Sunday, January 6, 2013

Market cheers Obama's fiscal cliff deal

US Stocks moved sharply higher last week as investors breathed a sigh of relief in the wake of the 11th-hour fiscal cliff deal.  The Dow jumped 4% on the week and closed at 13,435.  Optimism was somewhat more muted in Mumbai as the Sensex added 2% to start the year finishing the week at 19,784.   Alas, the negative implications of the Sun-Saturn aspect did not play out as expected as lawmakers in Washington did manage to come to an agreement.  While the deal was very much a minimal sort of agreement that did nothing to address the US fiscal sustainability, it was enough to satisfy markets as the worst effects of the fiscal cliff were averted for the time being.   As expected, the late week Mars-Jupiter aspect did appear to magnify the price moves as I thought it might, although these were very much in a positive direction.

It seems clear that the bullish influence of Jupiter is dominant now as it approaches its aspect with Uranus and its direct station on 30 January.   Bearish Saturn is still in close aspect with Pluto but this is a slower moving and less prominent influence.   The Saturn aspect began in December and will likely continue into March and thus has a wider window of manifestation.  The Jupiter aspect will be shorter lived and suggests there could be more positive energy to come in January. 

President Barack Obama is certainly benefiting from this positive Jupiter energy as the Great Benefic approaches a fairly close conjunction with his Moon at 10 Taurus.   Obama was widely seen as the winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, even if there was no grand bargain that solved all of America's fiscal woes.  However, once Jupiter stations at 12 Taurus and begins to move forward again, Obama may encounter more difficulties.  We can see that Saturn may have more of a say in his chart in February as it stations retrograde in fairly close square aspect to his Sun.   The period around 7 February stands out as one possible trouble spot as Mars will conjoin Neptune and Mercury in the sky and form a tense looking square aspect with Obama's Moon.  This looks like a time of conflict and possible deception or confusion.  While this may be related to any number of issues, it is no secret that the Republicans are planning to put up a bigger fight with the debt ceiling debate that is due in February.  Republicans will demand more spending cuts in order to balance the books, while Obama and the Democrats will be reluctant to do so for fear of weakening the economy.

Saturn is due to turn retrograde on 16 February so Obama's fortunes may begin to improve after that date since Saturn will begin to move away from its aspect to the Sun.  On balance, February looks like it will be more challenging to Obama and this may reflect political tensions with the GOP over the budget.   While it is difficult to say if these tensions will have implications for financial markets, it is nonetheless worthwhile to keep them in mind. 

The transit picture this week is dominated by a Mars-Saturn aspect that is exact on Monday.   This is not a classic square aspect by Vedic reckoning, but it may still correlate with some heightened anxieties and may thus signal some market weakness.   Venus appears to be strengthening later in the week so that may increase the chances for some gains at that time.