  Since Mercury is slowing down in advance of its retrograde cycle, this alignment could conceivably kick-in at any time in the week, although the early to midweek may be more likely.  One interesting twist here is that Venus will conjoin Ketu on Wednesday and this bullish influence could be enough to interrupt the bear party, if only for a few hours.  Later in the week, Pluto and Rahu get left behind and Venus moves into the picture, so there may be more opportunity for the bulls to run again then.

Despite these new highs, it's hard to come up with too many more bullish planetary patterns in the coming weeks.  Sure, there are a smattering of a fairly good aspect late this week and a potentially significant two-day multi-aspect next week, but these little pools of hope are fast petering out and there will soon be no more oases for the bulls to feed on.  And with fewer good aspects and an increasing number of bad aspects, the market will soon begin to fall.



 


 


Stocks in holding pattern in advance of important planetary configuration

Week of August 17 - 21

Stocks in New York finished slightly lower last week as disappointing retail sales weighed against improved industrial production data.   After trading at key resistance levels on Thursday, the Dow closed at 9321 and the S&P at 1004.   Meanwhile, Indian shares managed to move modestly higher after hitting midweek lows of 4400 on the Nifty.  While still significantly below recent highs, the Nifty closed at 4580 and the Sensex at 15,411. This middling sort of outcome was more or less in line with expectations as the early week declines on the Mars-Saturn square were offset by the Sun-Mars-Jupiter alignment on Wednesday and Thursday.   As is often the case, Friday's decline in New York came on the heels of this positive aspect and was not unduly surprising, particularly since our outlook is generally bearish here.

This week promises to be even more volatile as there are two very potent multi-planet alignments that form exact angles early on.  Monday will feature an apparently bearish Mercury-Saturn conjunction at 27 Leo.  Generally speaking Saturn contacts are considered bad news for stocks and this one is perhaps more likely to signal a retreat because Jupiter is also involved.  Jupiter (27 Capricorn) sits in a tense 6/8 quincunx aspect with this conjunction and that would appear to bode poorly for markets this week.  In addition, no less than four planets -- Sun, Mars, Uranus and Neptune -- are all placed at 1 degree of their respective signs Monday and Tuesday.  This adds a lot of planetary fuel to the mix and could magnify any moves this week.  The most likely scenario here would appear to be early week decline -- possibly a steep one -- followed by a recovery later as Venus forms a minor aspect with Jupiter on Wednesday and Thursday.  Mercury's opposition to Uranus on Friday also has the potential to lift stocks, but perhaps only if we've seen real damage inflicted earlier in the week from the Mercury-Saturn aspect.  The negative payload of these planets have to be released first before more positive energies can be expressed.

With Saturn approaching its opposition aspect with Uranus in September, it's very hard to imagine the market going anywhere but down.   The more important matter therefore concerns how low could this retracement might go.  Given all the tense aspects between now and November and the relative absence of positive ones, it seems that this decline may be much bigger than a garden variety correction.  

Prepare the lifeboats.
 


 


 




US market extends rally on Mercury-Venus; Mumbai falls

Week of August 10-14

Stocks powered higher in New York last week on better than expected employment data.  Despite some midweek profit taking, the Dow rose 2% to close at 9370 while the S&P finished near a key resistance level of 1010, which was the post-crash November 2008 high.   This bullish outcome was more or less in keeping with my forecast last week as the Mercury-Venus aspect provided sufficient optimism to encourage risk takers.   More specifically, Monday was up as expected but Thursday's anticipated gain arrived late as markets only rose Friday.  In Mumbai, worries over the monsoon trumped global cues as the indexes fell 3-4%.  After some early week strength that retested key resistance levels at 4700, the Nifty ended the week at 4481 while the Sensex stood at 15,160.   So we did see more upside as forecast although the gains did not hold.  Interestingly Thursday was higher intraday but gains disappeared by the close.  This was perhaps an instance of a generally favourable transit aspect between Mercury (12 Leo) and Venus (12 Gemini) feeding into the stressful natal position of Saturn (12 Aquarius) to produce a decline instead of a rise.


Now that the triple eclipse series is behind us, we should look at this stock rally as living on borrowed time.  The eclipses have lit the fuses and started the timer so it's now only a matter of the right triggering planets coming together to release the explosive bearish energy and push prices down.  This week features a couple of very strong aspects which have the potential to move markets in both directions.  Mars squares Saturn on Monday but this 90 degree relationship is arguably more effective since they mutually aspect one another according to classical Hindu aspecting rules.  Mars casts its 4th house square aspect forward to Saturn and Saturn casts its 10th house square aspect to Mars.  Since both planets are malefic, there is a probability for negative fallout here.  However, as the week progresses Mars will be influenced by Jupiter's benefic rays so that could change sentiment considerably.  This is all the more likely given that the Sun will be part of this multi-planet alignment.  

Caveat emptor has never been better advice.



 




Stocks move higher on Mercury-Jupiter; Lunar Eclipse due this week

Week of August 3 - 7


Stocks continued their drift upward last week on better than expected Q2 GDP data in the US.   After some midweek bearishness, the Dow closed Friday at 9171 while the S&P stood at 987.   In Mumbai, the Sensex touched a 13-month high intraday on Thursday before closing at 15,670 while the Nifty ended the week at 4636. This bullish outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations as the quick succession of Venus and Mercury aspects with Jupiter provided enough optimism to move markets higher.  Monday's Mercury-Saturn aspect largely offset the Venus-Jupiter trine as stocks treaded water.  As I expected, there was more selling Tuesday and Wednesday in the "hangover" aftermath of that positive configuration. The Mercury-Jupiter aspect on Wednesday and Thursday arrived more or less on schedule, although Wednesday was mostly down.  Friday did not see any big declines despite retrograde Jupiter entering sidereal Capricorn, although that is a longer term bearish influence that will be operating for the next several months.

This week we will see the third and last eclipse in this series as a lunar eclipse occurs on Wednesday (EDT) at 19 degrees of Capricorn.  Eclipses mark periods of change and instability in the world and this eclipse seems to promise that and more.  The previous solar eclipse featured a close Venus-Saturn square which, I argued, foretold of coming problems and losses (Saturn) with financial markets and money (Venus).  Well, we will soon see if that interpretation will be borne out by events.  This lunar eclipse also has a strong Saturn aspect, this time with Mars.  And as (bad) luck would have it, it is also a tense square aspect within three degrees of orb.  Mars-Saturn aspects can represent situations of violence, oppression, frustration, and destruction and in the present context may indicate growing geopolitical concerns that could involve military conflict in the coming weeks.   On that point, we should note that President Obama's chart is also under a lot of stress in the coming weeks as Saturn and Mercury will conjoin atop his natal Mars.  While this pattern may simply represent increased frustration and failure with his health plan reforms (polls indicate he's in trouble on that issue), the Mars factor here opens the possibility of some kind of military or geopolitical problem. 

This week the market may well be able to stave off the bears for a little while longer as Mercury moves into aspect with Venus by Friday.  We could see some sizable moves in both directions this week, with Monday and Thursday looking the most positive on paper.  So I would not be surprised to see more upside here, although with the Mars-Saturn square due to come exact next Monday the 10th and the Mercury-Saturn conjunction on the 18th, all gains should be seen as very temporary indeed.  Investors would be well advised to practice their best version of Buddhist non-attachment to any long positions before this rally falls apart.

As the man with the sandwich board sign tells us, the end is nigh.
 


 




Rally intact despite Solar Eclipse; Venus and Mercury next in line

Week of July 27 - 31


With the solar eclipse showing no immediate effects, markets continued their winning ways last week as stocks rose 4% on more good earnings reports.   The Dow closed at 9093 while the S&P stood at 979.  It was much the same story in Mumbai, as the Nifty climbed to 4568 and the Sensex to 15,378.  While the eclipse correlated with modest declines Tuesday and Wednesday in India (but only Wednesday in New York), the apparently unstoppable ebullience highlighted the ongoing influence of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction.  While the late week gains fell in line with expectations for a bump up from the Sun-Moon parivartana yoga, I thought the eclipse might have claimed more victims.  As I have previously noted, eclipses are not atomic clocks and cannot be relied upon to dictate market moves.  They are probabilistic instruments not unlike road signs that notify the traveller of trouble ahead ("Construction Zone: next 10 miles").  Just when the trouble will manifest isn't always clear, but that Venus-Saturn square of July 22 does not portend a happy ending to this rally.

This week's planets would appear to offer more bullish fuel to investors as Venus forms an aspect with the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (and later Uranus, too) while Mercury follows suit Wednesday and Thursday.  Monday's positive alignment has a large asterisk however, since Mercury is in a close minor alignment with Saturn and that has the power to take markets down on at least one day in the early going.  Nonetheless, the balance of energy would seem to favour the bulls here as we can expect to see stocks to bounce back from any losses they might incur.  This seemingly bottomless reservoir of well-meaning but ultimately deluded hope will likely also push oil and gold higher.  In the wake of the positive Mercury-Jupiter aspect late week, there is increased risk of a hangover-like reaction that follows the completion of a triggering aspect by a fast moving planet (Venus, Mercury) to a larger configuration of slower moving planets such as Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus.  In investment parlance, this reaction is known as profit-taking.  

The planetary weather in August looks conducive to more gains on optimism over the prospects for recovery, at least at the outset.  By month's end, however, the folly of our ways will be revealed.
 



 




Stocks rebound on Sun-Mercury conjunction

Week of July 20 -24

Stocks rallied strongly last week on positive US earnings reports and favourable economic data coming out of China.  In New York, the Dow gained 7% to close at 8743 and the S&P finished at 940, as markets rose back towards their June highs.   In Mumbai the rally was no less impressive as the Nifty gained 8% to end the week at 4374 while the Sensex once again pushed toward the 15k level as it closed at 14,744.  Although I allowed for some up days on the Sun-Mercury conjunction, my forecast was far too bearish last week.  Interestingly, the Mars-Rahu aspect did indeed push the market down Monday in Asia with recovery coming in the afternoon in New York as stocks moved higher on the Sun-Mercury conjunction in late sidereal Gemini.   As it turned out, both the Mercury-Uranus aspect and the Sun-Jupiter aspect later in the week overwhelmed whatever bearishness was contained within Friday's Mercury-Ketu aspect as stocks moved higher.  The bullish momentum from last week is perhaps an indicator of the resilience of the market here so there is likely a little more upside to come as we move into August before the status quo is upset.  Jupiter enters sidereal Capricorn on July 31 where it will remain until December.  As the planet of optimism and confidence, Jupiter will be weakened by its transit into the sign of its debilitation.  This is another reason for being skeptical about the staying power of any rallies in this market.

And speaking of upsetting the status quo, this week features a total solar eclipse on Wednesday (GMT) which will be visible in central India and China.  The eclipse will occur at the same time Venus (24 Taurus) is in square aspect to Saturn (24 Leo).  This not only can create feelings of caution and pessimism (Saturn) around money (Venus) during the early and middle part of the week when the aspect is closest, it may also foretell a significant decline in the world economy in the weeks and months to come.  Eclipse effects usually take days or weeks to manifest (and many astrologers would also say months in some cases), so that is an indicator that the optimism over the economic recovery may wane in the near future.  As this lengthy Jupiter-Neptune conjunction finally separates, we will likely see a major decline in stock prices, starting sometime in August and continuing into the fall.  In terms of other aspect specifics, Mercury and Mars form a minor aspect on Monday and Tuesday and this is another possible source of nervousness that could cause some investors to exit the market.  Some bounce is more likely toward the end of the week on Thursday and Friday as the Moon enters Leo and forms a parivartana yoga with the Sun in Cancer while Venus applies to aspect Jupiter.

 




Markets continue decline as uncertain eclipse period takes hold

Week of July 13- 17

Markets fell across the board last week on fears that the much anticipated recovery may have to wait until next year .   In New York, the selloff began in earnest on Tuesday's sharp loss, as stocks dropped over 2% on the week as the Dow closed at  8146 and the S&P  at 879.  In Mumbai, the damage was much worse, as investors were disappointed by  Monday's budget that offered greater spending initiatives (and attendant high deficits) and little in the way of significant market reforms.  Stocks fell 9% as the Nifty closed at 4003 and the Sensex at 13,504.  This  bearish outcome was largely in keeping with expectations as the selloff commenced with the exact alignment of Mars with Jupiter and Neptune within a day of the Full Moon.  Thursday's Moon-Sun-Saturn alignment did broadly coincide with some modest gains as forecast, although they were not sufficient to break the negative trend for the week.  The markets are now in full-blown correction mode as stocks search for a solid bottom.

With the approach of the total Solar Eclipse of July 21, we may continue to see the predominance of caution and pessimism.  The key aspects this week suggest a mixed outcome with high volatility and a possible further downward bias.  Monday will see the tail end of a very nasty Mars-Rahu-Pluto alignment that might be enough to push down markets in Asia, at least in the early going.  Recovery seems more plausible later in the day and into Tuesday as the Sun will conjoin with a very strong Mercury in late sidereal Gemini.  As the week progresses, we see Thursday's apparently positive Mercury-Uranus aspect that normally might push markets higher.  But given Mercury's proximity to malefic Ketu, I am not confident that this aspect can produce gains.  By Friday, Mercury will be almost fully in the clutches of Ketu (the South Lunar Node) and this is more likely to put a lot of pressure on investors (as represented by Mercury) as Ketu's penchant for otherworldliness and spiritual release could make the stock market into an unpopular place.





Stocks slide in New York on separating Mercury-Jupiter aspect

Week of July 6 - 10

Stocks in New York sold off sharply Thursday and ended down by more than 2% for the week.  After approaching 8600 Wednesday, the Dow closed at 8280 while the S&P ended at 896.  Mumbai ended a little higher on the week, mostly on the strength of some buying late Friday in anticipation of Monday's budget announcement.  The Nifty closed at 4424 while the Sensex finished the week at 14,913.   I had expected more of a rise last week given the Mercury-Venus-Jupiter-Neptune alignment so this outcome was somewhat surprising.  It nonetheless provides a useful clue that the strength of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction may now be fading. I had thought we might see some weakness especially given the separation of the Mercury and Venus aspect to Jupiter after midweek and Thursday's sell off in New York coincided nicely with that phenomenon.  India fared somewhat better although Thursday and much of Friday was fairly flat and uninspired.  Interestingly, the rally in the last two hours of trading Friday occurred just as the Moon was moving into exact square aspect with the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction.  Although the Moon was debilitated in Scorpio, aspects to benefics will often trump other considerations.

This week features a Full Moon on Tuesday at 21 Sagittarius which may incline markets towards caution especially earlier in the week.   On Monday, Mars will be in alignment with the Jupiter-Neptune which may conceivably maintain the enthusiasm for stocks early but the separation of this aspect may bring out sellers in force later.   The Full Moon occurs close to the Mars-Rahu aspect in the NSE chart so that increases the likelihood of a decline around that time.  On a more positive note, there is a three-way Moon-Sun-Saturn aspect on Thursday that may also move the markets significantly.  Since Saturn is in the Sun's sign of Leo, this Sun contact may possibly correspond with a rise.  Transiting Venus will conjoin the ascendant of the S&P500 natal chart (11 Taurus) later in the week so that also bodes well for higher prices then.




Markets hold their ground

Week of June 29 - July 3

Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as the early selloff from the Venus-Mars-Saturn alignment was offset by late week strength on the Mercury-Saturn square aspect.  In New York, the Dow closed at 8439 while the S&P ended at 918.  In Mumbai, the Sensex ended Friday's session at 14,764 and the Nifty at 4375.   I thought the market would be more negative here, mostly because I thought the Mercury-Saturn aspect would tend to encourage more selling.  As it turned out, the Mercury-Saturn aspect on Thursday and Friday was a net positive for stocks, perhaps a reflection of the improved condition of Mercury's dispositor, Venus, which had just passed its conjunction with Mars. 

This week looks more positive as benefics Mercury (1 Gemini) and Venus (1 Taurus) move into harmonic conjunction by midweek.  What makes gains more likely is that this Mercury-Venus association will feed straight into the Jupiter-Neptune (2 Aquarius) conjunction.  While some pullbacks are possible Monday or perhaps later in the week, some of this positive energy seems likely to predominate here.   Even with the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction now moving retrograde, this rally seems like it has further to go.  The next exact conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune occurs Friday, July 10 and the current period is likely to provide support for current levels.  After that, the solar eclipse of July 21 may signal a shift in energy that could interrupt the prevailing upward trend.




Markets move lower on Jupiter retrograde station

Week of June 22 - 26

Stocks lost ground around the world last week as prospects for recovery suffered on poor US housing data.   In New York, the Dow closed down 3% at 8539 while the S&P finished at 921. Indian stocks also declined almost 5% as the Sensex ended Friday's trading at 14,521 and the Nifty at 4313.  As if to underline the importance of Jupiter and the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in this spring rally, stocks moved lower Monday the same day that Jupiter turned retrograde.   As I noted last week, these retrograde stations can often coincide with market reversals and this one was a textbook case.  I had thought we might see more upside midweek on the Sun-Jupiter aspect, but that was not enough to move markets higher.  Mumbai only saw a gain Tuesday as well as a nice move higher right at the close Friday.   The Venus-Mars conjunction did not coincide with much in the way of a correction, and indeed US stocks enjoyed a late week bounce. 

This week has a good chance to start higher as Venus passes Mars on Monday.  Monday will also feature the Gemini New Moon in close opposition to Pluto, so this may increase the size of the price move.  The Pluto opposition often creates problems for government and authority, although this needn't have any immediate negative market consequences.  As the Mercury square with Saturn tightens into a conjunction by Friday, the market may well turn bearish again and make the week negative overall.    It will be interesting to watch how Jupiter's new retrograde condition will affect aspects involving faster moving planets.  While still benefic and supportive of higher prices, we may find that an aspect with Jupiter doesn't produce the same kind of lift that we've seen in the past two to three months.  Overall, I don't think this will be a huge pullback, especially in the US market, and next week we could well see more strength. Watch for gold to move higher early in the week but the rally should fade fairly quickly.
 


 




Stocks take a breather

Week of June 15 - 19

Stocks mostly treaded water last week on mixed bag of economic news.  New York continued to trade well above its 200-day moving average, as the Dow closed Friday at 8799 while the S&P finished at 946.  In Mumbai, losses in the beginning and end of the week offset midweek gains as the Nifty closed at 4583 and the Sensex at 15,237.  This outcome was not unexpected, as I noted the possibility that the bullishness of Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune pattern could be counteracted by the negativity of the Mercury-Mars velocity equivalence.  Interestingly, Mumbai's trading patterns seemed to bear more resemblance to the transit aspects as Tuesday and Wednesday did see a rise with selling late in the week.  By contrast, New York saw some modest gains only late in the week, although they were large enough to change the basically uncommitted tone for the week.

With Jupiter turning retrograde Monday, we have another reason to consider the chances of significant correction across markets this week.   When planets change their direction, markets can often mark a reversal in their direction.  Given that markets have been generally rising lately, this Jupiter retrograde influence makes some kind of pullback somewhat more likely over the coming days.   With the Sun moving into position with the bullish Jupiter-Neptune-Uranus alignment early and midweek, I would think that some gains are likely before any possible move lower.   With Sun-Jupiter-Neptune lining up for the bulls this week, the bears can ponder the negative potential of benefic Venus coming in contact with malefic Mars by next weekend.   Since aspects usually express their energy before forming an exact angle, one would think the days before the conjunction on Sunday, June 21 would be more prone to negativity.  But perhaps the key word here is "usually".
 


 




Market continues in rally mode

Week of June 8 - 12


Stocks gained 3% last week to new 2009 highs on improved prospects for a quick recovery.  Most of the week's gains came on Monday's session with some levelling off afterwards, as the Dow closed at 8763 and the S&P at 940.  In Mumbai, anticipation of economic reforms in July's Union Budget helped push stocks higher as the Nifty closed at 4586 and the Sensex at 15,103.  Much of the early week bullishness came off as expected on the Venus-Jupiter-Neptune alignment as benefic Venus was the trigger to release the optimism of Jupiter.  The Mars-Rahu square could be implicated in Wednesday's decline, but the pullback was more muted than expected.  And Friday's Sun-Saturn square was only malefic enough to force a mostly flat outcome.  Even if Jupiter is now separating from Neptune, their proximity seems to be close enough to be overriding other potentially offsetting influences. 

We can see a couple apparently positive aspects forming early this week.  Venus trines Pluto on Monday, while Mercury moves into alignment with Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Of these two aspects, the Mercury would seem to be more reliable to produce an up day or two. Later in the week the picture gets murkier, although there are no clearly negative aspects.  Nonetheless, if there is going to be profit taking this week, I think the late week is a better candidate.  Another clue that we could see some kind of correction starting perhaps midweek and beyond is that Mercury and Mars will be moving at the same velocity -- 44 minutes of arc per day as of Wednesday. The malefic influence of Mars may be transmitted to the trading impulse of Mercury and push prices lower.  The timing of this influence is fairly close to the Mercury-Jupiter- Neptune aspect, so it's conceivable that there will be some balancing out. And given the tenacious optimism of Jupiter and Neptune, it's hard to picture a big decline here, the separating aspect notwithstanding.


 




Market stays strong into Jupiter-Neptune conjunction

Week of June 1 - 5

Stocks resumed their winning ways last week on favourable GDP and consumer data.  Markets in New York rose 3% as the Dow closed Friday at 8500 and the S&P at 919.  Mumbai added another 5% as the Sensex ended the week at 14,625 and the Nifty at 4448.   While this positive outcome did not come as a complete surprise given the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction on May 27 coincided with a potentially strong Mars activation, I had thought there might be a little more profit taking.  We can take some solace in the fact that the ebb and flow of the market seemed to follow the planetary forecast as early and midweek declines occurred roughly near the Mars aspect and markets recovered strongly by week's end as Venus approached its aspect with Mercury.

This week may be more challenging since the malefic aspects appear to outnumber the benefic ones.  Early in the week, Venus (2 Aries) will occupy the same place Mars did last week and thus increases the likelihood of a release of bullish energy contained in the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction.  It should be noted, however, that Jupiter is now moving past Neptune so the bullish effect of these planets of hopeful optimism may be slipping.  Just how fast the power drains from this synergistic combination is uncertain, but we can wonder aloud here if the whole is no longer greater than the sum of its parts. By midweek we will see the malefics come to the fore as Mars squares Rahu and to make matters worse, this will be within range of Pluto's degree.  These planets often symbolize excessive or even out of control energy that one finds in athletic competitions and violent or military conflicts. While it doesn't always correspond to bearishness, it probabilistically inclines the market to decline. (!)   The end of the week also does not favour the bulls since the Sun squares Saturn.  As we saw in April, these passing Saturn aspects don't always manifest when they "should" in terms of exactitude, but given the possible diminishing effect of Jupiter and Neptune now, it may be helpful to be aware of the extra negative potential here even if we don't act on it.

Jupiter stations on June 15 so that may coincide with a significant turning point since after that date, it will again be moving towards Neptune.  If this recent two month rally can be attributed in part to the Jupiter-Neptune applying conjunction, then it's very possible that stocks will rise once Jupiter is again moving towards Neptune after the 15th.  That said, Jupiter is not going to drift too far away from Neptune in terms of longitudinal arc (just 37 minutes), so we may be guilty of hair-splitting here.   Nonetheless, the applying-separating dynamic is one of the few somewhat consistent principles of astrology.  It's not a fool proof Newtonian law, but it works more times than it doesn't.  In the world of astrology, that's about as good as it gets.



 



NY stocks steady; Mumbai celebrates

Week of May 25 - 29

Last week's market action reminds us of the importance of applying current transit positions to the relevant natal charts.  Same transits -- very different results.  In New York, markets were mostly unchanged as the Dow closed at 8277 and the S&P at 887.  In Mumbai, a totally different story as stocks went into orbit on Monday after the surprisingly large election win by the Congress-led UPA which was announced over the weekend.   Stocks rose 15% for the week with the Nifty finishing at 4238 and the Sensex at 13,887.   The neutral New York outcome was largely in keeping with expectations although the gains arrived a little early with the Sun-Mercury conjunction at 3 Taurus.  This was close enough to trigger the benefic energy contained in the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (2 Aquarius) and take markets higher, if only briefly after which the bears moved in the rest of the week.  Mumbai took flight because the very same transit alignment was activating some extremely favourable natal placements in the NSE and Sensex charts.  For more details on how this may have unfolded, please see the Mumbai's Magnificent Monday page.

This week features a couple of interesting aspects.  Jupiter moves into exact conjunction with Neptune on Wednesday.  While this is one of the key sources of bullish energy in these past two months, I'm less convinced that the exact conjunction can generate more gains.  That's because slow moving planets usually require activation from past moving planets, as we saw from the Sun-Mercury conjunction last week.  The Moon forms a trine aspect to this conjunction late Monday, so that could boost some world markets (US markets will be closed for Memorial Day)  On Tuesday and Wednesday, we have another potential triggering planets as Mars (2 Aries) will move into an exact aspect with the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction.  Unlike Mercury, Mars is a malefic planet so that increases the possibility that net effect may actually be negative.  By Friday, Mercury will move into a close harmonic aspect with Venus so that may well provide some food for the bulls.  So we have a very mixed picture this week with a real question about market direction.  With the bearish Sun-Saturn square due next week, I'm inclined to think that US stocks will continue this phase of consolidation and retracement here.  Indian stocks are perhaps somewhat better candidates for profit taking.
 


 





Stocks slide in advance of Saturn station

Week of May 18 -22


Stocks in New York pulled back off their highs last week as the likely prospect of the GM bankruptcy took a little wind out of the rally's sails.  Overall the market lost  4% on lower volume as the Dow ended Friday at 8268 while the S&P stood at 882.   Mumbai diverged from global patterns somewhat as Friday's gain pushed the market up 2% for the week.  After repeatedly coming up against resistance at 3700, the Nifty closed at 3671 and the Sensex at 12,173.   The Mercury-Mars-Saturn alignment did largely coincide with the early week slump although the timing of it was less than mathematical.   With the larger losses confined to Monday and Wednesday, this midweek negative pattern did not quite release its energy like clockwork, but the correlation was still suggestive of a bearish exclamation point against the recent bullish backdrop.  Some strength returned to the market late week as the Sun moved into Taurus and formed a plausibly positive pattern with Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.  Reflecting the ongoing strength of the Indian market, this produced a significant gain Friday whereas in New York Thursday's modest rise was followed by a tepid rise Friday morning.  The rally failed by noon, however, as traders took profits ahead of the weekend and took the market lower into the close. 

This week offers a mixed bag of short term planetary influences.  On Monday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Mercury in early sidereal Taurus, while the Moon is in Aquarius opposite Saturn. The Moon-Saturn contact is a marginally negative pattern, while the Sun-Mercury combination is quite variable but can increase the size of a move, depending on which way the market is leaning.  The Sun's influence on Mercury can be seen as negative since the Sun is a nominally malefic planet in the Vedic schema, and yet the Taurus placement is supported by virtue of the strength of dispositor Venus which is currently exalted in Pisces.  But Venus is in an awkward quincunx aspect with Saturn, so that may make things more difficult.  Of course, the outcomes of this pattern will vary depending on the relevant natal chart contacts.  In Mumbai, a big rally is expected on the heels of a convincing election victory by the pro-market Congress party.  Clearly, the Indian market has been outperforming most other world markets because the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction has been placed at a more positive place relative to the natal chart compared with US markets.  

In the Sensex chart, for example. the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction occurs just three degrees from the ascendant.  In New York, however, I would not be surprised to see some more weakness early on in the week as some natal support seems lacking.  But Mercury will continue its retrograde path and form an apparently positive pattern with Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune midweek.  Actually, Mercury will be in the same place (1 Taurus) that Sun occupied last Thursday and Friday when the market saw some strength.  So some kind of gains are possible then.  Later in the week may not be so favourable as the Sun comes under the aspect of Rahu.  This isn't necessarily a bad aspect, but it opens up more uncertainty, and that may be problematic for investors seeking out long positions.

What is so interesting about the current alignment of planets in the sky right now is how exaggerated and overdetermined they all appear to be. There is a remarkably rare pattern that features a Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (2 Aquarius) that is taking place in near exact harmonic aspect with Uranus (2 Pisces).  And if we want to throw in Chiron that is also at 2 Aquarius, we have an extremely infrequent pattern of bullish planets.  It is no coincidence that we've seen the market rally as strongly as we have.  But now May has seen Mercury turn retrograde and Saturn make its direct station, two decidedly negative influences which may force the market to pause before moving higher, at least in the US.  This rare confluence of sharply good and bad factors has made prediction more difficult than usual (and it's never straightfoward), as the astrologer is confronted with equations for which there is no definitive solution, only interpretation and speculation.

 


 





Week of May 11 - 15

Stocks stayed in rally mode last week as the bank stress test results proved to be largely a non-event amidst a backdrop of promising economic data.   In New York, stocks moved up to within a few percent of their January highs, as the Dow ended 4% to the good at 8574 while the S&P stood at 929.  In Mumbai, equities continued to trade above their 200-day moving average and gained over 4% as the Nifty stood at 3620 and the Sensex at 11,876.  The early week gains came off as expected on the bullish Venus-Ketu-Pluto configuration but the start of the Mercury retrograde cycle did not mark a significant sell off.   While Mercury retrograde is normally a bearish influence, it does not function like a malefic aspect and therefore acts as a more general influence.   So while I highlighted Mercury's bearish potential last week, I was not convinced that it would have enough negative energy to counteract the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction that has fueled much of this huge run-up in the past two months.  The optimism (Jupiter) and hope and idealism (Neptune) embodied in these planets has allowed a growing number of investors to look past the negatives in the economy and the long term implications of the various bailout packages and focus on the "green shoots" and hints that financial stabilization is just around the corner.

This week features another potentially negative influence for the markets as Mercury, Mars, and Saturn form a potentially tense multi-planet aspect on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Any contact between Mercury and either malefic, Mars or Saturn, has the potential to move markets lower and the co-presence of both malefics with Mercury is definitely worth paying attention to.  However, these aspects are not full strength aspects so we need to be skeptical about their bearish potential.   In addition, Friday's entry of the Sun in sidereal Taurus may well prop up the market further since it forms a multi-planet alignment with Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune.  So even if we see some midweek selling, the end of week may see the bulls return in force.  Likewise, I think there's a good chance crude will continue its winning ways, and gold also likely to stay strong here. 

Saturday will see Saturn change direction from retrograde to direct so that may be a better indication of an impending reversal in the market.  Readers will remember that the six-week rally off the November lows culminated in the first week of January, just a few days after Saturn changed direction and began its current retrograde cycle.   Another instance of this phenomenon of planetary stations and market reversals occurred on October 11, 2007 when Mercury began its retrograde cycle, just days after world stock markets peaked.  Similarly,  in mid-May 2008, markets began a major down leg just one week before Mercury turned retrograde.  While timing is often somewhat inexact, changes in direction of the planets can often correlate to changes in the direction of the market.
 







Week of May 4 - 8

After slumping early in the week, markets edged a little higher last week on some positive earnings news and the prospect of more economic 'green shoots'. In New York, stocks approached their February highs as the Dow closed at 8212 and the S&P at 877.  Indian stocks were mostly unchanged last week, and did not participate in some of the late week advance due to a Thursday and Friday closing.   Bullishly staying above their 200-day moving average, the Nifty finished Wednesday's session at 3473 and the Sensex at 11,403.   The early week declines were very much expected in light of the malefic alignment of Mars-Ketu-Pluto, although the bearishness was fairly mild.  The bounce later in the week coincided with Jupiter's ingress into sidereal Aquarius and the approach of Venus to the Ketu-Pluto configuration which was noted in last week's forecast.  


This week's action may also be somewhat mixed at best as the early part of the week seems more positive as the Venus aspect comes exact on Monday.  While some pullback is likely on either Tuesday or Wednesday, the latter part of the week may see the bears assert themselves more forcefully as Mercury turns retrograde on Thursday morning.   Interestingly, the results of the banking stress test will be released on the same day.  While we should be aware that Mercury may not exert its influence immediately, this coincidence would tend to indicate some second thoughts by some investors.   Mercury's influence is a very important potential ingredient for any significant correction in this recent rally.  There is no guarantee that Mercury's backwards cycle  (May 7 -31) will push the market lower, but it definitely inclines the market to second guessing, non-committal sideways movement, and outright bearishness. 


