Saturday, October 9, 2010

US Stocks rise into Venus retrograde

Despite another bad employment report, stocks moved higher last week on the likelihood of further Fed stimulus measures. The Dow rose 2% on the week to close at 11,006 while the S&P500 finished at 1165. It was a different story in Mumbai as Indian stocks lost 1% as the Sensex ended the week at 20,250 and the Nifty at 6103. Gold also surged to new highs near $1350 as more investors abandoned the US Dollar in favour of safer havens. I thought the early week conjunction between Venus and Mars would generate some skittishness and we did see stocks fall on Monday and into Tuesday in Asia when the aspect was exact. As noted last week, the midweek Sun-Venus aspect also appeared to correlate quite well with the big rise on Tuesday in the US and Wednesday in India. The late week period tilted towards the negative with the approach of Friday's Venus retrograde station. I had wondered if Friday might be significant in some way, either with a major move or perhaps in hindsight through the marking of a high point. For US markets, Friday was quite positive as a key technical resistance level was broken to the upside. Of course, it remains to be seen if this will mark any kind of high point here.

This week we will get our first look at the quality of the six-week Venus retrograde cycle. In addition, the planet Mars will figure prominently in the sky as it forms aspects with the Sun and Mercury. Owing to its often excessive nature, Mars is usually a negative influence so that stacks the deck somewhat towards the negative. A minor Sun-Mars aspect occurs on Monday while the late week features a Mercury-Mars aspect. As a rough rule of thumb, Mercury-Mars aspects are often more damaging. In between these Martian power plays, the midweek aspect between Venus and Uranus may offer some relief, so that could boost sentiment on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

The gold rally is taking on a life of its own over the past month as the US Dollar is being unceremoniously dumped around the world. With the US Federal Reserve promising to stimulate the economy without limit, there is a growing risk of inflation and Dollar devaluation. The growing currency instability is not a positive sign for long term global financial prospects as the falling Dollar is causing severe problems for export-driven economies. The main beneficiary of the falling Dollar has been gold as prices have risen 20% over the summer. In astrological terms, part of the reason for the run-up was likely the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction which encouraged speculative activity. Now that that aspect is losing steam here, we may wonder how much higher gold can go in the short term. Venus may also be relevant to the gold story here since it is symbolic of luxuries. On the face of it, retrograde Venus may not be very good for gold, although the fact that the cycle will take place in the sidereal Libra may lessen the damage that would otherwise be forthcoming.

"People always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." -- Andy Warhol