Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stocks push higher; Mercury-Saturn ahead

Stocks bubbled higher last week as the US Dollar continued to teeter on the edge of oblivion at its key support level of USDX75. The Dow pushed to new highs midweek before closing at 10,270 while the S&P matched its October highs and finished at 1093 (beware the double top). In Mumbai, the indices shook off the recent correction as the Sensex climbed 4% to close at 16,848 and the Nifty finished at 4998. So the midweek Mercury-Uranus-Ketu pattern was mostly bullish, no doubt aided by the simultaneous Sun-Jupiter aspect. It's noteworthy that the high point for the week coincided with those two aspects after which there was a slight retreat. Thursday was an important statement of the bearish potential of the Saturn-Pluto aspect as the Moon acted as trigger during its tight conjunction with Saturn in sidereal Virgo. The release of this Saturn-Pluto energy pushed global markets down across the board. As precise as the timing of this aspect was, it's worth noting that the Moon is the fastest moving planet in the astrological pantheon and therefore is a fairly weak trigger. Usually, planetary power is inversely related with velocity: the slower the planet, the greater the capacity to manifest in human sentiment and action. If the market dropped 1% with the fast-moving Moon, I wonder how much it could drop with a slower moving body like the Sun, Mercury or Mars, to say nothing of Uranus, Rahu or Ketu?

This week may provide some useful data that may answer that question as Mercury falls under the full strength sextile (60 degree) aspect of pessimistic Saturn. This planetary combination is bearish enough, but the fact that Saturn is in a close square aspect with cold, cruel Pluto increases the potential for a significant move. The three-planet alignment makes its closest angle on Tuesday. One possible saving grace is that the sextile is probably not as strong as the conjunction or square so its damage may be mitigated somewhat. Nonetheless, this is still a dangerous combination.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Mars forms an exact square aspect with Venus. Since Mars is debilitated here in sidereal Cancer, it has considerable potential to do harm. Readers may recall the damage Mars did through its square aspect with the Sun back in late October. The market dropped about 5% in a three-day pullback. While there is some bearish potential here, it's important to note the differences. The Sun was also debilitated in Libra at the time, so that may have increased the bearish potential of the aspect. By contrast, Venus here is in its own sign (Libra) and hence much stronger. As a result it may be able to better withstand Mars' unwelcome overtures. We should also note that this Thursday will see an echo of last Thursday's bearish pattern as the Moon may once again activate the Saturn-Pluto square. The Moon will conjoin Pluto at 8 Sagittarius (Lahiri) during the afternoon in New York. History needn't repeat exactly since the Moon will be conjoining Pluto instead of Saturn, but it will nonetheless bear watching.