As we've seen over the past seven weeks, the approaching Jupiter-Neptune conjunction has created a very powerful reservoir of optimism and hope that has helped to move markets higher by 30% in a very short time.  It will require a significant amount of negative planetary energy to offset this bullish alignment.   Retrograde Mercury, even if it is afflicted by Rahu as it is this week, may not be enough in itself to force a major correction.  For that reason, we may have to wait for some of that excess Saturn energy to seep into the collective consciousness once it turns direct on May 16. 





Week of April 27 - May 1

Stocks in New York finished mostly unchanged last week as the rally showed signs of weakening.  After trading as low as 7800 on Tuesday morning, the Dow bounced back and closed Friday at 8076 while the S&P ended at 866.  The story was much the same in India, as the bulls returned late week to push the market higher by 3% as the Sensex closed at 11,329 and the Nifty at 3480.   This outcome was not unexpected as the apparently bearish Mars-Venus conjunction early in the week did push down prices.   The late week comeback was also more or less foretold in the Mercury-Jupiter aspect and later, the Mercury-Uranus aspect.  

The planets this week looks similarly mixed.  Mars comes under the aspect of Ketu on Monday and Tuesday and with Pluto thrown into the mix, it is hard to see much upside there.  Alignments of three malefic planets have the potential to create a mood of frustration and irritation which could encourage a more bearish stance.  The mood may shift rather quickly, however, when Venus replaces Mars in that alignment by Thursday and Friday.  Pluto and Ketu are still malefics and therefore should be treated carefully, but Venus has the power to transform their energies into something positive.  Also Jupiter enters sidereal Aquarius Thursday, so that is another potentially positive energy, particularly for the technology sector since it is governed by Aquarius.  So I would not be surprised to see a significant bounce later on.   Gold may also stand to gain in the next week or two here.  Indian markets are closed for Thursday and Friday, so they may miss out on some of this benefic Venusian energy.

As we approach the Mercury retrograde cycle which starts May 6, markets seem vulnerable to pullbacks.  The planetary situation is complicated by the existence of opposite energies.  The Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune alignment is very positive, and even more so if we want to throw Chiron into the mix which is also conjunct Jupiter and Neptune in early sidereal Aquarius.  Much of this recent rally can be traced back to the formation of this very tight configuration of planets.  It is so positive that its energy started flowing much earlier than I expected.  I thought it might begin to drive up prices in April as Jupiter came to within 5 degrees of Neptune, but the rally began in mid-March when Jupiter was still 10 degrees away.  

But on the other side, we have some more negative influences.  The most immediate is Mercury turning retrograde in aspect with Rahu.  This retrograde cycle lasts until May 31 and is often (but not always) correlated with sideways or negative trends since Rahu introduces irrationality into the thinking process as symbolized by Mercury.   Second, Pluto forms a harmonic aspect with the nodes, Rahu and Ketu which will last for two to three weeks.  This can be problematic for any large scale organizations such as corporations which are represented by Pluto.  The nodal influence can signify uncertainty, transgressions, and imbalance and could coincide with a public skepticism towards large scale enterprises.  Third, Saturn stations on May 16 as it returns to direct motion after spending the past five months in its retrograde cycle. 

By themselves, Saturn stations may not incline the market one way or the other, although they can often mark changes in trend.  For example, when Saturn turned retrograde on December 31, 2008, the fledgling market rally peaked just a few days later and began its long slide down to the March lows.  The previous Saturn direct station on May 3, 2008 coincided with an interim market top as prices peaked days after and then began to fall in earnest by late May.  This doesn't mean that I think the market is going to start to fall precipitously after May 16.  Far from it.  But as a malefic planet, Saturn has the ability to inject a lot of fear and pessimism into all situations.  For this reason, the time window around this station is unlikely to pass without some bearish consequence.



 







Week of April 20 - 24

The bulls refused to let go of the reigns of the market last week as stocks added another 1-2%.  After some early week selling, New York stocks rebounded with the Dow closing Friday at 8131 and the S&P at 869.  In Mumbai, stocks rallied up to their 200 day moving average Wednesday, before falling back a bit by Friday's close.  The Nifty ended the week at 3384 and the Sensex at an impressive 11,023.  The undercurrent of bullish sentiment on the approaching Jupiter-Neptune conjunction continues to offset most other potentially negative astrological factors.  US markets fell early in the week ahead of the Mars-Uranus conjunction, but this decline was less than expected.  The return of buyers coincided with a fairly innocuous looking Sun-Neptune aspect.

The bears may well rule the early part of this week as Mars approaches Venus on Monday and Tuesday.  The Moon transits Aquarius opposite Saturn on those days, so that may increase levels of caution.  Wednesday features a Mercury-Jupiter square aspect while the Moon enters Pisces to join Venus and Mars. This looks like a significant infusion of energy that could well stimulate buyers.  Friday will see Mercury in aspect with Uranus so that may provide additional stimulation for the bulls.  With Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune all in close harmonic proximity, it may be difficult for this market to fall too far right here.   I think the market may get choppier, with larger declines possible but likely still followed by roughly offsetting gains.   Still, I note that a number of the relevant natal charts show some fundamental afflictions by slow moving malefics such as Saturn and the nodes, so their bearishness should begin to bite very soon. 

This Friday is the Aries New Moon and features a close square aspect between the Sun-Moon conjunction and Rahu and Ketu. This would suggest a rise in nervousness and undermining of confidence over the next four weeks.  Mercury, the planet of trading, is in close square aspect with Jupiter-Neptune which again is not indicative of significant gains. It needn't  translate into losses, but given the nodal influence on the luminaries, the New Moon chart does not support the notion that this rally can be extended much further.  And when we mix in the prospect of the Mercury retrograde period starting on May 6, the planets seem to be pointing to weaker markets in the near term.

The dollar should continue to strengthen this week, as oil and gold may slide back further.
 


 


 




Week of Apr 13 - 17

Stocks racked up more gains last week as the positive profit outlook from Wells Fargo on Thursday brought the bulls out in force yet again.  The Dow closed at 8083, up less than 1% overall while the SPX finished the week at 856.  Indian markets fared somewhat better over the three-day trading week and were up 3% as the Nifty closed at 3342 and the Sensex at 10,803.   While I had expected more downside from the Mars-Saturn opposition, at least there was some pullback early on in the week in the US when this aspect was closest.  Also the bearish Uranus ingress into sidereal Pisces did correspond with the decline below Dow 7800.   The late week gain was also not too surprising given the favourable alignment of Sun-Mars-Jupiter, but I had not expected its positive effects to offset the negative patterns earlier in the week.   Assessing amplitude is one of the more difficult aspects of financial astrology, after one has decided whether a particular configuration is either positive or negative. 


While the bulls are on parade here and have clearly gained the upper hand in this market, I still think there is some remaining negative energy from the Uranus ingress.   History tells us that Uranus' ingresses do not always translate into big declines, of course, but in instance I wonder if the release of energy might have been delayed somewhat by the  approaching conjunction with Mars.  Mars will conjoin Uranus in the first degree of Pisces on Wednesday.   By itself, this conjunction can be a bearish pattern, and when it occurs so close to the actual ingress, it may receive an extra boost of energy.   So there's still a chance for a sizable decline at some point in the week, perhaps as much as 5% on a single day.  Even if the rally somehow continues early on, I think the week should be negative overall.  With Venus ending its retrograde cycle on Friday, we are likely at the end of this fast rising bear market rally.  It is interesting to recall that the rally began very close to the time that Venus went retrograde on March 6.  Now that the cycle is ending, we will likely see the market consolidate at lower levels over the next few weeks.  With Mercury turning retrograde in aspect to Rahu in early May, we may in fact see even lower prices then.  Let's see how low we go here.   If it's only a garden variety 3-4% correction by next Monday the 20th, then the extent of the overall decline may be more modest.

I think there is a chance for a big rally in the dollar here, with crude falling back quite a bit.  Gold seems harder to read, but the Sun falling under the aspect of Saturn in the GLD natal chart suggests some late week bearishness.
 


 






Week of April 6 - 10

Last week stocks extended their rally into a fourth week adding another 3%.  After Monday's steep sell off, the bulls returned to the trough and pushed up the Dow above 8000 closing at 8017 while the S&P finished at 842.  Indian markets also rose as ended above some important resistance levels as the Nifty closed at 3211 and the Sensex at 10,348.   While I was bearish for last week, I left open the possibility that the negative fallout from the Mars-Saturn aspect may well manifest this week instead.  Also, I did call for weakness early on which was somewhat fulfilled in Monday's pullback.  The midweek recovery was also within the boundary of my forecast given the bullishness of the Venus-Jupiter aspect. 

So despite having underestimated the strength of this rally, I think a downside bias makes more sense this week.  Besides the Mars-Saturn opposition aspect, the Sun is also part of that alignment around 22-23 degrees.  In addition, Uranus changes signs this weekend as it moves into sidereal Pisces (according to the Lahiri ayanamsha) so this may act as an amplifier for prevailing market sentiment.  Uranus is the planet of sudden and explosive energy, and its sign changes often correlate with significant events and big market swings.  Uranus changed signs on October 17, 1987 just two days before the world markets had their biggest single-day decline.  Seven years later on February 6, 1994, Uranus changed signs again this time entering Capricorn.  This occurred just two days after the markets lost between 5-8% worldwide. Of course, the correlation is not perfect as there are many occasions when a Uranus ingress did not coincide with a major market move.  Nonetheless, it is a potential factor to include in our analysis and given the pattern in the sky at the moment, it increases the likelihood for some kind of significant sell off.  The larger symbolism of Uranus entering Pisces may also indicate some fundamental changes occurring in areas ruled by Pisces.  These may reflect the return of the welfare state and more socialistic government policies given Pisces connection with compassion and caring.  

Gold looks pretty bearish here, as does crude oil.  I expect the dollar to resume its bounce this week.

 




Week of March 30 - April 3

Stocks extended their rally for a third week last week as a growing number of investors believed that the worst was over and that a new bull phase has begun.  In New York the Dow climbed to 7776 and the S&P to 815.  In Mumbai, the rally was even stronger as the key indices approached some key resistance levels on prices last seen in early January.  The Nifty closed Friday at 3108 and the Sensex at 10,048.   This bullishness has lasted longer than I expected and reflects the fact that passing aspects alone do not fully coincide with the movements of markets.   In retrospect, the February New Moon in Aquarius on February 24 may have contained a clue to this rally through the close conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter in that chart.  In fact, I noted that the chart looked favourable for stocks in March in my weekly forecast at the time. As good as the chart looked,  I never expected the March rally to be so strong.

With Mars fast approaching Saturn, this rally is on the verge of turning, and may have already by virtue of Friday's down day in New York.  The Sun conjoins Mercury late on Monday as both planets leave Saturn-ruled Uttara Bhadra and enter Mercury-ruled Revati.  The net effect of these patterns is not clear, however.  Mercury can sometimes get a boost from the Sun if other factors are supportive.  By itself, the Sun is malefic and combusts planets it comes into contact with, so there is a risk that this may push prices lower, especially since Mercury is debilitated in Pisces.  The Revati influence is perhaps more clearly negative since it is ruled by a fallen Mercury. Some midweek strength may result from the harmonic contact between two benefics, Venus and Jupiter.  Since this is a partial strength aspect (they are conjunct in the D8 Ashtamsha chart) the positive effects may be fairly modest.  The late week looks more negative as Mercury forms a tense 150 degree aspect with Saturn and Mars moves closer the to Saturn aspect, which comes exact on Saturday.  

I note also that the Mars and Saturn opposition this week will aspect the Venus-Mars conjunction in the Houck USA chart on April 1 and 6.  An affliction to natal Venus can mean sudden (Mars) loss (Saturn) of money (Venus) that one might associate with a stock market decline, while the affliction to the natal Mars may indicate some significant military action or other expression of violence.   I see that the head of GM, Rick Wagoner, has now been asked to step down by Obama, so that also fits with the symbolism of an afflicted Venus, which represents vehicles.  This may prove to be a difficult week for the auto industry.

Gold may move higher this week with some nice aspects in the GLD chart.  Crude oil looks like it will eventually move lower by week's end.   Dollar recovery to likely continue.


 


 



Week of March 23 - 27

Stocks moved higher last week, fueled in part by the Fed's plan to buy treasuries and loosen up the credit market.  After peaking on Wednesday near 800, the S&P closed Friday at 768 while the Dow ended the day at 7278.   Mumbai managed to avoid much of the late week selling pressure as the Sensex closed at 8966 and the Nifty at 2807.  I thought we would see more of a decline with the Mercury-Jupiter-Saturn alignment, although the US market did fall in the two days following it.  Interesting that the Mars-Pluto aspect on Wednesday did coincide with a significant financial event, namely the Fed's buy back plan.   Tuesday's rise could be attributed to the Mercury-Jupiter aspect that preceded the Saturn aspect.  Rather than have Saturn's negative influence 'bleed backwards' and contaminate benefics Mercury and Jupiter, the orb was far enough that Mercury and Jupiter could strengthen each other, if only temporarily.


This week appears to have some potentially negative influences that may make it difficult for the market to add to recent gains. On Monday, the Sun is in a square aspect with Pluto.  This may indicate some tension and struggle surrounding large organizations and government.   Also, the Moon is conjunct both Mars and Neptune, another potentially difficult transit that carries overtones of secrecy or illusion.  One wonders if the Geithner plan to deal with the toxic banking assets may somehow embody some of these forces.  Given the planets involved, there is some reason to think that the plan will not be well received.  Tuesday sees Mars in harmonic aspect with Rahu, perhaps indicating an excess of energy or an action that is somehow out of control, with possible damaging consequences.  Thursday features the New Moon at 12 degrees of sidereal Pisces.  Given the close aspect from unpredictable Ketu, this New Moon chart may indicate a lot of volatility for the next few weeks.  On Friday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Venus, now in an even closer aspect from Ketu.  While it's possible this may coincide with higher prices as perhaps the unbounded quality of Ketu may unleash a flurry of buying on baseless optimism, but it seems more likely to translate into selling. 


 


 




Week of March 16 - 20

Stocks rose sharply last week on new hope for the viability of the US banking sector, as the Dow ended Friday at 7223 and the S&P at 756.  In Mumbai, stocks also posted substantial gains in the holiday-shortened week as the Sensex closed at 8756 and the Nifty at 2719.  The gain was largely in keeping with our astrological expectations given the benefic influences of the Sun-Uranus conjunction and the Venus-Jupiter aspect.  An added bullish element could be found in the favourable overlay that these aspects created in the relevant natal charts.  In the Mumbai NSE chart, for example, the Sun-Uranus conjunction at 28 Aquarius was in exact trine aspect with the Jupiter at 28 Libra.


This week Saturn once again finds itself the centre of attention as Mercury makes its exact opposition aspect to it on Wednesday, while Jupiter is just one degree from forming an exact 6th house aspect with Saturn.   While the complexity and uncertainty of astrology often precludes clear causal statement, any alignment that contains Saturn tends to promote fear and pessimism and hence declines are more likely.   Another possible bearish influence is the Sun's entrance into sidereal Pisces on March 14.  Pisces is ruled by Jupiter and since Jupiter is currently debilitated in Capricorn, this may weaken the Sun's ability to boost sentiment and inspire confidence.  On Wednesday, Mars forms a close 3rd house aspect with Pluto and this may add and extra dose of energy and desire to traders.  By itself, it is a neutral aspect that can either be positive or negative for the markets.  It may indicate higher volumes and could be associated with a larger market move as investors may feel a greater sense of urgency to enter or exit their positions.

 

 





Week of March 9 -13

Stocks kept falling last week over continuing questions surrounding the viability of the financial sector.  The Dow broke through 7000 and closed Friday at 6626 while the S&P ended at 683.  In Mumbai, the Nifty retested its October lows and ended down 5% to close at 2620 while the Sensex stood at 8325.  This results are largely in keeping with expectations with the likely fallout from the approaching Venus retrograde station in tense aspect with Saturn.  

Wednesday's gains in New York deserve special mention here for bucking the down trend.  Certainly, the close harmonic aspect between Sun and Venus had the potential for boosting sentiment, although it was something of an open question whether it might manifest Tuesday when Jupiter was also in the mix.  Interestingly, the Moon was in Mars-ruled Mrigashira on Wednesday, while Mars was transiting its own nakshatra of Dhanista.  This is a favourable combination that may have been a factor in the rise.  By Thursday, the Moon had moved into Rahu-ruled Ardra and the selling resumed.  For its part, Rahu was in Moon-ruled Shravana, and while the exchange of lords is often seen as fortuitous, in this case we may speculate whether such an exchange could still generate optimism given the difficult condition of Rahu in Capricorn.

With the Venus station now behind us, there is a good prima facie case for some kind of rebound here.  The Sun-Uranus conjunction comes exact on Thursday and this should provide a lot of new, restless energy that could increase volumes.   Since the conjunction is occurring in Uranian-ruled Aquarius, that is a possible positive indicator to this contact that could translate into higher prices.  Another potentially favourable influence on the markets is the 3rd house aspect (sextile) between Venus and Jupiter on Wednesday.  The Moon moves into harmonic alignment with this aspect on Thursday (EDT) so it's possible that the bulk of the bullish trend may be confined towards the end of the week.    Nonetheless, Wednesday's Moon looks favourable by another metric since will be in Sun-ruled Uttara Phalguni while the Sun is moving away from Saturn towards Uranus in Jupiter-ruled Purva Bhadra.  Before then, the market may be more tentative.  On Monday, the Moon is in Magha while Ketu is in Pushyami.  Whatever other influences that may be effective at that time, that particular situation is not very supportive of prices.

With Mercury and Mars still remaining to oppose Saturn, one can't be overly confident that the market is prepared to rally substantially from here. Even if this week is positive, the market will be prone to more sideways movement and pullbacks over the next few weeks.
 



 


 




Week of March 2 - 6

US markets sank further into the quicksand of this bear market last week as stocks fell another 4% as the Dow finished at 7062  and the S&P closed at 735.  Mumbai fared better than most world markets last week and managed to eke out modest gains as the Nifty closed at 2763  and the Sensex at 8891.  While the Dow managed to stay above the psychologically important 7000 mark, the S&P fell unceremoniously below its November low and is now at 12-year lows.   While I had expected the early week bearishness, the New Moon was not as positive as I had thought so the end of the week saw markets down again.


Now we're facing the prospect of a Venus retrograde station at 21 Pisces that is in a tense 6th house aspect with Saturn at 24 Leo.  Add to that the Jupiter-Saturn 6th house aspect that will come exact March 23, and the minor aspect between Saturn and Pluto on March 11, and it's a fairly bleak picture.  These are configurations involving slower moving bodies so we can't take the dates of their exactitude as necessarily indicative of the dates of their maximum impact. They have to be triggered by faster moving planets that complete the pattern.  There are several possible triggers here including the Sun opposing Saturn and Mercury and Mars conjoining Neptune this week and then Mercury and Mars opposing Saturn in mid March and early April respectively.  The markets may manage some gains this week due to the harmonic aspects of Sun and Jupiter and Mercury will transit through the Jupiter-ruled section of Dhanista on Monday.   Overall, however, it seems like a bearish situation. From a nakshatra perspective, Mercury moves into the Saturn-ruled section of Dhanista Tuesday and Wednesday.  And then Jupiter will move into the presumably bearish Ketu ruled portion of Shravana for Thursday and Friday.

This pattern has a certain ominous portent here that makes me wonder if something fairly big is right around the corner.  There is a real possibility for a major move down with all these Saturn patterns coming together.

 




 


 




Week of February 23 - 27

Stocks in New York continued to swoon last week on the growing alarm over the government's inability to fix the banking system, as the Dow fell to its lowest level in 6 years closing at 7365.  The S&P did not break below its November lows (752) however, and closed Friday at 770.  Mumbai was also sharply lower last week as the major indexes fell 8%.  Indian markets have fared considerably better than American markets since the original Fall decline and are still trading above their January lows.  On Friday, the Sensex closed at 8843 and the Nifty at 2736. My sense that last week's five planet alignment involving malefics Mars, Rahu and Ketu was going to be problematic for the market was largely borne out by the 6-8% decline.  While I was somewhat unsure what the immediate impact of this pattern might be, I thought that proximity of the Mercury-Saturn aspect later on in the week would be enough to push prices down generally. Certainly, the markets have been hit by a new wave of bearishness in the wake of the lunar eclipse of Feb 9.   Eclipses are famously bearish for stocks and the recent down move has proven this notion correct yet again.

I'm more optimistic about this week, however, as the Aquarius New Moon on Tuesday looks decidedly better than the previous one in Capricorn.  Given that the New Moon chart governs the next 4 weeks, this means we may well be near an interim bottom here.  Mercury conjoins Jupiter on Tuesday which ought to provide some support although with Mars moving into closer quincunx aspect to Saturn on the weekend, any gains made this week are unlikely to get very far.  So the week may be fairly mixed with some more selling early on with more buyers coming back by midweek.   I'm not ruling out a down week, but any declines should be fairly modest.

Gold finally reached $1000 on Friday which was in keeping with expectations.  Monday may be a possible high as the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction will conjoin with the natal Jupiter in the GLD chart.   I'm not sure that gold has much higher to go here, although the next couple of months could conceivably go either way. The summer looks more decidedly negative as the nodes will afflict several key points in the GLD chart.  Until then, it may be a tug of war between the positive effects of transiting Jupiter on the natal Venus and MC and the Saturn square to natal Mars in the Futures chart. 







Week of February 16 - 20

Investors gave a collective thumbs down to the Geithner bank plan as stocks retreated 5% in New York last week with the Dow falling to 7850 and the S&P to 826.  I thought markets might be more bullish,  but stocks seemed to slide right after Monday 's afflicted lunar eclipse. So the US markets seemed to be in negative space with all the heavy Jupiter representation in the nakshatra sublordships.  This implications of the Rahu affliction to Jupiter was left as an open question, and we saw some confirmation of that bearish hypothesis. 

This week features a very rare symmetrical configuration in the sky with a triple conjunction of Mars-Rahu-Jupiter at 15 Capricorn and then Venus at 15 Pisces in exact harmonic aspect with the Capricorn conjunction and Ketu at 15 Cancer.  This kind of five planet alignment has never occurred in modern times and so extrapolating market effects is somewhat more difficult than usual.  Certainly there is a a mix of benefic and malefic energies that complicates the picture.   Even if we see a big gain early on here, I think the bears will return in force soon enough as the market seems destined to move lower.

Mumbai markets rose 3% last week on optimism that Asian economies would respond to various stimulus packages. This was broadly in keeping with our expectations as the approaching Jupiter-Rahu conjunction created more positive sentiment in India than in the US.  Part of the reason for the different outcomes of this alignment was due to the fact that Jupiter was in close harmonic aspect with the ascendant of the NSE chart, hence the more positive outcome there.

The Mars-Jupiter-Rahu-Venus-Ketu alignment early in the week may produce a big move, perhaps in reaction to the Indian budget.  The overall mood seems more negative, however, so any gains here are unlikely to last long.

 



 


Week of February 9 - 13


After being in the doldrums for most of the week, US markets rallied towards the end of the week on hopes for a speedy passage of the stimulus package and the bank plan and closed up 4% on the week.  After trading below 7900 at the open Thursday,. the Dow closed Friday at 8280 and the SPX at 868.   I had thought the Saturn-Uranus aspect might provide more down energy now, but with such slow moving planets it is sometimes harder to identify the necessary triggering planet and predict when their negative energy will be released.   For example, the first exact Saturn-Uranus opposition on November 4 coincided with a rise.  It is worth noting, however, that the market did fall in the days following the aspect.  Also the market made a significant low the week prior on October 27. So even with some of the declines we saw in late January, I would argue that the bearishness of this aspect has yet to be fully expressed.  It may require the Mars aspect in late February to bring it out and for the markets to move lower.

This week there are a few interesting patterns including a lunar eclipse on Monday which may increase trading volumes and intraday swings.  The eclipse pattern seems negative given the close harmonic aspect with Saturn, but I think we may move somewhat higher this week, at least in the early going before the Sun moves into sidereal Aquarius.  One thing I will be watching is the effect of Jupiter moving from Rahu's to Jupiter's portion of Shravana.   Given Rahu's current conjunction with Jupiter, one could see how the market might get support from Jupiter receiving this Rahu energy.  And yet now that Jupiter is transiting through its own section of the nakshatra (until Feb 15), there could be a change in attitudes towards wealth (Jupiter).  It is worth noting that last week's rise came during the Sun's transit of the Rahu portion of Dhanista.  The Sun will be in Jupiter's sub of Dhanista Monday and then Saturn for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Mumbai lost a bit of ground last week as the rally only arrived on Friday.  After bouncing up from 2760 a couple of times earlier in the week, the Nifty ended the week at 2843 and the Sensex at 9300.  Aside from the unfulfilled downside energy from the Saturn-Uranus opposition, one of the interesting features of last week's action was the abrupt shift in sentiment from Thursday to Friday.   Using the Nakshatra lord and sublord paradigm, we can find several changes, any one of which might have been involved in the move from bearish to bullish.   Mercury transited from the Mars to the Rahu section of Uttarashada, hence increasing the plausibly positive energy available to market participants.  At the same time, Mars moved from Mercury to Ketu's portion of Uttarashada. While Ketu is nominally negative for material endeavours, Ketu does come under the favourable aspect of Jupiter now, so it may not be as bearish as it may first appear.  Finally, the Sun transited from Moon-ruled Shravana to Mars-ruled Dhanista between Thursday and Friday.    Shravana is a very changeable nakshtra due to the constantly shifting influences upon its ruler, the Moon.  But currently Mars may be interpreted as more positive given its exaltation in Capricorn and its approaching conjunction with Jupiter and Rahu. Further study of Mars' energy may shed more light on its effects in its transit of Capricorn over the next few weeks.

This week the market seems poised to go higher as the US stimulus package moves closer to becoming law.  Optimism may be overflowing this week as Jupiter finally conjoins Rahu on Friday.  And yet much depends on the effect of the various planetary transits to Jupiter-controlled nakshatras.  Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn and the influence of Rahu can make for sudden changes and reversals.   The late week looks more negative as transiting Mercury comes close to the malefic 8th house cusp in the Nifty natal chart.



 



 


Week of Feb 2 - 6

Stocks in New York followed a sisyphean trajectory last week as an early rally culminated in Wednesday's high only to fall back by Friday below last week's close.  The Dow closed at 8000 and the SPX ended at 825.  I had thought the early week could be more negative with the Mercury Rx-Mars conjunction but it seems only to have increased the energy available to market participants rather than move the market in any particular direction.  Its placement in Sun-ruled Uttarashada may be shaped the outcome as the Sun is under the presumed influence of Rahu and Jupiter in Capricorn.  While Rahu is disruptive by itself, its current conjunction with Jupiter can produce acquisitiveness and buying. Overall, the market was slightly negative.

This week should see continued volatility as Saturn exactly opposes Uranus on Thursday with a t-square with the Moon forming during trading hours EST .  There is a potential for a short rally before then, perhaps Monday or Tuesday when Moon is in Aries while its dispositor Mars is exalted in Capricorn.  Tuesday's Moon has the added positive feature of being in Venus-ruled Bharani which is also currently exalted in Pisces.   By Friday, Venus will square Pluto and combined with Saturn-Uranus opens the door to a possible return down to current support levels of Dow 7900 and SPX 805.   Feburary and March are shaping up quite negatively so the only question is whether the November lows of 7400/750 will hold.  I think they won't.

Mumbai bounced back last week as markets rallied 7% with the Sensex closing Friday at 9424 and the Nifty at 2874. The extent of the upside surprised me, mostly because I did not expect the early week gains on the Mercury Mars conjunction.  As strong as the rally was, I don't think it changes the fundamental direction of the market down.  This week should see averages somewhat lower by Friday although if the early week gains come to pass, then the overall decline could be minimal or even be flat.   Monday and Tuesday will see the now forward moving Mercury in  a helpful aspect with the natal Jupiter in the NSE chart.  This may give some support to prices.  In addition to the difficult transit patterns that will build up by late week, Mercury will be sitting on the 12th house cusp of the Sensex natal chart.   On Friday, the Moon will transit Ardra, a particularly difficult nakshatra.  These are bearish influences that could bring down prices sharply.

Gold extended its recent gains last week as it closed at $928.  While some retracement down did occur early on, prices resumed their upward climb following the Sun-Rahu conjunction.  This week may see a couple of down days as Mars aspects Ketu in the GLD chart, but gold seems likely to continue to rise at least for the duration of the Sun's transit of Capricorn until Feb 12 and perhaps several days beyond.   Gold may only begin to fall significantly in March once the Venus retrograde cycle has started. (Mar 6).  So even if it tops out around $1000 in the next two weeks, the Venus retrograde period will return it back below $800.  




 


Forecast for week of Jan 26 - 30

US stocks took another beating last week as fears about the viability of the banking sector continued to rattle investors.  The feel-good Obama inauguration failed to boost sentiment as the Dow lost over 2% on the week and ended Friday at 8077 with the S&P at 831.   I had thought the Sun-Mercury-Jupiter conjunction might have provided the necessary lift for some kind of a brief rally but in the end Mercury's motion away from the positive influence of Jupiter limited the available optimism. Tuesday's loss coincided with Mercury's conjunction with the Sun, which gives support to the notion that planetary combustion is clearly a malefic influence.

This week looks action-packed, as we have the solar eclipse on Monday and the Mercury-Mars conjunction on Tuesday, along with Venus' ingress into Pisces.   While the eclipse configuration has the imprint of both Jupiter and Saturn, I think the overall effect will be negative and underlines the probability that we are headed lower over the coming weeks.   The early part of the week may see sharp declines with the possibility of some recovery by Friday.

Indian markets were also strongly negative last week with the Nifty falling to 2678 and the Sensex at 8674.  Tuesday and Wednesday saw the markets fall over 6% at the time of the Sun-Mercury conjunction.   That conjunction occurred at 6 Capricorn formed a harmonic aspect with the malefic Mars-Rahu square in the NSE chart and should be seen as a possible signature for the depth of the decline in Mumbai.

With Monday's holiday closing, most of the action this week will occur Tuesday.  The Mercury-Mars conjunction occurs at 11.40  a.m. IST.  While not necessarily negative in itself, the latent Saturn influence on the conjunction has the potential to push markets over the edge.  We could see more significant declines there with only a small chance of recovery later on.  Friday may be the best day as the Moon and Venus conjoin in early Pisces near the 10th house cusp of the NSE chart and near the 4th house cusp in the Nifty chart.  I think most of the movement in the coming weeks will be on the downside.

Crude oil and Gold both rose sharply last week, mostly due to the Sun-Jupiter conjunction.  The Sun received Jupiter's optimism and therefore Gold rose to $895 on Friday.  Oil rose because its dispositor is also the Sun, since Saturn is currently in the sign of Leo.  I think the rally in crude may continue this week although the rise may be more muted.  Gold seems to be at the end of its recent rally and with the Jupiter's influence behind it, the Sun now has to contend with the conjunction with Rahu on Wednesday.  By Friday, I think gold should be down significantly from its highs.


__________________




Market Forecast for week of January 19 -23

Stocks fell another 4% in New York last week a growing number of investors realized that the recession will likely last through all of 2009.   After touching 8000 on Thursday, the Dow rebounded Friday and ended the week at 8281, while the S&P ended at 850.  Both indexes are below their 50 day moving average now as the the market ponders the fork in the road: to reach the technical safety of higher ground or to sink back down to the November lows.  Certainly, the pessimism from the Mercury-Saturn aspect last week had the desired effect as sentiment fell very close to when the aspect came exact.  And it is also possible to see how the late week turn higher reflects the tug of war between Rahu and Jupiter over the affections of Mercury.  As long as retrograde Mercury was closer to the disruptive influence of Rahu, the market sold off.  Once Mercury was closer to benefic Jupiter, the market shook off the blues and pushed higher.

