Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trump meets Kim in Singapore

(13 June 2018) Now the hard work begins.  The much-anticipated summit between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump has finally taken place in Singapore.  The two leaders met over several hours on Tuesday and signed a commitment to work towards peace and to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.  The accord is undoubtedly an important first step towards a lasting peace although questions remain about specifics.  Most analysts were still skeptical of any tangible results in the long term.  Over the past twenty years, North Korea has signed similar promises to halt its nuclear weapons program at least seven times and has found ways to renege or violate the agreements each time.  It remains to be seen if this time will be different.

As I have previously suggested, I think this air of optimism is likely to fade by August as the principal horoscopes of Trump and the 1953 Korean Armistice show considerable affliction.  In addition, we can now add the special relationship (or Davison) chart between Trump and Kim.  This chart is derived by combining the birth data of the two men and dividing it in two. This produces a third, unique set of birth data which can be cast as a separate chart.  It is then used to see ups and downs of the relationship between the two individuals.

The derived relationship chart for Trump and Kim yields a birth date of 27 March 1965.  Very quickly, we can see why their meeting today was so successful.  Venus (3 Cancer) was at the top of the chart in the 10th house of status and public profile and thus highlighted notions of conviviality and sociability.  It also aligned very closely to the Ascendant.  Venus was also aspecting the Moon within three degrees.  Moon-Venus transits are classic signatures for pleasant social experiences. 

Mercury (4 Gemini), the planet of communication, was also prominent as it was placed in the 9th house of higher principles (peace, diplomacy) and also in close alignment with the Ascendant and the Moon by degreewise reckoning.  At the time of the meeting, the Moon was conjunct Jupiter, the planet of "right action", abundance, and optimism.  Rule-breaking Uranus is also there sitting on the 7th house and underscored the unprecedented and even surprising nature of the summit.  It was definitely an auspicious arrangement of planets for their first meeting.

What is worth noting here is that we can see that the August time frame is again highlighted by the transits of some negative planets.  Moreover, there are no transits of benefic planets which might offset some of the negativity.  Transiting Rahu is at the top of the chart in June and July.  This likely only reflects the importance and high profile of the Trump-Kim relationship rather than any particular results or outcome.  Rahu in the 10th house is a good transit actually, but by itself I wouldn't expect it to deliver any major steps forward toward lasting peace.  It may simply keep the whole issue at the forefront of the news cycle.  A possible key date may be August 9th, when transiting Mars conjoins the natal Moon and the Sun and Mercury are conjunct while aligning with natal Ketu.  This suggests a significant uptick in tensions. 

However, it doesn't look bad enough to be a deal breaker.  But all of August and September look increasingly difficult for this relationship since Mars will station direct at 4 Capricorn on Aug 27 while conjunct the Moon and square the Ascendant.  Moreover, Saturn will station direct at 8 Sagittarius in a close square alignment with Venus, the planet of amity.  This looks like relations may get quite frosty with more than a little hostility mixed in.

The deeper problem with the chart is that Neptune is opposite the Mars-Uranus-Pluto conjunction for the next year.  It's very unhelpful for peace since Neptune symbolizes delusion and deception when in hard aspect as it is here.  Given North Korea's poor track record on disarmament and Trump's own personal struggles with the truth, the Neptune influence looks like the relationship will have a high level of mistrust.  

The spring of 2019 looks like a possible peak of difficulties as Saturn and Ketu will align with natal Mars-Uranus-Pluto.  It is difficult to say exactly what may transpire at this time, but some kind of military conflict should not be discounted.  It is a very serious affliction to this relationship chart.   I hope to revisit these charts as developments unfold.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have generally continued higher over the past week as investors are managing to look past any temporary trade tensions with China and the G7.  The Dow lost just one point today closing at 25,320 while India's Sensex pushed higher to 35,692.  This mostly bullish outcome over the past week is more or less in keeping with expectations as I thought the Sun-Mercury conjunction and alignment with Jupiter and Neptune would boost sentiment. 

