Saturday, October 8, 2011

ECB rescue plan buoys stocks; Full Moon on Tuesday

The European Central Bank threw a life preserver to the crumbling European banking system last week in an effort to stave off the looming crisis. The ECB embarked on its own quantitative easing program as a way to loosen credit and restore confidence in the debt-ridden Eurozone. Markets in the US and Europe applauded the plan as stocks rallied off their lows early Tuesday. In New York, the Dow gained 2% on the week closing at 11,103 while the S&P500 finished at 1155. Indian stocks fared worse, however, as the Sensex lost 1% on the week closing at 16,232 and the Nifty at 4888.

While I thought we could see some optimism on Tuesday as Venus entered sidereal Libra, I did not expect the huge reversal rally to begin and last for much of the week in US markets. For the most part, the Mercury-Saturn aspect played a relatively minor role as it dragged down sentiment in India. The late week Venus-Neptune aspect was perhaps the appropriate bookend on the rally as prices peaked in the US Friday morning and then trended lower. India got a full measure of this second injection of bullish Venus energy as it rebounded Friday after a holiday closing.

Last week's rally suggests that Saturn's bearish energy is on the wane here as it separates from its aspect with Ketu (South Lunar Node). This aspect was exact on September 23 and has been slowly separating ever since. It is still within 2 degrees but separating aspects tend to lose their power fairly quickly. The US market bottomed on Tuesday morning less than two weeks after this exact aspect. Less Saturn usually means higher prices so perhaps that could mean stocks rally a bit here. Jupiter may also be stepping into the breach as it approaches its aspect with Pluto in late October. So not only do we have less Saturn to contend with, but we have more Jupiter as well. That offers a reasonable planetary framework for more upside, other factors notwithstanding.

This week is another opportunity to see what Saturn has left in the tank as the Sun conjoins the gloomy ringed planet on Thursday. The Full Moon on Tuesday with Saturn in close attendance does not look very favourable to stocks as pessimism will likely carry the day. The Sun is in aspect with Ketu on Sunday and Monday so that is another problematic influence, especially on governments and gold which are symbolized by the Sun. On the plus side, Monday's ingress of Mercury into Libra could inject a measure of optimism into the proceedings. On Thursday, there is an apparently pleasant configuration of the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter which ought to encourage some investors. Friday's Mars-Rahu is another aspect with nasty potential that will likely undermine any rally attempts. There is a sense here that these good aspects may get squeezed out by the bad aspects this week.