Saturday, July 17, 2010

Venus charms markets; Mars enters Virgo this week

After a promising start to the week, disappointing Q2 earnings from heavyweights like Google and Bank of America pushed stocks lower by Friday's close. The Dow closed down 1% for the week at 10,097 while the S&P finished at 1064. The story was somewhat better in Mumbai as Indian stocks continued to defy gravity hitting new highs for the year midweek. The Sensex ended Friday up almost 1% at 17,955 with the Nifty closing at 5393. As expected, Venus came through for investors in the earlier part of the week as its minor aspect with the Jupiter-Pluto aspect focused some positive energy that boosted sentiment. We saw gains accrue on most global markets into Wednesday when luxurious Venus was forming a close angle with optimistic Jupiter -- a very sweet combination indeed. Once Venus took her leave, doubts about the recovery returned as bad earnings reports and consumer numbers put a damper on the bulls' glee club. Last week I noted that the entry of the Sun into sidereal Cancer on Friday might "introduce a new dynamic into the mix". Did it ever! After previously topping out around 10,400 midweek, the Dow plunged almost 3% on Friday.

We're currently residing in a sort of planetary antechamber now awaiting the main event to unfold at the end of July. Jupiter begins its retrograde cycle on July 23, then it forms its exact square aspect with Pluto on July 25, while Saturn opposes Uranus for the last time on July 26 and Mars conjoins Saturn on July 31. Planetary calendars don't get much busier than that.

This week Mars enters sidereal Virgo on Tuesday ahead of its conjunction with Saturn. As we saw with the Sun's ingress into Cancer last week, sign changes can bring about significant market developments. Mars is a malefic planet and its surplus of energy can sometimes correspond with urgent or sudden situations that require quick reactions. The emphasis here is on action, so we could see increased volatility early in the week. Virgo is a sign that is associated with analysis and logical systems so the simultaneous occupation of this sign by Mars and Saturn suggests that rational adherence to formal knowledge systems may suffer increased stress in the days and weeks ahead. (N.B. Mars will remain in Virgo until September 6 while slow moving Saturn loiters for a full two years.) We can also spot a close aspect between Venus and unpredictable Rahu going into midweek that might increase speculative activity. Rahu is often a negative influence on stocks due to increased uncertainty but its combination with Venus, the eternal shopper, could convince some people to buy something they don't really want or need.

"Life is a school of probability." -- Walter Bagehot