Saturday, August 18, 2012

Apple hits all-time high ahead of iPhone 5 release

It was a fairly quiet week in the markets as trading volumes ebbed during the summer holiday season.  In New York, stocks gained for the 6th straight week as corporate earnings continued to suggest a positive outlook.  The Dow edged higher by 1% closing at 13,275 while the S&P 500 finished at 1418.  Apple shares hit a new all-time high at $648, as the market anticipated the release of the iPhone 5.  Indian markets were also bullish as investors responded to better than expected inflation data.  The Sensex climbed 2% closing at 17,691 while the Nifty ended the week at 5366.   I thought we might have seen more volatility around the early week Mars ingress into Libra and the Mars-Saturn conjunction on Wednesday.  At least the Venus aspect with Uranus and Pluto did appear to correlate fairly closely with the mid and late week gains on most global markets.

It seems that Saturn has been on its best behaviour in the early stages of its transit of sidereal Libra.  According to traditional astrological theory, Saturn is said to be exalted in this sign and hence it may be somewhat less likely to manifest its negative energy and pessimism.  That has been the case thus far, and even its conjunction with troublesome Mars has not interrupted the current stability in financial markets. The basic idea here is that planets will tend to correlate with negative market moods when they are under pressure by malefic planets.  While Saturn may have a somewhat stronger constitution here by virtue of its exalted position in Libra, it is still a potentially dangerous planet which can undergo rapid changes in its nature. Saturn's changing condition should be our focus in the coming weeks as it moves into aspect with Rahu, the North Lunar Node.

Apple's new highs provide a good illustration of the usefulness of the IPO horoscope.  Apple was first traded on the Nasdaq on December, 12, 1980 at 10 a.m.  The resulting chart is very powerful. The ruler of the 1st house, Saturn, is tightly conjunct benefic Jupiter in the 9th house of good fortune and higher knowledge.  Venus, symbolizing money and beauty is closely conjunct the Midheaven (10th house cusp) suggesting significant price appreciation over time.  The stellium of planets in the 11th house of gains is also a big plus for the stock, especially since Uranus, the planet most associated with technology and innovation, it tightly conjunct Venus and the Midheaven.  Apple is a technology company that is known for its attention to design and aesthetics, an area that is ruled by Venus.

But while the natal chart is very powerful, Apple has still had its share of ups and downs.  It almost went bankrupt in the 90s before Steve Jobs was called back to save the company.   The worst time was in 1996 when the stock price bottomed at $3.  Interestingly, Apple's bad times occurred during the Rahu dasha period.   Dashas are unique to Vedic astrology and provide a special window on the larger trends of a company.  When a company is running a dasha period of a malefic planet such as Rahu and it is poorly placed in the horoscope, then we should expect problems.  In Apple's case, the Rahu period began in 1986 and ended in 2004.  Rahu is more of a negative influence since it is closely aspected by the 8th house aspect of malefic Mars and Mars sits in the 12th house of loss.  That is a difficult energy to handle even in the best of times. The 1996 low point of near-bankruptcy occurred during the Rahu-Ketu period.  Ketu is another natural malefic that often correlates with problems.  Towards the end of the Rahu dasha period in 2003, Apple suffered through another bear market in its stock as the price fell back to $7 after rallying towards $30 in during the dot com bubble of the late 90s.  But in 2004, everything appeared to change as the Jupiter dasha period began.  Jupiter is a pretty reliable indicator of growth and this was definitely the case with Apple. Even though Jupiter is closely conjunct malefic Saturn in Virgo in the horoscope, its placement in the 9th house appears to have offset other negative influences.  The favourable placement of its dispositor, Mercury, in the 11th house of gains is another reason why the Jupiter period has been so positive for Apple stock.

The all-time high in the stock has occurred in the current Jupiter-Venus period.  This is pretty much what one would expect since Venus is perhaps the most fortunate planet and it is very nicely placed in the horoscope near the Midheaven with Uranus.  The Venus minor period began in March 2012 and will last until 2015.  This suggests that Apple stock will likely remain quite strong.  Of course, dashas are not everything and Apple will still be subject to a range of good and bad transits.   Currently, transiting Jupiter is aspecting all those nice 11th house planets in Scorpio -- Uranus, Mercury, Sun and Neptune.  So that is another source of strength for this stock.  One would think, however, that the Uranus-Pluto square will have to create some problems over the next few months since it is tightly aspecting the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. 

The planets this week offer a mixed picture.  There are a couple of positive looking transits in the early part of the week that could push stocks higher.  Monday's Venus-Jupiter aspect will be closely followed by the Mercury-Jupiter aspect on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday therefore becomes a potential dividing line as the Mars-Saturn conjunction will be joined by the Moon.  The Moon could act as an immediate trigger for some negativity or it may act as a cosmic marker for a possible reversal point.  I would note that the late week has some fairly nasty looking aspects including Mars-Rahu on Friday and a Sun-Neptune opposition on Thursday and Friday.