Saturday, June 26, 2010

Markets sputter as Mercury enters Gemini

More dark days in the market last week as the disappointing economic data coming out of the US is conjuring up images of a Recession 2.0. In New York, the Dow slid almost 3% to close at 10,143 while the S&P finished at a meager 1076. As has been the case recently, Indian stocks fared somewhat better as the Sensex was little changed on the week at 17,574 and the Nifty at 5269. I had expected some upside in the early going on the Sun-Jupiter-Uranus pattern and we did get it although it was excruciatingly fleeting: Monday closed higher in Mumbai but we only saw significant intraday gains in New York which faded away by the close. I wondered if Mercury's entry into Gemini on Tuesday might would tilt the game in favour of the bears and that seems to have largely come to pass. US markets fell on all days this week with the exception of Friday's flat performance, while Mumbai was significantly lower Thursday and Friday. It's worth noting that the bearish Mercury-Saturn aspect that I mentioned last week did deliver its gloom on schedule as Thursday saw a down day in most global markets.

Mercury and the Sun continue their transits through the minefield of sidereal Gemini this week. While the worst of Saturn's aspect is now behind them, they still have to contend with Ketu, the planetary equivalent of a ornery curmudgeon who hates money. Ketu, (a.k.a. the South Lunar Node) is known as a planet of renunciation and spirituality in Vedic lore. Since it is more inclined towards otherworldly pursuits, it often takes a dim view of such mundane matters as speculation and profit. In most cases, this is a bearish influence but we should note that Ketu is also known for its unpredictable quality, like a holy man who buys lotto tickets just to challenge stereotypes. Before the midweek encounter with Ketu, we will see a Sun-Mercury conjunction in Gemini. Since Mercury rules Gemini, this ought to generate some enthusiasm for trading and presumably give a Burroughsian shot in the arm to prices.

At the same time, however, Mars will be in aspect with Rahu which may create an unstable environment in some way. By itself, the Mars-Rahu suggests an excess of energy that one finds in accidents and disputes. In the context of the market, it could translate simply in terms of high trading volumes and a rapid cycling of porfolios. With Sun-Mercury providing some positive cover, one would be forgiven to think that optimism will prevail. In the current cosmic climate of Saturn-Uranus oppositions and such, that is not a certainty. And all of this comes on the heels of today's (June 26) partial lunar eclipse at 10 degrees of Sagittarius. Now that we're into eclipse season -- the solar eclipse arrives on July 11 -- we should look for an increase in intensity of both actions and their consequences.

"Maturity of mind is the capacity to endure uncertainty." --John Finley