Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sun-Jupiter conjunction on Saturday

A sense of calm returned to financial markets last week as fears over Greece temporarily subsided and positive US economic data pointed to stronger growth down the road. Despite Bernanke's surprise late week move to raise the discount rate, the Dow added 3% to close at 10,402 and the S&P at 1109. Mumbai enjoyed a more modest gain as the Sensex finished the week at 16,191 and the Nifty at 4844. Much of the planetary credit for rise should go to the conjunctions of Sun and Neptune on Monday and then the Venus-Jupiter conjunction on Wednesday. While the Sun-Neptune influence can create unrealistic demands on governments to solve problems, its immediate effects are often positive. Venus-Jupiter are naturally positive planets that encourage optimism and we saw markets move up smartly on Tuesday immediately prior to the conjunction. Interestingly, any residual sense of privation and duress from the early week Mars-Saturn aspect was overwhelmed by these twin sources of confidence.

All eyes this week are on the Sun-Jupiter conjunction that becomes exact on Saturday, the 27th. This is another combination that usually spurs risk taking and spending so there is good reason to expect a bullish bias here, especially later in the week. We should also note that the Indian budget will be announced on Friday very close to this conjunction and that should see further stimulus spending and government largesse since the Sun represents government and Jupiter represents generosity. The early week period may be more difficult, however, as both the Sun and Mercury form minor aspects with Saturn on Monday and perhaps into Tuesday.

As long as the clustering of planets in sidereal Aquarius continues, there is good reason to expect the relative strength to continue. The February 5 low occurred just before Venus entered Aquarius to conjoin Jupiter, the bullish planet of expansion. Once Venus joined Jupiter in Aquarius, markets began to bounce. Now that the Sun has made it a planetary threesome, prices have continued to recover. Mercury is about to enter Aquarius also on Thursday, so that could well be another positive influence that might support prices. But this grouping of three inner planets with Jupiter will be short-lived since Venus will leave Aquarius and enter Pisces on March 2. We should pay close attention to how Jupiter's changing planetary dance partners might affect sentiment as March unfolds.