Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stocks continue ascent

The bulls refused to let go of the reigns of the market last week as stocks added another 1-2%. After some early week selling, New Yorks stocks rebounded with the Dow closing Friday at 8131 and the S&P at 869. In Mumbai, stocks rallied up to their 200 day moving average Wednesday, before falling back a bit by Friday's close. The Nifty ended the week at 3384 and the Sensex at an impressive 11,023. The undercurrent of bullish sentiment on the approaching Jupiter-Neptune conjunction continues to offset most other potentially negative astrological factors. US markets fell early in the week ahead of the Mars-Uranus conjunction, but this decline was less than expected. The return of buyers coincided with a fairly innocuous looking Sun-Neptune aspect.

The bears may well rule the early part of this week as Mars approaches Venus on Monday and Tuesday. The Moon transits Aquarius opposite Saturn on those days, so that may increase levels of caution. Wednesday features a Mercury-Jupiter square aspect while the Moon enters Pisces to join Venus and Mars. This looks like a significant infusion of energy that could well stimulate buyers. Friday will see Mercury in aspect with Uranus so that may provide additional stimulation for the bulls. With Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune all in close harmonic proximity, it may be difficult for this market to fall too far right here. I think the market may get choppier here, with larger declines possible but likely still followed by roughly offsetting gains. Still, I note that a number of the relevant natal charts show some fundamental afflictions by slow moving malefics such as Saturn and the nodes, so their bearishness should begin to bite very soon.

This Friday is the Aries New Moon and features a close square aspect between the Sun-Moon conjunction and Rahu and Ketu. This would suggest a rise in nervousness and undermining of confidence over the next four weeks. Mercury, the planet of trading, is in close square aspect with Jupiter-Neptune which again is not indicative of significant gains. It needn't translate into losses, but given the nodal influence on the luminaries, the New Moon chart does not support the notion that this rally can be extended much further. And when we mix in the prospect of the Mercury retrograde period starting on May 6, the planets seem to be pointing to weaker markets in the near term.

The dollar should continue to strengthen this week, as oil and gold may slide back further.