The Fed delivers its latest policy statement tomorrow and it is widely expected to raise rates again.  But all eyes will be on its forward guidance and the language it uses for possible future hikes.  Wednesday is the day of the New Moon so there is at least some possibility of further gains. New Moons tend to be bullish, although this is more of a statistical fact and not a high probability outcome.  The larger problem on this occasion is that the New Moon occurs in a difficult alignment with Mars and the Lunar Nodes.  For this reason I would think there is some downside risk on Wednesday.  Thursday's Moon-Mercury conjunction is in fairly close opposition to Saturn so that is another possible red flag for the market.  It seems likely that we will see some downside this week and perhaps into next week also when Venus opposes Mars at midweek. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Simplified financial transit outlook for June 13 - 20

Wed 6/13   New Moon 135 Mars-Ketu        bearish  -2

Thu  6/14   Moon-Mercury-180-Saturn       bearish  -3
                   Venus-90-Uranus                    bullish  +1

Fri   6/15   Mercury-180-Saturn                  bearish  -2
                   Moon-120-Jupiter                    bullish +1

Mon  6/18  Venus-Rahu                               bullish +1
                 Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune           bullish +1

Tue   6/19  Venus-Saturn                            bearish -1
                  Mercury-Jupiter                         bullish +1

Wed  6/20  Venus-180-Mars                       bearish -2
                   Moon-90-Saturn                      bearish -1
                   Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune         bullish +2

Monday, June 4, 2018

The upcoming Trump-Kim summit

(4 June 2018) It now seems virtually certain that US President Donald Trump will finally meet the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.  The on-again, off-again summit seems to be a go now as the two will meet in Singapore on June 12.  The meeting is currently scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. local time. It will be the first time a US president has met personally with the leader of the isolated and enigmatic communist country of North Korea.

The meeting will represent the culmination of diplomatic efforts to stave off conflict in the Korean peninsula after North Korea had destabilized the region in 2017 with a series of provocative missile tests.  Kim's North Korea is intent on building an arsenal of nuclear weapons in order to defend itself against a seemingly hostile alliance of the US, Japan and South Korea.  Kim has apparently agreed to the US demand for denuclearization, although many observers believe he not serious about disarming and is simply buying time. 

My view of the planetary alignments on June 12 suggest the summit is likely to go well.  Using the horoscope of the Korean Armistice (July 27, 1953), we can see that benefic planets Mercury and Venus are placed in key positions.  Mercury (talking, communication) is very much highlighted as it sits at the top of the chart conjunct the 10th house cusp.  Both sides in the conflict will be talking constructively at the summit.  The Sun (27 Taurus) will be conjunct the natal Venus so that suggests a convivial and co-operative atmosphere between the two leaders. 

Since transiting Venus (3 Cancer) will conjoin the 11th house cusp (i.e. sextile the Ascendant) representing gains and wishes fulfilled, there is reason to expect the talks will go a long way to defuse tensions and set up further negotiations towards peace.  The transits of these fast moving planets all point to a successful summit.  Venus also gives a boost to Trump's horoscope at that time also as Venus conjoins its natal position.  That is usually an indication of favourable situations, especially with the Sun in the 10th very close to his birthday on the 14th. Trump should benefit politically from the summit.

However, I would also note that there is some instability here that is likely to linger.  Mars and Ketu (South Lunar Node) are conjunct the natal Rahu and the Moon.  This emphasizes the notion of conflict and unpredictability.  No one really knows what will happen in the summit as North Korea's Kim is almost as unpredictable as Trump himself.   The Mars-Ketu conjunction isn't exact, however, so I'm less inclined to think it will reflect tensions occurring during the summit. 

It may be the case that the fallout from the Mars-Ketu conjunction will occur later, after Mars has turned retrograde (June 26) and then conjoins the natal Rahu and opposes Mercury and the Sun more closely.  August will therefore be more difficult in this respect so I would expect tensions to escalate once again in the late summer.  Whatever progress or deal that may have been made at this summit could well be at risk culminating around the time Mars goes direct at 4 Capricorn on August 27.  Trump's chart is also hit hard by this Mars direct station as it will align with his Ascendant and sit on his 8th house of obstacles and setbacks. 

Where this year's diplomatic efforts will eventually lead is hard to predict.  Some short term success is possible but overall the situation doesn't look encouraging.  The armistice chart just entered its Mercury dasha period in 2017.  While Mercury is a benefic planet, it is "hemmed in" between malefics Mars and Ketu in the 11th house.  This is a very unstable and dangerous Mercury which strongly hints are the possibility of some serious problems emerging.  I do think there are some specifically difficult patterns in 2020 which will impact the Korean charts.  I hope to research this question further in coming weeks.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stock markets have moved higher over the past week on hopes that a full-blown trade war can be avoided.  The Dow closed higher again on Monday at 24,813 after some declines early last week.  India's Sensex closed at 35,011 and has been weaker due to expectations of an interest rate hike at the next RBI meeting on Wednesday.

