Saturday, March 19, 2011

Markets fall on Japan fears; Jupiter approaches Saturn

Japan's nuclear crisis delivered another blow to the markets last week as investors pondered the implications of a disruption of the global supply chain. In New York, the Dow broke below the 12K level falling almost 2% to 11,858 while the S&P500 finished at 1279. It was much the same result in India as another RBI rate hike added to the inflation anxiety with the BSE-Sensex slipping 2% to 17,878 while the Nifty ended the week at 5373.

This negative outcome was very much in keeping with my bearish general expectation ahead of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition aspect. However, some of the intraweek moves did not perform quite as anticipated, even if I suggested a higher level of ambiguity here. The early week Mars-Saturn aspect was bearish as expected in the US, although India ended flat over Monday and Tuesday. More interesting was the outcome of the midweek Mercury-Jupiter conjunction. Usually this is a bullish influence, although I noted that the proximity of Saturn's aspect might mitigate of those effects. Well, Saturn not only mitigated them, it basically reversed them as US stocks fell into Wednesday. Indian markets appeared to adhere more closely to the negative effects of Fridays' Mercury-Saturn aspect as this activated a key pattern in the natal horoscope of the BSE.

So far, the Jupiter-Saturn aspect appears to be fulfilling its bearish promise as we prepare for the exact opposition on March 28-29. As I have noted, these two giants of the solar system usually make news whenever they come together by aspect. As symbolic opposites, they represent the extremes of optimism/pessimism, expansion/contraction and gain/loss. While their energies some sometimes be constructively combined when they are favourably placed or aspected by benefic planets, they tend to be somewhat incompatible. While one might think they are roughly equal in strength, in practice Saturn tends to carry the day. That's because as a more distant planet, it moves more slowly. In astrology, the general maxim is: the slower the planet, the greater the strength. This is perhaps a sobering reminder of the nature of the human experience: the strongest of the visible planets symbolizes structure, pessimism, and loss! Thanks, I needed that.

This week presents another mixed bag of aspects starting with Monday's Sun-Uranus conjunction. Uranus' risk-seeking outlook often manifests as gains on aspects like this, although the upside may not last long as the conjunction is exact before the start of trading in New York (although after the close in Mumbai). The Venus-Ketu/SN aspect may exert an influence on proceedings starting on Wednesday and lasting into Thursday. This is often a negative influence, although it is somewhat unreliable in that respect. Due to natal chart hits, Indian markets may be feel its effects more than the US. The end of the week is quite mixed as Venus heads towards its conjunction with Neptune. This is quite a bullish influence, especially for gold and oil, but it may well pan out to include most asset classes. However, it is exact only on Saturday so Asian markets may be less likely to feel it. But potentially offsetting influence here is that Mars enters sidereal Pisces on Friday and that can be a bearish influence. Given that mix of energies, I would not rule out any outcome.