With US markets closed Monday and the Obama inauguration on Tuesday, there will  be compressed time frame for trading this week.  Overall, I think the chances for a big rally are very good as Sun, Mercury and Jupter conjoin in Uttarashada.  This nakshatra is ruled by the Sun, so having that doubly helpful influence on the nakshatra lord should give an extra boost to sentiment.  The Sun-Jupiter conjunction comes exact on Friday and may well mark the approximate end of this mini-rally. In addition, Venus is conjoining Uranus this week, and comes exact on Thursday so that may provide some additional heft to the bullishness.  How high could it go?  Well, I think it's possible the market may soar as high as Obama's rhetoric.  The US has been waiting for a new beginning for a long time, and the incoming Obama administration is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn the page and start anew. Optimism will rule the day and will likely spill over into the market.  I would not be surprised to see the Dow get to 9500 here.  Next week's Saturnized solar eclipse may be the proverbial bucket of cold water on the parade, so investors should enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Indian markets were modestly lower after a volatile week in the wake of the Satyam revelations.  After bouncing off lows of 9000, the Sensex ended Friday's session at 9323, with the Nifty at 2828. The negative action came off more or less according to expectations, as the Mercury-Saturn aspect pushed stocks much lower on Thursday.  I had thought that Wednesday might have been more negative, but perhaps the happy glow from the Moon-Venus aspect was enough to temporarily mask the hardened resignation of Mercury's sad condition. Friday's gain also was a little surprising in light of the twin Mars aspects to the NSE chart.   The transiting Moon's aspect to a fast-strengthening Mercury proved more than enough to counteract the negativity contained in the natal charts.

While the early week may be tentative, I think Mumbai will also move higher this week as the Sun-Jupiter brings its message of optimism and hope back to the market. The Venus-Uranus conjunction will form a nice aspect to the natal Jupiter in the NSE chart so that is additional support the rally hypothesis here.  The Sun-Jupiter conjunction does not form any obvious aspects to this natal chart but that may not matter.  Thursday may be a possible down day as the Moon squares Saturn in the afternoon.   However, even that bearish indicator may be pushed to the side with the presence of Venus in aspect to Saturn.  There is a potential for a big lift here, perhaps to Nifty 3000 and 10,000 on the Sensex.

The rally in stocks this week will probably push crude oil temporarily higher.  The US dollar is likely to take a pounding this week, so that may provide some support for gold.  Paradoxically, gold seems prone to a steep decline here as the Sun-Jupiter conjunction falls in a delicate area of the GLD chart.   This is likely to take hold towards the end of the week or perhaps early next week.
 

_________________

 



Market Forecast for week of January 12 - 16


Markets headed south last week with the approach of Mercury to Rahu and the impending Mercury retrograde cycle as the Dow ended Friday at 8599 and the SPX at 890.   The bearish sentiment was punctuated by a difficult Mercury-Saturn aspect that was in hindsight the more immediate cause of Wednesday's substantial decline.  The general picture of a shift to pessimism was largely in keeping with our expectations laid out last week. 

With Mercury turning retrograde this weekend, we are entering a zone of transitional energies where Mercury, the planet of trading, is slowing separating from the disruptive influence of Rahu and moving towards the warmer embrace of Jupiter's optimism.  This shift will take time, and we may see prices fall further this week before they move up again and stage some kind of rally.   Look for some kind of bounce up Monday or Tuesday, after which the market will sell off as Mercury again aspects Saturn and move back down towards 8400/870.  The late week could go either way, but by Friday we may finally see Jupiter's favourable influence become manifest.  The subsequent rally next week may be short-lived but it could be substantial and return the market to its November highs.  A sharp turn downwards is likely in the last week for a variety of astrological reasons, not the least of which is a solar eclipse on January 26.  This eclipse features several strong aspects, including a close Jupiter conjunction to the Sun and Moon.  Jupiter's influence is offset by two important factors: 1) a close Saturn aspect to the eclipse point and 2)  a powerful alignment of Venus, Saturn and Uranus straddling the MC-IC. While different interpretations of this configuration are possible, I think the negative outweighs the positive and the Jupiter influence may only manifest as a magnification of the bearish mood.

Mumbai also had a down week as markets sold off sharply in the wake of the Satyam debacle on Wednesday.  The Sensex closed Friday at 9406 and the Nifty at 2873, as the indices once again failed to break through their key resistance levels (Nifty 3150). The Mercury-Saturn aspect was mostly responsible for a sharp sell off, which activated the natal Saturn in the NSE chart.  Overall, markets moved according to expectation, although the downside was somewhat greater than anticipated. Look for the market to move lower this week, after a gain early on, perhaps on Tuesday.  Indian markets may not see the rally begin until next week but it should be fairly strong and push the Nifty above 3000.   It's possible we could see 3100 again by the 23rd but this seems like a bit of a stretch.  The eclipse of January 26 will likely decisively break the bullish mood.  The eclipse point falls at 12 Capricorn and this will once again activate the NSE Saturn at 12 Aquarius. Given transiting Saturn's placement in aspect to this degree, it seems likely that Indian markets will head down substantially in the weeks following the eclipse.  A retest of the October lows of Nifty 2525 seems the most likely scenario.

The US dollar gained some ground last week against most currencies as crude oil sold off hard to $41 and gold slipped back to $855. This week looks more equivocal for the dollar and commodities without a strong trend although I would think the dollar remains weakly bullish which means that commodities will trend somewhat lower.
 

 

__________________


 


Market Forecast -- week of January 5 - 9

US markets staged an impressive rally last week as the Dow powered above the 9000 mark by Friday and finished at 9034 and the S&P at 931.  While I had wondered if the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction might provide enough of a midweek lift for 8800, Friday's rally was surprising. In retrospect, there some good rationale for the rise given the proximity of the aspect from transiting Jupiter to the natal Sun in the NYSE chart. This aspect comes exact Monday so it's possible there may be a little more optimism left to be expressed although I think it is not at all clear with the difficult Mars-Saturn aspect on Monday.  As the Jupiter aspect runs out of juice, we will see more profit taking, with Thursday and Friday perhaps being more clearly negative.   Overall, I think the mood will shift to bearish this week, particularly with the approach of the Mercury retrograde station on Saturday the 10th.  This station will bring volatility and uncertainty in the markets due to the close conjunction with unpredictable Rahu (North Lunar Node). 

I had thought we'd have a clearer low here below Dow 8400 but now I'm not so sure.  January's rally may be a very choppy affair with relatively little upside.  10,000 is only a possibility here, with 9600 a more likely target.  The period immediately following the inauguration on the 20th may be the high as Sun conjoins Jupiter.  Look for markets to sink lower in the last week of January as the Mercury retrograde cycle comes to a very bearish end as Mercury will conjoin malefic Mars at that time.  February and March now look like the time when the market will finally go below Dow 8000 before starting a stronger rally for the summer.

Indian markets also rose strongly last week as Indo-Pak tensions eased and the RBI cut interest rates.  The Nifty gained 6% to 3046 and the Sensex closed Friday at 9958.  Again, the upside from the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction wasn't entirely unexpected but I wished I had surrendered a bit more to the logic of it in last week's forecast. This week may move the Nifty back below 3000, as Monday may be negative with the Sun-Ketu aspect in the NSE chart.    Some gains are possible by midweek but with the holiday closing Thursday, Friday may see some major selling pressure which pushes markets lower.  It seems that my previous forecast of 2700 on the Nifty may not become a reality this month and may only come to pass in February and March when markets will begin a longer trend down.  The upside in January is likely to be quite limited, and it's possible that Nifty 3150 may remain a significant resistance level.  Nifty 3500 seems a little too ambitious.   Overall, January looks very changeable with short rallies followed by quick sell offs.



 

____________________




Market Forecast -- week of December 29 - January 2

Stocks in New York declined 2% last week as the tense Saturn-Neptune aspect continued to lurk in the background.  The indexes stubbornly stayed above key support levels as the Dow closed Friday at 8515 and the S&P at 872.  The immediate source of the negativity seemed to come from the Mars-Jupiter aspect as investors remained cautious before Christmas. The New Moon of December 27th suggests a mixed picture for January as malefic Mars-Pluto rises but Venus and Neptune are in exact conjunction.  This is perhaps more evidence that the month to come may feature both a significant decline and a substantial rally.  The optimism and idealism reflected in the Venus-Neptune conjunction is well expressed in the Obama inauguration on January 20.  This will likely coincide will some kind of rise in the markets.

This week Saturn makes its retrograde station on Wednesday at 27 degrees of Leo.   By itself this may not be a bearish influence, but given the Neptune aspect, it takes on a much larger importance.   It is one of the reasons that we're likely to see more downward pressure on the market over the next week or two.  On Wednesday, there is a conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter which may give some boost to the market, although it is more likely to occur before the aspect becomes exact.

Stocks in Mumbai were in sharp retreat last week as the major indexes fell 7% with the Nifty settling at 2857 and the Sensex at 9328.  Profit taking from the December rally and increased nervousness of the the tensions between India and Pakistan forced stocks lower.  The near term outlook remains negative as Wednesday's Saturn retrograde station will closely aspect the natal Jupiter in the NSE horoscope.  The New Moon at 12 Sagittarius is in close aspect with natal Saturn which is another bearish indicator for the Indian markets in the coming weeks.

 



 

Posted by Christopher Kevill 12/28/2008 10:27:00 PM EST
 

_____________________________

 



Market Forecast -- week of December 22 - 26

Our bearish forecast notwithstanding, US stocks were mostly unchanged last week as the Dow closed Friday at 8579 and the S&P at 887.  I had thought we would see more downside with the alignment of malefic planets, particularly the Mars-Saturn aspect.  Monday saw stocks fall but they did not come close to even the 8400 support level.  Tuesday's rally was not unexpected either, as Venus conjoined Rahu.  But the late week decline was also a rather tepid affair as the market remains stuck in a fairly narrow trading range between 8500-9000. 

It's important to note that the negative energy of the aspect between slow moving Saturn and Neptune has not disappeared.  It is likely to be manifest sometime soon and is awaiting the proper planetary trigger.  I mistakenly though the Sun-Mars would be sufficient, but as always astrology, the science that is not one, is rarely as straightforward as it seems.  This week doesn't appear to have anything that will break us out of this trading range, although a rally is possible midweek on the Mercury-Venus aspect.  Friday may be a harbinger of steeper declines to come, however, with the approach of the Mars-Pluto conjunction.  Given the violent potential contained within these planets, it is possible this may be related to a geopolitical event that shakes market confidence.   In any event, I think we will likely see the low around the first week of January 2009.

Stocks in Mumbai continued their winning ways last week as the major indices rose 5%.  The Nifty closed at 3077 and the Sensex at 10,099.  The late week Mars transit to the NSE ascendant did not bring declines but rather actually saw some gains.  I'm a little puzzled by this market strength but remained convinced that this is another bear market rally that cannot be trusted to go much higher.  Nifty 3150 seems like a solid resistance level.

While some gains are possible Tuesday or Wednesday, Indian stocks are likely to finish near or slightly below current levels this week.  The Mars-Pluto conjunction early next week has the added feature of exactly aspecting the natal Mars in the Indian independence horoscope.    This is a combination of planetary energies that speaks to sudden or even violent actions that may fall outside of the financial arena.    The natal Mars in the India chart is in the 2nd house of finances however, so the most likely expression of this energy is simply more financial turbulence.  Nonetheless, we should be open to all possibilities.  

I think the US dollar will recover further in the coming weeks, with corresponding losses in gold. 

Posted by Christopher Kevill at 12/21/2008 12:27:00 PM EST

_____________________
 



Market Forecast -- week of December 15 - 19


US stocks ended mostly unchanged on the week as the Dow closed Friday at 8629 and the S&P at 879.  The forecast early week rise to 9000 came off more or less as expected, but the decline afterwards was fairly modest.  While Friday's open took the Dow down towards 8400, the market rallied through the rest of the day, despite the malefic Full Moon configuration and the failure of the auto bailout plan in the Senate.  As Mars perfects its square to Saturn on Monday, it's hard to imagine the market going much higher this week. Declines would seem to be more in keeping with the planetary energy.  A midweek rise is more likely given the Venus-Rahu conjunction on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Rahu symbolizes acquisitiveness and compulsive behaviour and Venus is connected with money so we may see a strong up day.  Mercury is in aspect with Rahu later in the week, so that could give some investors second thoughts and take the market down again. 

Indian stocks rose 7% last week on hopes that China's stimulus package would help avoid the worst of the slowdown.  The Nifty closed Friday at 2921 and the Sensex at 9690.  While the early week rise was anticipated, the absence of a late week pullback was something of a disappointment.  I think Mumbai will likely catch up on the downside this week as transiting Mars conjoins the ascendant in the NSE chart.   At least one strong up day is likely, however, so the overall losses may be tempered somewhat.  I think Indian markets are vulnerable to sell offs over the next two weeks as transiting Saturn is coming to its retrograde station on 31 December exactly conjunct the natal Moon in the 8th house in the Sensex chart.  This doesn't mean the market will be completely negative until that time, but it will probably mean that any rallies will not get far as selling pressure will never be far away.

The US dollar sank a little further last week as the Euro and Gold moved higher.  I think the US dollar will  likely move higher this week, and likely continue to be strong through to the end of the month.

Posted Christopher Kevill at 12/14/2008 12:24:00 PM EST


_________________

 




Market Forecast -- week of December 8 - 12

US Stocks fell 2% last week on the heels of Monday's triple conjunction of Moon-Venus-Jupiter.  The Dow closed at 8635 while the S&P ended Friday at 876. While I had expected more upside near the time of conjunction, it was a reminder that the energy contained in most aspects lies at the 'front end' when the planets are applying and once they come exact the energy dissipates very quickly. As it turned out the Venus-Jupiter conjunction perfected in the overnight hours Monday (EST) and not even the approach of the Moon midday was enough to revive positive sentiment.  Overseas markets started to fall very close to the time of the Venus-Jupiter conjunction.  Once the Moon had perfected its aspect to both Venus and Jupiter, the market decline accelerated. 


I think markets are headed into a minefield this week with the approaching Sun-Mars-Saturn-Neptune alignment.  While some early week gains are possible on the sidereal ingresses of Mercury and Jupiter into Sagittarius and Capricorn respectively, markets will likely move significantly lower from these levels. One complicating factor is that the Sun will not be in exact alignment with Saturn until Saturday, which may lessen the level of negative energy on Friday.  Friday still looks very negative as does next Monday when Mars will be in aspect to Saturn.  It seems likely that we will see the Dow fall below 8000 here.

Indian markets also declined last week as the indices lost 1% with the Sensex closing at 8965 and the Nifty at 2714.  Mercury conjoins the ascendant of the NSE chart on Monday so that should ensure a nice gain then.  With Tuesday's holiday closing, it's harder to see much upside for the rest of the week.  Transiting Rahu is in tense aspect with the natal Sun-Venus conjunction in the NSE chart so that bodes very poorly for Indian markets over the coming two weeks.  A retest of the late October lows is likely. 

This is shaping up a potentially tumultuous week in the global financial system as I expect the US dollar to spike on its safe haven status while gold and oil will continue to fall.  But there's a good chance that there will be some kind of lasting bottom formed in the coming days that will be the launching point for a rally in early 2009.

Posted by Christopher Kevill at 12/07/2008 12:45:00 PM EST


________________

.



Market Forecast for week of December 1 - 5

Stocks in New York rallied over 10% last week amidst a growing sense that a solid bottom was reached the week previous at 7400.  The Dow ended the holiday-shortened week at 8829 while the S&P closed at 896.  The rally was largely expected although I had thought we might see more declines later in the week.  As it happened, the potential negativity contained within the Moon's transit of Scorpio was offset by the approaching conjunction of benefics Venus and Jupiter.

Monday's triple conjunction of Moon-Venus-Jupiter may coincide with a big rise as the rally enters a more difficult phase.  The Sun and Mars will conjoin at 20 degrees of Scorpio on Friday and this may also shift sentiment away from rehabilitated optimism to a more jittery and alarmist orientation.  The coming Saturn-Neptune aspect will likely bring back a significant amount of fear and pessimism to the market.  In addition, the New Moon of November 27 was quite afflicted and also suggests that December will not be kind to equities.   Although the Venus-Jupiter conjunction is fairly close in that chart, Mercury is in a tighter conjunction with Mars and both are aspected by unstable Ketu.  This suggests that prices will be volatile through December with sudden ups and downs.  To make matters worse, the New Moon in New York features Neptune rising with Saturn in the 8th house of obstacles.  This is additional evidence that the markets will see a significant move down this month, perhaps revisiting Dow 7400 or even going below it.

Indian markets made more modest gains last week as the terror attacks in Mumbai shut markets on Thursday.  While I had expected higher prices in the early going, stocks ended the week fairly close to forecast levels.  The Nifty ended Friday's session at 2755 while the Sensex closed at 9092.  The rally will likely be extended this week as the Venus-Jupiter conjunction occurs almost exactly on the natal Uranus of the NSE chart in the 2nd house of wealth. A very rapid rise is possible so Nifty 3000 seems quite doable here. The rally is unlikely to last very long, however, Saturn is moving into a particularly dominant position in the NSE chart.  As already noted, the New Moon of November 27 is not a good chart.  Moreover, in Mumbai, the New Moon occurred with malefic and unpredictable Ketu rising.   While Ketu can simply mean quick and sudden actions, it is also very much an anti-materialist energy that is often at odds with higher stock prices.  With Mercury conjunct Mars in this chart, it presents a fairly bleak picture for stocks in December.  The only question is how low will they go.  I think a retest of Nifty 2525 is inevitable, and stocks will likely trade well below that level for a time.


Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/30/2008 05:13:00 PM EST




Market Forecast for week of November 24 - 28

Stocks markets worldwide continued their downward spiral last week amidst the growing sense that the recession will be a long and painful one. Despite Friday's impressive rally on the news of Timothy Geithner's appointment as Obama's Treasury Secretary, the Dow was off 5% for the week and closed at 8046 while the S&P stood at 800.  On Thursday, the Dow retested its 2002 lows of 7400 while the S&P revisited lows set back in 1996.  While I had expected a possible retest, I thought the markets might be content with Dow 8000 and then bounce back from there.  I also mistakenly thought the low for the week would occur earlier, in advance of the perfecting of the Jupiter-Saturn aspect. As it turned out it was only the day the aspect perfected, Friday, that saw the market turnaround. 

This market is clearly on its last legs of this phase of the bear market.  With the passing of the Jupiter-Saturn aspect, the next major aspect is Saturn-Neptune.  This is a more clearly malefic influence and will likely be felt with full force in December when those two planets are in their closest harmonic resonance.   Despite the gloom that hangs over the market, however, there may well be enough time left for some modest gains over the next week or two, particularly in light of approach of the triple conjunction of benefics Moon, Venus and Jupiter on December 1.   Nonetheless, the market is likely to be extremely volatile during this period so any gains are unlikely to last long and may be confined to intraday highs as skittishness will intensify as time goes on.  It's possible the Dow could go to 9000 at some point here, but it's not anything one should put a large stake in.  The Sun and Mercury conjoin on Tuesday so this may well have a hand in some optimistic trading patterns in the early part of  the week. 

Markets in Mumbai followed the rest of the world last week as Dalal Street saw losses of 6%.  Thursday saw a retest of October's closing lows (2525/7700) but Friday's rally saved the day as the Nifty closed at 2693 and the Sensex at 8915.  As the world slips deeper into recession, there will be no escape for Indian markets from December's decline.  In the meantime some modest gains are possible this week but they will be fleeting.  Even with the helpful Sun-Mercury conjunction on Tuesday, the Moon's transit of Scorpio, its sign of debilitation, late in the week may bring significant losses.  High volatility in the next two weeks impose limits on any gains.  From a longer term perspective, I am increasingly pessimistic about a market recovery in 2009.  Rallies will occur and they may have considerable force, but they are very unlikely to return the market to levels seen in the first half of 2008.  This is not a good time to own stocks for the long haul as it may be years before they return to 2008 levels.

With the ongoing turbulence last week, crude oil sold off sharply and even traded below $50.  While some bounce back is possible this week, crude is headed lower into December, probably below $40.  Gold rallied nicely last week to $800 and things continue to look quite positive for gold as the Sun transits Anuradha this week and into the early part of next week.  I expect it to climb higher.  The US dollar once again was the beneficiary of fear in the market as it rose against most currencies.  The Euro managed to hold its own at 1.26, however, and it may gain a cent or two here before heading down sharply in December.  The Rupee lost ground last week closing at 49.9 and is going to be on shaky ground for the next month or so and may trade in the 52 range.

 


Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/23/2008 03:01:00 PM EST
 

___________________

 



Weekly Forecast -- week of November 17 - 21

Stocks slumped 5% worldwide last week on continuing fears that the recession may be deeper than first thought. Despite an impressive rally Thursday in New York following an apparent retest of Dow 8000, the market slipped back Friday as the Dow closed at 8497 and the SPX at 873.  I had expected more of rally last week on the basis of the favourable Jupiter-Uranus aspect but it seems that the hangover effects of the preceding week's Saturn-Uranus opposition still carried the day.

I think markets are likely to be shaky in the early part of the week on the heels of Saturn's aspect to Mercury on Monday.  I would not be surprised to see yet another retest of Dow 8000 then.  Stocks are likely to improve significantly as the week progresses as Mercury joins the Sun and Mars in Scorpio.  Venus' ingress into Purvashada will also be supportive of sentiment as Jupiter's aspect to Saturn perfects on Friday.  Depending on how low we go early on, we could end the week at or above current levels. 

In Mumbai, markets also succumbed to pessimism as the major indices failed to hold onto early gains that put them over key psychological levels of 10,000 on the Sensex and 3000 on the Nifty.  The Sensex closed Friday at 9385 and the Nifty at 2810.  Monday should be quite negative but look for a reversal Tuesday or Wednesday as transiting Mercury conjoins the natal Jupiter in the NSE chart.  Friday looks quite favourable as the Moon transits Purva Phalguni while its lord Venus lords over Purvashada.  Barring some catastrophic meltdown in the early part of the week, Indian markets should finish higher than current levels.

The Euro slipped back to 1.26 last week the bearishness in stocks pushed investors to once again seek safe haven in the US dollar.  I think there could be more weakness at the start of the week, perhaps under 1.25, but look for the Euro to recover by week's end as Venus conjoins the natal Sun in the Euro chart. We should see a similar pattern in the Rupee which also lost ground last week and closed at 48.8.  Early trading may push it above 50 but looks for strengthening by Friday at least back to current levels and then some. 

Crude oil fell sharply last week and opens Monday at $57.  With Sun and Mercury transiting the 6th house of the Futures chart, more declines are likely early in the week, and we will likely see $55 easily broken.  Some bounce is likely by Friday so we return to current levels or slightly above.  Crude prices will likely continue to weaken through December, however, as transiting Ketu aspects natal Jupiter

Gold made some modest gains to $742 last week, just as the Sun was leaving Libra, its sign of debilitation.  I think gold is likely to move higher this week as the Sun is joined by Mercury in Scorpio after midweek. 


Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/16/2008 04:45:00 PM EST


For a more detailed forecast, become a subscriber to the MVA Investor Newsletter


__________________




Weekly Forecast -- week of November 10 - 14

US stocks fell 4% last week on a post-election sell off as the Dow closed at 8943 and the SPX at 930.  I had expected a negative week on the basis of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, but was somewhat disappointed that the decline wasn't bigger.  In retrospect, the market saw gains when the Venus-Saturn-Uranus alignment was most exact, so that it another reminder that the exactitude of transit aspects should not be given greater importance over other factors.  One could make a better case for the triggering effects of Mercury moving into Rahu-ruled Swati on Wednesday as the explanation for the decline.

This week will see Jupiter (expansion) move into closer harmonic alignment with both Saturn (restriction) and Uranus (sudden energy).  While Jupiter with Uranus often connotes sharp rises, Saturn's role in this multi-planet alignment may dampen market enthusiasm.  We may also see subtle sentiment shifts in some sectors as both Venus and Mars have just changed signs.  Venus has moved into Sagittarius to join Jupiter and this may assist the consumer sector in a general way.  Mars has now entered Scorpio, a sign it rules, and should therefore be regarded as a stronger planet.  Of course, strength alone is neither positive or negative for the market, but can indicate that Mars has a greater say in market direction.  By virtue of entering Scorpio, Mars has now moved into a tense alignment with Saturn and Uranus which now occupy signs 4 signs away.  This aspect is still far from being exact so it would be mistaken to ascribe too much influence to it.  As the aspect becomes more exact, we can expect the negative side of Mars to be expressed through declines.  For the moment, though, it seems relatively unafflicted, so it is unlikely to push prices down.  Another potentially significant aspect this week is the conjunction of Venus and Pluto that occurs on Wednesday.  Venus can be seen to represent money in this case, while Pluto symbolizes power and control.  On the face of it, this may be a bullish influence for the market.  However, sudden falls following the conjunction are common, and indeed one cannot assume that they will correspond exactly to the moment of conjunction itself.

Against my expectations, Indian stocks rose last week as the Sensex closed at 9964 and the Nifty at 2973.  While prices did fall towards the end of the week, I was surprised by the extent of early week rise.   Market movements reflected the NSE horoscope quite well as markets fell Wednesday and Thursday as transiting Sun conjoined the natal Rahu.  While I did not foresee Friday's rise, it was also plausibly indicated through transiting Venus conjoining the NSE ascendant.  My error was in ascribing too much influence to the simultaneous transit of Mars to the 12th house cusp of this chart.  With transiting Ketu moving away from the natal Mars, it is not unreasonable to believe that the worst losses of the market are now behind us in the short term.  This aspect was exactly conjunct in October when the losses were at their steepest.  Transiting Sun comes to the natal Jupiter this week so some gains seem likely, although perhaps they will be subject to rapid profit taking as Mercury will conjoin malefic Rahu late in the week.

Most global currencies rallied against the US dollar last week as the banking situation normalized and confidence returned.  The Euro even traded above 1.30 earlier in the week and closed Friday's session at 1.27.  This was much stronger than I had expected.  It seems that the US dollar rally may be over for the short term.  I think more gains are possible this week as the Venus-Pluto conjunction may provide a boost for an acquisitiveness thus boosting demand in local currencies. The Rupee is also likely to benefit from this improvement in sentiment.

Crude oil fell back to $61 last week as transiting Mars afflicted the ascendant in the Futures chart.  As Mars moves away from this sensitive point, we can expect crude to rise, perhaps sharply.  One possible unknown is that the Venus-Pluto conjunction will occur very close to the natal Ketu-Neptune in the Futures chart. It is possible that this will reflect a negative sentiment towards crude, but Ketu is a very changeable planet and it can be converted, as it were, from a malefic to a benefic if the benefic influences on it predominate.

Gold rose modestly last week as it closed at $738.  Part of the explanation for the gain lay in the aspect between the transiting Sun and the natal Jupiter in the Futures chart.  While this only accounted for perhaps two days' influence, it may have been enough to temporarily offset the longer term background influence of transiting Ketu on the natal Moon.  Although Ketu remains a negative influence on Gold now, it is possible we may again see a temporary rise this week as transiting Mercury now falls under the benefic influence of the natal Jupiter.   Perhaps more than usual, gold prices will reflect a struggle between Ketu (bearish) and Mercury (bullish).

For a more detailed forecast, please consult the MVA Investor Newsletter, now available by subscription only.





Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/09/2008 03:18:00 PM EST

___________
 





Weekly Forecast -- week of November 3 - 7


Stocks rose over 10% last week on the belief that the worst of the financial crisis has passed.  In advance of the US election on Tuesday, the Dow opens trading this week at 9325 while the S&P stands at 968.  While I had foreseen some midweek gains last week, I missed the strength of this rally and assumed an earlier beginning to the negative sentiment that will result from the Saturn-Uranus aspect.   I grossly underestimated the positive effect of Venus entering Jyestha on the 27th while its lord Mercury was very strong.  This resulted in a growth in investor confidence and pushed prices higher, albeit on fairly modest volume.

As I have indicated previously, the markets this week will be heavily influenced by the malefic t-square involving Venus, Saturn and Uranus.  The Saturn-Uranus aspect is exact on Tuesday, while Venus forms tense squares with both of these slow moving malefics on Monday.  It's quite a negative picture, and with the added feature of a nasty and close US election, there is a real possibility for some unexpected developments that could rattle markets.  We also have Mercury in Libra now which therefore draws more negative Saturn energy from its 3rd house aspect to Libra. Moreover, Mercury will move into malefic Swati that is ruled by Rahu on Tuesday evening, just as the polls close.  This suggests that the election may be a significant factor in the market. 

Overall, this week looks very negative, and the only real question is how low it will go and when that low will be reached.  While I think there is a genuine risk of a major 10-15% sell off like we saw in early October, there is a good chance the decline will be more modest.  I think we might see the interim low towards the end of the week, but next week also looks fairly negative, especially towards Friday the 14th. A retest of 7773 is still very much in the cards here, although I am not at all certain we will get there.   It may be more prudent to expect 8100-8500 this week, but much depends on how bad Monday and Tuesday are.  If they are strongly negative and we get down to about 8500 by Tuesday, then a retest becomes more likely in the very near term.   A retest also becomes more of a probable eventuality if something unexpected occurs with the election.   In any event, this may be a good week to contemplate covering outstanding short positions.  Volatility will likely spike once again as a result of the blending of Saturn and Uranus' contradictory planetary energies.

One reason why I am not certain will retest the Oct 10 lows is that some new research I've done suggests that we are more likely to see lower lows in mid-December.   In fact, those are more likely to test the 2002-2003 lows of 7100 than anything we will see this week or next. Investors thinking of buying into the market for a longer duration would be well advised to wait until December.

Indian stocks put up some impressive gains as the indices rose 12%.  The Sensex opens Monday at 9788 while the Nifty sits at 2885. Notwithstanding my mistaken call for last week, I am maintaining a very bearish outlook for Mumbai this week.  Look for substantial losses this week with the week's lows occurring on Thursday or Friday.  Transiting Sun will conjoin the NSE Rahu and come under the malefic aspect of the natal Mars on Friday while transiting Mars sits in the 12th house of loss.  This is a very bearish configuration that could push prices down at least 10% for the week.  There is also a chance we will retest the Oct 27 lows, although I admit I am not certain of this, as next week looks sufficiently negative that it may result in still lower levels. 

As stocks advanced last week, so did most currencies against the US dollar.  The Euro rose sharply and opens the week above 1.27.  With the fall in stocks this week, we can expect to see most of last week's gains disappear.  Transiting Mars will aspect the natal Ketu in the Euro chart.  As a possible trigger, the transiting Moon will conjoin that natal Ketu on Thursday. This may well mark the largest decline on the week.  I expect a low around 1.22-1.25, if not below 1.20 intraday. Other currencies like the Rupee will likely also fall in the coming week, perhaps back to the 50-51 level.  Even if the US dollar rises significantly over the next two weeks, I think we won't see the high in the dollar until December. 

Crude oil rebounded last week on improved economic sentiment and opens the week at $67.  Look for a sell off early in the week as the Venus-Saturn-Uranus configuration activates the angles in the Futures chart.  We may well be under $60 by Wednesday.   I would not be surprised to see $55 this week or next.

Gold enjoyed a brief rally midweek but fell late sharply on Friday and opens Monday at $718.  My bearish outlook for gold remains is unchanged as transiting Sun is still debilitated in Libra.  What's worse this week is that it will come closer to the negative influence of Saturn towards the end of the week.  I think we will see gold below $700 this week, perhaps well below.  There is a lot of technical support at $650 so that is an obvious price target to watch for in the coming days.  It may well get there over the next two weeks, but it is not certain.  A more reliable low in gold will occur in December.

 



Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/2/2008 05:24:00 PM EST


__________________


Weekly Forecast -- week of Oct 27 - 31

Global stock markets continued their downward spiral last week as investors weighed the implications of a prolonged worldwide recession.  US stocks lost 6% as the Dow closed Friday at 8378 while the SPX stood at 876.  This was largely in keeping with last week's mostly bearish forecast as the market prepared itself for a retest of the Oct 10 lows this week with Friday's harried decline.

This week I think it is certain we will see a retest of the recent lows and in all likelihood the 2003 lows also.  This may occur as soon as Monday the 27th as the Moon conjoins Mercury in a negative alignment with both malefics, Mars and Saturn.  Indeed, Monday looks like the most negative day this week so it is likely we will see a close below 8000 on the Dow and 840 on the SPX.  I would not be surprised to see 7500 on an intraday basis. Tuesday will probably begin negatively but there is a good chance for a rally in the afternoon in advance of the Sun-Moon conjunction later in the day.  The market may rally on Wednesday but the end of the week looks quite unstable and probably negative as Mars comes under the exact aspect of Saturn.  