This largely positive performance was generally in keeping with expectations as I thought stocks would likely recover around the Venus-Jupiter-Neptune alignment.  As expected, last Tuesday's decline coincided exactly with the Full Moon which was particularly bearish given the larger alignment of the Sun and Moon with Saturn.

As I have indicated in the simplified transit listing below, the planets this week look fairly positive.  To be sure, the ongoing Mars-Ketu-Saturn alignment doesn't look good at all.  It is a kind of looming cloud behind this market which will likely seriously damage sentiment at some point.  Since Mars is slowing down ahead of its retrograde station on June 26th, however, it is less clear when its negativity will manifest. 

But the bullish presence of a Sun-Mercury conjunction at 21-22 Taurus that aligns with Jupiter (21 Libra) and Neptune (21 Aquarius) makes me think stocks could extend their recent rise significantly higher this week.  The late week is perhaps more bearish, however, but Tuesday and Wednesday should be positive enough to produce gains. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Simplified Transit Outlook for week of 4 June 2018

Mon 4  bullish           Sun-Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune          +1
                                Venus-Pluto                                     +1   
                                Mars-Ketu-Saturn                            -1

Tue  5   bullish          Sun-Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune        +3
                                 Venus-Pluto                                    +1
                                 Mars-Ketu-Saturn                           -1

Wed  6  bullish         Sun-Mercury-Moon-Jup-Nep           +4*
                                (maybe too bullish -- a possible peak?)
                                Mars-Ketu-Saturn                            -1

Thu 7   mixed           Sun-Jupiter-Neptune                      +1
                                Mars-Ketu-Saturn                           -1

Fri 8     bearish         Moon-Mars-Ketu-Saturn                 -3

Mon 11  mixed         Mercury-Venus                                +1
                                Mars-Ketu-Saturn                           -1

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The NYSE turns 226: the outlook for the year ahead

(23 May 2018) The New York Stock Exchange turned 226 last week as the venerable capitalist institution remains the predominant stock market in the world.  The NYSE was founded on May 17, 1792 around 10.10 a.m., although the exact time is a matter of some conjecture.  As we know, the birthday represents a special symbolic significance for the year ahead as the Sun returns to its position at the time of its "birth" or founding.  The resulting Solar Return chart can therefore provide important clues for what will transpire over the subsequent 12 months.  A strong chart where benefics Venus and Jupiter are prominent will often foretell of prosperity.  A more difficult chart where Mars and Saturn are highlighted can represent disappointment and obstacles.

The Solar Return chart for the NYSE this year actually occurred on May 21st, since that was the day that the Sun returned to its natal position at 6 Taurus 25.  This four-day lag from its birthday is due to the precession of the equinoxes which gradually shifts the positions the planets relative to the fixed stars.  So what does the Solar Return chart reveal? Will stocks be higher or lower by this time next May? 

The chart is actually quite mixed.  There are strongly positive AND strongly negative patterns.  This suggests that stocks will likely be volatile and will experience both strong rallies and significant corrections over the next twelve months.  The Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune alignment is very bullish and suggests that rallies will be sizable.  The fact that it lines up closely with the Ascendant is another reason why stocks could move higher overall. 

If there were an absence of negative configurations in the chart, then I would think stocks would generally rise into 2019.  However, Mars squares Uranus (just one degree past exact) and also aligns with the Saturn-Neptune opposition in the natal chart.  It furthermore also picks up the MC/IC within two or three degrees.  This is a strongly negative pattern that should translate into some significant downside this year.

Also, Saturn (14 Sagittarius) and Rahu (14 Cancer) both align with natal Venus (14 Aries) exactly.  While neither Saturn nor Rahu cast a full strength aspect to Venus, the closeness of the alignment suggest periodic difficulties realizing happiness and value (Venus).  But while there are two negative alignments, we should note that neither one involves the natal Sun or Moon which are more fundamental influences on the chart as a whole.  If the Sun and Moon are unafflicted as is the case here, then markets are less likely to undergo a new bear market.  Corrections are still possible, especially given the negative alignments, but they are less likely to offset periods of positive trends.

