Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ISIS bombing kills 22 at Manchester concert in UK

(24 May 2017)  As the planet of violence, Mars has no mercy.  On Monday, the UK became the latest target of ISIS as a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Manchester Arena shortly after a pop concert.  The attack was apparently perpetrated by a UK citizen of Libyan descent, Salman Abedi, and arrests have made in both in the UK and Libya.  The UK is now on high alert with troops stationed at key locations in the aftermath of this second attack of 2017.

There are several possible ways to look at this event.  It is possible to focus solely on the transits for the time of the explosion (10.30 p.m.), but in my experience this provides only limited information.  In hindsight, we can see whatever we want to see in transits and the resulting chart is usually not conducive to prediction.  In my view, a more compelling approach is to use the relevant national chart, in this case, the UK national chart, dated 1 January 1801 at midnight.  While hindsight is always 20/20, at least we can make a better assessment of how the chart is operating and whether such an event was predictable. 

For all violent attacks, we should see Mars very prominently placed in the chart by transit.   And we do.  At the time of the attack, Mars was just one degree past an exact opposition aspect to Mercury.  Mars-Mercury aspects usually coincide with tense or stressful situations of all kinds.  In the UK chart, however, Mercury takes on a greater importance since it rules the 1st house through its rulership of Virgo.  The first house (i.e the body) represents the nation as a whole so this Mars aspect was an act of violence against the whole country. 

Significantly, we can also see this Mars-Mercury theme through the transit of Mercury (13 Aries) which is widely conjunct Mars (20 Aries) and also close to the 8th house cusp (16 Aries).  The 8th house is a malefic dussthana house and symbolizes misfortunes and death-like situations. This repeated Mars-Mercury connection is one reason why a fairly common once-a-year Mars-Mercury opposition would have produced a major terrorist attack.  Natal Mercury was under pressure from Mars by transit but Mercury, in turn, was substantially weakened in its ability to resist the violent nature of Mars because it was so afflicted by its transit of the 8th house and Mars.  This is a kind of planetary chain reaction.  As a general rule, weak or damaged planets are more likely to produce hardship when they are transited by malefics like Mars.  That is definitely the case here in the UK chart. 

I should also add that Mars is approaching its maximum declination (24N19) in early June so it may be stronger than usual at this time. This is likely to manifest as a background effect that increases tension and frustration and could allow simmering disputes to boil over into outright conflict.  There is an increased risk of more violent incidents generally.

A couple of other difficult set ups are evident.  Transiting Rahu (4 Leo) was conjunct the natal Saturn (2 Leo) in the 12th house of loss.  This Saturn affliction by Rahu is a classic indicator of sorrows and negative outcomes involving disappointment and sadness.  It may have provided the necessary underpinnings for the fast-moving triggering transit of Mars.  Rahu moves quite slowly so it should not be surprising if the country remains very somber and introspective for several more weeks during this transit of Saturn.

The Moon and Venus were transiting Pisces at the time of the bombing, in an exact conjunction with natal Rahu (22 Pisces).  This Moon-Venus-Rahu alignment may be symbolic of an event which distorted and disturbed (Rahu) national emotions (Moon) and happiness (Venus). 

There is now talk in the media about whether the upcoming election on 8 June will be postponed due to security concerns.  That seems unlikely in any event even if the planets look difficult for several weeks to come.  For what it's worth, Mercury (= elections) will conjoin natal Mars on 26-28 May so that may be a time when tensions are running high again.  This is probably not another attack or the postponing of the vote but there could be more conflictive and tense developments in the UK.  Interestingly, this is the same time window when Mars opposes Saturn by transit. This is likely to mark a period of high stress and anxiety generally.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have largely moved sideways since last week.  US stocks drifted higher higher late last week on the Venus-Jupiter alignment but have been stronger thus far this week.  Indian stocks have been weaker on profit taking after several previous record highs. 

As noted in last week's market forecast, I have been expecting more downside from the approach of the Mars-Saturn opposition which is exact on Monday 29 May.   So far we haven't seen much fireworks from this nasty planetary pair.  However, the rest of this week looks more vulnerable to declines.  Friday stands out in this respect as the Moon conjoins Mars and opposes Saturn.  The Moon-Mars conjunction is closest during the US trading day.  While Monday is closed for Memorial Day in the US, the shadow of the Mars-Saturn opposition may well extend into early next week. 

