Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stocks hit new record highs on ECB easing

(23 November 2014)  Global stock markets marched higher last week as the European Central Bank announced it was expanding its program to buy asset-backed securities.  Taking a page from the Fed's quantitative easing playbook, the program is designed to boost growth (and inflation) in Europe as that continent struggles to avoid a triple-dip recession.  In New York, the Dow gained 1% on the week closing at a new all-time record high of 17,810.  Not surprisingly, the German DAX soared more than 5% on the ECB action although it remains below its all-time highs.  India's Sensex also gained on the week rising 1% to 28,334 which was also another all-time high.

In previous posts, I suggested that risk was rising in November due to the exit of Venus and Saturn from the sign of Libra.  Both of these planets tend to do well in Libra and hence they could seen as planetary indicators for positive market sentiment.  Saturn exited Libra and entered Scorpio on 1 November while Venus followed close behind on 13 November.  And yet most markets around the world have continued to rise despite this apparently more negative planetary environment.  Why?

The short answer is that collective market sentiment is based on the placement and condition of all nine planets of the solar system -- and probably many more yet undiscovered.  I have noted that Jupiter's situation is quite positive here as it transits through its sign of exaltation in sidereal Cancer.  Jupiter is the planet of optimism and its transit through this sign should be seen as a plus for markets.  Whether or not this positive factor will be decisive in determining market direction is a more difficult question.  To be sure, market values change as the conditions of the planets change.  We saw a perfect example of this when Venus transited through sidereal Virgo in late September and early October.  Virgo is known as the sign where Venus is debilitated and hence this would tend to be bad for sentiment.  Stocks indeed declined for that four-week period and then rebounded very strongly afterwards as Venus entered Libra -- a much more friendly environment. 

The problem of financial astrology is that weighing the relative importance of all the planets is only one part of the equation.  Another important factor is understanding how the current placement of the planets interact with the relevant horoscopes of the major stock exchanges of the world.  I have previously mentioned that the upcoming Jupiter station on December 8 could be significant for a couple of reasons.  First, Jupiter was changing its direction from forwards to backwards and these planetary stations can coincide with market movements.  But the Jupiter station occurs at 28 Cancer which forms an exact 120-degree angle with the Moon of the NYSE horoscope.  This is quite a positive alignment and is obviously one reason why US markets have continued to rise.  But the question then becomes what happens after the 8th when Jupiter begins to retreat from that position?

Interestingly, the horoscope of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) also puts this upcoming Jupiter station into focus.  The chart has a rising degree (Ascendant) of 29 Scorpio.  Thus, the Jupiter station at 28 Cancer is just one degree from a very supportive 120-degree trine aspect.  We can also see that the Jupiter station also aligns with natal Mercury (28 Virgo), natal Jupiter (28 Libra), and natal Neptune (27 Sagittarius) and Uranus (29 Sagittarius).  While other factors are involved here, the ongoing Jupiter aspect to this Ascendant and the other planets is one reason why the Indian market has extended its post-election rally to new all-time highs.  But again we have to ask: what happens after Dec 8 and Jupiter starts to back away from this exact aspect with the Ascendant? 

On the face of it, we should think that the Jupiter effect on this chart will begin to diminish.   Jupiter will remain in close alignment for another week or two after its station but it will slowly separate from it. Without this positive factor, one would think that the Indian market will be less likely to rise and indeed could be more susceptible to declines.  This is likely also true for US and other markets.  It will be interesting to see how this Jupiter station in December manifestson the financial markets.

This week features a number of short term aspects.  The early week looks a little bearish as Mars aspects Jupiter.  But the midweek Venus alignment with Uranus and Pluto could bring some relief.  Mars changes signs this week as it moves from Sagittarius to Capricorn later in the week.  This could be an added burden on sentiment.