Overall, there may be enough positive energy in the chart to suggest at least a relative flat year in terms of performance, perhaps with a very modest bullish bias.  But the mixed indications make this a very ambiguous call, at least in terms of this Solar Return chart. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have generally gone sideways over the past week or so.  In keeping with last week's market forecast, the previous week was somewhat bearish as President Trump's attempt to negotiate a better trade agreement with China has yet to yield any results.  I thought we might have seen more of a pullback, especially from last week's alignment of Mercury, Saturn and Rahu. But US stocks have proven to be quite resilient thus far and seem poised to break out higher fairly soon. 

I think the approaching Full Moon next Tuesday could hint at some skittishness since it aligns with the Saturn-Rahu pattern quite closely.  More immediately, tomorrow's (Thursday) alignment of the Moon-Saturn-Rahu looks bearish and should generate some downside which could even manifest into Friday.  Next week may see improving sentiment as Venus moves into alignment with bullish Jupiter and idealistic Neptune.  This Grand Trine alignment is exact on June 1st.  While we could see some big moves in both directions next week, the upside prospects seem fairly good from an astrological perspective.

Simplified Planetary Transits for May 21 - June 1

Mon/21   Mercury-180-Jupiter-120-Neptune          +2

Tue/22     Mercury-180-Jupiter-120-Neptune          +2
                 Moon-120-Saturn-150-Rahu                  -1

Wed/23   Sun-120-Mars                                          -1
Thu/24     Sun-120-Mars                                         -1
                 Moon-90-Venus-180-Saturn                   -2 

Fri/25      Mercury-120-Pluto                                   -1   

Mon/28   (US closed) Sun-150-Saturn-150-Rahu    -2

Tue/29    Full Moon: Sun-180-Moon-Saturn            -1

Wed/30  Venus-120-Jupiter-120-Neptune              +2

Thu/31    Venus-120-Jupiter-120-Neptune             +2
                Moon-0-Saturn-30-Mars-0-Ketu              -2

Fri/1        Venus-120-Jupiter-120-Neptune              +2

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Stocks gain on hopes for US-China trade deal

(14 May 2018) US stocks started the week on a mildly positive note on hopes for a US-China trade deal.  Fears of a trade war have receded now that Presidents Trump and Xi are negotiating a way to allow American agricultural products into China in exchange for US market access for electronics giant ZTE.  Monday's gain followed on a very bullish performance last week as the Dow gained more than 600 points.  Moderate inflation data and the increasingly real prospect of peace on the Korean peninsula appeared to negate previous worries about rising interest rates and geopolitical disruption in the Middle East.

The gains were in keeping with expectations in last week's market forecast as I thought the Venus and Jupiter influences would likely have the final word.  The rest of this week looks less positive for the markets, however. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Mars will form a square aspect with Uranus.  This is often a bearish influence.  The negativity may well peak in the afternoon in the US when the Moon joins the alignment.  Interestingly, this will integrate the natal Sun in the NYSE chart.  This is a reason to expect stocks will undergo a significant fall sometime this week. Tuesday is a prime candidate in that respect. 

However, the proximity of the bullish Venus-Jupiter aspect could offset some of the Mars-Uranus-Moon alignment on Tuesday.  The Venus alignment could also extend into Wednesday so that offers the possibility of a more positive midweek period.  The Moon-Venus conjunction on Thursday morning is another possible source of optimism which could keep the rally afloat a while longer. 

Thursday and Friday's alignment of Mercury, Saturn, and Rahu (the North Lunar Node) has more of a bearish feel to it.  Even if we see some up days this week, the twin effects of Mars-Uranus and Mercury-Saturn-Rahu look strong enough to end this little rebound for now.

The ongoing Jupiter-Neptune aspect is bullish and is one reason why stocks have bounced recently.  It will be in effect for another couple of weeks.  However, some of the positive vibes of this aspect are being gradually offset by the Saturn-Nodal alignment.  This is a nasty looking pattern that will be in a close alignment for several weeks due to the retrograde motion of Saturn.  The added problem for financial markets is that Mars will gradually move into a conjunction with the South Lunar Node (Ketu) in early June. This could act as an additional trigger for the bearishness of the Saturn-Nodal pattern. 