Perhaps all this Mars-Saturn related anxiety is what is driving up Bitcoin to record highs.  It now trades at $2500 and has doubled its value over the past month.  There are a couple of plausible horoscopes for Bitcoin out there: 1) the first electronic trade on 12 Jan 2009 and 2) the first real world trade/purchase for pizza on 22 May 2010.  Both charts look fairly negative this summer so I would think a major decline is likely.  That is perhaps not a stunning prediction given that the current parabolic rally is unsustainable over time.  But the summer Saturn-Rahu alignment does look bad for Bitcoin as it activates a few key points in both charts.   I hope to post a more in-depth analysis of Bitcoin by next week.

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.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stocks fall as Trump crisis deepens

(17 May 2017) When it rains, it pours.  The embattled presidency of Donald J. Trump appeared to enter a new and more tumultuous phase yesterday with the revelation that he may have asked FBI chief James Comey to stop his investigation into pro-Russia former cabinet member Michael Flynn.   If proven true, the attempted intervention in the FBI's work could amount to an obstruction of justice.  This would be an impeachable offense under US precedent as president Richard Nixon was forced to resign for a similar intervention during the Watergate cover-up.  And tonight there is word that a Special Counsel has been appointed to Russia inquiry to clear the air.

The possibility that Trump obstructed justice comes after a very difficult week following the firing of James Comey after he asked for more resources for Russia-Trump probe and the controversial sharing of classified intelligence with Russia during an unprecedented visit by Russian officials to the White House.   All this turmoil in DC is finally taking a toll in financial markets as stocks fell sharply today as markets began to factor in the possibility that Trump may be unable to push through his pro-business tax and regulatory reforms.   For the first time, investors (and betting markets) are now seriously assessing the odds that Trump will be impeached.  Of course, the irony is that Wall St. would likely prefer a President Pence anyway.

The worsening political crisis in Washington is in keeping with the troubled planetary alignments in the key horoscopes: 1) Trump's natal chart; 2) the USA national chart; 3) the Nov. 9th PEOTUS chart and 4) the Jan. 20th Inauguration chart.  As I noted more recently last week, Trump was likely to come under increased pressure in the month of May from the transit of Rahu, the North Lunar Node.  In Trump's personal natal horoscope, Rahu (4 Leo) is conjunct his natal Mars (3 Leo) which is, in turn, very close to his Ascendant (6 Leo).  Rahu-Mars alignments tend to reflect times of increased stress and agitation and are often implicated in serious or uncontrolled conflicts.  This is very much the case here as the Trump presidency appears to taking on water like a sinking ship, seemingly too dysfunctional to right itself.  Something has to give, and soon. 

The position of Rahu at 4 Leo also hits the exact 12th house cusp of the PEOTUS chart dated from the moment Trump was declared elected in the early morning hours of November 9th.   The Rahu-12th house connection is a classic textbook indicator of illegal or immoral behavior that produces scandal and embarrassments.  Trump's words and actions are increasingly indefensible even among notoriously partisan Congressional Republicans.   The GOP control of both houses of Congress has protected Trump so far but this week's development has set off alarm bells as Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Trump as more are calling for an independent Russia investigator and for the FBI to disclose Comey's notes. 

Trump's Downward Spiral

So what comes next? I would expect Trump's fortunes to hit a temporary bottom at the end of May when Mars opposes Saturn.  This Mars-Saturn opposition happens once every two years but this one may bring some serious implications for the President since it aligns with most of the key horoscopes.  Trump's natal chart will be activated forcefully as Mars conjoins his Sun while Saturn sits very close to his Moon-Ketu conjunction.  The alignment with his natal chart is closest on May 29th although the days leading up to that date are likely to see increased frustrations and stress as Mars first conjoins Trump's natal Rahu on May 22-23.  The Mars-Saturn opposition similarly activates the Trump Inauguration chart as Mars will align with the Mars-Saturn square.  This is a kind of maximum pain alignment for the Trump presidency as all the malefics will be in a close aspect with each other. 

