Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gold falls after eclipse; Mercury-Jupiter this week

Stocks in New York edged higher for another week as better than expected manufacturing data fueled hopes for a sustainable recovery. The Dow gained 1% to close at 11,674 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1271. Not surprisingly, the biggest rise came from Monday's Venus-Jupiter aspect with the market gradually weakening after that. The combination of Tuesdays' solar eclipse and Jupiter-Uranus conjunction had little immediate effect on equities, although it did send commodities such as gold and oil down sharply. Gold lost more than 3% for the week and finished below $1370. As expected, the late week Sun-Saturn aspect did exert a drag on sentiment as we saw modest declines on both days.

It was a more dramatic story in Mumbai, however, as Tuesday's eclipse appeared to divide the trend with gains on Monday's Venus-Jupiter aspect and then losses prevailing thereafter. The Sensex closed below the 20 K level at 19,691 with the Nifty finishing at 5904. Friday's sizable decline coincided closely with the Sun-Saturn aspect as this pairing often marks a loss of confidence and rise in pessimism.

So while most global stock markets appeared to have shrugged off the solar eclipse and the culmination of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, we may have seen a possible turn in commodities as they moved lower across the board last week. Whether or not they remain weak in the days and weeks to come is an open question. With Jupiter's optimism now in shorter supply, it may be harder for commodities to make speculative gains in this post-eclipse and post Jupiter-Uranus environment. The other additional factor to consider is, of course, Saturn. If Jupiter is the gas pedal, Saturn acts as the brake. The markets may have lost some of Jupiter's gas here in January but Saturn is due to put on the brakes. Saturn begins its retrograde cycle on January 26 and it promises to be a significant period owing to the concurrent bad aspect with Mercury. Remember that Saturn began its retrograde cycle in May 2010 while in bad aspect with Venus and then Jupiter -- just as the market was undergoing a major correction. While nothing is certain, it definitely is a pattern that warrants further watching.

This week features some minor aspects involving the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction so that tilts the table towards gains. The early week is perhaps more positive in that respect as Mercury is in square aspect with Uranus and Jupiter on Monday and Tuesday. Mars then takes the reins for the rest of the week as it aspects this bullish planetary duo. Mars is a more unpredictable factor than Mercury, however, so the probability of late week gains is somewhat lessened and indeed losses are also quite possible. Perhaps "mixed" is the word that best sums up the situation.