In terms of when the interim low will be reached, I'm still not certain if it will occur this week or next week.  While this week's planets look worse than next week's, it is possible that this reflects a greater percentage decline rather than the bottom of the market.  Monday will probably see the larger loss and it may well prove to be the interim low, but that may also occur Friday the 31st or even sometime next week, albeit will less dramatic single day drops.   More cautious investors would do well to consider covering some short positions Monday just in case Friday does not quite return to Monday's levels.  And with some kind of modest rally likely in November, it may be worthwhile to take some speculative long positions during the down days this week and next.

Indian markets were savaged last week after the RBI left rates unchanged Friday.  The Nifty lost 12% in a single day and closed at 2584 while the Sensex ended Friday's bloodbath at an unbelievable 8701.  My forecast had been fairly bearish about last week and correctly noted that Friday (and this Monday) would be the worst day(s).  I also wondered aloud if 2000 on the Nifty was a possibility now.  What seemed unrealistically gloomy last week, now seems much more plausible.  This is a level with some technical support dating back to 2005 and given the probable volatility over the next two weeks seems more reachable.  That said, I think that the greater portion of the declines have already taken place with the Mars conjunction to the BSE Rahu.  Even with the likelihood of a decent November rally, investors should be cautious as December looks quite negative again.  If the Nifty manages to stay above 2000 here, say, with lows in the 2200-2400 range, it may ultimately test that support level in December.  With a shortened trading week for the Diwali holiday, look for another big down day Monday with a gain Wednesday, followed by another down day Friday.

With the ongoing financial turmoil creating high levels of fear, the US dollar has taken flight.  As predicted, the Euro fell below 1.30 last week and opens Monday at 1.2624.  With the Moon-Mercury conjunction occuring right on top of the natal Euro Mars on Monday, look for another huge sell off, perhaps as low as 1.20 by Tuesday morning.  Friday may see the Euro fall below 1.20, perhaps decisively.   Even with a rally later in November, the US dollar will likely rally again against the Euro and most other currencies in December with the greenback hitting a high around December 12.  The trend will likely reverse after that.  In all likelihood, the above pattern will apply to the Indian Rupee also with further declines in the next two weeks of 5-10%. 

Crude oil also plunged last week amidst fears of economic slowdown and the US dollar appreciation and closed at $64.  This conformed well with last week's forecast for crude below $70.  $60 seems inevitable this week as the Futures chart is still heavily afflicted.  Transiting Sun conjoins Saturn early in the week while transiting Mercury opposes Mars at the end of the week making for very bearish bookends.  Look for an interim low in crude next week somewhere in the $50-55 range.

Gold also experienced sharp declines last week on the US dollar rally and closed Friday at $730.  This was in keeping with our expectations that gold is headed to the $650 support level by December, perhaps sooner.  Look for gold to plunge Monday as transiting Mercury is in tense aspect with the Futures natal Saturn.  I would not be surprised to see it fall below $700 then, or perhaps later in the week.   With transiting Ketu conjoining the natal Moon in this chart, look for gold to fall further in the next two weeks.  The retest of these early November lows (perhaps around $650) will occur in mid-December.





Posted by Christopher Kevill at 10/26/2008 01:31:00 PM EDT

______________



Weekly Forecast -- week of October 20 - 24


US markets rebounded somewhat last week but remain highly volatile amidst continuing fears of a deep recession and global banking uncertainty.  The Dow finished Friday's session 5% higher on the week and opens Monday at 8852  while the SPX sits at 940.  While I had not expected the extent of last week's bounce, it's clear that the markets are indeed trying to form a bottom at this point and that some retest of the Oct 10 lows at 8000/840 is imminent. 

This week looks mixed again although I think Monday and Tuesday looks more negative.  It's even conceivable we could see a retest of those lows then, although I'm not sure there's enough malefic energy available to move the markets down another 10% in such a short time.  Monday starts with the Moon aspecting Jupiter, a normally helpful influence.  But with Jupiter is close aspect to Saturn and Rahu, I think Jupiter's impact here will only amplify the fear of investors and push the market down.  Some up days are likely midweek, as the Moon transits Cancer Tuesday and Wednesday where it may alleviate anxiety.  Some key indicators turn more clearly negative by week's end, however, as Mercury moves into bad aspect to Mars once again.  If the retest does not occur this week, then a more probable date for it would be next Monday Oct 27, when many of the malefic aspects line up more exactly.  Mercury will be quite close to Mars' influence, while Mars aspects malefic Rahu.  I think we will see a close decisively below 8000 by then, perhaps as low as 7500.

It's possible that we will see some kind of meaningful bottom as soon as next week, so investors who are short may consider closing out some of those positions then.  I still think we will see more down days than up days until at least the first week of November, so lower prices are still very possible after Oct 27.  The date of the US election stands out as another possible lower low below 7500, as Saturn exactly opposes Uranus while Mars simultaneously squares Neptune.  This configuration may represent an exogenous political event that could affect the markets very negatively. 

Indian markets lost more ground last week as the Sensex closed below 10,000 for the first time in two years.  The Sensex opens trading Monday at 9975 while the Nifty stands at 3074.  While I had predicted a down week, I erroneously reversed the intraweek trend so that the positive days were actually in the early part of the week.  This week looks quite uninspired although overall I think losses may not be as severe.  Transiting Mars is approaching an aspect to the already afflicted natal Mars and the natal Rahu in the BSE chart so it's really only a matter of time when this explosively negative aspect manifests.  My guess is that the worst of it will be Friday and then again next Monday Oct 27.  The downside potential from this aspect is very large and I think we will see another big drop over the next two weeks, certainly well below 3000 on the Nifty.   There's a lot of technical support at 2000 but that seems too large a drop to consider seriously.  In the meantime, the start of the week looks negative as the Nifty may dip below 3000 with some rebound rallies possible into Wednesday or Thursday.

With stock markets bouncing back last week, the Euro managed to close the week mostly unchanged at 1.34, as late week pessimism erased the early week gains.  With stocks preparing to fall again this week and next, I would look for the Euro to easily break below 1.30.   We could see a big drop of 2 cents or more early in the week as the transiting Sun opposes the natal Saturn in the Euro chart.  Friday and next Monday also look very bearish and likely reflects a further gain in the US dollar as a safe haven amidst volatile stock markets.

As predicted, crude oil traded below $70 last week although it rallied slightly on Friday to close at $72.  I think we are likely to see more trading below $70 this week although there will still be some strength in the prices.  Sentiment will turn very bearish by the end of the week, however, as transiting Mars opposes the natal Venus and the Sun conjoins natal Saturn in the Futures chart.  In all likelihood, crude will be below $65 by next week, perhaps as low as $60.

Gold prices collapsed further last week as bullion closed at $788.  While I had expected to see prices below $800 by November, this early extreme bearishness was a little unexpected.   Any rallies will be very short lived this week as the major move down in gold will continue for the foreseeable future. Tuesday and Wednesday look best for gold this week as transiting Mercury conjoins the natal Jupiter in the GLD chart.






Posted by Christopher Kevill at 10/19/2008 07:26:00 PM EDT

_____________

 

Weekly Forecast -- October 13 -17



Global stock markets crashed this week on fears the ongoing financial crisis will lead to a deep and prolonged recession. Most bourses lost between 15-20% of their value as the Dow finished at levels last seen in 2003. At the end of Friday's session, the Dow stood at 8451 while the S&P closed at 899. The New York indices bounced off key support levels (8000/840) during Friday's trading and thus prevented a full-blown market panic. While there was no single day decline that warranted the term "crash", it's clear that these markets capitulated this week. This confirms my prediction over the past weeks and months that early October would see a crash or crash-like event. Specifically, as far back as early September, I had isolated October 9-10 as the most likely dates for the most serious decline. Thursday October 9th saw the biggest single day drop in this current slide as American markets fell over 7%. On the 9th, Saturn's exact tense aspect with Rahu was punctuated by close aspects of the Sun and Moon and provided the downside energy for the markets to sell off hard.

Markets will now attempt to form some kind of bottom over the coming weeks through a process of rally, failed rally, and retesting of the the Oct 10 intraday lows.  This week looks mixed at best as the early part of the week may see more downside probing of 8000/840. Although the aspect is now separating, Saturn is still quite close to Rahu's influence so some negative hangover effects may be present Monday and Tuesday. I would not be surprised to see 8000 breached intraday and a lower close from current levels is likely. Monday's close looks especially weak, so that might be the temporary bottom. Tuesday's Full Moon occurs in Pisces but fortunately is largely unafflicted, a possible sign that the next 29 days may not see significantly lower low. Mercury turns direct Wednesday afternoon so that is another possible indicator that sentiment may be improving. Overall, I think the market will finish near current levels although a downside bias seems more likely. Next week looks somewhat better although I don't foresee any major rallies until November.

As predicted, India's markets got clobbered last week as the Sensex shed 16% and Nifty posted a 14% loss as the credit freeze went global. The Sensex closed at 10,527 while the Nifty ended Friday at 3279. I'm not optimistic about prospects this week since Mercury's direct station occurs in fairly close tense aspect with the NSE's natal Saturn. This will make rallies fizzle fairly quickly and give more courage to those who are shorting the market. I think some intraday trades below 10k/3100 is quite possible although I do not expect any kind of massive decline here. By Friday, we'll probably be modest lower from current levels.

With all the fear in the markets, most currencies fell against the US dollar which acted as a safe haven against uncertainty. Although I was partially correct in calling for a stronger Euro last week, Friday's mayhem erased the midweek gains and it ended slightly above 1.34, down over 3 cents on the week. The Euro is going to fall further this week as the Sun comes under the influence of natal Ketu. I think 1.30 is very possible at some point this week as the US dollar rally will continue for the foreseeable future.

Last week's prediction of a huge decline in crude oil prices was correct, as crude was sideswiped by recession fears and closed Friday at $77, down from $94. This was even lower than my low range target of $80. Crude will probably go below $70 this week although I think there may be some strength later on and into next week that may bring it temporarily back above $70, perhaps even to $75.

Gold's safe haven status came into question as it sold off Friday and closed at $854. While gold fared better on the week than I expected, its sell off Friday was in keeping with our forecast. Gold listlessness here amidst the financial chaos ought to be food for thought for gold bugs. It is very unlikely to rally as long as banking fears are front and centre. It is likely to be flat at best or go lower in the early going, with Friday perhaps as a gain leading into higher prices next week. Depending on how low it gets this week, we may see $900 briefly again next week but not much more. Early November looks very bearish.



Weekly Forecast -- October 6 - 10


 

The markets took it on the chin for yet another week on growing fears that the bailout bill will not prevent the economy from sliding into a deep recession. For the week, the Dow fell 7% to finish at 10,325 while the broader S&P500 declined 9% to 1099. While I correctly predicted noteworthy declines for Monday and Friday, I was far too sanguine about the week overall and underestimated the extent of the negativity. I will note that I was correct in calling for some kind of midweek rally, although it sputtered at 11,000, which was well below upper level expectation. Nonetheless, our default bearish stance has positioned us well as we head into what will likely be another difficult week after the markets sold off Friday on news of the passage of the bailout package.

We're now entering what I believe is the most bearish period so far as the Sun conjoins Mercury under the influence of Rahu on Tuesday while Saturn and Rahu are in tense aspect. A number of bearish hits to pertinent natal charts reinforce the notion that we may be facing an even larger decline this week. Taking it as a proxy for the whole market, the Nasdaq chart, for example, has transiting Mars conjoining the Descendant early in the week. This is a very bearish indicator and completes a t-square with the natal Moon-Mercury opposition. At the same time, the Sun-Mercury conjunction occurs atop the natal Uranus in that chart. Meanwhile, transiting Venus exactly opposes the natal Saturn on Tuesday. So there's no shortage of potential difficult energies there, although it is significant that they appear to focus on earlier in the week, mostly on Monday and possibly Tuesday as an indicator of larger declines. I expect the Dow will break decisively below 10,000 by intraday Tuesday at the latest, although the Tuesday close and Wednesday's trading might see a decent recovery back above 10,000 or higher.

I still think there is a potential for a more serious decline later in the week, especially on Thursday as the Moon conjoins Rahu and increases the intensity of the larger planetary configuration. While I've written previously about the possibility or even likelihood of a crash-type scenario in this time period, I don't want to fall into the common trap of 'astrological sensationalism' here. (or maybe I already have!) It's conceivable that the larger decline may be delayed until early November, as October sees high volatility and more downward probing below 10,000. That is a very real possibility that would not surprise me. But we may also be on the verge of the largest one-week decline here, perhaps over 10% and 9000 on the Dow, and investors should be aware of this potential. In a nutshell, I'm predicting a very (i.e. >5%) negative week , the only question is how negative it will be. I still think the markets are eventually headed down to 8000 or below by November, or December at the latest.

Mumbai lost 5% last week as Monday's afflicted New Moon in Virgo set up a negative pattern that proved to be too much for markets. The Nifty begins the week at 3818 while the Sensex opens at 12,526. There's little reason to be optimistic this week as Ketu bears down on the NSE natal Mars, and we could see a decline that pushes the Nifty back to 3600 or below. Friday looks terrible.

With Chinese markets were closed for the week, Tokyo could not escape the bearish mood as the Nikkei plunged 8% and stands at 10,938. It's very hard to imagine how the Nikkei will go anywhere but down this week with the double barrelled affliction to the natal Mercury from Saturn and Rahu. There's a good chance of breaking below 10,000 at some point. On Thursday and Friday, transiting Mars will aspect both Jupiter and Venus in the natal chart, which may be an indicator that the larger decline for the week. This is a hugely afflicted horoscope.

As predicted, last week the Euro collapsed below its support level of 1.38 as it lost 6 cents and closed Friday at 1,3784. While my outlook on the Euro remains hugely bearish, declines this week will be more modest and we may even see some gains. The weekend moves by European governments to shore up the banking system will likely help support the Euro somewhat this week as Venus conjoins the MC of the Euro ETF chart although any upside will likely be confined to early or mid-week.

Oil prices plunged last week on recession fears and finished below $94. While I had forecast prices below $100, I had thought they would not occur until this week. I expect this major decline of crude to continue and even accelerate this week, perhaps as low as $80-85, as significator Saturn is in tense aspect to Rahu with Sun and Moon playing supporting roles. In the Futures chart, transiting 12th lord Mars takes aim at the Moon-Saturn conjunction with lower prices as the most likely outcome. Even if there is some kind of relief rally towards the end of October, I wonder if we've seen the last of $100 crude for a while.

As predicted, gold continued its decline last week, although I underestimated the bearishness at it fell back over $50 to $833. As I wrote in my market updates this week, I no longer think there is enough upside in gold to push it back to $1000. There will be some smaller rallies that will likely hit $900 over the next few weeks but gold will start to move more negatively as we head into November. This week looks bad, especially towards the end of the week and we may see gold fall below $800 once again. If we manage some up days earlier, it may somewhat offset the declines that are likely for Thursday and Friday. Next week looks much better for gold.



Weekly Forecast -- September 29 - October 3




As predicted, stocks in New York declined 3% last week, as the Mercury retrograde station in conjunction with Mars did, in fact, extend the losing streak on Wall St. While I had thought the damage might have been worse, we did approach the forecast targets as the Dow tested 10,700 and the S&P 1180. As this global financial crisis continues to unfold, the Dow opens Monday at 11,143 while the S&P is at 1213.

Much of the market's immediate fate seems to ride on the US government bailout plan. If it passes as expected on Sunday or Monday, then the market is likely to rally, perhaps substantially, over the coming week. While I had previously forecast early week declines, it's possible that these may not come to pass. Monday features a New Moon in Virgo. One possible difficulty here is that Virgo's ruler Mercury is in aspect to no less than three potentially disruptive planets -- Rahu, Uranus, and Neptune. Moreover, this New Moon occurs just one degree from the natal Rahu in the NYSE chart. Perhaps the malefic New Moon configuration will apply to trading sentiment in the coming month rather than the day of its occurrence. In any event, the market sentiment is likely to improve as the week progresses, so we very well may see net gains overall, regardless of the fate of the bailout package. With benefic Venus rising at the start of Monday's trading, 11,700 is very possible this week, and I wouldn't be surprised to see 12,000 at some point. Any prices near these levels may best be seen as exit points from the market for longer term investors. Watch for a decline on Friday, however, as Mercury will be in exact aspect to Rahu while Mars conjoins the natal Neptune and opposes the natal Saturn in the NYSE chart.

This may set up the jittery mood for next week from Oct 6 - 10 where I am still forecasting a significant decline, perhaps as much as 10%. Even if we have some kind of 'good news' rally this week, I still think next week's sell off will break below support levels of 10,500 and 1150. The second half of October is more favourable so we can expect some kind of rally in advance of another larger move down in November.

As predicted, Mumbai is coming off a terrible week in which it lost over 6% as the Sensex closed at 13,102 and the Nifty at 3985, their lowest levels since July. Whatever happens Monday, markets are more likely to rise this week as Venus applies to conjoin its natal position in the NSE chart. Next week will erase any gains made here and likely retest the lows. There is a very good chance that these lows will be broken -- Nifty 3800; Sensex 12,500.

The Nikkei was unchanged last week and opens Monday at 11,893. It is likely to move higher this week, especially with the Sun-Moon conjunction in good aspect to the natal Jupiter in the TSE chart. The bullish mood will likely come to and end by early next week, however, with the Sun-Mercury conjunction on the natal Neptune.

Against expectations, Shanghai was sharply higher last week as the government passed trading rules that cheered investors. The SSE opens at 2293 on Monday and will likely move higher as the Sun and Venus sit on the 9th and 10th house cusps respectively early in the week. It may take next week and the week following to take it under 2000.

The Euro had another bullish week and closed up one cent at 1.4588 on early week gains over the health of the financial financial system and the US dollar. While I've been wrong the past two weeks on the Euro, I think my bearish views may finally pay off this week as transiting Mars opposes the natal Saturn. 1.42 is possible. Wednesday looks the most positive day of the week as Moon and Venus will simultaneously conjoin the natal Jupiter in the FXE chart. Next week will likely see another bounce to 1.45 or higher as equities move lower.

Oil was up modestly last week and closed at $106. This week is likely to see continued strength in crude as Sun and Venus aspect their natal positions in the Futures chart. $110 is a possibility here, although it is unlikely to hold into next week as Mars conjoins the natal Moon-Saturn. Prices will see a sharp decline then and may move back to $100 or below. While a rally in crude is likely later in October, the longer term outlook into November and beyond is more negative.

As predicted, Gold was higher last week and closed Friday at $888. While I had thought it would be over $900 by now, at least it did trade above that level several times over the week. I think gold is likely to decline this week, although perhaps not by that much. Friday looks like it may be the best day for gold, as the Sun conjoins the natal Jupiter in the GLD chart. My previous forecast of $1000 may have been a little premature, but I still that level is within reach over the next two weeks. In the near term, gold will likely peak in the second week of November.

Weekly Forecast -- September 22 - 26




Global markets teetered on the brink last week as the banking crisis threatened to bring down the whole financial system. After steep early losses early in the week, the US government and Federal Reserve were compelled to intervene to stabilize the situation by bailing out the insurer AIG and injecting $700 billion into the system in an effort to restore shaken investor confidence. Markets rallied strongly Thursday and Friday and finished the week largely unchanged from Monday's open. The current situation remains extremely fragile and uncertain. My prediction two weeks ago for a significant decline on either Sep 12 or 15th was exactly on the money, as I had written that the American markets would retest their previous July lows at this time. This is exactly what happened as Monday's decline on the Dow broke through the all-important 11,000 level and Wednesday's close of 10,600 was even lower than the January low. Similarly the S&P breached the significant 1200 support level formed by the July low on Monday and hit 1150 on Wednesday. The Dow ended Friday's session at 11,388 while the S&P closed at 1255. While the strength of the late week rally was a little surprising to me, I did expect some gains later in the week.

Despite the astonishing recovery in the markets, my fundamental prediction for lower prices in the near term has not changed. This week looks mostly negative as the Sun-Pluto square perfects on Monday suggesting the possibility of a down day. Tuesday may see a bounce but we may end up testing 11,000 and 1200 at some point this week. Mars will conjoin the slowing Mercury on Tuesday and Mercury will turn retrograde on Wednesday so that is unlikely to help matters. A 2-3% decline is possible there, probably on Wednesday. I think Friday looks negative also, however and the following Monday the 29th looks even worse, so that could be another a new significant move down below 10,500 and 1150. We may see a 5% decline on Monday the 29th. This is going to get ugly very quickly. By mid-October, we could be below 9000 on the Dow. So what I'm predicting here is something akin to a crash. I'm not certain there will be a single, one day capitulation but perhaps instead a series of smaller drops. However, October 6-10 does look worse than most other time windows here, so if a crash occurs, it would most likely be then. One can't help but paraphrase the Prince song, 'we're going to party like it's 1929...'

Mumbai is coming off a similarly roller coaster week as the Sensex opens at 14,042 and the Nifty at 4245. After the predicted early week losses pushed indices down sharply, markets rallied on improved sentiment. My prediction that previous lows would not be breached was largely correct as the Nifty only got down to 3915. Monday will see the catch up rally, but the mood should darken after that. Hard to say if the week will finish up overall -- much depends on how negative the Mercury retrograde station is. What's particularly troubling about this Mercury-Mars conjunction is that it occurs exactly conjunction the natal Mercury of the NSE chart. This seems very disruptive, and may indicate substantial declines. I would not bank on any substantial gains after Monday. The following Monday the 29th looks quite grave, so we can expect the old lows to be knocked out by next week at the latest. That will mean 3800 on the Nifty and 12,500 on the Sensex. After that, I think there will be at least another 10% decline in early October. Buckle up.

Tokyo also got caught up in the financial vortex as the Nikkei closed lower and ended the week at 11,920, despite a huge rally on Friday. As predicted, the early week losses did break through the March lows as the index sank as low as 11,500. After a rally Monday, next week will see further erosion on the downside. The next support level is 11,000 which dates back to 2005 and that will be in jeopardy by the 29th. Transiting Saturn is applying to square the natal Mercury in the TSE chart over the next couple of weeks, so it's clear that Tokyo is headed much lower.

Shanghai also did not escape the market turmoil last week and did indeed break well below the 2000 level on the SSE as we predicted. It finished the week mostly unchanged and opens trading Monday at 2075. As a result of the chaos, the Bank of China changed some key trading rules, so it's possible that declines will be more modest this week than on other bourses. Nonetheless, the Mercury-Mars conjunction occurs very close to the Part of Fortune in the SSE chart, so it seems that Shanghai will follow other world markets lower. I think it will close below 2000 by week's end. By the second week of October, it may be close to 1600.

The Euro had a strong week as it gained 3 cents to finish at 1.4474. While I did not foresee this move up, I am maintaining my bearish stance as this week looks more clearly negative. The transiting Sun is moving away from the natal ascendant, while Mercury and Mars transit close to the aspect of natal Ketu. We will likely see 1.40 again by week's end or by next Monday at the latest. With all of these US government bailouts, the Fed may be forced to raise rates to defend the dollar which would spell disaster for the Euro.

Oil finished the week strong, as crude futures closed Friday above $104. While I did expect to see some upside above $100 last week, I thought prices would generally be weaker as the trend is to the downside. There is a chance for some modest short term gains this week, but the planets looks generally more bearish as the week progresses as transiting Venus conjoins the natal Saturn in the Futures chart on Friday. We could see $90 again over the next two weeks with the price continuing to fall through October back to $80 or below.

Last week, I thought Gold looked "volatile" with "daily $20 moves in both directions". Quite true, but I grossly underestimated the upside potential later in the week with the approach of Venus and Mercury to the MC of the GLD chart. I thought it would rise, but nowhere near as much as it did. Gold experienced its biggest one-day rise ever as it soared $80 in a single session. Its intraday high was $900 and finally settled at $864 at the close on Friday. I think bullion is poised to rise again this week, likely to well over $900. By next Monday the 29th, it may get to $1000 as the transiting Sun conjoins the natal Jupiter in the GLD chart. I believe gold is likely to trend higher until at least mid-October and by that time we may see prices well above $1000, perhaps to $1100. Calling a top in such a turbulent and chaotic market will be difficult. Gold will not stay at those lofty levels for long, however, so I am expecting a price collapse late in October or November back to current levels or below.

Weekly Forecast -- September 15 - 19




Stocks in New York finished slightly higher last week overcoming continuing anxiety over the viability of the financial sector in the wake of the credit crisis. While I had been more bearish last week, much of my forecast for caution was based upon the assumption that the decline would begin with Friday's session which ended up being neutral. The negative potential of the Mars-Rahu aspect has yet to be played out however, so the decline will likely take place on Monday and perhaps carry over into Tuesday. Perhaps the failure to save Lehman Bros. may be the news required to send the market back under 11,000. The Dow opens Monday's session at 11,421 and the S&P at 1242.

This week looks negative overall as Monday and Tuesday's gloomy sentiment will likely override any offsetting gains later in the week. The Sun moves into Virgo late Tuesday, so that may generate a little positive energy as it leaves the company of Saturn in Leo and joins somewhat more auspicious company of Venus, Mars and Mercury in Virgo. But by week's end, Venus moves into Libra thus leaving Mercury to fend for itself against Mars. Friday, therefore, could see another decline. The Sun is applying to square Pluto by Friday and over the weekend, while transiting Mars is moving closer to oppose the natal Moon in the NYSE chart so that's another reason to exercise caution this week. Wednesday and Thursday look like the best chance for gains this week. Nonetheless, there's a real possibility the market could end up below 11,000 here. This retesting on the downside is preparation for a substantial decline in late September or more likely the first week of October that will take the market decisively under 10,000.

As predicted, Mumbai lost ground last week as the Sensex opens Monday at 14,000 even and the Nifty at 4228. I was also correct in calling the early week gains and the erosion of confidence towards Friday. Look for more declines, perhaps even larger ones this week as transiting Mars conjoins natal Rahu and squares Jupiter in the Nifty natal chart. While I don't think there will be a retesting of the July lows (12,800; 3800) this week, we could get half way there, at least on an intraweek basis. Some bargain hunting may bring things back up a bit midweek, but we'll probably finish well off these levels. By early October, there will be a global market retreat that will pull the indexes down sharply.

Tokyo was unchanged last week as the Nikkei opens trading Monday at 12,212. Since the Friday sell off did not occur as predicted, stocks managed to stave off losses on the basis of Monday's predicted gains. There's a chance of the Nikkei retesting its March lows of 11,800 early in the week, although I think the rest of week will see some recovery. Next week looks worse so those March lows will likely be knocked out then.

As predicted, Shanghai declined another 5% last week as the SSE opens at 2079. While Friday's session was not negative, Monday's will likely be quite bearish as the transiting Mars aspects the natal Rahu in the SSE Composite chart. It's difficult to see much upward strength here, so we may see prices below 2000 for the first time since October 2007. Once Chinese stocks correct fully over the next month or two, there will be an excellent buying opportunity near 1500.

As predicted, the Euro did trade below 1.40 midweek. It recovered by week's end to 1.4217, down half a cent on the week. While there is a chance for some early week gains, by Wednesday the Euro is likely to trend downward. The decline could be severe to the point where it may be trading well below 1.40 by Friday. Look for the Euro to fall very sharply in the coming weeks.

As predicted, crude oil held above $100 last week, but just barely. Overall, market sentiment was more negative than forecast as it closed above $101 on Friday. There's a chance of more upside early on this week, but generally this looks like a down week. There's a very good chance oil will close well below $100 by Friday, perhaps down to $95. Oil looks quite negative over the next two weeks as Venus and Mars move into Libra and hence come under the malefic influence of the natal Saturn and Mars in the Futures chart. I would not be surprised to see crude tumble below $90 in the short term.

As predicted, Gold dropped below $780 last week and opens Monday at $764. I was still overly optimistic in my forecast and thought there would be more of an early rally than there was. Also I did not foresee the downside probing into the $740 range. Gold this week looks volatile, and we may see daily $20 moves in both directions. I would not be surprised to see bullion drop below $740. As Venus and Mercury approach the MC of the GLD chart later in the week, there is a chance for some upside here, although next week looks better overall.



Weekly Forecast -- September 8 - 12



New York is coming off a gloomy week as stocks dropped 3% on bad employment numbers and continuing fears that a recession is in the offing. Although I did not foresee the big sell off Thursday, my fears for a negative week were largely realized as the Dow closed at 11,220 and the S&P at 1242. As it turned out the Moon-Sun-Saturn-Jupiter configuration at 18 degrees of their respective signs on Thursday was a reminder of how the perfection of soft aspects can lead to declines as investors seek relief by cashing out. This is not unlike the abundance of similarly soft aspects that marked the 1987 crash.

While there is an opportunity for gains earlier in the week, I think caution is the best strategy here with a number of potentially negative influences coming together for Friday's session. Jupiter turns direct in time for Monday which may create some basis for optimism but the squaring of Mars and Mercury to Jupiter puts that in jeopardy. Venus squares the Moon-Jupiter conjunction on Tuesday so that might be the best chance for a gain this week. By Friday, the Sun opposes unpredictable Uranus while Mercury-Venus-Mars come under the destabilizing aspect of Rahu. This promises to be a high volume session with a lot of volatility and my guess it will be on the downside. The Moon conjoins Rahu that day indicating that investors will be acting more on emotions than reasoned analysis. Much of this configuration is still in effect for next Monday the 15th, so it's going to be a risky time to be in the market. A retesting of the July lows (10,700 intraday) is very likely here, and there is a greater than normal risk of a major sell off down below 10,.500. We may even move below 10,000 depending on how much offsetting upside we have early in the week. An additional factor here is that the Mercury-Venus-Mars-Rahu pattern will activate the natal Saturn in the USA chart. While this needn't directly indicate stock market decline, it likely signifies an event that is significant enough that it will have negative market ramifications. This could be grim and likely the start of another leg down into the bear market abyss.

Mumbai was largely unchanged last week as it gamely resisted the widespread global pullback. The Sensex begins at 14,483 while the Nifty stands at 4352. While I thought Indian markets may have a little more upside movement, this outcome largely confirms the forecast for minimal change. This week looks negative overall, although with a caveat that if New York only moves lower in Friday' session, then the bulk of the fallout may be delayed until next Monday's session on the 15th.
Also, the early week gains may somewhat offset the losses towards the end of the week.

As predicted, Tokyo moved lower last week and the Nikkei stands at 12,212. There should be some decent gains in the early week that may push the market above 12,600. As with other Asian markets, Friday's bearishness may carry over or be delayed until Monday. The Mercury-Venus-Mars will conjoin the 4th house cusp of the TSE chart thus adding extra punch to the move down.

Shanghai is also coming off yet another bad week and opens at 2202. Transiting Ketu continues to have its way with the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction of the SSE Composite chart. Towards the end of the week the transiting Sun falls under the aspect of the natal Rahu thus providing the probable spark for selling. Shanghai is likely to follow other global markets lower in this move.

I was spectacularly wrong on the Euro last week as it continued to move downward and closed at 1.4267. Certainly, the Euro is on the way down in the medium term and is likely headed for par with the US dollar. The decline will likely continue this week particularly as the Mercury-Venus-Mars comes to the natal Mars in the Euro chart. 1.40 is possible.

Oil fell sharply last week in the wake of the brief spike above $117 brought on by hurricane Gustav. While I had expected falling prices later in the week, particularly after the separation of the Sun-Saturn conjunction, I was surprised by the extent of the decline back to $106. Last week's action gave support to the notion that Saturn is the significator for Oil and the Sun's combustion is an affliction that tends to bring prices down. I think there won't be too much more downside this week, as prices should stay above $100 intraday. Look for gains to accrue midweek so that we may see some trades at $110 at some point. Given the recent inverse relationship between crude prices and equities, it is tempting to think that Oil will move up with Friday's likely down move. I'm not sure that will be the case this time, however.

Gold also moved down sharply last week and opens at $802. I had thought there would be more upside in the early going, but the negative influence of Saturn on the Sun predominated throughout the whole week. Gold may bounce back a little in the early week, perhaps to $820 as transiting Venus conjoins the natal Jupiter in the GLD chart. The end of the week is harder to figure with the Sun-Uranus opposition although I think the downside risk is larger than upside potential. Gold is in bear market territory so the default bias is negative, particularly with transiting Saturn moving into exact opposition to the natal Jupiter in the Futures chart. There's a very real chance of a wholesale sell off here towards the $780 support level. More cautious traders looking for a rally would be better advised to wait until next week and after.