Hopeful Democrat and other anti-Trump readers may ask if Trump might even resign under this difficult Mars-Saturn opposition.  It's conceivable although I would not predict it.  There is an absence of planetary affliction to the USA chart that really should accompany a presidential resignation.  We saw that Nixon resigned in 1974 under serious transits to the USA chart.   Saturn (=loss) conjoined the Sun (=leaders), Ketu aspected Saturn in the 10th house of government (=change to authority), and Uranus conjoined the unequal 10th house cusp (MC) (=change in government).    Currently, both Saturn and Ketu are aspecting not the Sun or Saturn but rather Mars.  On the other hand, Uranus (2 Aries) is opposite the 10th house cusp (MC) so that may be one reason why the US government is so unstable in 2017. 

Whatever opposition there may be to Trump's presidency, the affliction to Mars would seem to point more to some significant military engagement.  Perhaps this will be a diversionary tactic from a besieged Trump presidency to bomb or attack an geopolitical adversary.  It's definitely more likely in the next few months under this double affliction of Saturn and the Ketu.  Alternatively, since Trump is so closely associated with the planet Mars (i.e. it was on the horizon at the time of his birth), we cannot completely dismiss the possibility that the Saturn-Ketu affliction to Mars could somehow translate into the elimination of Mars from the USA, i.e. the removal of the Mars-ruled Trump.

But I do not want to give out false hope to readers who are hopeful for a swift end to the Trump presidency.   If Trump was going to resign this year, then the chart of VP Mike Pence should be very strong as he would take over the Presidency.  As I see it, it isn't that strong.  Pence's chart (N.B. time unknown) looks stronger in mid-2019 just around the same time that the Sun in the USA chart comes under a powerful double affliction by Saturn and Rahu.  2019 is therefore a more likely time when Trump could be impeached or forced to resign.  On the face of it, this makes more sense since it would be after the 2018 November midterm elections which could turn the control of Congress over to the Democrats if current trends continue.  While the current GOP Congress could vote to impeach Trump if the situation got too out of hand, I would think it is quite likely that the powers-that-be will find a way to paper over the cracks and keep Trump in power until the last possible moment.

I should note a second nadir in the Trump chart in the late summer in August/September around the time of the Saturn direct station on August 25th.  This will conjoin his Moon-Ketu conjunction and could coincide with a period of isolation, disappointment and defensiveness.  Trump's Moon is debilitated in Scorpio in the sidereal Vedic zodiac system so it fits very well with a person who takes umbrage at any personal slight.  No wonder his co-writer for The Art of the Deal noticed that in boardroom settings during his real estate career no one dared to challenge his views on anything.   His delusional emotional immaturity is further reflected by the close conjunction of the Moon with Ketu which accentuates changeability and fickleness.

But I'm less confident that this summer alignment could translate into resignation or impeachment.  It does look bad for him to be sure and some kind of new setback is likely based on his natal chart.  But the PEOTUS chart looks less afflicted so without that confirming evidence, I would not expect a resignation from Trump.  One possible scenario may be that we will still be in the impeachment preliminaries at that time, as Trump plays cat-and-mouse with the Special Prosecutor or some other such defensive scenario. 

I should also note that I was off in my timing for this kind of major Trump setback.  Shortly after the election, I noticed that Trump's chart was heavily afflicted throughout the first months of his presidency and that both Hillary and Bill Clinton's chart were quite strong in March and April.  I assumed that any Clinton gains would be offset by Trump's losses.  That really didn't happen for the Clinton's although Trump's presidency has been beset with controversy from Day 1.  Now I don't know what may be occurring behind the scenes with the Clintons, but so far they have yet to enjoy any obviously positive developments.  That seems more likely to change here in May with this possible impeachable offense for obstruction.  If impeachment talks grows louder in the coming days as I expect, it will boost both the Clintons and the Democrats fortunes as their allegations of election interference will carry more weight.   While any upside for the Clintons may be largely symbolic at this point, it may still help to boost the sagging fortunes of the Democratic Party.  So we will have to see how things play out now. 

Weekly Market Forecast

As mentioned above, US stocks fell sharply Wednesday as markets finally realized that there are consequences to Trump's capricious style of governance.  And yet for all the political media hype, the Dow is only 3% below its all-time high.  Indian stocks have continued to rally higher as investors anticipate more domestic reforms.  The Sensex  has  moved steadily higher since my last post as it closed Wednesday at 30,658.  As expected, I thought we were likely to see some downside last week although that was only the case in US and Europe.  I expected some gains this week on the Venus-Jupiter alignment although they appear to have manifested in the first half of the week already. 

