Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gold tumbles further, stocks flat

Stocks were mostly flat last week as positive US retail data was offset by renewed worries over government debt levels in vulnerable jurisdictions like Dubai and Greece. Blue chips performed a little better than the broader market as the Dow closed at 10,471 while the S&P finished at 1106. It was much the same story in Mumbai where equities again failed to punch above resistance levels as the Sensex closed at 17,119 and the Nifty 5117. While the early week Mercury-Saturn-Pluto alignment was bearish as expected, the relative easy rebound later on the Sun-Mars aspect demonstrates how much positive planetary energy is still available. No doubt part of the story is the approach of the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction which comes exact December 21. These two planets have played a huge role in this rally that dates back to March. Jupiter symbolizes optimism and expansion and Neptune embodies notions of idealism and image. Together, they are a potent combination that says "hope" for the future. It's not a coincidence perhaps that the Copenhagen climate conference is meeting just a few days ahead of the exact conjunction of these idealistic and hopeful planets. President Obama will address the meeting on December 18 at a time when Jupiter and Neptune will be separated by less than half a degree -- sounds like it could be a hopefest -- albeit one motivated by quasi-apocalyptic concerns as Saturn squares Pluto (death and suffering) and Mars (conflict and violence) is almost stationary. In market terms, the presence of this underlying force of Jupiter-Neptune optimism has prevented the more negative aspects from taking the market significantly lower.

This week offers more positive short term aspects as the transiting Sun will form a complex alignment with Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune early in the week. This could well boost stock prices temporarily as well as give a lift to gold, which has been recently beaten down by the rising Dollar. On Wednesday, a New Moon occurs in the first degree of sidereal Sagittarius and is another possible "reset" button for the market. Given that the Sun will be separating from those outer planets, some declines are more likely as the week progresses. That said, Venus is close on the Sun's heels at the moment so by Friday it will be within just two degrees of its minor aspect with Jupiter. These are two bullish planets so it's not unreasonable to expect an up day towards the end of the week.

Besides the upcoming Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, Mars goes retrograde the previous day on Sunday, December 20. We are fast approaching the apex of these two important medium term influences. Financial markets may therefore undergo a substantial re-organization in the very near future. A similar re-ordering of the currency markets just occurred with the Uranus station on December 1 when the Dollar finally reversed its decline as Gold topped out above $1200. With the carry trade now in jeopardy, we could see other important ramifications from the appreciation of the US Dollar.