US stocks push to new record highs as bullish Taurus rules

(19 May 2013)  US stocks pushed to another all-time high last week as the twin prospects of unlimited Fed largesse and moderate economic growth gave investors more reasons to buy into the rally.   The Dow climbed by almost 2% closing at 15,354 while the S&P 500 finished the week at 1667.  Indian stocks followed suit as the Sensex added 2% closing at 20,286 while the Nifty ended the week at 6187.  This outcome was not unexpected as I thought there would likely be more optimism for stocks as the Sun joined the planetary party in sidereal Taurus where Jupiter, Venus and Mercury already reside.   After all, Taurus is the sign of the bull! 

All these new highs prompt questions about when the rally is going to end, or at least just take breather.   In previous posts, I have discussed some intriguing connections between eclipses and market tops, as both previous highs in US stocks in 2000 and 2007 shared a common Saturn influence.   As a bearish planet, it is appropriate that Saturn should become prominent when optimism begins to wane and stock prices begin to fall.  

Another tenet of financial astrology is the notion that the market will reverse its trend at a time when there are a high number of exact planetary aspects.   Stocks will tend to bottom and reverse higher when negative planetary aspects involving malefics such as Mars and Saturn reach their peak and then begin to weaken.  This is one of the assumptions behind the famous Bradley siderograph turn dates.  Conversely, markets are more likely to form a top and reverse downwards during times marked by positive aspects involving benefic planets like Venus and Jupiter.  





While no system is perfect, this has proven to be a useful tool in financial astrology.  The high in the S&P 500 in October 2007 occurred at a time of a high number of aspects, including those involving Jupiter and Uranus.   The low in March 2009 contained a large number of aspects including a powerful alignment of Saturn, Venus, Sun and Uranus.   The high in March 2000 did not have that many exact aspects, however, suggesting that this idea does not work as advertised every time.  Although imperfect, it still provides enough information that it is worth our attention. 


 



The next major Bradley turn date is June 22.  This time is marked by a number of close aspects involving both positive and negative planets.  Given the market's current bullishness, could this represent an important high?  It's possible, but I would suggest that the more important alignment will likely occur in July when there is a grand trine formed between Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.  On the 22nd of July, Mars will conjoin Jupiter and create a a striking four-planet alignment.   This is a very rare configuration that is likely to correlate with some significant market developments.  The fact that Saturn will be culminating its retrograde cycle on July 8th makes it all the more powerful and increases the probability of a significant move. 

 




Saturn is bearish, of course, and its association with Neptune is usually negative also.  Jupiter is the source of ambiguity here as it can mark either lows or highs depending on other factors.   In recent history, Jupiter's 120 degree aspect with Saturn has tended to mark bearishness and even lows.  Stocks declined in September 2008 (but did not form a high or low) at a time of a Jupiter-Saturn aspect and then made an interim bottom two months later in November when the aspect occurred again.   The Jupiter-Saturn 180 degree opposition aspect occurred in May-June 2010 during a large decline and coincided fairly closely to an interim market low.  Clearly, there has been a bearish bias to these Jupiter-Saturn contacts lately.  We shall wait and see what will unfold in July when these two planets next form an exact aspect.

This week may well see more of the same in the markets as the faster moving planets like Mercury and Venus move closer to their eventual conjunction with bullish Jupiter.  I would therefore expect the optimism for stocks to continue.   However, we can note that malefic Mars is set to join the other planets in Taurus this week on Thursday.  Whenever Mars changes signs, there is usually some selling pressure in the market as anxiety and frustration rises.   So while the approaching Mercury-Venus conjunction bodes pretty well for stocks here, the late week Mars influence could coincide with some problems.   We should also note that Uranus squares Pluto once again this week as its multi-year aspect enters a new phase.  This is a potentially disruptive aspect in the long run (read:years) but it seems unlikely to have any immediate effects this week.  Its presence here ups the ante for the weeks to come, however.  The last Uranus-Pluto square aspect famously occurred in the early 1930s.