More broadly, I had cautioned about late May as a time when stock markets were likely to decline given the Mars-Saturn opposition and then also the larger alignment with Rahu, the North Lunar Node.   While we could see some brief upside tomorrow or Friday in the US on the Venus-Jupiter opposition, I would think the down trend will continue at least through next week.

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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump fires FBI's Comey: Nixon revisited?

(10 May 2017) The Trump presidency took an unexpected and disturbing turn on Monday with the surprise firing on FBI chief James Comey.  Comey has been a controversial figure on both sides of the aisle in Washington since his very public investigation of Hillary Clinton and her private email server and then later with his unprecedented intervention in the election.  It now seems likely that Comey's letter to Congress on October 28th cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.   Recently, Comey and the FBI had been leading an investigation into the alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.  It has now come to light that Comey's dismissal came just days after he requested additional resources to probe more deeply the Trump-Russia connections.

While his firing of Comey may solve one of Trump's imminent problems, it is unlikely to boost his political fortunes in the short run.   The optics are terrible for Trump as it now looks like he is a man on the run desperately trying to silence further questioning about possible collusion with Russia.   Where this all is leading is hard to say although the astrological perspective suggests that Trump is unlikely to find solace for the rest of the month of May at least.   The problem would appear to center on Rahu, the North Lunar Node. 

Trump's horoscope is strongly influenced by Rahu at the current time.  Rahu is a malefic planet by nature and is symbolically linked to situations that disrupt the status quo.   That's why Rahu (and Ketu) is always close by whenever there is an eclipse, the time that the Lunar Nodes step in and interrupt the constant light of the Sun or the Moon.   When the chart is afflicted, the bad side of Rahu may predominate and this can burden the native with secrecy and scandal. 

Transiting Rahu (5 Leo) is closely conjunct Trump's Ascendant (6 Leo).  Rahu is undermining Trump's sense of self (1st house) and may be a source of confusion for him.  The added problem for Donald Trump is that Rahu is also conjunct Mars (3 Leo) and hence there will be more areas of his life that will be subject to disruption and uncertainty.  Mars is related to action and leadership, so it seems appropriate that Trump's summary firing of Comey should have caused such a storm of upset in the halls of power in DC. 

Previously, I've written about how the Saturn station in the first two months of the Trump presidency coincided closely with many of his current problems.  Saturn tends to deny or delay rewards so it was not surprising that Trump's approval rating would be hitting rock bottom at 40% or below during his first 100 days.  For all the bluster and talk, his presidency got off to a poor start.  Even the passage of the much-vaunted GOP health bill has done little to change perceptions as he may find the Senate a less cooperative body.

But now Rahu seems to have taken the baton from Saturn.  The other first-class malefic could be focusing our attention on the shadowy nature of Donald Trump and his presidency.   Trump's natal chart will sustain a Mars transit (27 Taurus) starting the week of May 22nd which could further intensify public scrutiny.  Mars is due to conjoin the natal Rahu on the 22nd and will then oppose his Moon (28 Scorpio) on the 23-24th.  These are unlikely to be times of triumph for the President as his enemies may become more active against him.

Rahu was similarly prominent in the chart of disgraced former President Richard Nixon at the time that he was on the defensive and fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the "Saturday Night Massacre" on October 20, 1973.  Cox had been appointed to investigate the Watergate break-in earlier that year in May but Nixon pulled the plug on him in an effort to short-circuit the investigation.  While Transiting Rahu (8 Sagittarius) wasn't close to Nixon's Ascendant, it was conjunct the key stellium of Mars-Mercury-Jupiter at 7-9 Sagittarius.  This stellium of planets was the most important feature of Nixon's chart and could be said to act like a de facto second Ascendant.  Rahu's transit of these planets introduced typically Rahuvian qualities of scandal, intrigue and secrecy into Nixon's political career.  Just one week after Cox's firing, the American public largely turned against Nixon and would remain opposed to his presidency until his resignation in the following August.

