Sunday, August 2, 2009

Markets stay bullish; Lunar Eclipse this week

Stocks continued their drift upward last week on better than expected Q2 GDP data in the US. After some midweek bearishness, the Dow closed Friday at 9171 while the S&P stood at 987. In Mumbai, the Sensex touched a 13-month high intraday on Thursday before closing at 15,670 while the Nifty ended the week at 4636. This bullish outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations as the quick succession of Venus and Mercury aspects with Jupiter provided enough optimism to move markets higher. Monday's Mercury-Saturn aspect largely offset the Venus-Jupiter trine as stocks treaded water. As I expected, there was more selling Tuesday and Wednesday in the "hangover" aftermath of that positive configuration. The Mercury-Jupiter aspect on Wednesday and Thursday arrived more or less on schedule, although Wednesday was mostly down. Friday did not see any big declines despite retrograde Jupiter entering sidereal Capricorn, although that is a longer term bearish influence that will be operating for the next several months.

This week we will see the third and last eclipse in this series as a lunar eclipse occurs on Wednesday (EDT) at 19 degrees of Capricorn. Eclipses mark periods of change and instability in the world and this eclipse seems to promise that and more. The previous solar eclipse featured a close Venus-Saturn square which, I argued, foretold of coming problems and losses (Saturn) with financial markets and money (Venus). Well, we will soon see if that interpretation will be borne out by events. This lunar eclipse also has a strong Saturn aspect, this time with Mars. And as (bad) luck would have it, it is also a tense square aspect within three degrees of orb. Mars-Saturn aspects can represent situations of violence, oppression, frustration, and destruction and in the present context may indicate growing geopolitical concerns that could involve military conflict in the coming weeks. On that point, we should note that President Obama's chart is also under a lot of stress in the coming weeks as Saturn and Mercury will conjoin atop his natal Mars. While this pattern may simply represent increased frustration and failure with his health plan reforms (polls indicate he's in trouble on that issue), the Mars factor here opens the possibility of some kind of military or geopolitical problem.

This week the market may well be able to stave off the bears for a little while longer as Mercury moves into aspect with Venus by Friday. We could see some sizable moves in both directions this week, with Monday and Thursday looking the most positive on paper. So I would not be surprised to see more upside here, although with the Mars-Saturn square due to come exact next Monday the 10th and the Mercury-Saturn conjunction on the 18th, all gains should be seen as very temporary indeed. Investors would be well advised to practice their best version of Buddhist non-attachment to any long positions before this rally falls apart.

As the man with the sandwich board sign tells us, the end is nigh.