Weekly Forecast -- week of Sep 1 - 5



As predicted, New York stocks finished down last week, as the Dow closed at 11,543 and the S&P at 1282. The 1% drop was a more modest decline than forecast and reflected Thursday's unexpected gains in advance of the Venus-Pluto square. The persistence of bad economic news is making it hard for this market to rally, and the planets aren't helping either. This market is now residing in a fairly nondescript anteroom of a very frightening house of bear market horrors.

This week looks mixed, as stocks may start weaker Tuesday and Wednesday after the Monday holiday for Labor Day. Tuesday in particular may feature some anxious tendencies as the Moon is in aspect to Rahu in Hasta. There's a good chance prices will head higher towards the end of this week after the Sun has moved past its conjunction with Saturn. Thursday may have the most bullish configuration (at least on paper) as the Moon joins an assortment of planets around 18 degrees of their respective signs. If the early week losses stay above 11,300, then there's a good chance the market will finish higher overall. Nonetheless, I'm not at all confident that there will be many more gains here. The risk of significant losses will increase towards the end of next week and particularly with the Full Moon on Monday the 15th. There is a very real chance of of breaking below the July lows at that time.

Mumbai stocks eked out a slight gain last week as the Sensex stands at 14,564 and the Nifty at 4360. Early week trading should be mostly negative as the transiting Moon and Venus oppose Saturn in the Nifty chart. While prices may fall, they are unlikely to go below 14,000. Late week trading looks more positive as the Moon moves into the 5th house of Libra in the Nifty chart. Overall, the week may close fairly near current levels, with a minimal upside bias.

Tokyo rose about 3% last week and opens at 13,072. While I had hinted at the chance for gains last week, this move up was surprising. The tough sledding early in the week may prevent much more upside this week, although if Tuesday is positive with the Moon in Virgo joining Mercury, Venus, and Mars, then we can look for more gains overall. On Tuesday, the transiting Moon will join Venus as both will be in fairly close aspect to the natal Jupiter in the TSE chart.

Chinese stocks continue to drag along the bottom here, below all the moving averages as the Shanghai Composite opens trading Monday at 2397. With the square aspect of transiting Mars to the natal Venus in the SSE chart Monday, stocks should decline significantly, perhaps below 2300. By week's end, however, prices should rise with the transits of Mercury and Venus into the 9th house of the SSE chart. 2400-2450 are reasonable targets here.

The Euro sank backwards a bit last week and stands at 1.4674. I had thought we would see more of a rally underway by now but it seems we will have to wait for this week's trading. Monday and Tuesday will likely be higher with the higher oil prices in any event and will correspond with the transiting Moon in Virgo joining Mercury and Venus near the ascendant in the Euro chart. 1.48 is likely, possibly higher. But as transiting Mars squares its natal position by Friday, the Euro may slip back to 1.47. Next week may take the Euro back above 1.50.

Oil closed above $115 last week, and hit $118 in intraday trading, basically confirming our bullish forecast. Prices are continuing this upward trend today in a special trading session to handle market demands in advance of the likely disruption of supply by hurricane Gustav in the Gulf of Mexico. This upward trend will probably continue until Wednesday and the Sun-Saturn conjunction. It will be interesting to see when prices start to fall back as this conjunction will be in near exact square aspect to the natal Jupiter in the futures chart. Whatever the price spike here, prices are likely to come back below $118 by week's end, possibly down to $116. There is a chance that crude will fall only starting Friday, since there will be a grand trine formed with transiting Sun/Saturn, Jupiter, and natal Venus in the Futures chart. Next week looks bullish.

Gold closed marginally higher last week in keeping (barely) with the forecast and opens trading at $836. Intraday trades were as high as $844, indicating a tentative exploration of that crucial $850 resistance level. I think Gold may reach $850 this week but is unlikely to hold on to it by week's end. $900 is looking very possible by the end of September at the latest, but possibly as soon as September 15th.


 



August 24, 2008  Weekly Forecast


After a fairly volatile week that featured days of both triple digit losses and gains, New York finished slightly lower. The Dow closed at 11,628 and the S&P at 1292. Last week's forecast had called for a little more upside bias but the early week rally never materialized as the Mars-Pluto square had more energy than I had anticipated. Friday's rally was possibly the result of the approaching Mercury-Venus-Uranus configuration but all in all, the minimal price movement was within expectations.

I think this week looks bearish, especially towards the end as Mercury and Venus both square Pluto. This week is more likely to begin fairly strong, however, as Mercury and Venus move into Virgo to join Mars. There's a reasonable chance we'll see 12k here, but the late week trading suggests that any gains made here won't last by Friday so 11,300-11,500 seems like a better downside target. With the long Labor Day weekend ahead and no trading next Monday, there is a chance that some of the bearishness may be held off until Tuesday Sept 2nd. Nonetheless, Friday should be a down day.

While I had expected some meaningful rally to take place over the next few weeks, I'm much less convinced this will be the case. I think the big down days will overwhelm the up days so the best we can hope for are mini-rallies back to 11,000 - 11,500 from sell offs that are likely to occur in the next two weeks. Once we get into October, all bets are off. I'm very concerned that some kind of major decline in just around the corner, starting in the second half of October, although most of the negative energy is focused around the last week of October and first week of November. This coincides with the US presidential election, so that may be in the mix in some way. The Dow will almost certainly drop below 10,000 at that time, depending on how far it falls before the major selling event occurs. Investors who are long here and are looking to take profits would do well to sell into any rallies in the coming weeks. I would consider anything above 11,500 as acceptable, and 12,000 as heaven sent.

Mumbai closed lower last week on the renewed strength in commodities and fear of inflation. The Sensex finished Friday at 14,401 and the Nifty at 4327. I had thought the early week would produce more gains that would be able to withstand the predicted late week sell off but the market had other ideas. The Mercury-Venus conjunction moves over the 8th house cusp in the Sensex chart early in the week, so that may indicate volatility. Gains may be short-lived, however, as the late week action looks more negative. A Friday close above 14,000 would be fairly decent.

Tokyo's Nikkei had a very bad last week and closed Friday at 12,666, down almost 3%, it's lowest level since March. It's finally starting to catch up to some of the other global equity markets. While a negative outcome is likely here, I do note some patterns of strength in the natal chart of the TSE. The transiting Sun conjoins the ascendant in the Topix chart while Mercury and Venus apply to the natal Jupiter in early Virgo. It's possible that the declines will be relatively smaller than last week's. There is even an outside chance at some net gains here.

The Euro rallied last week on renewed strength in commodities and geopolitical fears over Georgia and opens the week at 1.4792. I believe the worst is over for now for the Euro and this week should see gains, perhaps back to 1.50. As Mercury and Venus move into Virgo, they will both be approaching the Euro's ascendant at 5 Virgo thus providing an upward momentum to prices. 1.55 still seems like a realistic short term target here as the Euro's days in the sun wind down before the autumnal slaughter.

After a volatile week that saw Oil rise above $121 on Russia-US geopolitical tensions, crude settled very close to where it began the week at $114. While I mistakenly thought there would be an early week decline, at least I did foresee the late week recovery in prices. The question now is can Oil hold above $112? I think the answer is yes, although I acknowledge the possibility we may see a retest of long term support levels in the coming weeks. This week looks quite strong, although I think the volatility will continue as we could see price moves of 3% either way. Assuming Monday isn't too negative and prices stay above $112, $116 is a reasonable intraweek target. There's more upside in crude in the coming weeks, so $132 is quite possible at some point.

Gold rallied off its catastrophic lows last week and closed at $829. Like Oil, I expected more early week difficulty that in retrospect had already been manifested by the previous week's sell off. As predicted, the late week trading was generally kinder to Gold as it moved sharply above $800. I'm guardedly optimistic about Gold this week, although next week looks better as transiting Sun moves closer to Saturn in Leo and the Jupiter aspect. If early week declines are below $800, Friday's trading should take it back to current levels and above. For traders waiting for a return to $850, next week seems like a better bet.



August 17, 2008  Weekly Forecast



Despite the continuing correction in commodites and the new-found strength in the US dollar, New York equities were unchanged last week. This is perhaps a sign that we've reached the upper limits of this immediate rally and another dose of good economic news is needed before the next step is taken above 12,000. The Dow closed Friday at 11,659 and the S&P at 1298. This confirms last week's forecast for a holding pattern of current levels. The intraweek trends unfolded more or less as predicted as we saw some significant pullbacks midweek below 11,400 with Mercury conjoining Saturn and the end of the week saw gains.

There are a couple of key aspects to watch this week. The potentially damaging Mars-Pluto square perfected on Sunday but this may have enough punch to push prices down, particularly early in the week, especially Tuesday, when the transiting Moon completes a fairly close t-square. Monday's open may be very positive as the Moon conjoins the natal Venus in the SPX Futures chart in opposition to both transiting Mercury and Venus. I would not be surprised to see a 150 point rise in the Dow in the morning. Tuesday runs the risk of erasing all of Monday's gains with the t-square. The other key aspect is actually a multi-planet affair involving the Mercury-Venus conjunction on Thursday. While the conjunction is a combining a positive energies, the problem is the close opposition to destablilizing Uranus. It's very possible that these three planets could make for sudden movement towards the end of the week. Certainly, trade volumes will rise and we will probably see some wide swings in prices and a major move. Overall, the week has an upward potential but much depends on Friday's trading. If Friday turns out to be positive, then the market may well get to 12k. If, however, Friday turns out to be negative, then the market will end up lower than current levels. A defensive posture is probably the most prudent course as I think the downside risk, though not at all certain, is potentially large.

The Sensex lost 2% in a shortened trading week and stands at 14,724. While the forecast correctly identified the intraweek pattern of gains earlier and losses later on, I had expected a better outcome in Mumbai. This pattern will likely repeat this week as Monday and Tuesday appear favourable as transiting Mercury and Venus come under the benefic influence of Jupiter in the Nifty natal chart. 15,000 - 15,300 is a reasonable mid-week target but by week's end, however, look for sentiment to turn negative. While it's possible that Mumbai may delay the decline until next Monday, I think Friday's action looks problematic so we may end the week not far from where we started.

The Euro fell through its long term support level of 1.48 last week and opens Monday at 1.4689. While I had forecast some intraweek probing below this support level, I underestimated the strength of bearish sentiment. The retreat of the Euro will continue this week as the transiting Sun moves into the 12th house of loss in the natal chart. By Thursday, I would not be surprised to see it below 1.42. Friday's action presents an opportunity for a respite, however, as the Venus-Mercury conjunction lines up nicely in aspect to the Euro's Jupiter. If Friday's gain doesn't pan out, it may be delayed until Monday. It is doubtful if any gains made Friday, no matter how large, will retrace the losses earlier in the week, however.

Oil lost about 1% last week and opens trading Monday a little under $114. My forecast was largely correct in calling for crude to stay above it's long term support at $110 and for midweek gains. We did see some trades at $117, however briefly. I had thought we'd finish a little stronger but the rally in the US dollar was not to be denied. I think there's a very good chance Oil will breach it's support at $110 this week and fall back to perhaps $107-109. Transiting Sun comes under troublesome influence of natal Ketu early in the week so that may be the most difficult time. Some bounce back rally is possible at the end of the week that may put crude around that $110-112 level.

Gold suffered the greatest last week and opens at $792. What looked cheap and attractive last week, now looks precariously perched above the abyss. Last week, it was clear that August was going to be tough sledding for bullion as long as stationing transiting Ketu was locked onto the subperiod lord Mercury in the GLD ETF chart. That said, I was not fully expecting Gold to tumble as quickly as it has. The new reality for Gold is that it's far below its support level of $850 and with the US dollar rising, it enjoys very little appeal. Astrologically, things look fairly gloomy for the next couple of weeks. Monday may see another shocking sell off as the Mars-Pluto square forms around the GLD ascendant. $750 or lower is not out of the question in the early going next week, but the Mercury-Venus conjunction should boost prices by Friday and perhaps next Monday. It's hard to imagine the week will finish positive, but the late week action may at least cut the losses of the early week. It's also possible that Tuesday may be the new interim low and a rally ensues after that. Subperiod lord Mercury moves into Virgo on Sunday the 24th so that ought to give a little more support to Gold prices generally. But longer term, I think Gold still has to make new lows before making a meaningful rally back to where it was in early 2008. As a worse case scenario, I think we may see Gold hit as low as $650 by December.



August 10, 2008 Weekly Forecast

The much-anticipated August rally is finally upon us as stock markets rallied strongly last week by over 3%. The Dow begins trading this week at 11,734 and the S&P at 1296. While I had expected this rally, I was a few days late in my timing as I thought there would be more significant declines last week. As it happened, Monday was the only down day in advance of the Mars-Uranus opposition. In retrospect, this aspect provided the energy rather than the direction for the market. The conjunction of Sun and Ketu in Mercury-ruled Ashlesha probably provided the necessary optimism to drive prices higher. Last week, Mercury had moved well past Ketu and was applying to benefic Venus. My revised forecast after Tuesday's big gain recognized that we are no longer in any immediate downside danger of retesting the July lows.

The key aspects this week will be the applying Mercury and Venus to Saturn in Leo. While Saturn's effects are often negative, this needn't be a very bearish contact given the trine aspect from Jupiter in Sagittarius. And yet, I think we will likely have some significant downside risk midweek as Mercury conjoins Saturn. This will still be far enough out of range from Jupiter for it to be helpful. Friday may be positive opportunity for gains as Venus is more closely aspected by Jupiter. Here I'm counting on the possible pessimism of the Sun-Neptune opposition to have been manifested on Thursday. Monday also looks fairly promising as both Mercury and Venus will still be Magha. So I think we'll see more of a mixed bag this week overall. The markets will probably finish close to current levels with an upside bias.

The Sensex rose modestly last week and starts Monday at 15,167. While gains are likely this week, the market may see some of them disappear by Friday with the approach of the Sun-Neptune opposition and the Mars-Pluto square. The Sensex natal chart (Jan 1 1986) has both Venus and then Mercury conjoining the natal Moon which should provide a protective effect so we may see prices above 15,500.

The Nikkei also enjoyed a slight gain last week and opens at 13,168. Transiting Venus and Mercury make very favourable grand trine aspects to Moon and Mars in the TSE natal chart so this should be enough to move prices higher. Tokyo has been underperforming of late, so it may be more likely to post a larger gain relative to other global indices. Further guaranteeing an upweek is the fact that both Venus and Mercury will be transiting the ascendant of the Topix chart. I think 13,500 is very likely as an intraweek high, possibly higher.

Perhaps the biggest story last week was the rapid recovery of the long abused U.S. dollar. The Euro fell 3 cents on Friday, its biggest single day drop in eight years. Overall, it dropped over 5 cents and opens Monday at 1.5006. Last week's plunge was in keeping with my bearish forecast for the Euro as transiting Mars completed the t-square with natal Mercury and Jupiter. While this was clearly a negative planetary configuration, I wasn't sure how much of a decline was possible. As it turned out, I greatly underestimated it. The Euro is now close to its 280-day moving average of about 1.48 and once below it, it may fall a long, long way. I don't think that time is upon us and it may have another several weeks above it's long term support levels. November will likely decimate the Euro and we could well see a 20% drop over a few weeks towards the end of 2008. We can look forward to a global economic shock at that time which will force the U.S. dollar back into the spotlight as the preferred default currency. A Euro on par with the greenback in 2009 is very possible. More immediately, I think the Euro is due to bounce back a bit this week after probing below 1.49 or 1.48 on Monday or Tuesday. The midweek period should be it come back above 1.50 to perhaps 1.51. Friday looks shaky though and we may see another sharp sell off. Overall, the Euro is likely to have some upside potential this week and close above 1.50.

Like the Euro, Oil dropped further in the wake of the recovery of the U.S. dollar and restored confidence in economic prospects. It opens trading at $115 on Monday. While I had originally been bullish on Oil, last Monday's action convinced me that a breakdown had occurred and the forecast was quickly revised downward. I think crude could touch as low as $110 Monday, but will make some gains through the week. There's a good chance we will see levels above $115 at some point and depending on Friday's volatility, there is an upside bias for the week.

Gold also reacted to the re-setting of the financial chess board last week as it plunged to $864 by Friday's close. I thought Gold would have more staying power above $900, but after Monday's grim trading, I knew that it was likely headed to revisit its long term support at $850. The transits of Venus and Mercury to Saturn in Leo this week should help Gold tread water here and perhaps move a little higher. Any movements below $850 this week should be temporary. Over the next 60 days, I think Gold is more likely to move higher than lower.



August 3, 2008 Weekly Forecast




New York ended last week mostly unchanged and the Dow opens trading this week at 11,329 and the S&P at 1260. While my forecast for gains this week was not confirmed by Friday, prices rose above 11,600 at midweek thus providing a plausible exit point. With the Mercury-Ketu conjunction in Ashlesha, this week promises to be volatile with a negative bias especially on Monday and Tuesday. The Mars-Uranus opposition also perfects this week on Wednesday and this will likely add to the volatility. There's a real risk of closes below 11,000 here and that will likely be the interim bottom the market needs to move significantly higher in August.

Despite my belief that the bottom formation would start early with a lower close Friday, Bombay ended with modest gains last week and Sensex opens Monday at 14,656. With Mercury conjoining Ketu so close to the Ascendant in the Nifty Futures chart, I think further gains will be harder to come by this week. The sense of loss may be stronger earlier in the week as transiting Venus opposes the natal Saturn in the BSE 1875 chart. I expect some trades below 14k here, perhaps below 13,500. Once the Sun passes Ketu next week, this market will be on firmer ground to rally higher.

Tokyo was lower last week and opens Monday at 13,094. Last week's forecast did foresee some downward pressure on the Nikkei, and I was more or less correct in predicting little change. My larger oversight was missing Friday's selloff, which was likely due to the transiting Mercury coming under the influence of the natal Mars in the TSE chart. On Monday, the transiting Sun comes under this same probable negative influence of Mars so we can look for a down day. Much of the rest of the week is likely to be biased towards the downside, as transiting Venus conjoins the natal Saturn.

As predicted, the Euro lost more ground last week and opens Monday at 1.5565. There's likely more declines ahead this week as transiting Mars aspects the natal Mercury in the Euro chart. Early in the week looks worse, and we will see trades below 1.54. I would not be too surprised to see even 1.53 for that matter. There may be some late week recovery but not that much.

As predicted, Oil rose last week and opens at $125. I think there's more upside left in this rally, especially earlier in the week as transiting Sun is aspected by the natal Jupiter in the Futures chart. I wouldn't be surprised to see $130 at some point, although gains will probably erode late in the week. Next week looks like another retracement down to $120.

Although our forecast was correct in calling for declines down to $900 last week, Gold finished down overall and opens Monday at $917. I had expected it to bounce back further towards $930 by week's end, hoping that the ingress of Venus into Leo Friday would give it a lift. As it turned out it only made it as high as $925 intraday and Friday was a disappointment. Monday's Venus-Pluto trine near the ascendant of the GLD chart should provide a boost in prices. The midweek action looks less solid, however, as Sun's conjoining with Ketu threatens to send prices lower. Volatility may be extreme this week. The end of the week should be stronger though, as Ashlesha lord Mercury moves into Leo. Overall, Gold should be higher by the end of the week, hopefully to $930.
 



July 27, 2008  Weekly Forecast


New York was little changed last week after the early week rally did not hold. While the low-end forecast target of 11,600 was reached, the Dow ended the week slightly lower at 11,370 and the S&P at 1257. This week looks equally choppy, although I think the bias will be up. I am still expecting a significant rally to take place in August, but we may yet have a little more consolidation and re-testing to go. Monday may be negative as transiting Mars aspects the natal Saturn in the Dow 30 chart.

A solar eclipse occurs on Friday, so that be a signal of a trend reversal. If we get below 11,000 intraday this week, then that might be enough to propel the market higher over the next month. I think 12,700 is within reach in the next leg up. Late August or September is likely to see another top, however, which will set up the next big move down for the rest of the year which will likely knock out the previous bottom at 10,700 and possibly bring us down around 9000.

Bombay is coming off a good week and opens at 14,274. I think there may some downside bias for the Sensex this week, so perhaps it will lose some of its momentum from last week and probe below 13k. The Sun-Mercury conjunction on Wednesday occurs whilst the Moon is transiting the 12th house of the Nifty Futures chart. Moreover, Venus will come under the aspect of natal Ketu on Friday, so that is another possible negative influence.

As predicted, Tokyo is coming off a positive week and begins trading at 13,334. There's some potential for negativity this week as Sun and Mercury conjoin in he 12th house of the Topix chart. This may only manifest midweek, however, and the otherwise favourable influence of the TSE Jupiter on transiting Mercury and Sun may offset this early in the week. I don't see a big move either way.

As predicted, the Euro had a difficult week and finished at 1.5691. This week doesn't look quite as negative, but the momentum will likely continue to be flat or modestly negative. I don't think it will go much below 1.56. This will probably be a good week to short the Euro as next week promises to be another big move down, possibly to 1.52.

Oil is coming off another negative week, as forecast, and opens trading at $123. I think this will be a recovery week for crude as the Sun-Mercury conjunction occurs under the auspicious aspect of the natal Jupiter in the Futures chart. The end of the week looks strongest so we may see prices push above $125. Monday may be negative, however, and we may see $120 intraday at some point.

Gold fell sharply last week and reached our target of $920 before ending the week at $928. The bottoming process is continuing here. Like the Euro, Gold will be vulnerable to large pullbacks next week, possibly under $900, but this week the price should hold fairly firm or even trend a bit higher. But given the risks next week, I would be reluctant to take any new long positions here.






July 20, 2008 Weekly Forecast


New York is coming off an up week that may have temporarily stilled investor anxiety. After Tuesday's intraday low of 10,730, it seems that a growing number of participants are thinking that we have formed a bottom here. Our bullish forecast was confirmed with the 4% gain, although the strength of the optimism was somewhat unexpected. The Dow opens trading at 11,496 while the S&P sits at 1260.

I think the week upcoming is likely to see further gains with the approach of transiting Mars in aspect to Jupiter. Monday may see a drop, however, as transiting Sun falls under the square aspect of the natal Saturn in the 1792 chart. Tuesday may be more positive as Mercury is in trine aspect to Uranus as the Moon transits through Jupiter-ruled Purva Bhadrapada. Wednesday looks difficult. Friday also has the potential for a significant gain as Mars comes closest to the influence of Jupiter. Depending on how severe any early week sell offs may be, I think the market can rise to 11,800/1290. If the Dow falls back below 11,200 on Monday, then we may only finish modestly higher -- 11,500 - 11,600. Looking ahead, I think last week's lows will be retested eventually, perhaps as soon as the next two weeks. This market is not out of the woods yet.

Bombay followed on New York's lead last week and came off its lows of 12.5k and closed at 13,635, slightly above the previous week's levels. While there are some favourable influences this week, I'm less sure that the Sensex will finish higher. That's because transiting Mars (20 Leo) will fall under the 8th house aspect of natal Mars (20 Capricorn) in the IFN ETF chart at the end of the week. Venus (20 Cancer) also makes an aspect to chart ruler Mars so that may have a mitigating effect. Transiting Sun comes under the aspect of natal Rahu on Monday which may make the early part of the week negative. The best chance for gains may occur Wednesday or early Thursday as transiting Venus crosses the ascendant of the Nifty Futures chart.

Tokyo resisted the up trend last week and failed to rally and closed slightly lower at 12,803. This week looks mixed as transiting Venus comes under the influence of natal Mars in the TSE chart midweek. Some recovery is possible as transiting Sun is aspected by natal Jupiter and Mercury comes to the ascendant. 13k is a reasonably intraday target here and if Wednesday is not a major pullback, then I think there's an upside bias overall.

As forecast, the Euro did move past 1.60 but did not hold that psychologically important level. It ended lower on the week and opens Monday at 1.585. As the price of crude weakens, the Euro is vulnerable to sudden declines. Monday may be one such day, as transiting Venus opposes natal Uranus. Tuesday looks bullish as Mercury and Moon are configured with natal Jupiter. Overall, I think most of the action will be to the downside. Right now, I'm looking at Aug 6th as an interim bottom.

As predicted, Oil fell last week, and even broke through the target of $130. It opens trading Monday at $128. Crude will likely recover somewhat early in the week as transiting Venus comes under natal Jupiter's aspect in the Futures chart. Prices may rise above $135 before being vulnerable to declines later in the week as transiting Sun comes under the negative influence of natal Saturn. A finish near or somewhat below current levels is the most likely outcome.

The rally in Gold failed last week and it ended slightly lower, as forecast. While it did not probe our target $940 last week, it may well this week as transiting Mercury comes under the negative influence of Saturn in the GLD ETF chart late in the week. Overall, gold looks bearish this week, and possibly into next week also. Since Sun transits Saturn-ruled Pushya, I would not rule out $920.






July 13 2008 Weekly Forecast

In the wake of last week's turbulence which saw new intraday lows below 11,000, fear and loathing remain the prevailing sentiments in world markets. The Dow begins the week at 11,100 and the S&P at 1239. While the Mars-Saturn conjunction did not bring a clear capitulation, the growing anxiety about the long term viability of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac certainly reflected the tension and injury (Mars) inflicted on economic structures (Saturn). As forecast, the market did decline last week, although not quite as much as expected. The current level above 11k is a kind of purgatory that is neither low enough to generate a sense that the selling is over, and not high enough above the new lows to create a sense of security. So we need to come to a better understanding of just where the bottom is here. My thinking was that the time around the Mars-Saturn conjunction would mark an interim bottom, wherever it occurred. And yet without the capitulation sell off that pushed the market close to the 10,500 support level, I am uneasy with the thought that there is no more downside risk.

While volatility will likely characterize much of the upcoming week, I don't foresee a large decline. Monday looks fairly bullish as Sun trines Uranus and Mercury is trined by the natal Jupiter in the S&P Futures natal Jupiter. If we see a significant up day Monday (>1%), then the week may well be positive. Wednesday and Friday both look more bearish, so I'm reluctant to say there will be any big rallies here. Mercury, the planet of commerce, is transiting Ardra which is ruled by Rahu and generally creates an unstable foundation for action. But the bias seems more to the upside here. If the Monday rally is weak, then I would still hold open the possibility that we might close below 11,000 on Friday. Beyond that, the last chance for support levels to be tested would be the first week of August which looks quite negative. The crucial point there is that the last week of July will feature a trine between Mars and Jupiter that will create upward momentum that will likely move the market well enough above where we are here that any subsequent declines will not breach previous support levels.

Bombay held up well last week to remain unchanged and opens at 13,469. While the Sensex may flirt with 13,000, especially after Monday's catch-up, I don't foresee a weekly close much below current levels. Next week looks more difficult with some tense aspects forming in the IFN chart. A new interim low is more likely to form around the 23rd.

As predicted, Tokyo fell last week and opens this week at 13,039. With transiting Saturn now separating from its aspect to the natal Venus in the TSE chart, I think there's isn't a lot of downside pressure left here. Similarly, transiting Venus comes under the aspect of Jupiter while Sun applies to the ascendant. Overall, this suggests an upside bias for the week.

As predicted, the Euro is coming off a good week, and opens Monday at 1.5947. I somewhat underestimated the extent of the rise last week, as Venus transited through the sweet spot of the 11th house of gains. Monday looks like another good day as transiting Sun comes under the aspect of natal Jupiter. This may push the Euro over 1.60. Overall, I think early in the week looks favourable, but selling pressures may emerge towards Friday. Overall, I think we will end the week close to where we are now, perhaps a little higher. Next week looks like another high, especially around Tuesday.

Despite a pullback early in the week, Oil hit new highs and closed at $145 against our expectations. I still believe Oil will be susceptible to sharp sell offs going forward although it may not be a consistent move to the downside. I don't think we'll see $150 here and look for intraday lows down to $130.

Gold is coming off a big up week and opens Monday at $960. While our forecast was correct to call for lows below $920 which were achieved in early week intraday trading, I did not expect to see a rally so soon. Gold may retrench next week back below $940 before resuming its march back to $1000 in late July and August.




July 6 2008 Weekly Forecast

As predicted, New York stocks fell last week as the Dow ended trading at 11,288 while the S&P stood at 1262. Sentiment is increasingly gloomy as the week's action confirmed that we are currently in a bear market -- down 20% from the 2007 highs. While the Dow managed to stay above 11,000 last week, next week promises to be even more newsworthy as the long-awaited Mars-Saturn conjunction occurs. Most observers agree that we're heading for another down week, the only question is how much. While there are whispers about the possibility of a crash here, I don't foresee things getting that bad. That said, the market is more vulnerable to sudden declines now that it has been in quite a while so I wouldn't want to rule out the possibility of the Dow going below 10,000 this week. A more likely scenario is for the markets to dip between 4-7% which would be 10,500-10,700 on the Dow and 1180-1210 on the S&P. If the rally on Monday takes off, then some of these downside targets may be tougher to meet. Nonetheless, I think we will see at least one day close decisively below 11,000/1230, and most likely Friday's close as well.

Monday has the chance for some gains as Mercury, Sun and Venus are in sidereal Gemini -- the only day they will do so -- while Moon is aspected by Jupiter. A rise of more than 1% is possible. Things may go south fairly quickly after that as the Sun opposes Jupiter on Wednesday the 9th which will set up both the Mars-Saturn conjunction and the bearish Mercury-Pluto opposition on the 10th. The possibility of a sudden market capitulation by Thursday may create some bonafide buying opportunities by Friday. After this week, we will likely be within 2-3% of an interim bottom that may be re-tested throughout July before a meaningful rally gets going in August. I would say there's a 50-50 chance that the interim lows will come this week.

In keeping with our previous forecast, Bombay is coming off another negative week in which it closed below 13,000 for the first time in many months. The Sensex opens Monday at 13,454. This week looks like more of the same with the perfection of Mars-Saturn, especially given the stresses in the IFN ETF chart. Tr Mars and Saturn will line up exactly opposite the IFN natal Venus and Mercury. I think we will see lower lows this week with a weekly close below 13,000, perhaps below 12,500. An intraday below 12k is also not out of the question.

Tokyo stands at 13,237 and has similarly been beaten down recently by dim economic prospects. The Thursday Mars-Saturn conjunction occurs right atop the ascendant of the Topix chart so it's hard to see how the Nikkei will do anything but go down. While there is a real chance of a snapback rally on Friday, we are looking at a re-testing of the March lows around 12k this week. Thus far, Tokyo has withstood the worst of the bearish mood and has remained well above its previous lows. This week looks like it plays a bit of catch up.

As expected, the Euro did have a tougher go of it this week, as the ECB signalled it had finished this round of rate cutting. While I had thought it would finish close to 1.58, Friday's sell off pushed it down and it opens at 1.5706. I think the Euro is poised to continue its longer term rally this week, although Monday looks quite negative. Transiting Mercury will pass over the MC and thereby form an opposition with Pluto on the Euro's IC. While not an obviously bullish pattern, it nonetheless looks significant and indicates that currency moves will be big this week. Overall, I expect the Euro will at least get back above 1.58. At the same time, however, some downside protection might be a good idea in case Pluto gets the upper hand.

As predicted, Gold was volatile last week and barely managed a gain overall, closing at $934. The early part of the week looks worst, as transiting Sun conjoins Saturn in the Futures chart. Friday may see a nice rally as Mercury is in aspect with Uranus in the Futures chart but generally, I'm not bullish on Gold here. I think we'll close lower for the week, possibly under $920 at some point intraweek Gold still has at least two more weeks to go before it makes a decisive break out move above $950 and launches another big run past $1000. I expect there will still be buying opportunities below $920 in the meantime. $900 entry points may no longer be possible.

While Oil failed to reach $150 last week, it did rally further to $145, as forecast. As Mercury moves out of the range of Rahu, however, there is less reason to stay with Oil. Mercury's entry into Gemini more or less spells the end of this current run-up so this week will likely see a significant decline in crude. Transiting Mars-Saturn will oppose the natal Venus in the Oil ETF chart which might push it down sharply, perhaps back to $130. The next week or two look mixed before another rally ensues after July 18th.



