Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stocks attempt rebound; solar eclipse due Friday

Stocks attempted to rebound from their recent lows last week as falling oil prices and the adoption of a new austerity program in Greece gave some reason to cheer. In New York, the rebound didn't quite take as the Dow ended slightly lower on the week closing at 11,934 while the S&P500 finished at 1268. Indian stocks fared better, however, as the BSE-Sensex rose by 2% closing at 18,240 with the Nifty ending the week at 5471. I had expected more weakness early in the week on the Mercury-Saturn aspect. India caught the full force of this influence as stocks declined sharply on Monday. World markets then reversed and we saw some gains in US markets over the next couple of days. Interestingly, the late week bullishness I was expecting from the Sun-Jupiter combo only showed up in Mumbai as Thursday and Friday posted impressive performances as the markets there rallied off support. US markets were a very different story, however, as growth anxiety pushed stocks back to their support levels.

All this talk of austerity and bailouts for Greece is getting a little old, and one wonders if the market may have already discounted a default. The Euro is showing signs of more weakness here but has yet to break below 1.40. I would have thought we might have seen more in the way of constructive policy pronouncements and subsequent cheer leading by this point as Saturn's influence should be beginning to recede. No such luck, although at least markets have stopped falling for the time being. In the current environment, that is at least something.

It may well be that the negative Saturn mood will come to the fore once again this week in the form of Friday's solar eclipse. The eclipse takes place in the early afternoon in India (before sunrise in NYC) and could correspond with another shock of volatility. Eclipses can be destabilizing events at the best of times but this one has the added bonus of occurring in a tight square with Saturn. That could amp up the bearish mood considerably at the end of the week.

Before that time, there are some fairly decent aspects that could bring gains. Mars with Jupiter on Monday, Venus with Mercury, and somewhat more precariously, Venus with Ketu on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saturn seems reluctant to give up its recent high profile so maybe this eclipse will be its last kick at the can for a while. Just how much damage it will do is an open question, however.