Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ketu punishes markets; Uranus Rx and solar eclipse dead ahead

Gloom pervaded most world markets last week as the economic data coming out of the US continued to disappoint. There were more long faces on Wall Street as US stocks fell another 5% with the Dow closing under 10,000 at 9686 while the S&P ended the week at 1022. Indian markets were more steadfast against this bearish onslaught and ended only modestly lower as the Sensex closed at 17,460 and the Nifty at 5237. This negative outcome was unsurprising given the dominance of ascetic Ketu (South Lunar Node) in the sky last week. As I noted last week, spiritual ascetics like Ketu do not take much of an interest in money, and when they do, they can be dismissive of its importance. While Monday's Sun-Mercury conjunction did offer a short-lived boost to sentiment, especially in Asia where stocks managed a decent gain, the rest of the week was more decidedly bearish as US markets fell for five straight days. Both the Sun and Mercury had conjunctions with crazy, mad Ketu last week so that was the immediate cause for the rush to the exits.

More generally, we can see how the approach of the next Saturn-Uranus opposition is starting to take its toll on the market mood as US markets seem to have entered a new and more dangerous phase of this current correction that began in late April. Indian markets have largely been spared the bloodletting so far, although that can't continue indefinitely. Certainly, the economic fundamentals in India are stronger than the US economy and therein lies part of the explanation for their different paths. Astrologically, the natal horoscopes of the Indian stock exchanges are proving to be stronger in the face of these bearish transits. Natal charts are unique and so each entity -- whether a person, stock exchange, or corporation -- will be influenced in different ways by the same transits.

This week looks no less eventful as the Saturn-Uranus opposition is again highlighted by the retrograde station of Uranus on Monday, the 5th. As the planet of freedom and independence, there may be an even greater uneasiness in global sentiment as the restlessness of Uranus confronts the harsh reality of Saturn's unyielding structures. Volatility is likely to rise as investors may seek to reorganize and rebalance their portfolios in the face of new realities. There is a hectic or even occasionally frantic quality at work here that could manifest as sudden reversals of fortune, and unexpected changes in plan. To make things even more interesting, there is a total solar eclipse on Sunday July 11. Like planetary stations, eclipses also function as times of greater intensity and that are marked by interruptions of the status quo. Reversals are also more common near eclipses so if we have seen a down trend prevail leading into an eclipse, then the tables may turn around the eclipse date. Interesting times to be sure.