June 29 2008 Weekly Forecast

Markets in New York slumped badly last week in advance of the Mars-Saturn conjunction. While I had thought we might sneak a decent week in before the inevitable deluge last week, I was a little off in my timing as losses deepened at the end of the week. The Dow starts Monday at 11,346, thus erasing the previous winter low and is now officially in bear market territory. The S&P is in modestly better shape at 1278, just one percent above its winter low, and down over 18% off its previous high. While exact market timing remains as elusive as ever, my overall bearish forecast has been borne out by June's decline. The question is, will the market continue to slide as the Mars-Saturn conjunction tightens?

Aside from the obvious intensifying of the aspect, I think there's good reason to think there is more downside here. It's possible we will see 11,000 and 1230 this week so there is good reason to stay short this market, at least until July 10th. My best guess here is that next week will be worse than this week. The natal Venus (10 AQ) in the S&P chart will receive the twin malefic energy of Mars and Saturn when they oppose it next week on July 10. The natal Mercury (7 AQ) in this chart will be opposed by transiting Mars on July 2-3 this week, so that might signal further significant declines. Monday doesn't look good with Moon in a square to the Mars-Saturn-Neptune at the open and may reinforce the gloom in the coming days. I wonder if Thursday is the best day of the week as Moon is conjunct Venus opposite Jupiter. With no trading Friday ahead of the July 4th long weekend, volume is likely to be lighter than normal so the mood may unrealistically buoyant. I don't want to preclude the possibility that we've seen the bulk of the decline already and we may be close to forming an interim bottom around here. This goes for all world markets.

The BSE is also coming off a tough week and opens at 13,802. Note how Friday's 600 pt decline corresponded with transiting Mars (3 LE) exactly opposing the natal Saturn (3 AQ) in the BSE 1875 chart. Now that it's broken through 14k, there is considerable room here for more declines. The IFN ETF chart resembles the S&P chart in that there are a few planets in Aquarius (Sun 3 AQ, Saturn 8 AQ, Venus 10AQ, Mercury 12 AQ) that are under pressure from transiting Mars and Saturn. While it is sometimes a mistake to expect the biggest moves when aspects come exact, it is still a useful rule of thumb. I would also add that there is no strong confirmatory bearish signal in the Nifty and BSE 1875 charts. Transiting Sun passes over the equal 12th house cusp in the Nifty chart towards the end of the week, so that might be the worst day of the week. The following week looks worse as transiting Venus conjoins the natal Rahu while tr Mercury conjoins the natal Mars (opposite natal Pluto). There is a good chance that losses may not be too extensive this week, but next week's negativity would keep me from being long in this market.

Tokyo is coming off a down week and opens at 13,544. The natal Saturn (6 LE) in the TSE chart will be conjoined by tr Mars early this week and signals further losses. The Topix chart has 10 Leo rising and this will get hit by both Mars and Saturn next week at the conjunction. Moreover, tr Mars will square the natal Mars (8 SC) creating a very intense and bearish configuration. This again confirms the likelihood that next week will be worse than this week. While Japanese markets have outperformed most other global markets thus far this year (the key indexes are both running Jupiter dasha), there's a decent chance it will play catch up on the downside in the second week of July. I think a close below 13,000 is likely.

As predicted, the Euro is coming off a solid week and starts at 1.5787, well above our 1.57 target. I think the Euro will have a tougher road this week as tr. Mars is closer to the equal 12th house cusp. We might see some gains in the US dollar early in the week which might push it down below 1.57. I think the buying will return later in the week, however, as the Moon transits the 10th and 11th houses in the natal chart. Overall, I think we'll finish near our current levels, maybe slightly above. The week following looks stronger so it's possible that the 1.60 level might be broken then as tr Mercury hits the 10th cusp.

As predicted, Gold had a good week against a flagging US dollar, rising above $900 and it opens Monday at $931. It's likely got more juice in the tank this week but it may be volatile. The charts show a conflicting picture. The iShares Comex Gold ETF chart (Jan 21 2005 9.30 NY) looks good as tr Jupiter in the 11th conjunct Sun and Mercury is reinforced by the aspect from transiting Venus. Tuesday may not be great, however, as tr Mercury and Moon oppose the Mars in this chart. Tr Venus conjoins the natal Saturn in the futures chart which may also be bearish. Wednesday and Thursday should see a return to strength as Moon and Sun will transit under the aspect of the Futures natal Jupiter. Hopefully, that puts Gold in the plus column for the week. The following week looks more uncertain. I'd be skeptical about any lasting up moves here. By contrast, I prefer the last week of July as the start of a lasting rally.

As predicted, Oil is coming off another bullish week as prices topped out at $142 before closing just above $140. With tr Mercury passing over the ascendant in the Futures and ETF chart under Rahu's aspect, this up trend is likely to continue. Wednesday the 2nd looks very strong as tr Venus comes under benefic aspect of Jupiter in the ETF chart. This current rally is likely to end July 8-10 when the Mars-Saturn opposes the natal Venus in the ETF chart while tr Mercury conjoins the natal Mars. We may be above $150 by then, so the decline might be sudden and take us back under $135. Another major rally is likely to start in the last week of July.



Posted by Christopher Kevill at 6/29/2008 06:38:00 PM


June 22 Weekly Forecast

As predicted, stocks in New York fell this past week. We were even fortunate enough to hit our downside targets of 12,000 on the Dow and 1320 on the S&P. The Dow closed Friday perilously close to winter support levels of 11,842, while the S&P ended the week at 1317. Much of the bearishness could be attributed to the Mars-Ketu conjunction and the Sun-Venus opposition to Pluto, along with some difficult transits to the Dow 30 natal chart, particularly Sun and Venus coming to the 8th house Mars.

As transiting Mars now enters sidereal Leo and 'bears' down on Saturn, there is the likelihood for further declines in the near future. I don't think we will see them this week, however, as we may see some bargain hunting. The earlier part of the week looks more likely to decline, as Moon opposes Mars and Saturn. As the week goes on, we can expect more strength. If declines do occur early on, then the market may finish Friday around current levels, or maybe slightly above. If the declines Monday and Tuesday are more modest, then I would not be surprised to see 12,200 and 1350 on the indexes. But even in the best case scenario, this week will offer only a temporary respite from the overall downward trend. The following two weeks look more negative so we may retest winter lows then. At this point, I would say there's a 50% chance of breaking through Dow support (11,500) and SPX support (1270) in the coming weeks. Whatever lows are established then, we can look forward to a major rally in August.

The BSE also got caught up in the bearish mood and the Sensex closed down well below 15k to 14,571. This week looks better as Mercury begins to move forward again and sits atop the 11th house cusp in the Nifty Futures chart. Also the 11th house of gains in the India ETF chart is activated by the aspect from transiting Mars to the natal 11th house Sun. If the market manages to shrug off some early week negativity and avoid falling to 14k, it may make a close above 14,500-14,750.

Tokyo was down last week and opens Monday at 13,942. Like most global markets it is below its 200-day moving average, although its recent performance compares favourably with most other exchanges. It is one of the few equity markets that is currently trading above its 75-day moving average and is probably in a better position to weather further declines this year. This week more or less conforms to the pattern suggested above, with strength later in the week. In this case, the transiting Venus will aspect the natal Moon of the TSE chart and produce some significant rallies. Overall, I'm a little less optimistic for the week as a whole, as there seems to be more downward pressure early on, as transiting Mars will fall under the aspect of the natal Rahu, which combined with the malefic aspects to the transiting Moon may yield some steep losses.

As predicted, the Euro had a good week finishing above 1.56, although the intraweek action did not follow the forecast as Friday proved to be the best day. Monday and Tuesday look flat or weak as Moon enters the 6th house in the natal chart near Ketu. A drop back to 1.55 is possible here, but look for a nice rally Wednesday through Friday as transiting Venus closely aspects the natal Sun. I think there's a good chance we will finish higher for the week, possibly above 1.57.

Oil ended the week pretty much where it started, around $134, but not before it had rallied Monday above $139. I had thought a rally was likely and forecast a stabilizing of prices at some point. Friday's rally also caught me a little off guard as I had thought that most of the froth had been cleared. As the Moon transits through the 10th and 11th houses of the Futures chart (Aquarius and Pisces), there is good reason to think that Friday's rally may have some legs to it. While I had previously thought we were pretty much done with Oil in the short term, I'm less certain of that now. Mercury is moving forward now and forms an aspect with Rahu as it once again crosses the ascendant of the Futures chart. That is likely a bullish indicator that will likely manifest mostly next week (6/30). I think the bias is on the upside this week as well.

As predicted, Gold is coming off a good week as it managed to hit our target of $900. It opens trading Monday at $903. With Mars entering Leo and transiting Venus aspecting the natal Sun in the Futures chart, I think there is an upside bias this week that should push prices higher, possibly to $920. The following week also looks solidly bullish, perhaps even more so. Expect a pullback after that. July 10th, the date of the Mars-Saturn conjunction will almost certainly push gold prices down sharply.

P.S. I'm experiencing some server problems on my main site. It will take a few more days to get it back up and running.
 

 

 

 

June 15 Weekly Forecast

New York ended the week strongly but ended flat for the week as the Dow opens at 12,307 and SPX at 1360. I missed this late week rise, believing that the nastiness of the Mars-Ketu conjunction would cast a pall on whatever rosy fantasy the Venus-Neptune trine could conjure. No such luck. This week seems also biased towards the downside as the Mars-Ketu may offer some residual negativity while Venus and then the Sun oppose Pluto. Some late week rally is possible, especially after Mercury turns direct on Thursday morning (EDT), but overall, I think we will see continued retracement towards 12,000 and 1320. Monday may be the worst, however, as the Moon will square Saturn. With the Mars-Saturn conjunction in July still ahead, this may not be a good time to commit new money to the market. Friday will be an interesting battle as the Moon-Jupiter conjunction suggests a ray of optimism amidst the gathering gloom of the applying Mars-Neptune opposition. Given the proximity of the Sun-Pluto opposition that day, I would not bet on any bull run.

The BSE is coming off a down week and opens at 15,189. Thanks to the late week rally, this is higher than forecast and the Sensex remains above the psychologically important 15k level. Monday looks negative as the Moon is in square aspect to Saturn, while Mars has only just moved past Ketu in the sky. I believe it has yet to deliver its bearish karmic payload. Transiting Venus passing over the natal 12th house Mars in the Nifty Futures chart so that is another potential source of decline early in the week. While I think we're headed for a close decisively below 15k, I don't think declines here are going to be massive. There's a good chance we'll stay above 14k and may well be close to 15k until early July. After that, the lows may well be re-tested. Longer term, I am looking for some kind of substantial rally in August.

The Nikkei opens at 13,973 after a negative week. This week really does not look good for the TSE as both tr Venus and Sun will fall under the disruptive influence of the natal Ketu. While this is not in itself bearish, dispositor Mercury is going to be retrograde while tr Saturn is squaring the natal Venus very closely. 13,500 is very possible here, although if we see a nasty Monday or Tuesday, it could go much lower.

The US dollar rallied strongly last week and the Euro bore the brunt of it. It opens trading Monday at 1.5393. I missed this move completely, although in retrospect, I can see the source of my error. My much-hoped for tr Venus to the natal Moon fell under the influence of the natal Ketu so this likely threw a wrench into the works. While central banks are trying to talk up the dollar, I still believe the Euro is due for a rally, as tr Venus moves over the natal Midheaven. It is possible that the Euro sell off continues given the presence of Pluto on the IC, but I think the bias will be towards the upside. Whatever direction the Euro takes, there is a good chance that it will be large -- possibly 2 cents in one day. At the same time, tr Mars conjoins the natal Rahu in the 12th opposite Neptune. This appears to be a very bearish indicator. One possible scenario is for a Euro rally early in the week back to 1.55 or 1.56 and then another decline Thursday and Friday back to current levels. It definitely looks volatile this week although I would like to think we finish higher than 1.54.

After an early week sell off, Oil rallied towards the end of the week but could not match last week's prices. It opens at $134.86. I think Oil will attempt another rally this week, as the tr Venus conjoins the natal Rahu in the Futures chart. With Pluto anchoring the aspect through an opposition aspect, there is a chance for a spectacular rally Monday or Tuesday. But it is anything but certain. More than anything, this combination suggests a large price swing and it could be in either direction. As the week progresses, prices should stabilize. I think we're getting very near the short term high and we may hit it this week, if we haven't already. Late June and July looks worse for Oil. Right now, I think there will be a significant negative turn in sentiment around July 5.

Following on my missed call for the Euro, and the bidding up of the greenback, the dominoes fell and Gold also had a bad week. It opens at $873, stuck in its current trading range between $850 and $950. The Venus-Sun opposition to Pluto this week contains the possibility for big moves here and there is a good chance they will be on the upside. In the Gold ETF chart, 5 Sagittarius rises, so the Pluto-Venus aspect will straddle the ascendant and create the potential for strong gains early in the week. Friday may also see a rise as Venus makes a good aspect to the natal Uranus in this chart. There's a reasonable chance to get back over $900 this week but much depends on Monday's action. If it's up, then we're likely headed substantially higher.
 

 

 

June 8 Weekly Forecast

Stocks in New York plunged 3% on Friday and ended the week lower as the Dow closed at 12,209 and the S&P at 1360. This confirmed last week's bearish forecast for Friday in particular and for the negative trend on the week. If anything, I underestimated the extent of the pullback as I had thought the larger declines would come the week following with Mars conjoining Ketu. These declines are still imminent, however, so we will likely see more downside here. The end of the week looks especially negative with the tr Sun-Venus squaring Uranus and the tr Mars moving in close to Ketu as it conjoins the natal Uranus in the 1792 chart. If the market manages some gains midweek, it may limit the losses to perhaps 2-3%. But that looks like a best case scenario. The Dow may re-test its March lows of 11,750 at some point, while the S&P may find itself approaching its winter support level of 1320. Monday looks quite negative, while Tuesday will probably see a significant snapback rally as the Moon trines Jupiter. Buckle up.

Tokyo has stood up rather well of late and the Nikkei is still well above 14,000. This is about to change, however, as tr Saturn will square the natal 11th house Venus in the TSE chart. Monday will be predictably terrible, but look for a larger than NY's 3% loss as the transiting Moon conjoins both the transiting Saturn and the natal Saturn of this chart. Expect the short term low to occur early next week (June 16-18) as tr Sun-Venus will pass over the equal 12th house cusp. I think it will decline below 13,000.

The Euro had a big day Friday against the US dollar and closed at 1.5778. Its gain of 2 cents on the week was broadly in line with our bullish forecast. I think the Euro will continue to move higher this week as tr Sun-Venus is aspecting the natal chart ruler Mercury. 1.60 is well within reach. Tuesday may be the best day of the week, as the Tr Moon falls under the benefic aspect of natal Jupiter. Friday may also have some significant upside as Tr Venus conjoins the natal Moon in the 10th house. That may be an indicator of a new all-time high in the Euro against the dollar.

Oil had a record-setting day on Friday as it closed up over $10 to finish at $138. I had forecast that there would be a second leg up in this rally with the Sun-Venus conjunction moving to the ascendant of the futures chart, although I had thought it would not arrive until this week. Clearly, another major speculative rally is underway. Part of the difficulty calling the top concerns the ambiguity of the futures chart itself. Its exact time of inception is unknown. If it is in fact 9.00 a.m as Friday's rally would strongly suggest given the impact of Sun and Venus passing over the ascendant, then the rally may not have that much further to go. One possible sign of a top would be the Sun and Venus falling under the exact aspect of Rahu on Tuesday and Wednesday. I don't think it will be done then, however, as Sun and Venus will trine Neptune on Friday. Neptune is considered by many astrologers to be the significator for oil. It's usually impossible calling the date and level of the exact market top but I think Friday is the most likely candidate. I have no idea what the price might be by then. $150 seems almost certain given all the talk, and it may be much higher than that. Whatever day it turns out to be, I don't think we will see much downward movement until perhaps the Mercury station on the 19th. This will be aspected by the Jupiter in the Oil futures chart, so its separation from this favourable energy may take some of the enthusiasm out of this market.

With the result of the dollar weakeness, Gold rose sharply on Friday and closed at $899. While my forecast mixed up the days for the larger price movements, I did mention $900 as a possible close and I did allude to increased volatility. It's noteworthy that the greater than normal number of aspects in the Gold futures chart equated to a big gain, even though many of the aspects involved malefics and supposedly hard aspects. I think Gold is likely headed higher this week, although there is an opposition aspect from tr Mars to the natal Moon in the ETF chart that makes me wonder if we won't see at least one negative day. $920 seems within reach. Monday looks positive as tr Moon will be aspected by the natal Jupiter. I think this short term up trend will probably continue into early next week, up until about June 18th. Actually, there seems to be a general bullish trend until perhaps the first week of July when Sun and Venus will be aspected by the natal Jupiter. I would not be surprised to see gold at $950 by then.

Posted by Christopher Kevill at 6/07/2008 12:15:00 PM

 

June 1 2008 Weekly Forecast

New York is coming off a modest gain last week and starts at 12,638/1400. Monday looks bearish as Moon will fall under square aspect of Saturn. Tuesday may see a nice bounce back as Moon joins the Sun Venus in Taurus. Friday looks bearish as Moon is in Cancer with Mars and Ketu and Cancer rises at the start of the trading day. Overall, we probably won't end up too far from current levels, although there seems to be more downside risk here.

The Euro slipped under 1.56 and begins trading Monday at 1.5536. I had thought it would fare better, although I was cautious overall as I expected a pullback the following week. As it turned out, I was a few days early. Monday will bode well as Mercury gradually backs away from the negative influence of the natal Ketu. I don't foresee a huge move either way this week, although the the bias seems to be on the upside.

As predicted, Oil fell below $130 last week and begins the week at $127. I think we may see strength Monday and Tuesday as Moon, Sun and Venus are all in Taurus in close aspect to the futures natal Jupiter. There could be another rally towards $130. Any early week highs probably won't hold as the rest of the week looks middling. The week following looks stronger.

Gold had a tough week and fell back to $890. While I had been bullish last week, I did forecast a decline back to the $900 level for the following week so I jumped the gun there also. Gold looks bullish Monday and maybe into Tuesday. But I'm interested to see what the effect of the tr. Mars conjoining the natal Moon in the futures chart. Also, tr Sun and Venus will oppose the natal Mars. Those are some potentially troublesome influences, and yet I'm reluctant to forecast further declines here. If anything, it suggest activity and probably volatility. One possible scenario is a rise towards $910 early in the week and a drop back below $900 towards the end of the week.

Posted by Christopher Kevill at 06/01/2008 at 10.10 PM

May 25 Weekly Forecast

New York finished the week down over 3%, closing at 12,479 on the Dow and 1375 on the SPX. While I had foreseen this decline, I had thought we would be spared the brunt of it until Thursday or Friday and into next week. As it happened, the decline came early on Wednesday and pushed the markets decisively below key resistance levels. I think we have some more downside left on this move down this week. The Mercury retrograde station on Monday looms large in this respect, even if it falls on a day when the markets are closed. Tuesday and Wednesday therefore look most vulnerable to sell offs. On Tuesday, Venus squares Saturn while Moon opposes Saturn, a very difficult pattern and points to a significant loss, most likely greater than 1%, perhaps as high as 2%. This should set the tone for the rest of the week and we should finish lower across the board. There's a chance that the March lows will be re-tested here, but it's more likely we'll see between 1320-1330 as an intraday bottom and finishing somewhat above that. The following week looks strong, so look the market to attempt yet another rally.

The Euro is coming off a strong week and starts Monday at 1.5755. While I had spotted the supporting influence of Sun and Venus in the 9th house, my forecast for a down week was off the mark as the stationing Mercury did not suffer any ill effects from the natal Ketu. The current uptrend is likely to continue next week as the Venus in Taurus still sits very close to the 9th house cusp. Thursday may be the best day, as Moon conjoins the natal Jupiter.

As predicted, Oil continued its march ever upward and we did easily pass $130. After the high of $135 on Wednesday, the market showed signs of weakening as the rally on Friday only got it back to $132. Given the central role of the stationing Mercury to this price spike, I am eager to see what the market looks like on the other side of Monday's station. There's a good chance that the reversal in Mercury's direction may be reflected in a similar reversal of the upward trend. I think a large move back under $130 is a plausible scenario for the week, with a possible upturn by Friday. Overall, I think the week looks negative but we'll probably see another large rally by the second week of June.

Despite my negative outlook, Gold is coming off a bullish week and opens trading at $925. I think it's likely to repeat this performance and may end up bumping up against resistance levels in the $940-950 range. Tr Sun and Venus are moving closer to the trinal aspect of natal Jupiter in the ETF chart which is a positive signal. The following week or two will see Gold fall back towards $900, however, as the consolidation process continues.

 

 

May 18 Weekly Forecast

New York is coming off an up week and opens Monday at 12,986/1425. My forecast ran aground on the expectation of an early week sell off which did not materialize. In hindsight, much of the rise can be attributed to the transiting Sun-Jupiter trine which overrode any afflictions in the SPX chart. The late-week rise on the Sun-Moon-Jupiter grand trine was in keeping with the forecast, however, but by then the market was already on firmer territory.

While the Venus-Jupiter trine has perfected Sunday, I think there may be enough optimism left in the separating aspect to move prices up into Monday. The bullish move will likely be further supported by the Moon's aspect to Venus at the start of trading. Venus squares Neptune on Tuesday, however, which might be a time for an unsustainable rally which ultimately fails by the close. Transiting Venus also conjoins the natal Mercury in the 1792 chart, so that is probably another boost for the market mid-week. More negatively, the Sun will be in square aspect to Saturn on Thursday and Friday, so both those days may see the market under water, although Friday is worse. On balance the up momentum is significant this week, so we may close up overall, although not by much given Friday's probable decline. Things look more troubled next week as Mercury turns retrograde on Monday. This is can be a factor that reverses the prevailing trend, and since we've been moving up recently, it's reasonable to see this is as a bearish signal. Another important dimension to this retrograde station is that it occurs in close aspect to Rahu. This intensifies the feelings of unease and uncertainty connected with trading and may correspond to significant computer glitches as well. Moreover, Monday the 26th will feature Venus in square aspect to Saturn and Sun in tight aspect with the natal Rahu of the 1792 chart. Overall, not a good mix.

The Euro opens at 1.5576, up almost a full cent on the week. Although it was down below 1.54 intraday early in the week, I underestimated the bullish effects of the partile Tr. Uranus conjunction to natal Jupiter. As transiting lagna lord Mercury slows down, it comes under the aspect of the natal Ketu, which is a negative influence. This may be held off for part of the week by the bullish effect of transiting Sun and Venus in the 9th house of the natal chart. But here only Monday and Friday look positive. My best guess is that the Euro will finish down for the week, possibly below 1.55.

Oil continues to defy my bearish expectations as it finished above $126 once again. While it did touch below $122 earlier in the week, it bounced right back, fueled by ongoing speculation and the cheerleading provided by Goldman Sachs. It seems that the transiting Mercury to the ascendant of the futures chart was not price neutral after all. It's still pretty close to the ascendant this week, so I'm reluctant to predict any major declines and we may see $130. The presence of the Rahu aspect to Mercury says nothing, if not "speculation". I don't fully understand why the tr Mars to the futures Moon-Saturn has not provided enough downside pressure on prices. Perhaps it's a case of just being offset by Mercury hovering close to the ascendant. We may have to wait for Mercury to turn retrograde on the 26th and thereby turn away from the ascendant and out of Rahu's influence for prices to fall significantly. This is likely going to be very volatile for a few weeks as long as Mercury is within range of Rahu.

Gold opens at $899, up modestly from the previous week. I had thought trading would be choppy with early week weakness and that wasn't entirely off the mark, although the size of the swings surprised me. Monday looks good as Tr. Moon opposes Venus in soft aspect to the natal Venus in the futures chart. Midweek looks more problematic as Mercury opposes the Pluto in the ETF chart. Overall, I think Gold finishes lower on the week, but there are enough upward signals here to warrant some daily up moves, too.

 

 

May 11 Weekly Forecast

New York is coming off a moderately negative week and opens at 12,745/1388. While I had thought the market would finish somewhat higher by Friday, these levels are in line with my worse-case intraday expectation of 1390 on the SPX. With Jupiter now retrograde, I think we are going to see some fundamental shifts in sentiment in the coming weeks as the glass will begin to appear half-empty to more market players. I don't think the market will go straight down from here though, since a rally of some size is likely heading into mid-June.

Last week, I predicted that Monday the 12th may see a substantial decline. I still think there is a big downside risk early this week owing to the simultaneous aspecting of transiting Mars and Saturn to the SPX natal Mercury. Also tr Mercury opposes the natal SPX Saturn as well, making the density of these contacts very high, and largely negative. Discerning outcomes is made more complicated since tr Jupiter trines tr Sun (a bullish influence) and these planets are exactly aligned with the Mars-Ketu conjunction in the SPX chart. While I think this natal contact essentially neutralizes the favourable influence of the trine, I acknowledge there is a slight possibility that the market could go the other way and rally. Regardless, I think Monday-Tuesday will see large price swings, most probably to the downside. The latter part of the week starting on Wednesday looks like a nice rally as a grand trine forms between tr Jupiter, Moon, and Sun. Overall, I think the market will finish the week lower with possible intraday lows of 12,500/1350.

Although I was steadfast in my belief that the recent run-up on Indian markets is nothing but a bear market rally, I thought the rise would last through last week. It didn't, and the BSE finished lower and opens at 16,737. In retrospect, I underestimated the negative impact of the late week tr Mars aspect to the natal Moon in the Nifty Futures chart. The Sun-nodal t-square perfects this week just as the tr Sun passes over the natal Saturn in the Nifty chart creating a situation of extreme uncertainty and confusion leading to fear. This aspect makes its closest pass on Tuesday and Wednesday, on the heels of the likely Monday sell off in NY. A close under 16k is possible here and negative week seems the most likely outcome although with a decent snapback rally late in the week, the Sensex may not be down by that much. My sense is that this isn't the end of the bear market rally and we may see more sizable rallies up until about June 10.

I was similarly sanguine about the TSE last week which finished lower at 13,655, although I was correct in predicting the end of the week weakness. This global bearish pattern for the week is also seen in the Tokyo chart. Tr Mars opposes natal Jupiter, although interestingly it doesn't perfect until later in the week. The Sun-nodal t-square also affects this chart, as the Sun is just four degrees from its natal position on Monday. Note also that the transiting Moon joins Ketu on Monday for added punch. This chart looks less afflicted than either NY or Mumbai, so it's possible the decline may be less here.

The Euro closed fractionally higher last week and opens at 1.5492. While I had forecast a down week, my projection for intraday lows of 1.53 was spot on as the Euro hit that level twice on Wednesday and Thursday. However, it bounced back sharply both times and even managed a decent gain on Friday. The Sun-nodal t-square will hit the Euro head-on as the nodes sit in inverse conjunction to their natal position -- tr Rahu conjunct natal Ketu. I think the Euro will revisit 1.53 again this week and will probably go below it. With Jupiter no long applying to the natal Venus, I think the Euro is headed down over the next few weeks. We should be well under 1.50 by June.

Last week's bearish forecast missed the mark as Oil is coming off another record-setting week with an apparent speculative blow off top and closed Friday above $125. Well, the party may well be over -- at least for this week. Tr Mars squares the Moon-Saturn in the futures chart this week with the perfection of the aspect due mid-week. With tr Saturn also aspecting that natal conjunction, there is a real risk for a large drop, perhaps back under $115. At this point, I am interpreting tr Mercury coming to the ascendant of the futures chart as a sign of increased trading, rather than a bullish price indicator.

I was similarly overly negative on Gold last week as it closed at $885, up $30. While I had thought some good rallies were possible, I didn't think they would hold as much as they did. I'm generally bearish short term, as I think Gold is in the process of forming a bottom here so I am expecting more testing of $850 and below in the coming weeks. This week Gold seems poised to decline as tr Mercury opposes the natal futures Mars, while tr Mars squares the natal Uranus. This apparently bearish pattern is reinforced by some hard aspects in the GLD ETF chart. It won't be all downhill from here, although I think the bearishness is likely strongest on Monday and Tuesday. I would not be surprised to see $850 at some point this week, although I'm not wholly committed to the gloom for this week. The drift should be down, but prices could be choppy here.

 

 

May 4 2008 Weekly Forecast

Despite last week's prediction to the contrary, New York is coming off another good week as it finished at or above some key resistance levels. The Dow opens at 13,058, the SPX at 1413. While closes above these levels should be seen as bullish indicators, it's important to note that low volume and iffy market breadth have made them less than convincing signs that we've definitely broken out of the current trading range. We're sitting in between some big planetary direction changes now as Saturn turned direction on Friday, while Jupiter turns retrograde on Friday. So a holding pattern may be the most likely outcome with no big moves either way. I think the coming week will likely see the market stay at or near these levels, with a bias to the upside. I would say there's a 30% chance we'll see 13,400/1450 at some point this week, and only a 20% chance to see any intraday below 12,800/1390. Monday looks like heavy trading on the upside as tr Mercury conjoins the SPX ascendant.

I am still maintaining a bearish stance here, however, so I would be cautious about going long in this market especially at these relatively lofty levels. The next key date I'm looking is May 12th, when tr Mercury opposes the SPX Saturn and tr Mars and tr Saturn both line up a 7 degrees of their respective signs -- both aspecting the SPX Mercury. I don't know how deep the next leg down will be, but it should take us at least half way back to the key support levels. The markets could start to lose ground towards the end of this week in anticipation for sharper declines in the week of the 12th.

Bombay is coming off a good week and the Sensex opens Monday at 17,600. I can't see any reason for the uptrend to change so we will likely see 18k at some point. In the Nifty Futures chart, for example, tr second lord Sun is dispositor of bhukti lord Saturn is conjunct the 10th house cusp early in the week. Tr 11th lord Venus is applying to this favourable position, while Mercury transits through the 11th house of gains. While I still believe that this is nothing but a bear market rally, I am loath to bet against it this week.

Tokyo broke through 14k level last week and opens Monday at 14,049. Tr Mars crosses the TSE ascendant early in the week and yet this is unlikely to cause much turbulence because tr Moon, Sun, and Venus will closely conjoin the TSE Mars in Aries. On Monday, tr Mercury will be just past the TSE Venus in the 11th house, so that also tends to be a bullish influence. 14,500 is possible here, but look for gains to fade by Friday although we should finish higher on the week.

As predicted, the Euro fell sharply last week and opens Monday at 1.5424. I think the downtrend will continue although not as strongly or as deliberately. Monday and Tuesday look like days of consolidation for the Euro so we may see it bounce back up to 1.55 intraday. Towards the end of the week, however, the US dollar will rally once again so 1.53 or below is very much on the table.

As predicted, Oil fell back from last week's highs and opens at $116. I correctly foresaw the dip down to $110, although Friday's recovery was somewhat surprising. I'm still very bearish on Oil both short and medium term and I think we are heading for $90 or less at some point in June. This week may only see relatively small declines to $112-114 and at least one big up day is still likely. Tr Mars has yet to get close enough to the natal Moon-Saturn to make the break below $110.

As predicted, Gold came down sharply and reached our target of $850 on Thursday. It starts the week at $857. I'm still bearish for Gold in the short term but this week may see it stay near current levels. Monday will probably see it fall further, perhaps below $850. We might make $830 a possible downside target somewhere along the line, although this seems like a worse case scenario. At some point, I think a $20 gain is possible but any rally likely won't stick. We should end the week lower overall.

 

 

April 27 2008 Weekly Forecast

Stocks in New York finished modestly higher last week, contrary to expectations. It now appears that the stationing Saturn will need the help of the inner planets to form a square in order to push prices down which happens at the end of week. Another potential bearish influence may come from Mars, which on Monday enters sidereal Cancer, its sign of debilitation. The major indexes are approaching the upper end of their recent trading ranges as the Dow starts this week at 12,891 and the S&P at 1397.

I think there is a chance that stocks can hold on to these recent gains in the early part of the week but Thursday and Friday look negative and are likely to take the averages down. Overall, I think the market will finish lower for the week. The key factor in all of this is the effect of Mars entering Cancer. After spending the past six months in Gemini, the ingress of Mars into Cancer will introduce a new variable into the mix. It's possible that this new planetary equation may push markets down on Monday since Mars is the dispositor for all the inner planets -- Sun, Mercury and Venus. If markets drop Monday, then this would substantially increase the prospects for a negative week. As an added bearish factor, tr Mars will squares the natal Jupiter in the NYSE 1792 chart.

