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Week Beginning April 26, 2010

Review and Preview

Raymond MerrimanIt is starting out as a typical Mercury retrograde week. In the United States, stock indices closed at a new yearly high. But only in the United States. In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the yearly highs remained in effect anywhere from April 5 through April 15, and last week’s close found stock indices near their lowest levels since those highs. In Europe, stock markets rallied nicely into Friday, but are still below their yearly highs of April 12-16. So which indices should we consider the leader right now? Those in the United States, which technically look very bullish? Or those in Asia and the Far East, which look technically bearish?

This is the nature of Mercury the Trickster: you cannot rely on bullish or buy signals, and you cannot rely upon the bearish or sell signals either. Rather than a “normal” market climate in which a “buy signals” means to “buy,” or a “sell signal” means to “sell," a Mercury retrograde climate means you have to be on the alert for a slew of false and misleading signals. This also pertains to economic data and political announcements both of which may have more than usual amount of contradictions and mixed signals. However, Mercury retrograde is good for study and research, and very short-term trading.

In other markets, precious metals were down hard late the previous week and early last week, on the heels of the securities fraud charges by the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) against Goldman Sachs. In typical Mercury retrograde fashion, however, that story seemed to lose steam as the week wore on. But nevertheless, stocks and commodities were down early in the week, yet Gold and Silver, as well as Crude Oil, rallied smartly into the end of last week.

Short-Term Geocosmics

The Venus and Jupiter rulership phenomenon ends this week. That is, Venus has been in its ruling sign of Taurus, while Jupiter has been in its ruling sign of Pisces, since March 31. Venus exits Taurus this weekend, April 25. Previously this column discussed that as a geocosmic reason why the stock market may not exhibit much of a decline during this period. It didn’t, at least not in the United States, whose stock market is a Taurus entity (created May 17, 1792 in New York City).

But that all changes this week. In fact, the week begins with the fourth of the five passages of the Saturn-Uranus opposition. In the field of Mundane and Financial Astrology, Saturn and Uranus conjunctions and oppositions are amongst the most powerful of all geocosmic signatures. The time between their first and last passage, give or take a couple of months, has always correlated with a 4-year or greater cycle in U.S. stocks, and usually an 18-year or greater cycle type. It has already happened this time, for on March 6, 2009, the U.S. stock market probably made its 18-year cycle trough (and probably even its 72-year cycle low). You may remember that the first passage of this aspect occurred on November 4, 2008, which was Election Day in the USA. And if you want to discuss the importance of that date as a reversal in world politics, you have a great case. If you want to discuss Saturn and Uranus as a market reversal of great importance, you really have to consider what happens between the first and last aspect, and as mentioned, you have a great case here too.

We oftentimes show the correlation between these planetary cycles and cycles in nature. Since Saturn rules the Earth – the ground – and Uranus rules great disruption, it is entirely consistent with the nature of these two planets to coincide with a period of powerful earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcano eruptions. Interestingly enough, Uranus also rules airplane companies. We can make the claim that this forthcoming passage of the Saturn-Uranus opposition directly correlates with the huge volcano eruption in Iceland, and the subsequent cancellation of many airline routes due to the cloud of volcanic ash that swept over Europe last week. With the full moon in Scorpio coming up this Wednesday, and given that Scorpio and its ruler Pluto are also involved and pertain to volcano eruptions, the danger is not yet over. The orb of time tends to be 12 calendar days either side of the Saturn-Uranus date.

There is something else to watch for. Mercury is retrograde April 19-May 11. The middle of that period can also coincide with a market reversal, +/- 2 trading days. That equates to Thursday, April 30. The rule is that any market that did not reverse around the time of the retrograde date will usually have a sudden turn around the middle of the retrograde period. It is very rare that a market makes it all the way through Mercury retrograde without a reversal of some importance.

Longer-Term Thoughts

“Endless money forms the sinews of war.”

— Cicero, Philippics

Financial Regulatory Reform. Can you think of a more appropriate title to describe Pluto in Capricorn, being squared by both Saturn and Uranus, and soon to be squared by Jupiter as well when it enters Aries in early June? It becomes even more pronounced when you consider that this set up forms a grand square to the Sun-Pluto opposition in the Federal Reserve Board chart (December 23, 1913, 6:02 PM, Washington, DC, according to the New York Times). When you think about “Financial Regulatory Reform” in the USA, you have to think about the Federal Reserve Board, the central bank of the country. You also have to think about the chart of the United States, since it contains the signatures pertaining to the government (Sun and Saturn).

In a previous column, I mentioned that this would be the next great fight between the two parties in this country, immediately following the Health Care Reform torture. And just as the Health Care Reform bill took a twisted turn when Mars went retrograde, which nearly killed it, so too this new battle on Financial Regulatory Reform is taking a twisted turn as it commences under Mercury retrograde. It started with last week’s charges of securities fraud against Goldman Sachs, right as Mercury was turning retrograde, and right on the precipice of the debate to begin the Senate. The media last week was filled with claims that the SEC surprise announcement against Goldman Sachs was politically timed to influence the public court of opinion.

But Mercury is, after all, retrograde, and there are apt to be many contradictory stories about what happened and why it happened. And in the end, we will never know the full truth because Mercury retrograde can be a master of double talk, misinformation, and denial. Yet one thing that strikes me is the difference between what the administration says is the primary objection to this bill (by Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party adherents, or the like) and what I think is the real objection to it. The idea being floated about is that opponents believe the bill doesn’t really end the possibility of a company or bank being “too big to fail.” This is only the surface of the concern, and not the underlying primary issue at all.

To understand the primary objective (I think), let me quote from two articles in the Wall Street Journal in the past week, and I think you will get to the source of the public concern. The first article stated, “Instead, they (Republicans) want failing companies put through a bankruptcy process; as is, the bill would force most firms into bankruptcy court but provide the option of a government takeover in an emergency.” The second article stated, “At the outset, the White House laid out detailed specifications for legislation that would give the government the authority to seize and break up major financial institutions…”

The issue is about the future role of government, not just in this major banking regulatory reform, but in many aspects of life. It is all about Pluto in Capricorn, which combines the principles of power (and reform) with government (Capricorn). For many Americans, these bills grant greater and greater powers of the government over the lives of individuals and businesses. And according to the results of last week’s Pew Research Center survey, also reported in the Wall Street Journal, “…the general public now wants government reformed and a growing number want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of Wall Street, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation’s problems – including the greater government control over the economy – than there was when Barack Obama first took office.”

There is a message in all of this for those who study Mundane Astrology. It isn’t to do with Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives, or Tea Party enthusiasts, as many would like to frame it. Yes, it has to do with corruption in business, banking and Wall Street. But it has as much — if not more — to do with the growing powers of the government concurrent with the exploding national and world debt, and the public’s fear of these trends, at a time when economic insecurity runs very high and people just don’t know who to trust. One thing they don’t trust is those who are attempting to increase their powers at this time when power is distrusted. It has to do with Pluto in Capricorn (208-2023), Saturn square Pluto (2009-2010), and Saturn in its waning phase to Pluto (2001-2020). Just ask Greece.

© Raymond A. Merriman


Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycle’s analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand these psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.

No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.