Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stocks rise on Venus-Jupiter; Mercury turns direct this week

Stocks edged higher in the US last week despite government reports indicating the recovery would be slower than expected. After putting in a losing day Tuesday, stocks rebounded and closed slightly higher for the week with the Dow standing at 10,462 and the S&P500 at 1109. In Mumbai, buyers came out in force as the Sensex rose more than 3% before closing at 18,799 while the Nifty finished at 5640. The continued optimism in the market was not surprising given the alignment of Venus, Jupiter and Uranus that was at its closest on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since both Venus and Jupiter are benefic planets, a rise was the most likely outcome here although there were locally unique expressions of this bullish energy. Most of the rise in Indian markets arrived on Monday while the US rallied more strongly on Wednesday. Interestingly, we saw very little evidence later in the week of the approaching aspect between Mercury and Saturn. Normally, this combination would tend to depress sentiment.

As the market mood remains relatively buoyant, we have to look no further than the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction for its source. Once these two planets exactly conjoin on September 18, however, this optimism may begin to wane as Jupiter starts to move away. A weaker and less prominent Jupiter could mean that gains will be harder to come by in the near term. At the same time, bearish Saturn may be strengthening as it is in aspect with both Mercury and Venus this week and then it forms a square aspect with the Moon's Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, on September 27. A stronger Saturn often translates into a falling stock market, although there are some exceptions to that notion. Nonetheless, the simultaneous weakening of Jupiter and strengthening of Saturn would appear to limit the upside here.

This week we have the somewhat unusual phenomenon of two planets reversing their directions with days of each other. Mercury ends its retrograde cycle on Sunday while Pluto ends its retrograde cycle on Tuesday. Reversals in planetary direction can sometimes reflect reversals in market trends, so we should be aware that there is an increased possibility of a change in the prevailing mood. At the same time, aspects are usually more reliable indicators of sentiment, even if their influence may be fairly brief. On that score, we can see a close aspect between Mars, Jupiter and Uranus early in the week (especially Monday) that could mimic some of last week's rise. The difference here, however, is that Mercury is sitting very close to an aspect with Saturn through the whole week. I thought some of this caution might enter the equation last week but it seems we may have to wait until this week. The aspect isn't exact until Wednesday, though, so perhaps the midweek period is a more probable window for it. Later in the week, we get another dose of Saturn as Venus moves into aspect. Even against the backdrop of Jupiter-Uranus optimism, all this Saturn should find a negative expression in the markets sometime this week.

"All money is a matter of belief." --Adam Smith