Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stocks take flight on Jupiter; New Moon/eclipse cycle tested again

Jumping Jupiter! Stocks soared last week as investor confidence was restored following Greece's approval of the EU's austerity program. The biggest gains were in New York as the Dow climbed 5% closing at 12,582 while the S&P500 finished at 1339. Indian stocks also rose by almost 3% as the Sensex briefly touched 19K before settling at 18,782. The Nifty closed above a key technical resistance level of 5600 ending the week at 5627.

While I had expected some upside on the strong Jupiter aspects, I did not expect the move to be so forceful. It was an impressive manifestation of Jupiter's bullish energy as its more powerful aspects with Uranus and Pluto aligned nicely with its aspect with the faster-moving Mars. All this Jupiter energy translated into a big relief rally as stocks bounced off their recent lows. What was more perplexing, however, was the failure of Friday's solar eclipse to generate any selling pressure. Indian markets pulled back modestly on Friday, but US markets continued to run higher. It was a sobering reminder of the limits of my astrological knowledge, and perhaps the epistemological limits of astrology itself.

While the eclipse may not have exactly coincided with a decline, it is still a phenomena worthy of our attention. Recently, US markets have tended to make highs near the New Moon, and then fall into the period of the Full Moon. Eclipses are a special type of New Moon where the orbits of the Moon and Earth intersect sufficiently for the Moon to cast a shadow upon the Earth. The May 2 high occurred right on the day of the New Moon, while the lower high on June 1 also fell within one day of a New Moon and solar eclipse. If stocks begin to fall this week in the wake of the eclipse, then the pattern will have repeated once again. I'm not sure we have seen a high, since this New Moon cycle is only one of several that affects the markets. But it nonetheless increases the odds somewhat that a reversal lower is imminent.

One reason why this New Moon/eclipse reversal may not quite fit with that pattern is that Jupiter still looks quite strong. It will form its exact trine aspect with Pluto on Friday July 8 and then begin to weaken once again. This suggests there will be a significant amount of bullish buying power available for this week so that may reduce the probability of an immediate post-eclipse decline.

But astrology is nothing else if not a multi-headed hydra, and there are always other influences to consider. Wednesday's Mars-Saturn aspect, although technically a "minor" one, is a potential source of bearishness. This could depress sentiment in the midweek period, especially since Monday and perhaps Tuesday appear to be fairly positive with the Mercury-Jupiter aspect. The end of the week offers the bulls another opportunity to take the reins as Venus moves into alignment with Uranus and Jupiter. So while those short-term aspects look mixed to positive this week, we will still have to wait and see if the New Moon cycle will assert itself once again. I'm not holding my breath on that, but Jupiter's bullish influence may well be fading after this week.