The extent of Friday's decline was somewhat surprising, although I did expect negativity to manifest in the second half of the week given the Mercury-Mars aspect. The first half was more positive as I thought the effects of the approaching Venus direct station opposite bullish Jupiter would likely put a floor under stocks. The somewhat different outcomes in Asia vs. US/Europe is partially attributable to the specific natal charts in question. The chart of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was not clearly under pressure by the bad aspects this week.
However, the NYSE chart was much more afflicted due to the aspect between transiting Mars and the natal Moon. In addition, transiting Ketu (South Lunar Node) is closing in on its conjunction with natal Saturn. This is a potential source of instability in US markets in the coming weeks since Ketu moves quite slowly. This means that Ketu's destabilizing influence on Saturn could spell some rough waters ahead.
We can see similar problems emerging in the Frankfurt DAX chart which is the main stock exchange for Germany. Transiting Saturn is in the 4th house as it slows down ahead of its retrograde station on 2 March. It will station at 29 Libra -- very close to the exact equal 4th house cusp at 25 Libra. Saturn in the 4th house is usually unhelpful although it lasts a long time so it tends to express its negativity only periodically. We can see that Friday's big decline occurred as transiting Mars and Mercury lined up in aspect with the Ascendant and with natal Mercury. Mars was the critical factor is creating the conditions for a decline in this instance.
The nodes are also in play here as transiting Ketu is gradually forming a close trine aspect to the natal Saturn-Uranus conjunction at 4-5 Sagittarius. This aspect will be exact in early March so that is one indication that the financial markets could be entering a period of volatility in the coming weeks. To be sure, Jupiter is very much in the mix in the DAX horoscope since it is conjunct the Sun. That is usually a very bullish influence that fuels optimism. Given the presence of both positive and negative influences in this chart, it may mean that markets will fluctuate widely and sharply in both directions in the coming weeks. However, my sense is Saturn may end up trumping Jupiter here. That would be increase downside risk for the time being.
This week again seems somewhat divided down the middle. The early week may bring some optimism as the Moon conjoins Venus and thus may tease out more of that positive buying energy. But things could change by midweek as Mars aligns with Saturn. Both of these malefic planets are slowing ahead of their respective stations, so the aspect's effect could linger for several days. This may be felt more strongly in the Indian market. I would not assume an overly negative stance, however, since the Venus station on Friday still offers some reservoir of hope.