Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stocks edge higher on EU hopes; Jupiter-Pluto culmintes this week

US stocks moved higher on hopes that an effective Eurozone bailout plan would be announced in the coming days. Despite some choppiness, the Dow gained more than 1% closing at 11,808 while the S&P500 finished at 1238. Indian shares fared worse, however, as concerns about inflation and a possible rate hike took prices lower. The Sensex lost 2% closing at 16,785 while the Nifty ended the week at 5049.

The generally upbeat mood of most global markets was an apt reflection of the ongoing Jupiter-Pluto influence. Jupiter usually boosts confidence whenever it is in aspect with a slow moving outer planet. Through its aspect to Pluto, Jupiter's influence suggests efficient organization directed towards prosperity and wealth. That is very much the case as European officials are working intensely to stave off a banking crisis that threatens the global financial system. As Saturn has receded into the background here, the emphasis has shifted away from austerity towards more borrowing and money printing as a solution to pressing problems. It is unclear how effective this approach will be in the long run. As we saw with the Fed's QE1 and QE2 efforts, some stimulative measures can show positive results in the short term, although the jury is still out on whether these plans did anything other than temporarily lift financial markets and create inflation. In the present case, the EU has the added problem of trying to coordinate the interests of different countries, especially Germany and France. This makes the challenge that much more difficult.

With the Jupiter-Pluto aspect becoming exact this week on Friday, we can see there is an appropriate planetary signature for a significant EU deal. The culmination of the aspect seems likely to reflect an agreement that can address the current debt problem. Just how the market will react is another matter. As market watchers know investors often "sell the news", meaning that run-ups in prices before the fact often trigger a sell-off once the news is announced. This could happen this time around even if the deal is regarded as comprehensive and successful.

In addition, we have a fairly tense alignment involving Mars, Saturn, Mercury and Venus this week. This is likely to create more volatility than we have seen recently, although the presence of the positive Sun-Jupiter aspect complicates the picture somewhat. The completion of the Jupiter-Pluto aspect suggests that we are very close to the maximum positive effect of this aspect as the odds of a sell-off increase here. Wednesday's New Moon is one possible candidate of a significant market turning point, as is Friday's exact alignment between the Sun, Jupiter and Pluto. Once this Jupiter-Pluto aspect begins to separate after this week, the market will become more susceptible to declines. And with Saturn entering sidereal Libra in November, optimism may again be in shorter supply for a time.