So maybe my previous analogy with Nixon might not be far off.  I had suggested that Trump inauguration chart bore certain common qualities with the Nixon inauguration chart in 1973.  I didn't think the afflictions in the Trump chart were quite as stark but there were some similarities given the close Mars (power) and Saturn (authority) alignments.  The raw, self-serving exercise of power may be the common thread in both inauguration charts although I am still uncertain about whether Trump will be able to serve out his term. 

The upcoming Mars-Saturn opposition on May 28th may serve as another focal point for additional troubles for "45".   It is quite possible we could see voices grow louder for an independent investigation of his Russia links leading up to this time, perhaps including the appointment of a special prosecutor. 

Interestingly, the chart of the President-elect of the United States (PEOTUS) also suggests that Trump will likely suffer further from the placement of Rahu in early Leo.  As I previously suggested, the transit of Rahu to the equal house 12th house cusp (= secrets, loss through unscrupulousness) in late April and May was likely to bring more problems to Trump.   I would expect the furor surrounding this latest Trump move to last into early June when Mars opposes Saturn and opposes the natal Venus in the PEOTUS chart and squares the Ascendant.  The Sun's transit (21 Taurus) opposite natal Saturn (21 Scorpio) on June 4th may be another hint that Trump's authority will be further questioned at this time. 

Trump could catch a break around the Jupiter direct station on June 9th.  He is running the Jupiter dasha period so its forward motion may straighten out some ongoing questions.  And yet it is difficult to imagine Trump suddenly becoming successful and wildly popular this summer since Saturn will station direct in close conjunction with his Moon-Ketu conjunction in late August.  It's a very difficult combination which suggests isolation and disappointment.   Could the Trump presidency somehow get even worse this summer?  It seems it may.  But I would be surprised to see his resign with these transits.  It will likely be bad for him but it's not that bad.  Or at least, not bad in that way.  Given the double affliction to the USA's Mars (0 Gemini) this summer, it seems more likely that some major military action will become foremost on Trump's agenda. 

Weekly Market Forecast

All of this political intrigue has yet to affect financial markets,  as stocks are still trading near their record highs.  The Dow finished Tuesday's session largely unchanged from the previous week at 20,943.  Meanwhile, Indian shares have pushed higher this week as the Sensex finally made a new all-time high above 30,000.  I thought there was some bearish potential in the Saturn influence on the Mercury direct station late last week and early this week.  We did get some very modest downside last week, but sentiment looks somewhat better so far this week. 

The rest of this week looks mixed.  Friday stands out for its difficult Moon-Mars opposition, especially in the US.  A decline is more likely on this aspect.  Thursday looks less problematic for its part.  Next week could see more gains around the Venus-Jupiter aspect.  This is exact on Friday in Asia and Europe although its positive effects may manifest a day or two earlier.

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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Shiller, Saturn and the NASDAQ: perspectives in market timing

(3 May 2017) Conventional wisdom is that the stock market is the best place to put your money for the long term.   While periods of volatility can cause some sleepless nights, it is hard to argue with the basic premise that stocks do better in the long run than most other assets like bonds, cash, or even gold.  A case in point is the NASDAQ, the US-based technology index. If you had invested just $100 at the time of its inception in 1971, your investment would have increased 60-fold as the NASDAQ is now trading at a record high above 6000.  Even adjusted for inflation, the investment has grown impressively by 10 times over that 46-year period, which amounts to a 5% return compounded annually.  That's definitely way better than holding cash when you think about what $100 would have bought back in early 70s. 

But just how long is the long term?  It you had been unlucky enough to have bought a basket of tech stocks in 2000 at the very top of the tech bubble, your investment would only have begun to show profit in 2016 in what would certainly have been a long and painful exercise in investor patience.  Actually, when corrected for inflation that ill-timed investment in 2000 would still be down 10%.  Similarly, money invested the stock market in 1929 before the crash would have taken at least 25 years to have shown a positive return.  Clearly, the long term is sometimes a very long time indeed.

