Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stocks lift on Sun-Mercury conjunction; uncertainty ahead on Me-Ur-Ke

Stocks bounced back last week on some less-than-awful US employment data and more cheap money happy talk from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. In New York, the Dow climbed 3% to 10,023 while the S&P finished at 1069. In Mumbai, equities rallied back after Tuesday's thumping as the Nifty ended Friday at 4796 and the Sensex at 16,158. The midweek conjunction of Sun and Mercury delivered higher prices as expected, although the early and late week downside did not quite deliver the goods. While New York was quite solid in the early going, Mumbai was down Tuesday on the Aries Moon and Mercury-Mars square, probably because of Mars afflictions to key placements in the NSE natal chart. Despite a minor Mercury-Saturn aspect, Friday saw the bulls once again carry the day. All in all, it was a victory for the bullish short term aspects over more challenging and shadowy medium term influences. In other words, another edifying lesson in empiricism.

This week could make or break the correction as the Mercury-Uranus-Ketu grand trine configuration takes root around midweek. Both Uranus and Ketu are planets that symbolize change and sudden events and their close aspect here would seem to incline towards new and unforeseen developments. As a fast moving planet, Mercury may be able to act as a trigger to release whatever surprises Uranus and Ketu have in store. By itself, the Mercury-Uranus combination is often bullish, and all the more so given Neptune's additional harmonic influence there. But Ketu changes things up considerably, and it's unclear if stocks can handle so much uncertainty and suddenness. The background influence of the Saturn-Pluto square should also be seen as a negative factor, although it's precise due date is still up in the air. Venus forms an alignment with Saturn and Pluto before trading on Monday, so that could generate some fear and disappointment. However, this aspect clears out fairly quickly so it's conceivable that Monday may not be too bad. Tuesday features the Sun-Jupiter square, a classic symbol of unfounded optimism and excessive expectations. The market could rally briefly but it's perhaps more prone to quick pullbacks once it separates. Thursday will be an interesting measure of the Saturn-Pluto square as the Moon will conjoin Saturn in sidereal Virgo before the close in New York. This combination of energies represents solitude and isolation so it may be more difficult for investors to feel comfortable with their positions. In addition, I think the hardship symbolized by the Saturn-Pluto aspect may correspond with a rebound in the US dollar very soon. All that coldness and cruelty could have investors rushing back to safe harbours.