Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stocks rally on Sun-Mercury conjunction

Stocks rallied strongly last week on positive US earnings reports and favourable economic data coming out of China. In New York, the Dow gained 7% to close at 8743 and the S&P finished at 940, as markets rose back towards their June highs. In Mumbai the rally was no less impressive as the Nifty gained 8% to end the week at 4374 while the Sensex once again pushed toward the 15k level as it closed at 14,744. Although I allowed for some up days on the Sun-Mercury conjunction, my forecast was far too bearish last week. Interestingly, the Mars-Rahu aspect did indeed push the market down Monday in Asia with recovery coming in the afternoon in New York as stocks moved higher on the Sun-Mercury conjunction in late sidereal Gemini. As it turned out, both the Mercury-Uranus aspect and the Sun-Jupiter aspect later in the week overwhelmed whatever bearishness was contained within Friday's Mercury-Ketu aspect as stocks moved higher. The bullish momentum from last week is perhaps an indicator of the resilience of the market here so there is likely a little more upside to come as we move into August before the status quo is upset. Jupiter enters sidereal Capricorn on July 31 where it will remain until December. As the planet of optimism and confidence, Jupiter will be weakened by its transit into the sign of its debilitation. This is another reason for being skeptical about the staying power of any rallies in this market.

And speaking of upsetting the status quo, this week features a total solar eclipse on Wednesday (GMT) which will be visible in central India and China. The eclipse will occur at the same time Venus (24 Taurus) is in square aspect to Saturn (24 Leo). This not only can create feelings of caution and pessimism (Saturn) around money (Venus) during the early and middle part of the week when the aspect is closest, it may also foretell a significant decline in the world economy in the weeks and months to come. Eclipse effects usually take days or weeks to manifest (and many astrologers would also say months in some cases), so that is an indicator that the optimism over the economic recovery may wane in the near future. As this lengthy Jupiter-Neptune conjunction finally separates, we will likely see a major decline in stock prices, starting sometime in August and continuing into the fall. In terms of other aspect specifics, Mercury and Mars form a minor aspect on Monday and Tuesday and this is another possible source of nervousness that could cause some investors to exit the market. Some bounce is more likely toward the end of the week on Thursday and Friday as the Moon enters Leo and forms a parivartana yoga with the Sun in Cancer while Venus applies to aspect Jupiter.