Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stocks rise with Sun-Venus; more gains possible this week with Pluto

Stocks rebounded across the board last week as positive corporate earnings offset Monday's surprise US debt warning. In New York, the Dow climbed more than 1% closing at 12,505 while the S&P500 finished at 1337. In Mumbai, the indices also recovered after Monday's decline as the BSE-Sensex added about 1% on the week closing at 19,626. After trading as low as 5725 early in the week, the Nifty ended the week at 5884. With the further weakness in the US Dollar, gold hit new all-time highs last week trading above $1500 and crude oil futures once again moved above $110.

This outcome was more or less in line with expectations as the Mercury-Mars-Saturn alignment on Monday and Tuesday was likely to induce more selling. Monday was lower but the market generally reversed higher by Tuesday resulting in perhaps a somewhat abbreviated negative influence from these planets. The midweek gains correlated quite closely with the bullish Sun-Venus-Neptune pattern as investors pushed up prices through to the end of the week.

One wonders how long Bernanke will let the Dollar fall. While a low Dollar helps to make exports cheaper and boosts job growth, all that imported oil the US relies upon for its energy needs is becoming a burden on the economy. $5 a gallon gasoline is going to reduce discretionary consumer spending and this will tend to reduce economic growth. Eventually, something will have to give. Either the Fed defends the Dollar and lets the stock market fall, or the Dollar is permitted to devalue indefinitely which will drive up inflation and reduce growth. Jupiter moves into alignment with Rahu in early May so that may well reflect some changes (Rahu) in growth outlook (Jupiter).

This week begins in the immediate aftermath of a Mercury-Saturn opposition. Mercury actually turns direct on Saturday, but it will still be just one degree from its exact aspect from bearish Saturn. So it is possible this could be a drag on sentiment, especially in Indian markets. But more upside looks fairly likely going into midweek as the Sun and Venus will align with Pluto. This is likely to boost most asset classes. The end of the week is somewhat fuzzier, however. Stocks may be more mixed, with oil perhaps more likely to rise as the Moon enters watery Pisces on Friday.