Bombay is coming off another bullish week closing at an impressive 17,125, as it capitalized on the tr Venus conjunction to the natal Moon in the IFN ETF chart. I think the Mars aspect to the natal Uranus will cause a sudden sell-off Monday or Tuesday. The further motion of Mars into Cancer is likely to create negative momentum to the market through the week so we're likely to see markets fall from current levels by Friday.

Tokyo was also up significantly last week and opens Monday at 13,863. The TSE exceeded last week's forecast from the surprising strength of the Venus-Rahu conjunction. While this is often a negative influence, the exact aspect from tr Jupiter to its dispositor Mars gave a big boost to the tr Venus. Since the TSE chart has 3 Cancer rising, the approach of Mars this week points to an increase in volume and volatility. I am also forecasting a decline here. Friday looks like the worst day.

As forecast, the Euro did hit 1.60 last week although it failed to hang on to gains. It starts the week above 1.56. This pullback was expected although we had thought it arrived a few days ahead of schedule. I expect this weakness to continue this week, as the Euro may fall to 1.53 or below at some point.

Oil closed higher least week as forecast, reaching as high as $119 and closing above $118. I am expecting oil to fall this week, perhaps sharply, as Venus conjoins the natal Mars in the futures chart and Mars begins to channel its debilitated energy to the Moon-Saturn conjunction in Libra. While there is a question of when the bearishness of Mars will manifest since the aspect will not perfect for another two weeks (May 13), I think the worsening condition of transiting Venus will be enough to push prices down. Tr Venus falls under the aspect of the natal Ketu early in the week, and by the end of the week it opposes the natal Saturn. That's more than enough constraint to correct prices back under $115, perhaps even lower to $110.

Like the Euro, the sell off in Gold started a little earlier than expected, as it closed at $889, falling almost 3% for the week. I was correct in noting the possible bearish effect of the tr Mars opposition to the natal Venus on Friday, as prices fell sharply. I expect the sell off to continue as tr Venus falls under the natal Saturn in the GLD ETF chart, while tr Mars aspects the natal Venus. This has the potential for a sharp decline, especially Monday and Friday. We may see a close below $850 this week. This would put Gold in striking distance of its 200 day moving average.

 

 

April 20 2008 Weekly Forecast

After last week's bull run eviscerated my gloomy forecast, New York starts the week at 12,849/1390. The dominant aspect this week is the Mars-Jupiter opposition which perfects on Thursday. For extra complexity, Venus (28 Pisces) will form a western t-square on that date as it moves through the last degrees of exaltation in Pisces. And given the Uranus placement in the same degree of Aquarius, we have a fairly potent line-up of planets. I think this pattern is largely bearish, although Monday may be an up day as Venus is still within range of the S&P Moon. We may be able to approach the 13,000/1400 in the early going this week but head lower as the week wears on. Besides the troublesome Mars-Jupiter aspect, tr Mars falls under the aspect of the S&P Rahu, while tr Sun sits on the equal 12th house cusp on Thursday. These are really quite negative indications and suggest that down days greater than 1% in midweek are likely. Overall, we should finish lower this week, with a reasonable prospect that we'll end up significantly lower, back to 12,200/1325.

Bombay opens at 16,481 after an unexpected big rise last week. I think the BSE is going to be lower this week, breaking below 16k. Besides the Mars-Venus-Jupiter t-square, tr Mars squares the Sun in the BSE-100 chart. Transiting bhukti lord Mercury is very close to the equal 6th house cusp earlier in the week, so this may be a drag on prices before any substantial declines occur.

After a solid week as per our forecast, Tokyo opens at 13,476. Even with this bearish Mars-Jupiter pattern in the sky, I'm less negative about the TSE. While I think some down days are in store, especially later in the week, this may well turn out to be one of the stronger global equity markets. If we finish down for the week, it won't be by much. Next week, by contrast, looks much worse.

After flirting with $1.60 last week, the Euro opens at $1.58. I think we will see it break through $1.60 this week -- finally. Tr Mars comes under the benefic influence of the natal Jupiter while tr Venus still aspects the Virgo lagna. Wednesday or Thursday look like the best days. Overall, we should finish up significantly for the week.

Oil is really the pivotal economic story these days as it opens at another all-time high of $116. Transiting bhukti lord Venus remains in exaltation in Pisces all week, so it looks generally bullish. However, we will see a chance for a big (>1%) pullback as tr Sun opposes the natal Moon-Saturn conjunction Tuesday and Wednesday. I think this transit will only generate one major down day so we'll probably finish Friday above current levels, but $120 may only be a 50-50 proposition.

At $915, Gold comes off a decent week, even if Friday's sell off was sharp. Monday looks negative as the residual bearish of transiting dasha lord Venus under the influence of natal Saturn. Also, tr Sun opposes the natal Uranus in the futures chart. I think the upward momentum will resume after that, although Friday is a question as the tr Mars opposes the natal Venus. On balance, I think we'll finish higher for the week. However, time is running out for Gold as next week the Jupiter station will really pull the rug out from this market in May and we could see prices break down to $850 or below. While I had previously thought that we had a window of opportunity to hit $1000 briefly before the big sell off, I no longer think this is possible. Especially if Monday is negative, I don't think there will be enough juice in the tank to get us there. We will likely have to wait until autumn for a chance to revisit the all-time highs.

 

 

April 13 2008 Weekly Forecast

As predicted, the NYSE finished down last week amid new fears that corporate earnings may be vulnerable to fallout from the sub-prime crisis. The Dow opens at 12,325 and the S&P at 1332. I think we will see the markets move lower again this week, with Monday and Tuesday looking the most bearish. Transiting Sun and Mercury will move into Aries early in the week and will fall under the aspect of unpredictable Ketu. I consider this a negative influence owing to Ketu's conjunction with Saturn. The transiting Moon will come to the Saturn-Ketu conjunction Tuesday, so that might be the more negative day. As an additional burden, by their ingress into Aries, Sun and Mercury are moving into the 12th house of the the S&P chart. At this point, Friday appears to be the best day, as tr. Venus applies to the natal S&P Moon, although it will still be a couple degrees short. If Monday does in fact produce a lower close, then we could be looking at a significant decline for Tuesday, on the order of 2% or more. I think we will see 1300/12,000 at some point this week, with a slight possibility of.intraday re-testing of the 11,700/1270 support levels. On balance, I think that next week would be a better candidate for the re-testing of those support levels, however.

Bombay is closed Monday, but trading on Tuesday should be mostly negative. I had thought the decline would being late last week as the transiting Mars came to the natal 1875 Mercury, but traders had other ideas as the Sensex closed at 15,807. Tr. Mars now applies to the natal Sun so the negative energy is now, if anything, more concentrated. Some relief rally is possible for Thursday, however, as optimism, no matter how baseless, may return with the approach of transiting Venus to the natal 1875 Rahu. With the shortened three-day trading week, I think we will finish lower, perhaps moving below 15,000 at least for one day's close.

Tokyo is coming off a decent week and will open at 13,323. Transiting Sun and Mercury will conjoin the natal Rahu in the TSE chart, making for a lot of volatility. We can expect a down day Monday following on the the heels of US markets. Transiting Moon will come under negative pressure from the aspect of the natal TSE Mars. However, transiting Venus will move toward the TSE unequal 10th house cusp (MC) later in the week. This is one reason why I can see the Nikkei closing over 13k for the week and indeed moving higher from current levels.

I was overly bearish on the Euro last week, but I'm fairly certain it will sell off this week as tr. Sun and Mercury conjoin the natal Saturn. I see that it has sold off almost a cent already in early trading so that forecast is bearing fruit. We may see $1.55 or lower in the early part of the week, but look for some recovery by Friday, perhaps back to $1.56 or 1.57. Overall, though we should be lower from its present level of $1.582.

Oil is similarly going to suffer a big pullback early on in the week as tr Sun and Mercury conjoin the natal Mars in the futures chart. Given its recent volatility, a big move of at least 5% to the downside is very likely over Monday and Tuesday. We may see the Oil price go below $105, perhaps decisively so. There will some rally later on, but I think we'll finish Friday below current levels of $110.

Gold will also fall this week as tr Mars conjoins the natal Saturn in the futures chart. $900 is very possible at some point this week and I think we'll close Friday lower than where we started.

 

 

April 6, 2008 Weekly Forecast

New York opens trading Monday at 12,606/1370 after last week's gains as we had forecast. I think we're heading lower this week. The New Moon chart is a mixed bag with lagnesh Mars causing problems in the 8th house. On the plus side, Jupiter is reinforcing notions of wealth in the 2nd house. However, there are couple of potential bearish indicators forming this week as Mercury squares Mars, and Sun squares Jupiter, both perfecting on Thursday. On that day, tr Moon is aspected by Rahu, so that's another signal that we may be in for a larger scale decline that day on the order of 1-2%. To complicate matters, tr Venus will be sitting on the 11th cusp of gains in the S&P500 chart on Thursday so that will exercise an offsetting influence to some extent. Alternatively, the Venusian up day may be pushed forward to Friday. Monday and Tuesday may see gains as the Aries Moon falls under the aspect of Jupiter. At this point, I think Wednesday and Thursday will be the most negative. By Friday, I think we'll be under 12,400/1350 with possible weekly intraday lows of 12,200/1330. If Monday and Tuesday are pretty solid up days, then we'll finish Friday closer to the higher 1350 level. If not, then those intraday lows of 1330 may well be closing prices. In any event, I think the market is headed into a more bearish period here over the next couple of weeks, so even if this forecast is a little off this week, the negativity will catch up next week. I am not ruling out a retesting of the winter lows of 11,750/1270. More details later.

Starting Monday at 15,343, Bombay looks like it will have a negative week. Transiting Mars will conjoin the natal Mercury by degree in the BSE 1875 chart which will set off the natal nodes as well. This is most likely to manifest on Wednesday when it is exact. And on that day the tr Moon will square the tr Saturn. This looks like a substantial move to the down side, perhaps on the order of 3-5%. On Thursday, tr Mercury will conjoin the natal Rahu in the 1875 chart so that also does not bode well for the market. Some up days are still possible on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, however, but they don't look that good. To top it off Sunday's New Moon showed Saturn and Ketu as the lowest point in the sky -- a very bearish signal. I'm confident we will be easily below 15k on the Sensex by Friday and down to 14,500 intraday at some point. I would also say that there's a 50-50 chance we will end 500 pts lower on both of those target levels.

Tokyo opens Monday at 13,293, right in line with last week's forecast for a close over 13k on the Nikkei. This is looking like a losing week as Mars falls in the 12th house of the New Moon chart. Monday looks bearish as tr Moon hits the natal Mars in the TSE chart. Wednesday is likely the worst day of the week as tr Mercury opposes Neptune in the TSE chart whilst tr Venus sits on the cusp of the 8th house in the Topix chart. I think we should finish below 13,000 this week, with some intraday lows below 12,500 very possible.

The Euro gamely held onto its relatively lofty levels above 1.57 last week but the picture darkens this week as tr Sun will be caught in the crosshairs of the aspect of natal Mars and then will go on and apply to conjoin the natal Saturn. I think we could see a big fall this week, probably below $1.55 by Friday and perhaps down as low as $1.53 intraday depending on how bad Monday is. If we see the Euro drop by a full cent Monday, then a more bearish outlook is likely for the week. Next week looks even worse for the Euro. The US dollar is coming back with a vengeance.

Oil starts the week above $106 after last week's gains. I think we should finish the week at or above these levels, between $105-108. The early part of the week looks best as the Moon conjoins the natal Venus on Monday and tr Mercury comes under Jupiter's benefic influence. There is the possibility that some of the bullish patterns on Tuesday and Wednesday may negated by tr Mars' square to Mercury. At this point, it seems that gains will be limited to less than 1% on each these days but I admit there is a chance we could move lower, albeit not by much.

Gold opens at $913 after last week's sharp sell off. I don't see Gold holding on here. It is likely to move lower this week, closing below $900. Monday opens bearishly as tr Mercury falls under natal Rahu's aspect while squaring the natal Sun. There will be some upward movement but it probably won't be strong. Next week looks like another sharp move downward, so we may get an early start on Thursday and Friday as tr Mars conjoins the natal Saturn. This is the same aspect that marked the sell off after the May 2006 top. I think we're going to see Gold fall below at least $850 over the next two weeks.

 


May 25 Weekly Forecast

New York finished the week down over 3%, closing at 12,479 on the Dow and 1375 on the SPX. While I had foreseen this decline, I had thought we would be spared the brunt of it until Thursday or Friday and into next week. As it happened, the decline came early on Wednesday and pushed the markets decisively below key resistance levels. I think we have some more downside left on this move down this week. The Mercury retrograde station on Monday looms large in this respect, even if it falls on a day when the markets are closed. Tuesday and Wednesday therefore look most vulnerable to sell offs. On Tuesday, Venus squares Saturn while Moon opposes Saturn, a very difficult pattern and points to a significant loss, most likely greater than 1%, perhaps as high as 2%. This should set the tone for the rest of the week and we should finish lower across the board. There's a chance that the March lows will be re-tested here, but it's more likely we'll see between 1320-1330 as an intraday bottom and finishing somewhat above that. The following week looks strong, so look the market to attempt yet another rally.

The Euro is coming off a strong week and starts Monday at 1.5755. While I had spotted the supporting influence of Sun and Venus in the 9th house, my forecast for a down week was off the mark as the stationing Mercury did not suffer any ill effects from the natal Ketu. The current uptrend is likely to continue next week as the Venus in Taurus still sits very close to the 9th house cusp. Thursday may be the best day, as Moon conjoins the natal Jupiter.

As predicted, Oil continued its march ever upward and we did easily pass $130. After the high of $135 on Wednesday, the market showed signs of weakening as the rally on Friday only got it back to $132. Given the central role of the stationing Mercury to this price spike, I am eager to see what the market looks like on the other side of Monday's station. There's a good chance that the reversal in Mercury's direction may be reflected in a similar reversal of the upward trend. I think a large move back under $130 is a plausible scenario for the week, with a possible upturn by Friday. Overall, I think the week looks negative but we'll probably see another large rally by the second week of June.

Despite my negative outlook, Gold is coming off a bullish week and opens trading at $925. I think it's likely to repeat this performance and may end up bumping up against resistance levels in the $940-950 range. Tr Sun and Venus are moving closer to the trinal aspect of natal Jupiter in the ETF chart which is a positive signal. The following week or two will see Gold fall back towards $900, however, as the consolidation process continues.

 

 

May 18 Weekly Forecast

New York is coming off an up week and opens Monday at 12,986/1425. My forecast ran aground on the expectation of an early week sell off which did not materialize. In hindsight, much of the rise can be attributed to the transiting Sun-Jupiter trine which overrode any afflictions in the SPX chart. The late-week rise on the Sun-Moon-Jupiter grand trine was in keeping with the forecast, however, but by then the market was already on firmer territory.

While the Venus-Jupiter trine has perfected Sunday, I think there may be enough optimism left in the separating aspect to move prices up into Monday. The bullish move will likely be further supported by the Moon's aspect to Venus at the start of trading. Venus squares Neptune on Tuesday, however, which might be a time for an unsustainable rally which ultimately fails by the close. Transiting Venus also conjoins the natal Mercury in the 1792 chart, so that is probably another boost for the market mid-week. More negatively, the Sun will be in square aspect to Saturn on Thursday and Friday, so both those days may see the market under water, although Friday is worse. On balance the up momentum is significant this week, so we may close up overall, although not by much given Friday's probable decline. Things look more troubled next week as Mercury turns retrograde on Monday. This is can be a factor that reverses the prevailing trend, and since we've been moving up recently, it's reasonable to see this is as a bearish signal. Another important dimension to this retrograde station is that it occurs in close aspect to Rahu. This intensifies the feelings of unease and uncertainty connected with trading and may correspond to significant computer glitches as well. Moreover, Monday the 26th will feature Venus in square aspect to Saturn and Sun in tight aspect with the natal Rahu of the 1792 chart. Overall, not a good mix.

The Euro opens at 1.5576, up almost a full cent on the week. Although it was down below 1.54 intraday early in the week, I underestimated the bullish effects of the partile Tr. Uranus conjunction to natal Jupiter. As transiting lagna lord Mercury slows down, it comes under the aspect of the natal Ketu, which is a negative influence. This may be held off for part of the week by the bullish effect of transiting Sun and Venus in the 9th house of the natal chart. But here only Monday and Friday look positive. My best guess is that the Euro will finish down for the week, possibly below 1.55.

Oil continues to defy my bearish expectations as it finished above $126 once again. While it did touch below $122 earlier in the week, it bounced right back, fueled by ongoing speculation and the cheerleading provided by Goldman Sachs. It seems that the transiting Mercury to the ascendant of the futures chart was not price neutral after all. It's still pretty close to the ascendant this week, so I'm reluctant to predict any major declines and we may see $130. The presence of the Rahu aspect to Mercury says nothing, if not "speculation". I don't fully understand why the tr Mars to the futures Moon-Saturn has not provided enough downside pressure on prices. Perhaps it's a case of just being offset by Mercury hovering close to the ascendant. We may have to wait for Mercury to turn retrograde on the 26th and thereby turn away from the ascendant and out of Rahu's influence for prices to fall significantly. This is likely going to be very volatile for a few weeks as long as Mercury is within range of Rahu.

Gold opens at $899, up modestly from the previous week. I had thought trading would be choppy with early week weakness and that wasn't entirely off the mark, although the size of the swings surprised me. Monday looks good as Tr. Moon opposes Venus in soft aspect to the natal Venus in the futures chart. Midweek looks more problematic as Mercury opposes the Pluto in the ETF chart. Overall, I think Gold finishes lower on the week, but there are enough upward signals here to warrant some daily up moves, too.

 

 

May 11 Weekly Forecast

New York is coming off a moderately negative week and opens at 12,745/1388. While I had thought the market would finish somewhat higher by Friday, these levels are in line with my worse-case intraday expectation of 1390 on the SPX. With Jupiter now retrograde, I think we are going to see some fundamental shifts in sentiment in the coming weeks as the glass will begin to appear half-empty to more market players. I don't think the market will go straight down from here though, since a rally of some size is likely heading into mid-June.

Last week, I predicted that Monday the 12th may see a substantial decline. I still think there is a big downside risk early this week owing to the simultaneous aspecting of transiting Mars and Saturn to the SPX natal Mercury. Also tr Mercury opposes the natal SPX Saturn as well, making the density of these contacts very high, and largely negative. Discerning outcomes is made more complicated since tr Jupiter trines tr Sun (a bullish influence) and these planets are exactly aligned with the Mars-Ketu conjunction in the SPX chart. While I think this natal contact essentially neutralizes the favourable influence of the trine, I acknowledge there is a slight possibility that the market could go the other way and rally. Regardless, I think Monday-Tuesday will see large price swings, most probably to the downside. The latter part of the week starting on Wednesday looks like a nice rally as a grand trine forms between tr Jupiter, Moon, and Sun. Overall, I think the market will finish the week lower with possible intraday lows of 12,500/1350.

Although I was steadfast in my belief that the recent run-up on Indian markets is nothing but a bear market rally, I thought the rise would last through last week. It didn't, and the BSE finished lower and opens at 16,737. In retrospect, I underestimated the negative impact of the late week tr Mars aspect to the natal Moon in the Nifty Futures chart. The Sun-nodal t-square perfects this week just as the tr Sun passes over the natal Saturn in the Nifty chart creating a situation of extreme uncertainty and confusion leading to fear. This aspect makes its closest pass on Tuesday and Wednesday, on the heels of the likely Monday sell off in NY. A close under 16k is possible here and negative week seems the most likely outcome although with a decent snapback rally late in the week, the Sensex may not be down by that much. My sense is that this isn't the end of the bear market rally and we may see more sizable rallies up until about June 10.

I was similarly sanguine about the TSE last week which finished lower at 13,655, although I was correct in predicting the end of the week weakness. This global bearish pattern for the week is also seen in the Tokyo chart. Tr Mars opposes natal Jupiter, although interestingly it doesn't perfect until later in the week. The Sun-nodal t-square also affects this chart, as the Sun is just four degrees from its natal position on Monday. Note also that the transiting Moon joins Ketu on Monday for added punch. This chart looks less afflicted than either NY or Mumbai, so it's possible the decline may be less here.

The Euro closed fractionally higher last week and opens at 1.5492. While I had forecast a down week, my projection for intraday lows of 1.53 was spot on as the Euro hit that level twice on Wednesday and Thursday. However, it bounced back sharply both times and even managed a decent gain on Friday. The Sun-nodal t-square will hit the Euro head-on as the nodes sit in inverse conjunction to their natal position -- tr Rahu conjunct natal Ketu. I think the Euro will revisit 1.53 again this week and will probably go below it. With Jupiter no long applying to the natal Venus, I think the Euro is headed down over the next few weeks. We should be well under 1.50 by June.

Last week's bearish forecast missed the mark as Oil is coming off another record-setting week with an apparent speculative blow off top and closed Friday above $125. Well, the party may well be over -- at least for this week. Tr Mars squares the Moon-Saturn in the futures chart this week with the perfection of the aspect due mid-week. With tr Saturn also aspecting that natal conjunction, there is a real risk for a large drop, perhaps back under $115. At this point, I am interpreting tr Mercury coming to the ascendant of the futures chart as a sign of increased trading, rather than a bullish price indicator.

I was similarly overly negative on Gold last week as it closed at $885, up $30. While I had thought some good rallies were possible, I didn't think they would hold as much as they did. I'm generally bearish short term, as I think Gold is in the process of forming a bottom here so I am expecting more testing of $850 and below in the coming weeks. This week Gold seems poised to decline as tr Mercury opposes the natal futures Mars, while tr Mars squares the natal Uranus. This apparently bearish pattern is reinforced by some hard aspects in the GLD ETF chart. It won't be all downhill from here, although I think the bearishness is likely strongest on Monday and Tuesday. I would not be surprised to see $850 at some point this week, although I'm not wholly committed to the gloom for this week. The drift should be down, but prices could be choppy here.

 

 

May 4 2008 Weekly Forecast

Despite last week's prediction to the contrary, New York is coming off another good week as it finished at or above some key resistance levels. The Dow opens at 13,058, the SPX at 1413. While closes above these levels should be seen as bullish indicators, it's important to note that low volume and iffy market breadth have made them less than convincing signs that we've definitely broken out of the current trading range. We're sitting in between some big planetary direction changes now as Saturn turned direction on Friday, while Jupiter turns retrograde on Friday. So a holding pattern may be the most likely outcome with no big moves either way. I think the coming week will likely see the market stay at or near these levels, with a bias to the upside. I would say there's a 30% chance we'll see 13,400/1450 at some point this week, and only a 20% chance to see any intraday below 12,800/1390. Monday looks like heavy trading on the upside as tr Mercury conjoins the SPX ascendant.

I am still maintaining a bearish stance here, however, so I would be cautious about going long in this market especially at these relatively lofty levels. The next key date I'm looking is May 12th, when tr Mercury opposes the SPX Saturn and tr Mars and tr Saturn both line up a 7 degrees of their respective signs -- both aspecting the SPX Mercury. I don't know how deep the next leg down will be, but it should take us at least half way back to the key support levels. The markets could start to lose ground towards the end of this week in anticipation for sharper declines in the week of the 12th.

Bombay is coming off a good week and the Sensex opens Monday at 17,600. I can't see any reason for the uptrend to change so we will likely see 18k at some point. In the Nifty Futures chart, for example, tr second lord Sun is dispositor of bhukti lord Saturn is conjunct the 10th house cusp early in the week. Tr 11th lord Venus is applying to this favourable position, while Mercury transits through the 11th house of gains. While I still believe that this is nothing but a bear market rally, I am loath to bet against it this week.

Tokyo broke through 14k level last week and opens Monday at 14,049. Tr Mars crosses the TSE ascendant early in the week and yet this is unlikely to cause much turbulence because tr Moon, Sun, and Venus will closely conjoin the TSE Mars in Aries. On Monday, tr Mercury will be just past the TSE Venus in the 11th house, so that also tends to be a bullish influence. 14,500 is possible here, but look for gains to fade by Friday although we should finish higher on the week.

As predicted, the Euro fell sharply last week and opens Monday at 1.5424. I think the downtrend will continue although not as strongly or as deliberately. Monday and Tuesday look like days of consolidation for the Euro so we may see it bounce back up to 1.55 intraday. Towards the end of the week, however, the US dollar will rally once again so 1.53 or below is very much on the table.

As predicted, Oil fell back from last week's highs and opens at $116. I correctly foresaw the dip down to $110, although Friday's recovery was somewhat surprising. I'm still very bearish on Oil both short and medium term and I think we are heading for $90 or less at some point in June. This week may only see relatively small declines to $112-114 and at least one big up day is still likely. Tr Mars has yet to get close enough to the natal Moon-Saturn to make the break below $110.

As predicted, Gold came down sharply and reached our target of $850 on Thursday. It starts the week at $857. I'm still bearish for Gold in the short term but this week may see it stay near current levels. Monday will probably see it fall further, perhaps below $850. We might make $830 a possible downside target somewhere along the line, although this seems like a worse case scenario. At some point, I think a $20 gain is possible but any rally likely won't stick. We should end the week lower overall.

 

 

April 27 2008 Weekly Forecast

Stocks in New York finished modestly higher last week, contrary to expectations. It now appears that the stationing Saturn will need the help of the inner planets to form a square in order to push prices down which happens at the end of week. Another potential bearish influence may come from Mars, which on Monday enters sidereal Cancer, its sign of debilitation. The major indexes are approaching the upper end of their recent trading ranges as the Dow starts this week at 12,891 and the S&P at 1397.

I think there is a chance that stocks can hold on to these recent gains in the early part of the week but Thursday and Friday look negative and are likely to take the averages down. Overall, I think the market will finish lower for the week. The key factor in all of this is the effect of Mars entering Cancer. After spending the past six months in Gemini, the ingress of Mars into Cancer will introduce a new variable into the mix. It's possible that this new planetary equation may push markets down on Monday since Mars is the dispositor for all the inner planets -- Sun, Mercury and Venus. If markets drop Monday, then this would substantially increase the prospects for a negative week. As an added bearish factor, tr Mars will squares the natal Jupiter in the NYSE 1792 chart.

Bombay is coming off another bullish week closing at an impressive 17,125, as it capitalized on the tr Venus conjunction to the natal Moon in the IFN ETF chart. I think the Mars aspect to the natal Uranus will cause a sudden sell-off Monday or Tuesday. The further motion of Mars into Cancer is likely to create negative momentum to the market through the week so we're likely to see markets fall from current levels by Friday.

Tokyo was also up significantly last week and opens Monday at 13,863. The TSE exceeded last week's forecast from the surprising strength of the Venus-Rahu conjunction. While this is often a negative influence, the exact aspect from tr Jupiter to its dispositor Mars gave a big boost to the tr Venus. Since the TSE chart has 3 Cancer rising, the approach of Mars this week points to an increase in volume and volatility. I am also forecasting a decline here. Friday looks like the worst day.

As forecast, the Euro did hit 1.60 last week although it failed to hang on to gains. It starts the week above 1.56. This pullback was expected although we had thought it arrived a few days ahead of schedule. I expect this weakness to continue this week, as the Euro may fall to 1.53 or below at some point.

Oil closed higher least week as forecast, reaching as high as $119 and closing above $118. I am expecting oil to fall this week, perhaps sharply, as Venus conjoins the natal Mars in the futures chart and Mars begins to channel its debilitated energy to the Moon-Saturn conjunction in Libra. While there is a question of when the bearishness of Mars will manifest since the aspect will not perfect for another two weeks (May 13), I think the worsening condition of transiting Venus will be enough to push prices down. Tr Venus falls under the aspect of the natal Ketu early in the week, and by the end of the week it opposes the natal Saturn. That's more than enough constraint to correct prices back under $115, perhaps even lower to $110.

Like the Euro, the sell off in Gold started a little earlier than expected, as it closed at $889, falling almost 3% for the week. I was correct in noting the possible bearish effect of the tr Mars opposition to the natal Venus on Friday, as prices fell sharply. I expect the sell off to continue as tr Venus falls under the natal Saturn in the GLD ETF chart, while tr Mars aspects the natal Venus. This has the potential for a sharp decline, especially Monday and Friday. We may see a close below $850 this week. This would put Gold in striking distance of its 200 day moving average.

 

 

April 20 2008 Weekly Forecast

After last week's bull run eviscerated my gloomy forecast, New York starts the week at 12,849/1390. The dominant aspect this week is the Mars-Jupiter opposition which perfects on Thursday. For extra complexity, Venus (28 Pisces) will form a western t-square on that date as it moves through the last degrees of exaltation in Pisces. And given the Uranus placement in the same degree of Aquarius, we have a fairly potent line-up of planets. I think this pattern is largely bearish, although Monday may be an up day as Venus is still within range of the S&P Moon. We may be able to approach the 13,000/1400 in the early going this week but head lower as the week wears on. Besides the troublesome Mars-Jupiter aspect, tr Mars falls under the aspect of the S&P Rahu, while tr Sun sits on the equal 12th house cusp on Thursday. These are really quite negative indications and suggest that down days greater than 1% in midweek are likely. Overall, we should finish lower this week, with a reasonable prospect that we'll end up significantly lower, back to 12,200/1325.

Bombay opens at 16,481 after an unexpected big rise last week. I think the BSE is going to be lower this week, breaking below 16k. Besides the Mars-Venus-Jupiter t-square, tr Mars squares the Sun in the BSE-100 chart. Transiting bhukti lord Mercury is very close to the equal 6th house cusp earlier in the week, so this may be a drag on prices before any substantial declines occur.

After a solid week as per our forecast, Tokyo opens at 13,476. Even with this bearish Mars-Jupiter pattern in the sky, I'm less negative about the TSE. While I think some down days are in store, especially later in the week, this may well turn out to be one of the stronger global equity markets. If we finish down for the week, it won't be by much. Next week, by contrast, looks much worse.

After flirting with $1.60 last week, the Euro opens at $1.58. I think we will see it break through $1.60 this week -- finally. Tr Mars comes under the benefic influence of the natal Jupiter while tr Venus still aspects the Virgo lagna. Wednesday or Thursday look like the best days. Overall, we should finish up significantly for the week.

Oil is really the pivotal economic story these days as it opens at another all-time high of $116. Transiting bhukti lord Venus remains in exaltation in Pisces all week, so it looks generally bullish. However, we will see a chance for a big (>1%) pullback as tr Sun opposes the natal Moon-Saturn conjunction Tuesday and Wednesday. I think this transit will only generate one major down day so we'll probably finish Friday above current levels, but $120 may only be a 50-50 proposition.

At $915, Gold comes off a decent week, even if Friday's sell off was sharp. Monday looks negative as the residual bearish of transiting dasha lord Venus under the influence of natal Saturn. Also, tr Sun opposes the natal Uranus in the futures chart. I think the upward momentum will resume after that, although Friday is a question as the tr Mars opposes the natal Venus. On balance, I think we'll finish higher for the week. However, time is running out for Gold as next week the Jupiter station will really pull the rug out from this market in May and we could see prices break down to $850 or below. While I had previously thought that we had a window of opportunity to hit $1000 briefly before the big sell off, I no longer think this is possible. Especially if Monday is negative, I don't think there will be enough juice in the tank to get us there. We will likely have to wait until autumn for a chance to revisit the all-time highs.

 

 

April 13 2008 Weekly Forecast

As predicted, the NYSE finished down last week amid new fears that corporate earnings may be vulnerable to fallout from the sub-prime crisis. The Dow opens at 12,325 and the S&P at 1332. I think we will see the markets move lower again this week, with Monday and Tuesday looking the most bearish. Transiting Sun and Mercury will move into Aries early in the week and will fall under the aspect of unpredictable Ketu. I consider this a negative influence owing to Ketu's conjunction with Saturn. The transiting Moon will come to the Saturn-Ketu conjunction Tuesday, so that might be the more negative day. As an additional burden, by their ingress into Aries, Sun and Mercury are moving into the 12th house of the the S&P chart. At this point, Friday appears to be the best day, as tr. Venus applies to the natal S&P Moon, although it will still be a couple degrees short. If Monday does in fact produce a lower close, then we could be looking at a significant decline for Tuesday, on the order of 2% or more. I think we will see 1300/12,000 at some point this week, with a slight possibility of.intraday re-testing of the 11,700/1270 support levels. On balance, I think that next week would be a better candidate for the re-testing of those support levels, however.

