Sunday, November 22, 2009

Venus loves stocks

After another strong Monday that pushed the market to new highs, enthusiasm for stocks in New York faded last week as the indexes ended mostly flat. President Obama's midweek comment on the possibility of a double dip recession appeared to tipped the scales in favour of the bears as the Dow closed at 10,318 while the S&P finished at 1091. Indian stocks fared a little better as Friday's late day rally came on reassurances that the government would not tax foreign investment capital. The Nifty gained 1% on the week to close at 5052 while the Sensex stood at 17,021. Tuesday's Mercury-Saturn-Pluto alignment turned out to be a non-event as stocks showed only mild intraday weakness. This outcome gave some support to the idea that not all aspects are created equal. Last week I had wondered if the third house, sextile aspect was less malefic than the conjunction or square. In the current circumstance, this relatively benign result supported that view, my own bearish forecast notwithstanding. Empirical reality can be a cruel teacher. The second main aspect for the week was the Venus-Mars square which arguably created more problems. With Mars in debilitation in sidereal Cancer, even a strong Venus in Libra was put under significant stress by this aspect which coincided with modest selling in global markets Wednesday and Thursday. Even there, one could argue that the Thursday's decline was not the result of the Venus-Mars square but rather the Moon-Pluto-Saturn alignment. As I noted last week, this was the same pattern that sent stocks lower on the previous Thursday also. With declines coming on consecutive Moon-Saturn-Pluto patterns, we have a better sense of what kind of reservoir of bearish sentiment may be contained within the Saturn-Pluto combination. I believe we have only begun to tap into the possibilities in this malefic aspect.

With holiday-shortened week due to US Thanksgiving, markets are usually fairly quiet and show a bullish bias. This is likely to be the case also this year as benefic Venus will make its presence felt through several aspects. Monday features a Moon-Venus-Jupiter pattern that ought to encourage optimism, at least at the outset. Once the aspect is exact around midday, there could be some erosion of confidence. At the same time, the Sun will come under Saturn's aspect Monday and especially Tuesday, so that is a potentially bearish influence. There ought to be enough negative planetary energy there to generate several hours of selling which ought to be good for one down day. Wednesday appears to be a return to the happy influence of Venus as it forms close aspects to both Uranus and Neptune. This could well carry over into Thursday in many global markets. Friday could signal a change in the mood as Venus enters sidereal Scorpio and will therefore weaken somewhat. The Moon will oppose Saturn and may bring out the bleakness of Saturn-Pluto once again. Friday may be worse in Asian markets since the Moon-Saturn angle will be that much closer.

In the wake of Obama's trip to China, there is increasing concern to do something about the falling US dollar. China has invested heavily in US treasuries and they can't be too pleased with their tumbling value. Chinese banking officials are now openly complaining about the loose US monetary policy that lies behind the dollar's ongoing weakness. The Fed's near-zero interest rate policy has produced a new speculative bubble in equities and commodities may lead to another crash in the near future. While a crash may be overstating things, markets are certainly vulnerable to substantial correction in this upcoming period of the Saturn-Pluto square and the beginning of the Mars and Saturn retrograde cycles over the next two months.