Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fed delays decision; Mercury-Rahu creates uncertainty midweek

So stimulus if necessary, but not necessarily stimulus. US Stocks staged an impressive rebound last week as Friday's speech from Fed Chair Bernanke put off any decision on further quantitative easing (QE3) until September. This deferred decision was good enough for markets as the Dow climbed 4% closing at 11,284 while the S&P500 finished the week at 1176. The picture was more bearish in Mumbai, however, the Sensex made new lows for the year closing at 15,848. The Nifty ended the week at 4747.

This outcome was disappointing as I had expected more across the board selling on the late week Mars-Saturn aspect. While Thursday was lower when the aspect was exact, the size of the decline was more modest than expected. Indian markets were more directly affected by this bearish combination, however, due to a close affliction in the BSE natal chart. We also saw some significant gains on most global markets in the early week period from the Sun-Venus-Neptune pattern. The Sun-Neptune opposition coincided quite closely with the precipitous drop in gold on Tuesday and Wednesday just as the Sun was entering tropical Virgo.

So while bearish Saturn still seems to be the dominant energy these days, we saw a glimpse of Jupiter's optimistic nature last week ahead of its retrograde station on August 30. It is not unusual for planets to express themselves more fully around the time of their direct and retrograde stations, especially a slow moving and powerful planet like Jupiter. Bernanke's tentative approach to the Fed's next move was perhaps an appropriate manifestation of this competing energy of both Saturn and Jupiter. A weaker Jupiter might have precluded any further easing, but on this occasion we got a kind of stalemate between the need to expand and the need to constrain. Interestingly, the next Fed meeting will occur on September 20-21, just a few days before the Saturn-Ketu aspect. This suggests that optimism may be in short supply and there could be a limited appetite for more easing as Saturn's preference for austerity is more in evidence. The interaction with Ketu suggests some kind of fundamental or structural reordering may be in the air. This could result either from new and unusual moves the Fed makes, or perhaps from the reaction to its announcement. What would happen if the Fed threw another stimulus party but nobody came?

This week looks like a mixed bag. Jupiter's retrograde station on Monday and Tuesday could be a mostly positive influence here. A bullish Venus-Jupiter aspect early in the week gives way to another dubious looking aspect between Mercury and Rahu by Wednesday. The end of the week offers up a dog's breakfast of aspects as the bullish Sun-Jupiter aspect occurs simultaneously to a nasty Mars-Rahu aspect. These could conceivably cancel each other out, but the presence of Mars is cause for some concern here.

Transits for Monday, August 29, 2011 9.30 a.m. New York