Markets rise on 90-day US-China trade truce

(3 December 2018)  Stocks are poised to rally further on Monday after the weekend agreement by the US and China to delay the imposition of any possible further tariffs by 90 days.  This truce in the trade war is the latest piece of good news for financial markets after stocks bottomed out during Thanksgiving week.  Since then, investors have also cheered the Fed's more dovish comments indicative of fewer interest rate hikes for 2019.  A more gradual return to normal interest rates would be welcome by heavily indebted companies and consumers alike. 

This strong rebound is not too surprising from our astrological vantage point.  To be sure, I had expected some downside at some point during the Mercury retrograde cycle (Nov 16 - Dec 6) and that has come to pass given the final dip we saw into the US holiday week on Nov 23.  But Mercury retrograde cycles are usually not all bearish and so we have seen a rebound last week and this week has also started on a bullish foot.  As I had forecast in my weekly subscriber newsletter, last week's triple conjunction of the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter was very likely going to coincide with a rally of some size.  I wasn't sure how strong it would be but it certainly looked bullish.  (N.B. Readers will have to excuse my absence from this space over the past few weeks as I have been busy while doing some travelling.  I have kept publishing the newsletter during this time but could not write posts on the website.)

As far as this week goes, the rally today seems appropriate given the Moon-Venus-Uranus alignment.  As an added plus, this lines up nicely with the Ascendant-Descendant of the NASDAQ horoscope.  This horoscope is a good proxy for US markets as a whole.  And yet the planets for the rest of this week suggest that stocks are less likely to extend their gains towards the end of the week.  The problem is that Mars conjoins Neptune while both are in a 90-degree alignment with the Sun.  This introduces a downside risk that has been absent for the last week or so.  It needn't always manifest as a decline since multiple planet alignments are less predictable than two-planet alignments, however. 



But an additional bearish factor here is that the Sun is conjunct the natal Mars in the NASDAQ horoscope.  This increases the probability of a pullback this week.  The other alignment I am watching is the Mercury direct station on Thursday and Friday.  By itself, this is neither bullish nor bearish.  But the station will occur in an exact 120 degree alignment with Rahu, the North Lunar Node.  This is a destabilizing influence on collective psychology where expectations and analysis may be distorted or disrupted.  Therefore, this increases the risk of some downside this week also. 

Of course, the technical analysis of the market suggests that a pullback is likely quite soon.  The S&P 500 has reached its previous interim highs from mid-October and mid-November.  While it is possible stocks will just continue to power higher, a pullback at the 2800-2820 level is more likely.  Futures are pointing to an opening at that level so we shall see how strong the Moon-Venus influence is.

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