Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stocks rise as Venus enters Libra; Mars follows this week

Some mildly encouraging US economic data made the glass look half-full again last week as investors pushed stocks higher. After early weakness, the Dow gained more than 3% to close at 10,447 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1104. In Mumbai, the Sensex added 1% closing at 18,221 with the Nifty finishing at 5479. In last week's post, I noted how the entry of Venus into sidereal Libra on Wednesday would tend to be positive for the stock market. Venus, the planet of shopping, can more readily deliver its positive energy when in the conducive environment of Libra. Wednesday saw stocks around the world rise with the Dow gaining almost 3% in a single day. It was an intriguing reminder just how neatly these sidereal ingresses can work. Unfortunately, they don't always work this way (alas, astrology is rarely simple), and hence I was tentative about the prospect for gains last week given the range of factors, both positive and negative.

After bouncing off a key support level early on, stocks appear to have embarked on a new up trend as we enter September. The month of August was quite bearish for the market as stocks in the US fell up to 7%. What is interesting here is the correlation with the planet Venus and its transit of sidereal Virgo. It entered Virgo on August 1 and completed its transit of this sign on September 1 when it then entered Libra. As I pointed out in my July 31 update, Venus typically does not do well in Virgo where it is said to be debilitated and this may constrict spending and act as a depressive factor upon stocks. So that's a nice correlation of a very negative outcome (-7%) with a debilitated Venus. Even more provocative is the fact that the market made an interim high within a few days of the entry of Venus into Virgo and it made a low on the last day that Venus was in Virgo. Of course, this is only one data point and can still be written off as coincidence, particularly given the other bearish aspects I have noted through last month. I'm certainly not so blinded by the stars to I can't acknowledge that coincidences do happen, not everything is meaningful and that some things are simply random noise. Still, it's interesting.

We will see the effects of another ingress this week as Mars follows Venus into sidereal Libra on Monday. Whereas Venus is a benefic planet that generally lifts prices, Mars is a malefic planet that should be considered a negative influence. There are a couple of complicating factors here, however, that may undermine the transparency of the effects of Mars. First, US markets are closed for Labor Day Monday, so other markets may be the ones to experience any effects. Second, and more importantly, Venus forms a minor aspect with both Uranus and then Jupiter early in the week. Two out of these three planets are benefics and in such a situation, Uranus often acts as a booster rocket that generates optimism that leads to more buying and rising prices. So these two forces are somewhat at odds with each other -- Monday's Mars ingress and then Tuesday and Wednesday's Venus-Jupiter-Uranus alignment. Perhaps the market will simply take their cues sequentially with weakness evident on Monday but recovery into midweek. Astrology rarely operates to simply, but it may be useful to think heuristically here. Later in the week, Mercury slows down ahead of the culmination of its retrograde cycle on Sunday and will form a fairly close aspect with Saturn. Saturn usually does not blend well with Mercury so this may coincide with greater caution.

In the background, of course, Jupiter is inching closer to its conjunction with Uranus and is now just one degree away. This bullish planetary combination comes exact on September 18 so that will tend to keep any down moves from going too far and may act as a reservoir of optimism in the event of any passing rallies.

"Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of facts." -- George Santayana