US stocks dive on China worries

(26 July 2015)  Global stock markets slumped last week as worries about the implications of a slowdown in China caused some investors to hit the sell button. US stocks fell by 2% as the Dow finished the week at 17,568 while Indian equities slipped 1% as the BSE-Sensex ended at 28,112. Ironically, Chinese stocks extended their recent rebound despite weak economic data as the Shanghai Composite again moved above 4000.  Gold declined sharply on reduced inflation expectations and finished below $1100.

I had been fairly equivocal in last week's stock market forecast, although I hinted at some potential trouble spots from malefics Saturn and Mars.  In keeping with the negative symbolism of Mars, Friday's Mars-Uranus aspect coincided closely with a significant down day on most world markets. Gold's 3% decline on the week was also in line with last week's predictions given the difficult Venus-Saturn aspect.  Venus is one of the planets most associated with gold prices, and when it is aligned with Saturn, it usually signals declines.  This was clearly the case last week.

Financial markets are looking especially vulnerable these days given the the predominance of Saturn aspects.  As I have noted previously, Saturn (4 Scorpio) has formed a close 45-degree alignment with Pluto (19 Sagittarius) for the past few weeks and this is usually an oppressive influence that makes stock market gains hard to come by.  Saturn is also forming a very unusual double square aspect with Venus and Jupiter this week and next which may create more headaches for investors.  Of course, these transits are only part of the story since we also need to take into account what is happening in the horoscopes of the relevant natal charts of key stock exchanges and commodities.

To that end, let's take a look at what is happening with the chart of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) these days.  Even if we just look at the transit picture, we can see that stocks are in an uphill battle against that Saturn transit.  Saturn is currently opposite the Sun-Mercury conjunction in Taurus which makes gains much more unlikely.  Saturn is more often correlated with declines when it forms hard aspects against key chart points like the Sun or Moon.  That seems to be playing out here as the Sun-Saturn opposition has been in play for several weeks already.  Since Saturn has been retrograde, this negative energy has had a greater influence on collective sentiment.  With Saturn due to station direction on August 2nd, this bearish Saturn effect on the Sun could well continue to negatively manifest through August and September.   Transiting Jupiter (2 Leo) is also aligning with the NYSE's Sun-Mercury conjunction so this could conceivably mitigate some of the Saturn's negative effects. 

While I am omitting any consideration of progressed placements or any other layer of planetary influence,  it should be said that the current transit position of Saturn in this chart suggests the stock market will likely fall further in the weeks to come.  Given the pivotal nature of the NYSE, this will likely spill over into most other global stock markets.

Weekly Financial Update

This week will see Venus move into closer conjunction with Jupiter while tightening the square aspect with Saturn.  Venus and Uranus turned retrograde this weekend and that alone could bring some significant developments in world markets.  Venus is now moving backwards towards its conjunction with Jupiter and alignment with Saturn.  Sometimes, these multi-planet aspects can produce outsized (i.e. two-tailed) gains despite the presence of bearish Saturn.  But downside risks nonetheless remain heightened this week and next.   We can also see that Mars (27 Gemini) will align with the natal Moon (28 Pisces) and Mars (27 Leo) in the NYSE chart early this week.  This is another reason why caution may be the watchword this week.   Mars then leaves Gemini and enters sidereal Cancer on Thursday, a sign where it is said to be debilitated.  Planets in their signs of debilitation are usually weaker and more likely to reveal their more negative symbolism.  For Mars, this means its bearish potential is somewhat more evident.  The time windows around Mars sign changes are usually negative for stocks.