Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mars extends correction; Mercury conjoins Rahu

Stocks continued their losing ways last week as worries over China's tightening credit and a possible debt default by Greece cast a shadow over the market. Despite the successful reappointment of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, US stocks lost 2% as the Dow closed at 10,067 and the S&P at 1073. It was a similar story in Mumbai, as the RBI warned of inflation down the road and stocks fell 3% as the Sensex closed at 16,357 and the Nifty at 4882. This negative outcome was in keeping with expectations given the plethora of Mars aspects last week. Most of the bearish sentiment in the US occurred towards the end of the week on the Sun-Mars opposition whereas Indian markets experienced its deepest decline on Wednesday on the Venus-Mars opposition. One possible explanation for the slightly different timing around the Mars energy could be that the Venus-Mars aspect also coincided with a specific affliction in NSE natal chart. As always, transit afflictions need to be interpreted through the template of relevant natal positions.

This week will feature a Mercury-Rahu conjunction on Wednesday and a very close alignment of Jupiter with Saturn and Pluto on Friday. Rahu (North Lunar Node) is normally seen as a malefic and unpredictable planet, and its conjunction with Mercury, the planet of commerce, suggests volatility and excessive speculation. We should not be surprised to see uncertainty about global financial markets to persist leading into the Wednesday conjunction, so that may well increase the likelihood for down days early on. Jupiter's influence on the Saturn-Pluto square later in the week will be an intriguing blending of optimism and pessimism. Generally speaking, Jupiter's influence is a positive one, even on planets that may symbolize difficulty or contraction.

The current corrective phase in the markets has coincided with the near-simultaneous reversal in direction of Mercury (forwards) and Saturn (backwards) that occurred in mid-January. As if to give these reversals added oomph, the Solar Eclipse of January 15 may have punctuated their importance in marking a shift in sentiment. Of course, we may also note the potential role of other planetary measurements. While stocks continued to rise around the time of the Mars retrograde station on December 19, the fact that Mars is still moving backwards in the sky is nonetheless significant. Mars retrograde periods have a historical correlation with negative price trends in the market, so this should give investors added caution for the duration of its period of retrograde motion which concludes March 10.