Simplified Planetary Outlook for week of May 14 - 18 (Transits only)

Mon     Venus-0-Sun                                +2
Mon     Moon-180-Jup-120-Nep               +1
Mon     Sun-135-Saturn                             -1
Mon     Mars-90-Uranus                            -1

Tue      Mars-90-Uranus-30-Moon             -2
Tue      Sun-0-Moon (New Moon)              +1

Wed     Mars-90-Uranus                            -2
Wed     Jupiter-150-Moon-90-Neptune      +1

Thurs   Moon-0-Venus                              +1
Thurs   Merc-120-Saturn-150-Rahu          -2

Fri        Mars-45-Neptune-45-Uranus       -2
Fri        Merc-120-Saturn-150-Rahu          -2

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

US stocks volatile ahead of jobs report

(3 May 2018) Stocks are looking a bit shaky this week.  While the Fed graciously left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and Corporate America continued to post impressive Q1 earnings, investors are still not entirely at peace with the world.  Bond yields remain in an up trend as inflation threatens to undermine economic growth and the Trump White House hasn't yet figured out a way to avoid a trade war with China.  So it's no wonder that the Dow is down almost 400 points this week as markets look for their next catalyst.

The down week was less surprising to us since the planets looked a bit tense this week.   As I mentioned in the previous market forecast, the early week Sun-Saturn-Rahu alignment hinted at more downside, as did the entry of Mars into sidereal Capricorn on Wednesday.  Today's steep morning sell-off to 23,531 (well below the closely watched 200-day moving average) was likely a hangover of that Mars-into-Capricorn effect but stocks mostly recovered by the close as Mercury tightened its alignment with bullish Jupiter and Neptune.

We can see how the current planetary set up is activating the chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (26 May 1896).  On the plus side, Jupiter (25 Libra) is nicely situated in the 1st house while Rahu (North Lunar Node) is well-placed in the 10th approaching its conjunction with Jupiter.  But Saturn (14 Sagittarius) is still quite close to the equal 3rd house cusp at 17 Libra (N.B. the chart inception time and hence the house cusps are approximate so there is a big asterisk there). 

More problematic is that Saturn is now aligning with the Sun (13 Taurus) and Moon (13 Scorpio).  To be sure, this is not a proper full strength Vedic aspect, but I have found that these near-exact alignments are partial strength aspects which can still exert an influence.  The Saturn influence in this chart is bearish and may well outweigh the less-positive Jupiter and Rahu placements.

The same goes for Mars, now in the first degree of Capricorn.  While it does not aspect either Venus (1 Taurus) or Mercury (1 Gemini), it nonetheless aligns with both of them using 30 degree reckoning and this should be seen as another negative influence on stocks on Friday.  Since Mars moves less than one degree per day, it may also be a factor while stocks had difficult today (Thursday). 

Ultimately, I am uncertain what stocks will do tomorrow after the jobs report.  As always, the planets offer a mixed picture where different scenarios are possible.  The alignment of Mercury with bullish Jupiter and Neptune will still be in effect so that could generate some upside at some point.  That may not be saying much given how choppy trading has been this week.  The problem for the bullish scenario is that there are some important negative configurations in place.  The bullish influences could outweigh the negatives but that may be wishful thinking.  I would think the downside risks are elevated and hence a negative outcome is more likely.  This is perhaps even a bit more likely given the conjunction of the Moon with bearish Saturn during the trading day.  The opposition of the Sun to the natal Saturn in the Dow chart is another minus.

The fairly high number of aspects in play suggests the moves could be large.  This is likely the case in any event as the monthly US jobs report is often a heavily traded event.  Next week looks somewhat better, however, as the Sun and Venus align with Jupiter early in the week.  Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I would think stocks could rebound early next week.  Whether it happens tomorrow or next week, the risks are real that the Dow will again reach its previous low of 23,344 or lower.

