Saturday, February 27, 2010

Venus meets Uranus this week

US Stocks were mostly unchanged last week as Ben Bernanke's promise to keep interest rates low was offset by news of more woes in the bottomless housing market. The Dow lost less than 1% to close at 10,325 while the S&P finished at 1104. In Mumbai, investors reacted favourably to the tax relief in Friday's union budget as prices rose by 2% on the week. The Nifty edged towards 5000 at midday Friday before closing at 4922 while the Sensex stood at 16,429. This outcome was more or less in keeping with last week's comments since I had suggested that the early part of the week would be weaker with strength returning by Friday. In New York, Monday and Tuesday were both down days after which the bulls once again took the S&P back above 1100 for the rest of the week, albeit including Thursday's morning shake out. Mumbai reflected the bullish bias of Friday's Sun-Jupiter conjunction more closely as Indian markets moved higher after trading in a narrow range in the lead up to the budget.

This week sees Venus leaving Aquarius on Tuesday as it prepares for its conjunction with Uranus. As I speculated last week, the multi-planet stellium in Aquarius may offer a partial explanation of the recent rally off the February 5 lows. Since Venus and then later the Sun have entered Aquarius to join Jupiter, prices have steadily risen. However, once Venus leaves the company of the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter, we should be careful to detect any reduction in optimism. Certainly, the conjunction of benefic Venus with energetic Uranus is a fortuitous combination that should offer further support to stocks for at least the first half of the week until the conjunction is exact. As an added bonus, we should also note that Venus is entering Pisces, the sign of its exaltation. So there is the potential for significant and sudden gains. However, we can also see a potentially troubling alignment between Mercury, Mars and Saturn at the same time. This may siphon off some of the optimism and produce a down day somewhere along the way, but there is good reason to expect the bulls to stay in control this week.

Once Venus passes Uranus on Wednesday, however, the dynamics may begin to shift. After Uranus, Saturn looms as Venus' next dance partner. As the planet of austerity and limitation, we may see a reduction of risk appetite before too long.