Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stocks flying high as Jupiter enters Virgo

(9 August 2016)  Stock markets are still flying high this week as the summer rally continues apace.  This Panglossian state of affairs is largely the result of the efforts of the world's central bankers who are committed to buy as much debt and other assets as possible as they bravely attempt to stimulate economic activity.  This strategy hasn't worked very well over the past seven years but that is not stopping them for digging the debt hole even larger.  There is a belief in some quarters that central banks can't fix the economy and all they can do is postpone the collapse of the financial system for a while.

The buoyant mood may be partially attributable to the prominence of Jupiter and Uranus in the sky at the present time.  Jupiter and Uranus form a near-exact 150-degree alignment this week just as Jupiter enters the sign of sidereal Virgo on Thursday the 11th.  Jupiter is bullish, of course, so this is a double shot of Jupiterian optimism as the Uranian influence often magnifies its bullish effects.  However, it is unclear how long this state of contentment can last.  Uranus is now retrograde and hence will be separating from its alignment with Jupiter after this week.  That could let some air out of the financial balloon as time goes on.

Jupiter's entry into a new sign is often bullish for a few days although other factors can offset this effect.  Jupiter changes signs about once every 12 months.  In July 2015 it made its previous sign change as it entered Leo.  Most global stocks rose around 5% in the 10-day window around this Jupiter sign change.  Using the Krishnamurthi ayanamsha, Jupiter entered Leo on 13th July 2015.  We can take the last degree of Cancer and the first degree of Leo as the effective range of its influence (I admit it is somewhat arbitrary but it's plausible enough).  These two degrees of arc take Jupiter about 10 days to traverse when it is going at its normal forward velocity. 

The preceding Jupiter ingress into Cancer occurred on 19th June 2014.  Stocks also rose during this 10-day window although a more modest 2%. 

Jupiter entered Gemini on 30th May 2013.  But in this ingress, stocks actually fell by 1% during the 10-day window straddling the ingress.  Other factors such as the Saturn-Neptune alignment may have neutralized any upside from Jupiter. 

Stocks also fell in the previous two Jupiter ingresses in May 2012 and May 2011.  In both of these sign changes, Jupiter was closely aligned with a malefic planet.  In 2012, it was exactly aligned with Saturn as it entered Taurus.  In 2011, it was aspected by Rahu (North Lunar Node) as it entered Aries. 

The moral of the story is that, by itself, a Jupiter ingress may be positive for sentiment but it can be offset if negative factors occur at the same time.  This time around there are no apparent negative influences on Jupiter during its ingress window from 6th August to 15th August.  The ongoing Mars-Saturn conjunction is more problematic, however, and it is slowly getting closer.  But I suspect it may not quite be ready to manifest its negativity.  So that is an argument for stocks moving higher or at least remaining near these lofty levels for a few more days.

To be sure, I had thought we might have seen more troubles from the ongoing Mars-Saturn conjunction in Scorpio.  This has been ongoing since early July but so far it has had no obvious effect.  The conjunction is closer now, however, and is due to be exact on 23rd August.  That could be something to watch for down the road as the conjunction will be ongoing until mid-September.

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 is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.