Simplified Planetary Outlook for week of May 7 - 11 (Transits only)
(N.B separating alignments are often weakening; approaching alignments tend to be strengthening)

Mon  Mercury-90-Pluto  bearish (separ)                     -1
Mon  Sun-180-Jupiter  bullish (appr)                          +2
Mon  Moon-Venus-90-Neptune  bullish (appr)            +2

Tues  Sun-180-Jupiter  bullish (appr)                          +2
Tues  Venus-150-Jupiter  bullish (appr)                       +1

Wed  Venus-150-Jupiter-180-Sun  bullish (separ)       +1
Wed  Mercury-90-Mars  bearish  (appr)                       -1
Wed  Moon -60- Saturn  bearish (appr)                       -1

Thurs  Moon-Jupiter-120-Neptune   bullish  (appr)      +1
Thurs  Mercury-90-Mars-0-Uranus  bearish  (appr)      -2

Fri  Mercury-90-Mars-0-Uranus  bearish   (appr)          -3
Fri  Sun-30-Venus-150-Pluto  (appr)                           +1

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wall St. on edge as 10-year Treasury yield hits 2.99%

(23 April 2018) US stocks held steady today as traders kept a wary eye on the bond market.   The Dow was mostly unchanged in Monday trading at 24,448 while yields on the 10-year Treasury note hit a four-year high at 2.99%.  Many investors are keeping a close watch on whether bond yields will pass the psychologically important 3% threshold.  If yields continue to move above 3%, it will likely entice larger institutions to move money out of riskier stocks and into the relative safety of higher-yielding bonds.   This asset reallocation would be bad news for the stock market. 

Stocks have been gamely rebounding since their low on April 2nd.  The low coincided with the Mars-Saturn conjunction at 15 Sagittarius.  As I have noted previously, this pairing of two malefic planets was likely going to bring some downside.  As the Mars began to separate from Saturn in April, sentiment has improved and we have seen a three-week long rally.  Planetary sentiment was also boosted by the close Jupiter-Pluto alignment.  But now Jupiter is gradually moving away from its alignment with Pluto.  Can the rebound continue?

The horoscope of the USA illustrates the possible problems in the days ahead.    In my practice of financial astrology, I usually refer to the horoscopes of stock exchanges (e.g. NYSE) and the major indexes (Dow, Nasdaq).  But sometimes we can also see the ups and downs of financial markets through the national chart. 

The Mars-Saturn conjunction in early April exactly opposed the natal Jupiter in the USA chart.  Jupiter is one of the planets symbolizing wealth so the double whammy from Mars and Saturn was an adequate reflection of those tensions.  I had thought that the Mars-Saturn to Jupiter might also indicate a firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, since Jupiter also rules justice.  While rumours to that effect increased, no firing took place.

Now that Saturn is retrograde and slowly backing away from its aspect with Jupiter, it is tempting to think that the affliction is finished.  It could be less dramatic than it was in February and March, but I think there is still some negative sentiment that has yet to be expressed.  The Saturn influence is still apt to come out if there is an additional planet forming a larger alignment.  This is the case midweek as Mercury aligns with Saturn and Rahu (North Lunar Node) and thereby activate the USA's Jupiter.  

Later in the week, Mercury will align exactly with Rahu and thereby further align with the natal Rahu in the USA chart.  The current Rahu-to-Rahu conjunction speaks of the ongoing atmosphere of scandal and subterfuge throughout the American political system.   The participation of Mercury in that Rahu alignment could signal another significant development in the investigation into the criminality in the Trump White House.

Next week's entry of Mars into Capricorn doesn't look much better for the stock market.  Mars will then closely oppose Mercury (3 Cancer) and will ultimately form a nasty looking T-square alignment with Uranus (5 Aries).  It seems unlikely that the market could resume its rally under that transit. 

The bottom line is I think this April rebound will likely reverse soon, probably this week.  And given the sequence of difficult aspects in the coming weeks, there is a real risk that US stocks will revisit their April 2 low (Dow: 23,344).  Lower lows are also possible.  Here is a quick overview of some of the upcoming key alignments with the approximate dates of their manifestation. 