And this is why many investors try to time markets.  As difficult and stressful as timing the market may be, there may be some ways which can simplify the process.  Economist Robert Shiller's CAPE Index (Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings Ratio) has attempted to identify periods when stocks will tend to do better.  As stocks become more expensive relative to corporate earnings, the implied return of stocks goes down.  As the chart shows,  as the CAPE Index strays too far above its historical mean of 17, the average annual return of stocks falls. It is currently at a very lofty 29.5 which is one of the highest readings in recent history.  Only the 2000 tech bubble and the peak of the 1929 market have been higher.  According to Shiller's model, the implied return of stocks is now actually negative (-1.7%).  In other words, Shiller's CAPE Index argues against investing in the market for the long term at this time as returns will likely be negative until the CAPE moves closer to its historical mean.  This can be achieved either through an increase in corporate earnings or through a stock market decline.

Astrology offers its own unique perspective on the question of market timing.  There are many timing techniques we can consider in an astrological analysis.  Dasha periods are often helpful in forecasting trends although they are sometimes unclear.  Currently, the NASDAQ chart (Feb 8, 1971 10.00 a.m.) is running the Venus-Rahu period.  Venus is a benefic planet and its period began in the depths of the 2008 meltdown.  Stocks have rebounded strongly since then so that is an argument for its bullish influence.  Rahu is more of a question mark as it is malefic in nature although it tends to do well in the 11th house as it is here.  The Venus-Rahu period began in November 2015 and will run until November 2018.  The period has certainly been bullish thus far, but Rahu is an unreliable indicator due to its changeable nature. 

Transits may a more reliable predictive technique.  The current rally in the NASDAQ may be a reflection of the Jupiter retrograde station at 29 Virgo which closely aspected the dasha minor lord Rahu in February.  Transiting Jupiter has since aspected the Sun (also bullish) and will end its retrograde cycle in close conjunction with Uranus on June 9th.  While further gains are possible around this Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in June, it is important to remember that trends are the result of the interplay of all planets, especially the slower moving planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, and the Lunar Nodes,  Rahu and Ketu.  Jupiter's bullish influence may therefore come under increased pressure as the nodal opposition of Ketu-Rahu gradually tightens in the weeks ahead. 

In addition to the nodal opposition in the natal chart, there will be a significant alignment of two malefics, Saturn and Rahu, this summer.  Moreover, the alignment will last much longer than usual due to the retrograde motion of Saturn.  And even more telling will be the fact that the Saturn-Rahu alignment will likely activate the natal Rahu in the NASDAQ horoscope at 0 Aquarius.  The nodal opposition and conjunction is often bearish as it was in the spring of 2008 when Rahu conjoined its natal position in the midst of the year-long bear market.  The Ketu-to-Rahu conjunction can also be problematic, especially if the dasha of one of the nodes is running as will be the case this summer during Venus-Rahu. 

Saturn is due to station in late August at 27 Scorpio and will thus simultaneously cast a third house aspect to the natal Sun (25 Capricorn) and also come under the influence of natal Ketu (0 Leo).  Due to the slow velocity of Saturn this summer, these aspects will be within range for a month on either side of the actual station on August 25th and possibly longer.  Both aspects should be considered negative for market sentiment.

Jupiter's entry into Libra in September could be more positive since it aspects both Rahu and the Ascendant.  This could produce another significant rally in the late fall and early winter.   It is difficult to tell if this possible fourth quarter rally will be strong enough to offset any potential summer decline and produce higher highs. 

Whatever the Q4 uncertainties, the bottom line is 2017 is shaping up to have its fair share of market turbulence.  The higher probability of a correction reduces the likelihood of net gains for the year.   Along with Shiller's CAPE Index, the planets offer more evidence that returns in the stock market are likely to be less than their historical mean and that a negative annual return is also a possible risk.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have been somewhat flat since my post last week.  The Dow continues to trade just below its all-time high at 21,000 while India's Sensex can't quite crack the elusive 30,000 barrier.  It has actually pulled back a bit in recent days.  I thought we might have seen some gains early this week around the Mercury-Uranus conjunction but gains have been tiny in the US.  Wednesday's Fed statement more or less guaranteed the next rate hike for June but that did little to dampen the mood.

Mercury returned to direct motion today (Wednesday) so we could see some changes in outlook in the coming days.  Mercury is still conjunct Uranus for the rest of the week so more upside would not be surprising.  And yet its forward motion will soon put in into alignment with bearish Saturn.  That somewhat increases the likelihood of declines on Thursday, Friday and even into early next week.

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.