Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stocks slip back; Sun-Mars aspect ahead

Stocks slipped last week as investors took profits on positive earnings news. In New York, the Dow backed off its highs and closed Friday down about 1% for the week at 9972 while the S&P finished at 1079. In Mumbai, stocks retreated 3% as the Sensex closed at 16,810 and the Nifty at 4997. No surprises here really given the mix of aspects in play, although as always the exact timing defied an easy logic. The bullish Mercury-Jupiter aspect manifested a day early in Monday's gain while the midweek Sun-Saturn minor aspect similarly arrived somewhat ahead of exactitude as the market pulled back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Interestingly, Friday's apparently bullish Mercury-Uranus-Neptune aspect did not pay off as stocks fell in New York, albeit after a positive open. The failure of the market to hold onto its initial gains on this configuration is a possible sign of developing weakness.

This week's planets seem somewhat more difficult and will be an important test of the underlying sustainability of the rally. For the bulls, Venus comes under the benefic influence of Jupiter early in the week, with gains possible on either Monday or Tuesday. The Moon may play the role of midwife here as it conjoins Jupiter in Capricorn for both these days, although I am skeptical if we will see gains both days. Actually, the aspect is exact early Thursday but it seems more likely to manifest early all things considered.

For the bears, the Sun is entering into a potential tense square aspect with Mars, also on Thursday. These fiery planets can produce a lot of energy for good or ill but the square aspect can mean that there is an uncontrolled or harmful element present here, particularly since Mars is debilitated in sidereal Cancer and the Sun is debilitated in Libra. While it's conceivable that this combination may not reflect problems in investors sentiment, it's nonetheless an aspect to take very seriously. In addition, Mercury is in a minor aspect with Saturn midweek so that is another potentially bearish energy. By the time Friday rolls around, Mercury (10 Libra) will be close to coming under the influence of that debilitated Mars (12 Cancer) so that is definitely a hazardous aspect for stocks. It's still two degrees short of exactitude but that may not be enough to prevent fear from taking hold in the market. As a special bearish bonus, on Friday the Moon forms a t-square with Saturn and Pluto, now just one degree away from an exact 90 degree aspect. While these two slow moving planets will be in aspect for several weeks in November, this may be a possible early activation by the transiting Moon. It will definitely bear close watching.