Bombay is closed Monday, but trading on Tuesday should be mostly negative. I had thought the decline would being late last week as the transiting Mars came to the natal 1875 Mercury, but traders had other ideas as the Sensex closed at 15,807. Tr. Mars now applies to the natal Sun so the negative energy is now, if anything, more concentrated. Some relief rally is possible for Thursday, however, as optimism, no matter how baseless, may return with the approach of transiting Venus to the natal 1875 Rahu. With the shortened three-day trading week, I think we will finish lower, perhaps moving below 15,000 at least for one day's close.

Tokyo is coming off a decent week and will open at 13,323. Transiting Sun and Mercury will conjoin the natal Rahu in the TSE chart, making for a lot of volatility. We can expect a down day Monday following on the the heels of US markets. Transiting Moon will come under negative pressure from the aspect of the natal TSE Mars. However, transiting Venus will move toward the TSE unequal 10th house cusp (MC) later in the week. This is one reason why I can see the Nikkei closing over 13k for the week and indeed moving higher from current levels.

I was overly bearish on the Euro last week, but I'm fairly certain it will sell off this week as tr. Sun and Mercury conjoin the natal Saturn. I see that it has sold off almost a cent already in early trading so that forecast is bearing fruit. We may see $1.55 or lower in the early part of the week, but look for some recovery by Friday, perhaps back to $1.56 or 1.57. Overall, though we should be lower from its present level of $1.582.

Oil is similarly going to suffer a big pullback early on in the week as tr Sun and Mercury conjoin the natal Mars in the futures chart. Given its recent volatility, a big move of at least 5% to the downside is very likely over Monday and Tuesday. We may see the Oil price go below $105, perhaps decisively so. There will some rally later on, but I think we'll finish Friday below current levels of $110.

Gold will also fall this week as tr Mars conjoins the natal Saturn in the futures chart. $900 is very possible at some point this week and I think we'll close Friday lower than where we started.

 

 

April 6, 2008 Weekly Forecast

New York opens trading Monday at 12,606/1370 after last week's gains as we had forecast. I think we're heading lower this week. The New Moon chart is a mixed bag with lagnesh Mars causing problems in the 8th house. On the plus side, Jupiter is reinforcing notions of wealth in the 2nd house. However, there are couple of potential bearish indicators forming this week as Mercury squares Mars, and Sun squares Jupiter, both perfecting on Thursday. On that day, tr Moon is aspected by Rahu, so that's another signal that we may be in for a larger scale decline that day on the order of 1-2%. To complicate matters, tr Venus will be sitting on the 11th cusp of gains in the S&P500 chart on Thursday so that will exercise an offsetting influence to some extent. Alternatively, the Venusian up day may be pushed forward to Friday. Monday and Tuesday may see gains as the Aries Moon falls under the aspect of Jupiter. At this point, I think Wednesday and Thursday will be the most negative. By Friday, I think we'll be under 12,400/1350 with possible weekly intraday lows of 12,200/1330. If Monday and Tuesday are pretty solid up days, then we'll finish Friday closer to the higher 1350 level. If not, then those intraday lows of 1330 may well be closing prices. In any event, I think the market is headed into a more bearish period here over the next couple of weeks, so even if this forecast is a little off this week, the negativity will catch up next week. I am not ruling out a retesting of the winter lows of 11,750/1270. More details later.

Starting Monday at 15,343, Bombay looks like it will have a negative week. Transiting Mars will conjoin the natal Mercury by degree in the BSE 1875 chart which will set off the natal nodes as well. This is most likely to manifest on Wednesday when it is exact. And on that day the tr Moon will square the tr Saturn. This looks like a substantial move to the down side, perhaps on the order of 3-5%. On Thursday, tr Mercury will conjoin the natal Rahu in the 1875 chart so that also does not bode well for the market. Some up days are still possible on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, however, but they don't look that good. To top it off Sunday's New Moon showed Saturn and Ketu as the lowest point in the sky -- a very bearish signal. I'm confident we will be easily below 15k on the Sensex by Friday and down to 14,500 intraday at some point. I would also say that there's a 50-50 chance we will end 500 pts lower on both of those target levels.

Tokyo opens Monday at 13,293, right in line with last week's forecast for a close over 13k on the Nikkei. This is looking like a losing week as Mars falls in the 12th house of the New Moon chart. Monday looks bearish as tr Moon hits the natal Mars in the TSE chart. Wednesday is likely the worst day of the week as tr Mercury opposes Neptune in the TSE chart whilst tr Venus sits on the cusp of the 8th house in the Topix chart. I think we should finish below 13,000 this week, with some intraday lows below 12,500 very possible.

The Euro gamely held onto its relatively lofty levels above 1.57 last week but the picture darkens this week as tr Sun will be caught in the crosshairs of the aspect of natal Mars and then will go on and apply to conjoin the natal Saturn. I think we could see a big fall this week, probably below $1.55 by Friday and perhaps down as low as $1.53 intraday depending on how bad Monday is. If we see the Euro drop by a full cent Monday, then a more bearish outlook is likely for the week. Next week looks even worse for the Euro. The US dollar is coming back with a vengeance.

Oil starts the week above $106 after last week's gains. I think we should finish the week at or above these levels, between $105-108. The early part of the week looks best as the Moon conjoins the natal Venus on Monday and tr Mercury comes under Jupiter's benefic influence. There is the possibility that some of the bullish patterns on Tuesday and Wednesday may negated by tr Mars' square to Mercury. At this point, it seems that gains will be limited to less than 1% on each these days but I admit there is a chance we could move lower, albeit not by much.

Gold opens at $913 after last week's sharp sell off. I don't see Gold holding on here. It is likely to move lower this week, closing below $900. Monday opens bearishly as tr Mercury falls under natal Rahu's aspect while squaring the natal Sun. There will be some upward movement but it probably won't be strong. Next week looks like another sharp move downward, so we may get an early start on Thursday and Friday as tr Mars conjoins the natal Saturn. This is the same aspect that marked the sell off after the May 2006 top. I think we're going to see Gold fall below at least $850 over the next two weeks.



March 30, 2008 Weekly Forecast

After last week's slow erosion of optimism in New York, Monday promises for more jitters. At least a 1% drop is possible as the Sun-Mars square dominates. Another potentially negative influence is tr Venus aspected by natal Rahu in the S&P chart. However, the 3rd quarter Moon of March 29, shows a mixed picture as Mars opposes the Moon very closely (bearish) while Mercury and Venus are setting on the 7th cusp over New York. Another probable positive influence is tr Mercury and Venus will be under the influence of the natal Jupiter. So I think this points to a volatile week with days of both significant gains and losses. On balance, though, I think we will have an up week. And if Monday turns out to be positive or merely neutral, then we could be in for a significant rise this week that pushes the indexes up 2-4%, towards resistance levels of 12,700/1370. A more likely scenario is for more modest gains.

After last week's forecast gain left the Nikkei at 12,800, I think there will be additional gains. A Friday close over 13k is very likely, and we could be a fair bit higher than that. Tr Mercury and Venus will be passing over the 9th equal house cusp this week.

While I may have called Friday's up day, I was caught off guard by the BSE's strength last week. More gains are likely this week although we may only finish a little over Monday's open. Tr Mercury falls under aspect of Mars in the BSE 1875 chart on Monday so that may be a down day. On Wednesday, tr Venus falls under the same aspect hence another negative outcome is likely then.

The Euro looks like it will continue on the come back road this week. Monday looks good so we might see $1.59. Tuesday may fall as Moon conjoins the natal Ketu. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday look fairly solid, with the best gains likely on Friday. We may touch $1.60 this week, probably on Friday. But I think we'll finish higher than where we started the week.

Oil looks strong this week as the Pisces planets will be in the 11th house of the Oil futures chart. I'm looking for a big up day Monday as the Sun comes under the benefic aspect of natal Jupiter. Wednesday and Friday look particularly positive also. I think we will touch $108, and $110 is possible, depending on the extent of Tuesday's action.

Gold will probably finish the slightly week higher, but I'm not that bullish here at all. Monday and Friday look best, and we will probably see it rise towards $950 again on either of those days. Tuesday looks negative, as does Thursday, with Wednesday being more neutral. We may end up somewhere between $930 and $950. My thinking here is based on the entry of tr Mercury and Venus into the Gold ETF 4th house which should be mostly positive. However, a possible offsetting influence will be tr Mars' aspect to the natal Jupiter in this chart.

 

 

March 23 2008 Weekly Forecast

The NYSE is coming off a life-saving rally last week. This week will be a crucial opportunity for a respite with recent nervousness. Certainly, there are some nice planetary configurations to factor in, particularly the equal degree alignment between Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus. While this is a fairly rare occurrence, I don't think it will result in a big gain. That's partially due to a fairly bearish-looking March 21 Full Moon that featured an ascendant hemmed in between Mars and Saturn/Ketu. We will have days with large rises, probably on Tuesday and to a lesser extent on Thursday. But the overall market will remain mixed and I believe we will close Friday within 1% of our present levels, probably on the downside. I will make some revised daily forecasts through the week.

Monday looks modestly negative (<1%) as the Moon is in Rahu/Saturn at the open. If the market drops more than 1%, the week will be worse than I thought. Tuesday appears to be the best day (+2%) as the Moon is in Jupiter's nakshatra while completing that upbeat configuration of aforementioned planets. Look for the rally to fade in the afternoon after perfection of the lunar aspect. Wednesday looks like the worst day (-2%) as the Moon is in Saturn/Mercury and squares the Saturn-Nodes. Thursday's Moon is in Mercury's star while the planet of trading enjoys a strong placement. I'm expecting at least a rise of 1%. Friday looks modestly negative as the Moon transits Mercury-Saturn. There is a chance for a larger loss here of perhaps 2% but more likely it will be held to 1% on late buying.

Tokyo will likely track higher this week as the Full Moon showed a clustering of benefics around the ascendant. The Nikkei starts the week at 12,482 and we may see 13k at some point. Monday looks good. Wednesday appears to be the best day, with gains over 2% possible. Friday may be negative as the Moon enters the 6th house of the TSE chart.

Bombay starts the week at 14,994 and will likely end the week in negative territory reinforcing the bearishness. The Full Moon occurred opposite the natal Saturn in the BSE chart and the transiting Sun is between the natal Saturn-Ketu conjunction. Things may get grim here, and we may go below 14,000k at some point. Thursday looks worst.

After the more modest rate cut and revival of confidence in the US dollar, a lot of investors cut their inflation hedge instruments and got out of gold, oil and the Euro. As a result, the Euro fell back under $1.55. I think it's due to rise again this week back near its recent highs, perhaps to $1.57 or $1.58. We are likely looking at an up week here, with real strength towards the end of the week. $1.60 is very possible. The following week also looks bullish for the Euro, even if other commodities continue to weaken.

Opening the week at $101, Oil looks like it will continue to weaken this week. We may go lower than $98. Thursday looks like a gain as the Moon conjoins the natal Jupiter. Friday looks bearish.

Gold looks like it may be in better shape this week to rise above its $920 open, although it's not likely to resume its frenetic bull run for a little while, perhaps in May or June. Monday looks like a gain, especially in the afternoon. Tuesday also has the potential to move up, although things may get shaky after that. Overall, I think we'll end the week lower, but the declines will be more orderly suggesting a consolidation near $850-900 may be taking place. We may test below $900 at some point.

 

 

March 16 2008 Weekly Forecast

NY starts the week at 11,951/1288. This looks like another negative week upcoming as a number of hard aspects are perfecting. In the background there is the promise of some upside as a harmonically favourable relationship between Jupiter and Uranus is forming. I still think this has another week to go before we see any big upwards movement from it, however. Monday should decline by at least 1% as Mercury opposes Saturn. Friday also looks quite bearish. I think we'll see new intraday and closing lows (below 11,500/1270) at some point in NY in the week, possibly as low as 11,250/1250.

Tokyo and Bombay will follow suit . The Nikkei starts at 12,241 and is already down below 12k in early Monday trading. I think we'll see a range from 12,500 to 11,400 during the week and it will close below 12k by Friday. The Sensex opens at 15,760 Monday and will likely finish below that level by Friday, possibly near 15k. A range between 16,200 and 14,500 is possible.

The Euro continues on its bull run this week and into the Spring. Monday and Tuesday look fantastic and we should see at least a 2 cent gain in those days, perhaps getting us as high as 1.60 by week's end. We are in good position to ride the Euro significantly higher by May.

Oil is due for a pullback this week as tr Sun squares Ketu and Neptune while Mercury and Venus square Uranus-Jupiter. While some new intraday highs above $111 are possible, I think the safer bet is the downside, perhaps as low as $105. And given the recent speculative volatility of this market, I would not be surprised to see crude to fall below that.

Gold is shining brightly this week and will add to last week's historic gains. While we may see lows in the $990 range, it will close above $1010 by Friday, probably at least $1020-1030.

 

March 9 2008 Weekly Forecast

In keeping with our previous forecast, American markets turned bearish last week as key indexes broke through their previous January lows. This week is likely to be similarly negative with serious retesting of the Jan 22 intraday lows (11,500/1270). I expect to the market to break through those levels at least on an intraday basis. Thursday may be decidedly negative as the transiting Sun opposes the natal Mars of the NYSE chart. Friday's close also looks like a decline so we should finish lower than Monday's open. The week after next (esp Monday the 17th) looks more negative so investors looking for exitable rallies would do well to act this week or wait a couple more weeks. That said, I think we won't see 13,000/1420 for many months, or perhaps even next year.

Bombay and Tokyo are also coming off tough weeks. The Sensex is unlikely to experience any great recovery this week. In fact, I think we'll end up lower than where we started at 15,975. Tuesday looks like the most bullish day. Starting the week at 12,782, the Nikkei will also retest lows this week given the transiting Saturn square to the natal Venus in the TSE chart. Rallies will be weak and may not go much above 13,000, while the intraday downside may see 12,000.

The decline in the US dollar and the rise in the Euro will continue, although I think the gains may be more modest this week. Monday looks mostly negative, perhaps will dips near 1.525. The rest of the week seems stronger overall with a rise into Friday. Next week looks like there will be more upside beyond 1.55.

Oil is likely to continue higher. Monday may be negative, but the upward trend with resume on Tuesday. We may see $110 at some point this week. Thursday looks like a big gain.

Gold starts the week at $972 and is poised to hit $1000 and yet I'm questioning my faith that it will break through this week. Monday looks the most volatile but I'm not certain if the market will stay positive. A decline for Tuesday seems likely. Wednesday looks strongest. Retracement is likely for Thursday with Friday as an up day that may take us over the top. We should end the week higher than where we started.

March 2 2008 Weekly Forecast

Equity markets are probably headed lower this week. The question is: will they break through support levels? My initial reading of the charts says yes, although things will be clearer by midweek. The end of the week looks most negative, so if we can get some up days in the early part of the week, then the indexes may not break decisively through. In NY, I do think we'll end up lower than where we start (12,266 on the Dow and 1330 on the S&P), but possibly not by much. Right now, I'd say we have a greater than 50% chance of breaking down below 12,000/1320 at least on an intraday basis. Nonetheless, any rallies to 12,500/1360 that may occur early on should be seen as exit points from the market. Venus and Mercury will oppose the natal Uranus in the NYSE chart through much of the week, so expect a lot of volatility.

Tokyo and Bombay's BSE are also headed lower from their present levels. The Nikkei may fare better of the two, although it will seriously retest its January low of 12,572. The Sensex will probably drop below its previous February low of 16,600, especially by Thursday as Mercury and Venus oppose the natal Mars in the BSE chart. It has the potential to be a fairly nasty time with daily declines on the order of 3-5%.

Gold, oil and the Euro will continue on their bullish trends although not as strongly or consistently as in the past couple weeks. The Euro will continue strong but later in the week beginning Wednesday there will be significant declines, perhaps back to 1.51 or lower. Monday and Tuesday will not see any major selloffs. As we said last week, gold is a good bet to move past $1000 this week. Oil is vulnerable to declines this week, so rallies beyond $102 will not likely not last. I think we'll see oil back under $100 for at least intermittently through the week and by the close Friday.

I will post some more time-specific revised forecasts in my commentary through the week.

 


February 24, 2008 Weekly Forecast

American markets have been trading within a fairly narrow range for the past few weeks. This will continue this week. The best days will probably be Monday and Tuesday where may see 12,600 on the Dow and 1380 on the S&P on an intraday basis. The mood will turn negative on Wednesday and Thursday as the market will retreat back to those old familiar support levels we saw tested last week. Friday should start with a good rally as the Moon is in good aspect to Jupiter, but the indicators are mixed to negative after that, so short term traders would be advised to sell while the market is rising in the morning. Overall, I think the market will finish close to where it started the week (12,381/1353) but I think we're more likely to finish higher.

Tokyo will probably end the week a little lower. Monday looks positive, as does Friday, but in between we will see some declines. The Wednesday open stands out as a substantial sell-off. Overall, we are likely to see a retesting of 13,000 on the Nikkei but may finish in the 13,300 to 13,600 range.

Bombay's best days of the week will also likely be Monday and Friday, but it will be tough sledding to keep the Sensex above its current level of 17,369 by Friday. Probably we will finish below that level around 17,000. The best chance for a midweek rally is Wednesday, although this will lose some strength at the close. Thursday's close will likely be negative as Moon squares Saturn.

The Euro will likely continue its rally this week and finish above its current levels of 1.485. It will go above 1.49 at some point and may even touch 1.495, although it may occasionally slip below 1.48. Look for a sell-off Monday at midday CET as the Moon aspects Saturn. The best rally of the week will probably be Wednesday late afternoon CET.

Oil will likely push through $100 again this week, but this time it will probably hold above that psychological threshold. Prices will retreat Monday morning EST, but then move higher from there. Thursday looks like a day of consolidation with the rally resuming Friday.

Gold is rallying lately but I think sentiment will turn more cautious this week. The best rallies are likely Monday or Tuesday, both early in the day EST. We will probably close about $950 on one or both of those days. But the rest of the week looks less optimistic, so I think we'll probably finish the week below $940.

February 17, 2008 Weekly Forecast

Last week we successfully called the up week for the American markets. This week looks more iffy though, so I think the market will struggle to maintain its current levels of Dow 12,348 and S&P 1349. It will may drop below support levels of 12,200 and 1320 on an intraday basis early in the week. Monday afternoon looks bad, but Wednesday at midday looks good and this may signal a reverse of market sentiment for the rest of the week. I'm less certain about the final levels of the NY market this week, but going out on a limb, I would say that they will finish up, perhaps making it to13,500 on the Dow and 1360 on the S&P.

Tokyo is coming off a decent week as forecasted here when it finished at 13,622. I'm less sanguine about the NIKKEI this week however as the Sun-Saturn opposition will fall very close to the Asc-Dsc of the Topix index chart while Sun will oppose the natal Saturn in the TSE chart. But there is a battle here since Venus will conjoin the natal Jupiter at the same time, on Feb 19-20. My sense is the negativity of the Sun-Saturn will push the market down on Monday and Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the market will recover. So we'll probably drop back to 13,000 early on, and then recover and perhaps exceed 13,600 by week's end. Friday looks good, so we will probably finish higher than last Friday's close. This chart is not looking good for May however, as Saturn will station on its natal position. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Bombay's SENSEX was up last week, and finished at 18,115. The good times will likely continue through this week, although early in the week looks more tentative. Tuesday could be a down day however, as a decline will hit the market in the afternoon IST. Thursday and Friday look better, and we may see the index climb past 19,000. Monday and Tuesday of the following week will see big up days so staying long over the weekend will likely pay off handsomely.

The Euro is coming off its best week in months. I expect it to drop significantly Monday, maybe back to 1.46 as the US dollar will strengthen to 0.685. But the basic trend will be upwards this week. If buying on dips, another drop is likely Wednesday morning EST. The high will occur on Friday, although I don't see it eclipsing last Friday's high of 1.4685 by much. I think the medium term rally is still in place for the Euro at least until April 5 (to 1.50?), after which a major decline is likely.

Gold is probably going to start the week slowly. Some pullbacks below $900 are likely, especially in Asia Monday morning (local time) and Tuesday morning in NY. Venus will be square natal Uranus on Tuesday, so that points to a volatile price that may enjoy short but ultimately weak rallies that do not hold. Prices will rise by Thursday, however, so that should put us convincingly over $900 and probably back approaching $920 by Friday. It could even go higher, so the trend is your friend. Look for the week's high to occur midday Friday in New York EST. The week after looks even better.

Oil is likely to continue its recent upward climb this week. Mercury is stationing at the Sun-Jupiter midpoint while Jupiter will trine the natal Venus exactly this week. The biggest price rise will probably happen on Tuesday morning EST. We may see oil go past $97 a barrel then. Wednesday will see a pullback, probably back close below $95. Look for a higher short term peak early in the following week on Feb 25-26. $100 is very possible in the next two weeks.

 

February 10 2008 Weekly Forecast

We did well last week as markets retreated back near their support levels as forecast. The Dow finished slightly under our target of 12,200-12,400 and the S&P was within range as it closed at 1331. The markets aren't likely to breakout of their current range this week. In New York, the early part of the week looks uncommitted, with minimal testing on the downside and modest rally attempts. I don't foresee the indices falling through current support levels, however. Expect to see a decent rally near the close Monday. With a broader rally starting by late Wednesday or early Thursday, we may see highs above 12,500 on the Dow and perhaps 1360-1380 on the S&P. I am forecasting a generally up week.

The Japanese market looks pretty uninspired this week, although Thursday and Friday should see some gains as tr. Venus conjoins the natal Moon and trines Jupiter. But the general planetary architecture suggests any rallies won't get too far. I expect the market to move between 12.8K and 13.5K with the latter figure representing a target for the Friday close. Next week's Mercury station squares the natal Saturn in the natal chart, so we can look for lows to punch through the 13K support level then and test the January lows of 12.6K.

Bombay will follow the basic trend of negative to even start to the week (Monday looks the worst) and then look for an move upward Wednesday by midday. Thursday looks positive with a possibility of some profit taking Friday.

The Euro will start the week continuing its recent fall against the greenback. It may fall as low as 1.44. Wednesday there will be a turnaround rally that stretches into Thursday, so we can expect to see it back above 1.45 at least. Thursday morning EST appears to be a high. Friday may be a day of consolidation.

Gold will open the week strong with a decent gain as Venus returns to its natal position. But the rest of week looks indifferent with tr. Mercury falling under Ketu's aspect, so a pullback to $900 is possible.

 

February 3 2008 Weekly Forecast

 

I'm happy to say that last week went more or less according to plan. I thought the markets would end higher and they did, by about 5%. The best weekly performance in several years. The Dow started the week at 12,200 and ended at 12,750. I had forecast at least 12,500 and possibly hitting 12,800. I was somewhat off in my day timing however, since I thought Wed and Thur would be the nice gains. As it was, the gains came Thurs and Fri. Monday was also a good up day. My call on the Euro was broadly correct since it was largely up against the US dollar although it did finish lower on Friday as forecast at 1.48. This was a little higher than I thought since I had thought it would settle back to 1.475. But at least I got the direction right.

This week will be more tentative all around. I do not expect the Dow to maintain this level (12,850) by Friday as the negative indicators outnumber the positive. There will probably be an intraday retesting of last week's levels at 12,200 (1320 on the S&P) and a down mood will predominate. Monday the 4th afternoon looks negative, while Wednesday and Thursday (6th and 7th) look very volatile and largely negative as transiting Sun and Mercury oppose the natal Uranus and Ascendant in the NYSE chart. Look for greater than 1% declines, especially on Wednesday. Thursday afternoon will probably be less of a decline as there will be a substantial rally in the afternoon. There should be a rally Friday morning but it likely won't hold and the averages will probably finish in the red that day. We'll be lucky to finish the week above 12,500. I think a more realistic target will be near 12,200-12,400 and 1320-1340 on the S&P.

Tokyo by contrast looks neutral to bullish this week. Monday (4th) looks positive, and Wednesday (6th) looks like a solid up day, too, although the market is likely to finish with a loss on Friday(8th). Still, it should be in the green overall. Bombay looks slightly bullish as it starts with a strong Monday (4th). Wednesday afternoon looks negative though as Moon is aspected by Rahu. The negative sentiment will carry through Thursday (7th) with a down day. Friday will be an up day that should put the Sensex in positive territory for the week. We'll see how far above water it can remain.

The Euro looks mildly bearish this week but look for short term highs Tuesday morning local time as Moon conjoins the natal Venus. Thursday afternoon looks rough. It will probably fall back below 1.47 and finish the week near that level.

Gold looks slightly bearish this week. It might slip below $900 this week and may even finish below. But it does not look like another major downward leg. Watch for short term lows Wednesday a.m EST (6th) as the Moon falls under the spell of Ketu for a while. There ought to be a nice finish to the week with a big price rise Friday afternoon EST. It may even push back above $900 or perhaps even $910.

 

January 27 2008 Weekly Forecast

Although the Dow did break below 12,000, last week was much better than many had feared thanks to an emergency rate cut from the Fed. That said, the market had largely stabilized by the end of the week and a short term bottom has formed around 12,000. This is largely in keeping with my preceding forecast. The Rahu effect on the transiting Sun was also keenly felt as predicted as the market fell almost 200 points on Friday. While the market may test the 12,000 support level on an intraday basis in the next week, I think the movement will be mostly on the upside in the coming days. The main aspect pushing it upwards is the applying conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. It is important to note, however, that prices will be bullish because of where they fall in the natal chart of the NYSE. They will exactly trining the close natal Venus-MC conjunction. This trine aspect becomes exact on the 30th and 31st (Wed and Thurs) and we should see the Dow rise significantly, probably past 12,500 and perhaps pushing towards 12,800. Watch for a decline Friday morning on profit taking. Markets worldwide will follow this basic pattern for the most part. The Tokyo stock exchange chart is similarly oriented to move higher in the middle of the week. The Euro will start the week falling against the US dollar but will rally by Tuesday or Thursday as the Euro chart also benefits from the Venus-Jupiter conjunction. Expect high trading volumes and extreme volatility mid-week as the now retrograde Mercury sits on natal Ketu(SN). This creates a schizophrenic market that can quickly oscillate between upward and downward movements. Given the turbulence, the mid-week rally may attempt the 1.475 level but it's unlikely to be there by Friday. The Euro will strengthen through February and March. Look for a high in the first week of April.

 

January 21 2008 Weekly Forecast

 

With global markets dropping on average 5% today, we can look for the Dow to break decisively through the 12,000 support level on Tuesday. It comes as no surprise given our bearish prediction for January (see Jan 7 Update below) Perhaps the size of the drop is a little shocking, but we can see how our key indicators have correctly forecast the current meltdown. The NYSE chart is running Saturn-Sun, with the Sun coming under Ketu's malefic aspect in the natal chart. That creates the possibility of weakness that can be exploited by stressful transits and progressions. The transiting nodes are currently squaring natal Mercury creating great instability in trading. The afflictions in the secondary progressed chart we are entering a serious bear market owing to the simultaneous perfection of P2 Venus square P2 Neptune and P2 Asc conjunct P2 Pluto square P2 Jupiter. Since we have to allow for some orb on these aspects, we have to apply them to a time frame of up to two years. A more precise timing of this decline can be seen in the tertiary progressed chart which features P3 Mercury retrograde station occurring square P3 Saturn within one degree (exact November 07) while P3 Mars squares P3 Neptune on the Descendant (exact April 08). Clearly this decline will be sizable and take us out of the realm of a correction and put us into a bear market territory.

I think we will likely see a short term bottom this week, although watch for increased volatility and new lows Thursday and Friday as the Sun falls under trinal aspect of natal Rahu. I am looking for some rallies in Feb and March and beyond, especially as P4 Sun trines P4 Jupiter (Mar 17) and P4 Venus trines P4 Pluto (Apr 12). I expect January lows to be re-tested during the period of late April and May as the antardasha period switches to the Moon, and Ketu aspects it closely while Saturn retrogrades back towards a close square to the Sun. It's not going to be pretty, folks. Look for new lows for the year to be set then.

_____________

 

NYSE Composite with transits 1/7/08NYSE Composite with transits 1/7/08Jan 7 2008 Forecast Update The markets have sagged in the past month on continuing credit crunch fallout, rising oil prices and subsequent inflationary fears, and the prospect of a full-blown recession. I think the Dow is likely to be weak or decline through January, but then move up in February as Saturn separates from the Mercury in the NYSE chart. The upward trend in prices should continue until April, or perhaps May. A sudden and sharp fall (>10%) will likely occur then and break the prevailing upbeat mood on Wall St. Look for more frequent updates here as we head through this turbulent period.

____________

Aug 20 2007 Forecast Update

The markets have corrected by more than 10% as a result of the US credit crunch in the past few weeks. I originally had forecast a rally in the summer that would last into the beginning of August after which we would see declines. (see below). This was a little off in terms of timing, since the high occurred in July, but it is significant that most of the decline did occur after the Jupiter station of August 6th, as I previously forecast. There may be some minor rallies in the next week before the total Lunar Eclipse of Aug 28th, but it is doubtful that it will be sustainable. Look for volatility and some triple digit losses in early Sept. I believe we have already seen the market highs for the year, although there is a possibility of other rallies in September and October that might come close. November and December look bearish, so investors would do well to consider these buying opportunities. I expect a significant market run-up in early 2008 leading into the Spring.

 

______________________

 

Mar 22 2007 Forecast Update

Markets around the world started 2007 on a cautious note as January's new highs were erased after markets caught the Shanghai flu. Most markets are off their highs at the time of writing (late March). The outlook remains mixed at best for the rest of the year, with a greater risk of larger declines going into the Fall. Based on my analysis of the relevant horoscopes, this year is likely to yield poor returns to investors.

 

For the US markets, the chart I like to use is the NYSE Composite Index chart (launched May 6 1982 10.00 am). While the New York Stock Exchange famously began on Wall Street under a buttonwood tree on the morning of May 17 1792, the actual time is a matter of some debate. And once you factor in numerous re-incorporations of the exchange over the years, you increase the margin of error well above and beyond whatever ever significant amout of error already exists in astrology, to say nothing of my interpretation of it.

 

NYSE Composite chart with transits for May 1, 2007In a nutshell, the February-March decline can be blamed on two afflictions to the Sun in the natal chart from Saturn and Ketu. The approaching square from transit Saturn to the Sun will tend to depress prices until it begins forward motion at the end of April. The Sun is doubly important to this chart because it is placed in the 11th house of gains. The exact trine from Ketu represents another layer of affliction to the Sun around that time and explains the relatively unenthusiastic snapback of the New York markets in the wake of the initial sell-off. Attempts at rallies probably won't get very far as the mood will be tentative.

 

A significant summer rally is likely as Jupiter stations making a fairly close aspect to Mercury. It's still three degrees off so it's unlikely to be that strong, but it will probably represent a notable shift in investor sentiment towards optimism -- at least for a while. Once Jupiter turns direct on August 7th, however, the market will again be susceptible to declines. At this time, the nodes will station in a tight square to Mercury which also happens to be the bhukti lord so the medium term and 2007 market top will likely happen before the Fall.

NYSE Composite with transits for October 1, 2007NYSE Composite with transits for October 1, 2007The real troubles will appear in the Fall, especially once the Ketu bhukti has begun on October 1st. At this time, Ketu will still be in square aspect to Mercury (trading) and Saturn will have moved to join Ketu in mid-Leo to form its most malefic 10th house aspect. This period will see substantial losses that will likely erase whatever gains had accrued thus far in the year. I also don't see enough positive configurations that would point to a powerful Santa Claus rally. Overall, the index is most likely to close lower (perhaps a lot lower) on December 31, 2007 than it was on January 1, 2007.

 

TSE Topix Index chart with transits for Oct 1, 2007 Japanese Stocks

The likelihood of a substantial (i.e. >10%) worldwide market decline in the Fall 2007 is supported by an analysis of the Japanese stock market. Using the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Topix index launch date (July 1, 1969 9.00 am), we can see that powerful Saturn-Ketu conjunction sitting atop the Ascendant of this chart. Hard to see anything bullish coming of that combination unless you're long in Eli Lilly. This chart is running the Rahu-Mars period which isn't anything to write home about either. In January 2008, however, Jupiter dasha begins which signals an improvement in sentiment and hopefully higher prices in the long term.

 

Click here for your investment report

Click here for more information on Financial Astrology