Jupiter continues to underwrite stock markets

(25 May 2015)  Stocks remained fairly strong last week as the release of the minutes of the latest Fed meeting suggested an early rate hike was very unlikely.  Markets love zero interest rates of course (literally, free money) as investors chase yield in riskier assets like equities since safe assets like cash and bonds offer very little return.   US stocks were actually mostly unchanged on the week as the Dow closed at 18,232, just a stone's throw away from its all-time high.  Indian stocks were more positive as foreign institutional buying picked up as the Sensex gained 2% closing at 27,957. 

In last week's stock market forecast, I thought we might have got more downside on the Saturn alignments on Monday and Friday but only Friday was mildly negative.  The midweek gains more or less coincided with the positive Venus-Mercury alignment. 

Stock markets around the world are still very much in rally mode these days as central banks continue their unprecedented attempts to kick start the largely stagnant global economy through the experimental program known as quantitative easing.  As long as the Fed, the ECB and all the other central banks are determined to print money through these asset buying QE programs, some people believe that stocks could continue to rise indefinitely.  I don't think this is possible in any event as the growing worldwide debt burden will eventually have to collapse.   Moreover, my understanding of the key astrological influences at work suggest some significant problems ahead. 

For the moment, collective sentiment appears to be supported by the condition of the planet Jupiter.  As financial astrology teaches us, Jupiter is the bullish planet par excellence and it is still exalted here in sidereal Cancer.  When a planet transits through its sign of exaltation it is said to be able to better express its more positive qualities.  After transiting through Cancer for the past year or so, Jupiter will finally leave Cancer and enter the sign of Leo in mid-July.  I don't think this Jupiter exaltation is the primary reason for the current market rally but it is a noteworthy secondary reason nonetheless. 

Another factor at work is that Jupiter (22 Cancer) has aligned with Pluto (21 Sagittarius) in May.   Jupiter aspects with other slow moving planets like Pluto are often moments where optimism is on the rise.  The other more important influence here is that Jupiter is still applying to its 120-degree trine aspect with Uranus on June 22nd. 

Jupiter-Uranus aspects are usually reliable indications of rising stock markets.  There are exceptions, of course, as with all planetary alignments.  One notable exception was that the 1987 crash occurred just a week before an exact Jupiter-Uranus aspect.  The Jupiter influence there may have acted as an amplifier for more dominant negative conditions such as the Uranus ingress into sidereal Sagittarius one day before the crash, the conjunction of Mars with Ketu (South Lunar Node) and the proximity of Saturn to the Uranus node, among others.

Generally, however, Jupiter-Uranus aspects mark time periods when optimism is growing and prices are rising.  These time periods typically last for a few weeks before the aspect is exact.  If one or more of the planets is retrograde or stationary, then that can lengthen the time period when these bullish influences can manifest as happened in 2010. 

Things can change once the Jupiter aspect is past exact and optimism fades.  The presence of any offsetting bearish Saturn aspects are other parts to the cosmic equation, of course.  We are due to have several Saturn aspects in the next several months as Saturn aligns with Pluto (June), Jupiter (July-August) and then Rahu (North Lunar Node)(September).  With Saturn on the rise and Jupiter due to recede into the background a bit, there is good reason to be very cautious about the future of the stock market.

More immediately, this week looks worse than last week in terms of planetary influences.  The main aspect in play is the Mercury-Mars conjunction on Wednesday at 16 Taurus.  Mars aspects are often negative, and this one looks a bit worse given the larger alignment with Rahu (14 Virgo) and Neptune (15 Aquarius).    This clustering of planets at the middle degrees of their respective signs increases the likelihood of some significant declines during the week.  Jupiter will likely be there offering some support, but these short term aspects look troublesome.