Sunday, August 30, 2009

US stocks stay strong; Mumbai rises to new high

World markets continued to defy gravity last week new yearly highs were established on many bourses, including US and India. After trading around 9600 in the week, stocks in New York closed mostly unchanged as the Dow ended at 9544 and the S&P at 1028. Mumbai was even more bullish as markets rose in all five sessions, as the Nifty closed Friday at a 2009 high of 4732 while the Sensex finished at 15,922. I had expected more downside on the Mercury-Mars-Rahu-Pluto pattern but it seems the offsetting Venus-Ketu conjunction on Wednesday may have been stronger than anticipated. As expected, we did see some more gains later in the week, especially in India, as transiting Venus improved the overall energy in the Mercury-Mars aspect. And while gold was weaker early on in the week as I had suspected it might be, it also staged a strong recovery by Friday.

This week offers another opportunity for the bearishness of the Mercury-Mars square to manifest, possibly early on when the Moon joins Rahu in Capricorn. By midweek, however, this energy may be redirected by Jupiter's minor aspect to this square. Jupiter is essentially an expansive influence so it has the capacity to enhance whatever trends are already underway. This could conceivably amplify any down move, although given Jupiter's benefic default setting towards gains, one might think it could take stocks higher also. By the end of the week, Venus will be moving into a minor aspect with the Sun, so that is another potential bullish energy source in the face of the negativity of the Mercury-Mars square and Mercury's imminent retrograde station on September 7. As the planet of trading and commerce, Mercury's condition is of critical importance in understanding the market, at least on a short-term basis. When it is strong, markets rise and when it is weak or afflicted, markets tend to fall. Its current placement in sidereal Virgo (which Mercury is said to rule according to astrological tradition) is an indicator of strength and no doubt that is one reason the market has so far been able to continue to rise despite the problematic input from the Mars aspect. But Mercury will likely come under further stress as we move into its retrograde cycle from Sept 7th to 29th.

While the overall planetary picture looks increasingly tense here, I would not be too surprised to see higher highs this week. Much will depend on what role Jupiter is playing midweek through its contact with Mercury and Mars. If Tuesday sees gains, then that will likely tip the scales in favour of more gains overall for the week and a possible new high.