This week (Apr 23-27)

April 23:  Venus-30-Uranus  -- bullish -- "pleasurable risk"
April 23-25  Jupiter-60-Mars -- bullish -- "confident action"
April 24-26  Mercury-90-Saturn-150-Rahu -- bearish -- "disappointment and confusion"
April 26   Mars-0-Pluto -- bearish -- "intense and coercive action"
April 27  Moon-90-Mercury-90-Saturn-150-Rahu -- bearish -- "disappointment, distortion, and disruption"

Next week (April 30-May 4)

April 30   Moon-0-Jupiter --  bullish  -- "confidence"
April 30  Sun-120-Saturn-150-Rahu -- bullish  -- "tensions in status quo"
May 1-2  Mars enters sidereal Capricorn -- bearish -- "purposeful action and conflict"
May 3-4  Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune -- bullish -- "constructive optimism and abundance"

I think stocks are more likely to recover (temporarily) later in May, probably approaching the time of the Jupiter-Neptune alignment on the 24th. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mr Zuckerberg goes to Washington; US stocks fall again

(8 April 2018) Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg could be in for a rough ride this week when he appears before a congressional committee in Washington, DC.  The Facebook founder and CEO is due to answer questions from bipartisan panels on data privacy and internet security on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The appearance follows the Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal and the concern over Facebook's potentially negligent role in Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.  The wunderkind of social media now may have to admit that the selling of personal user data is an intrinsic part of the Facebook business model.

Certainly, the planetary alignments this week look tense for Zuckerberg.  The main source of stress is the approaching Saturn retrograde station at 15 Sagittarius.  The station takes place on April 17th but it has already slowed considerably and is more or less just sitting on that degree of 15 Sagittarius (in the sidereal zodiac, of course!).  The problem for Zuckerberg is that Saturn forms a 135-degree sesquisquare aspect with his Sun at 0 Taurus. This aspect has been within range for weeks and will continue to be within effective range for perhaps another month.  While this is not a standard Vedic aspect, it is equivalent to a conjunction in the Ashtamsa D-8 divisional chart.  The D-8 chart is generally associated with negative experiences involving loss or conflict. 

Saturn transits to the Sun often describe situations where authority figures may block wishes or goals and thereby cause frustration.  Traditionally, the Saturn-Sun authority figures are symbolized by the father, bosses, and government.  Certainly, this hearing has the potential to see Zuckerberg taken to task by the US lawmakers.  On one hand, it is possible that most of the negative energy of the Saturn-Sun transit will be manifested just by Zuckerberg having to face criticism without necessarily doing more damage to him or to Facebook's reputation.  In true Saturnian fashion, the government has forced him to come to Washington irrespective of his own wishes.   And yet, the fact that Saturn is basically stationary in the sky less than two weeks before its retrograde station likely means that the damage to his reputation and to Facebook may be quite serious.

Other transits on Tuesday and Wednesday suggest that Zuckerberg will not do well in the hearings.  Transiting Mars (19 Sagittarius) is exactly conjunct Jupiter (19 Sagittarius) indicating conflict and criticism (Mars) of his knowledge and philosophy (Jupiter).  Zuckerberg's optimistic and naive view of social media will likely come under intense scrutiny and is likely to be challenged by the committee.  Also, transiting Venus (18 Aries) will be exactly opposite Saturn (18 Libra).  This suggests the hearings will be an unpleasant experience and will be disappointing in terms of their outcome. 

In a previous post, I suggested that Facebook's problems are unlikely to end soon.  I think Zuckerberg will remain under a lot of pressure for the rest of 2018.  And I think it is still possible he could be asked to step down as CEO at some point.  I will revisit this question in the coming weeks.

Weekly Market Forecast

Facebook's travails are only one reason why the stock market has been falling recently.  President Trump's tariff threats against China were the main reason why US stocks tumbled again last week.  After appearing to recover midweek, Friday saw another rout as the Dow fell more than 2% closing below 24,000 once again.  Indian stocks fared better, however, as domestic earnings and a dovish RBI stance are supporting investor sentiment. 

This negative outcome for US stocks was in keeping with expectations as I thought last week's Mars-Saturn conjunction would likely take stocks lower.  In fact, Monday's big decline occurred on the same day as the exact conjunction.  Now that the conjunction is separating, can the stock market resume is bullish ways?

I think a rally is very close now although I suspect we could see more downside this week.  Monday's Mars-Rahu alignment looks bearish and could well coincide with lower lows.  The midweek Sun-Jupiter-Pluto alignment looks quite bullish and argues for some positive days at some point this week.  So we may well see a rerun of last week with large swings in both directions. 

The Venus-Jupiter alignment on April 17th should bring an improvement in sentiment.  Interestingly, this is the same day that Saturn turns retrograde.  While Saturn is a bearish planet, its station could be part of larger configuration of planets that brings about a shift in the market's prevailing mood.  Let's see how it plays out.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.