Sunday, January 18, 2009

Markets continue slide as recession deepens

Stocks fell another 4% in New York last week a growing number of investors realized that the recession will likely last through all of 2009. After touching 8000 on Thursday, the Dow rebounded Friday and ended the week at 8281, while the S&P ended at 850. Both indexes are below their 50 day moving average now as the the market ponders the fork in the road: to reach the technical safety of higher ground or to sink back down to the November lows. Certainly, the pessimism from the Mercury-Saturn aspect last week had the desired effect as sentiment fell very close to when the aspect came exact. And it is also possible to see how the late week turn higher reflects the tug of war between Rahu and Jupiter over the affections of Mercury. As long as retrograde Mercury was closer to the disruptive influence of Rahu, the market sold off. Once Mercury was closer to benefic Jupiter, the market shook off the blues and pushed higher.

With US markets closed Monday and the Obama inauguration on Tuesday, there will be compressed time frame for trading this week. Overall, I think the chances for a big rally are very good as Sun, Mercury and Jupter conjoin in Uttarashada. This nakshatra is ruled by the Sun, so having that doubly helpful influence on the nakshatra lord should give an extra boost to sentiment. The Sun-Jupiter conjunction comes exact on Friday and may well mark the approximate end of this mini-rally. In addition, Venus is conjoining Uranus this week, and comes exact on Thursday so that may provide some additional heft to the bullishness. How high could it go? Well, I think it's possible the market may soar as high as Obama's rhetoric. The US has been waiting for a new beginning for a long time, and the incoming Obama administration is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn the page and start anew. Optimism will rule the day and will likely spill over into the market. I would not be surprised to see the Dow get to 9500 here. Next week's Saturnized solar eclipse may be the proverbial bucket of cold water on the parade, so investors should enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Indian markets were modestly lower after a volatile week in the wake of the Satyam revelations. After bouncing off lows of 9000, the Sensex ended Friday's session at 9323, with the Nifty at 2828. The negative action came off more or less according to expectations, as the Mercury-Saturn aspect pushed stocks much lower on Thursday. I had thought that Wednesday might have been more negative, but perhaps the happy glow from the Moon-Venus aspect was enough to temporarily mask the hardened resignation of Mercury's sad condition. Friday's gain also was a little surprising in light of the twin Mars aspects to the NSE chart. The transiting Moon's aspect to a fast-strengthening Mercury proved more than enough to counteract the negativity contained in the natal charts.

While the early week may be tentative, I think Mumbai will also move higher this week as the Sun-Jupiter brings its message of optimism and hope back to the market. The Venus-Uranus conjunction will form a nice aspect to the natal Jupiter in the NSE chart so that is additional support the rally hypothesis here. The Sun-Jupiter conjunction does not form any obvious aspects to this natal chart but that may not matter. Thursday may be a possible down day as the Moon squares Saturn in the afternoon. However, even that bearish indicator may be pushed to the side with the presence of Venus in aspect to Saturn. There is a potential for a big lift here, perhaps to Nifty 3000 and 10,000 on the Sensex.

The rally in stocks this week will probably push crude oil temporarily higher. The US dollar is likely to take a pounding this week, so that may provide some support for gold. Paradoxically, gold seems prone to a steep decline here as the Sun-Jupiter conjunction falls in a delicate area of the GLD chart. This is likely to take hold towards the end of the week or perhaps early next week.