Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stocks fall on Mars-Ketu; Venus may provide relief

Stocks tumbled on most global markets last week as rising oil prices from the Libyan crisis heightened fears of inflation. In New York, the Dow fell 2% to 12,130 and the S&P500 finished at 1319. This was the largest weekly decline for US markets since November. Indian markets also declined as the BSE-Sensex lost 3% to 17,700 while the Nifty closed at 5303. This bearish outcome was very much in keeping with expectations as I noted that last week's Mercury-Mars-Neptune-Ketu alignment could be quite potent and increase the likelihood of steep sell-offs. Somewhat anomalously, the Indian market rose on Monday on the Mercury-Mars conjunction but it was mostly downhill after that as the Mars-Ketu aspect became dominant. Friday's recovery also closely followed last week's forecast as the bullish combination of Sun-Mercury-Jupiter coincided with a return to optimism.

The ongoing crisis in Libya is the immediate market mover at the moment as Gaddafi's regime appears to be on its last legs. A protracted civil war is still possible, however, so it is unclear just how negative this worse case scenario would be for the market. From an astrological perspective, this rise in protest and civil disruption appears to be linked to the current Rahu-Uranus aspect. Rahu (the North Lunar Node) symbolizes the interruption of the status quo while Uranus represents the drive for freedom and independence. While both planets are related to change and instability, Uranus is more closely associated with rebellion and revolution. The Rahu-Uranus aspect becomes exact on March 4 so there is some reason to expect the situation may be resolve fairly soon. The larger protest movement across the Middle East may be traced back to the solar eclipse on January 4th which was visible throughout the region. This eclipse horoscope was quite afflicted as the Sun and Moon were conjunct violent Mars and in a difficult square aspect with destructive Saturn.

This week likely begins on a more optimistic note as Venus will be in aspect with Uranus and Neptune on Monday and Tuesday. Needless to say, Venus is a much happier planet than Mars, so that increases the likelihood of stability and the prospect of rising stocks. India's Union Budget is also slated for release on Monday, so the positive planets would tend to suggest a favourable reception. The good vibes may wane somewhat as the week progresses as Wednesday's Mercury-Saturn aspect would increase the possibility for midweek declines. Friday's New Moon may also reflect a negative mood as it occurs in fairly close aspect with Saturn. With these two contrary influences in play, it's harder to call the overall direction of the market this week.