Monday, April 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton widens lead over Bernie Sanders

(25 April 2016) With another win likely win in tomorrow's Pennsylvania Democratic Primary, Hillary Clinton looks poised to win the nomination in the race for the White House. Although socialist challenger Bernie Sanders has staged a surprisingly impressive campaign thus far, most polls show Clinton winning Pennsylvania easily.  Last week, Hillary cruised to a comfortable win in her home state of New York and essentially put the race out of reach. 

Interestingly, national polls still show Sanders in a virtual tie with Ms. Clinton.  But national polls don't count for much as it's all about the delegate count at this point, as her lead in pledged delegates is now over 250 and likely to grow as several pro-Hillary states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut hold their primaries tomorrow.  It's an uphill battle for Sanders supporters who are now wondering if all the grassroots enthusiasm for Bernie may not be enough to translate into more actual delegate support before the end of the primaries in June and before the convention in late July.

My reading of the charts indicates that Hillary Clinton is destined to win both the nomination and the presidency.  The picture is not as clearcut as I would like to see, but on balance, I think Hillary will be the next tenant in the White House.  But how she gets there may include some unexpected twists and turns.  Given the astonishing rise of Donald Trump on the Republican side, nothing should surprise us about the current election cycle.   The American electorate is angry and is sending a message to Washington and the political elites that the status quo is no longer acceptable.

Back in early February, I predicted that Hillary Clinton might suffer some electoral defeats in February and early March but would eventually take a commanding lead by mid-April. This has more or less been the case as Bernie won some early primaries that made the race very competitive before Super Tuesday on March 1st.  Bernie's political betting odds to win the nomination peaked in mid-February around 25% on   While Bernie has won some some additional primaries in April, they were all in small states and have not changed the expectation that Ms. Clinton will win the nomination.   Hillary is now seen as having a 95% chance of winning the nomination.

While Hillary looks likely to win tomorrow in Pennsylvania and Maryland, her horoscope does suggest some problems to her campaign quite soon, perhaps over the next couple of weeks.  There are a few different indications for trouble but I suspect the Mercury retrograde station on Thursday, April 28th could be the focal point.  Mercury stations retrograde at 29 Aries which is just one degree from her natal Rahu (North Lunar Node).  This can represent unexpected developments that derail plans.  The fact that Hillary's Rahu is in a tight square with Saturn only makes this Mercury station that much more potent.  It is not what I would call a high probability negative planetary pattern but it definitely contains some likelihood that Hillary will have to do some quick thinking and adapt to changing circumstances.

I'm not sure what this Mercury-Rahu conjunction might represent.  It may simply be poorer than expected primary performances, starting with Pennsylvania and Maryland tomorrow or in early May in Indiana.  Or on a more general level, it could be some negative development about her past, such as the ongoing FBI email investigation, her controversial Goldman Sachs speeches or even something like a betrayal of a former ally.  She could see her forward momentum disrupted somewhat in the days ahead, even if it may not do much to fundamentally change the direction of the race.  This could give the Sanders' camp some hope although she may not lose too much of her lead in the political betting markets.  (N.B.  Betting markets are usually more telling than polls)   But she will likely win California on June 7th (even if narrowly) and therefore will have the most delegates on the final day of the convention on July 28th.

Hillary Clinton's birth time remains a matter of some conjecture.  Most astrologers (including me) favour 8.00 a.m. although 8 p.m. is used by some.  Other times are also in circulation. For this reason, her chart is somewhat uncertain.  That's why I like to confirm possible future trends against the chart of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.  If she is doing well, then Bill's chart should surely also be looking fairly positive.  Bill Clinton's birth time is well established at 8.51 a.m.

We can see that some of that possible turbulence in the coming days in his chart also as Rahu (26 Leo) aspects his natal Moon (27 Aries) just as Mercury stations just two degrees away at 29 Aries on Thursday, April 28th.  The Sun-Mercury conjunction on May 9th will also align with both transiting Rahu and his natal Rahu so that is another time window when the Clinton campaign will be on the defensive with an unexpected problem.  As I said, however, I don't think this will change the race very much.

I'm not sure if the Democratic convention will be contested by challenger Bernie Sanders. It's possible, but I think Hillary will prevail anyway.  Bill Clinton's Moon receives a near-exact aspect of Jupiter (27 Leo) at the time of the convention.  This looks likely to represent a Hillary win.

As I mentioned, there could be some setbacks for the Clinton campaign during the run-up general election.  The late August Mars-Saturn conjunction at 15 Scorpio looks like it could afflict the Clinton campaign.  It squares daughter Chelsea's Sun (15 Leo) exactly.  Nonetheless, both Hillary and Bill have some very appropriate winning patterns in their charts.  However, these appear to be focused on early 2017.  For example, Bill has a minor progressed Jupiter direct station in March 2017.  This is a very positive indicator of success, even if it occurs two months after the Inauguration on January 20th and fully four months after the election.  As it happens, Hillary's chart also features a a minor progressed Jupiter station in March 2017.  This seems a little later than I would like to see for an election win in November, but it nonetheless augurs well for her electoral chances.

If we look ahead to election day on November 8th, we can see that transiting Jupiter (18 Virgo) is exactly conjunct Bill Clinton's Venus (18 Virgo).  Since Venus symbolizes the wife, one would think this is good news for Hillary and hence a victory against Cruz, Trump or whomever is on the GOP side.  Jupiter takes on an added resonance for Hillary here since it rules Pisces which is Bill's 7th house of marriage.  Since Jupiter is a benefic planets in most situations, this conjunction is another reason why a Hillary Clinton win is more likely in November.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks drifted higher last week on positive corporate earnings and a rebound in crude oil prices.  The Dow gained less than 1% on the week closing at 18,003 and the Indian Sensex also posted gains finishing at 25,838.  This positive outcome was in line with expectations from last week's market forecast, as I thought the Venus-Uranus conjunction would likely correspond with some upside.

This week has started modestly lower across the board, most likely due to the conjunction of the Moon with malefics Mars and Saturn as I noted in my weekend newsletter.   Of course, this week the focus will be on Wednesday's Fed meeting where Janet Yellen will provide the latest guidance on interest rates and the economy.  Most observers do not expect a hike this week but she may give important hints on the probability of a June rate hike.  Interestingly, Mercury turns retrograde on Thursday so that is another reason to think there could be a shift in investor expectations this week.  Since Mercury aligns with Mars for much of the week, there may be an elevated level of tension.  It seems unlikely that stocks can continue to rise in this tense environment and indeed some downside looks like a more likely outcome here.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter includes discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.