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Week Beginning August 31, 2009

Review and Preview

Raymond Merriman Two weeks ago I mentioned that we were entering a time band of one of the most intense geocosmic signatures for this year, August 10-26. Indeed it was remarkable, although more in terms of mundane astrology than financial astrology. In the geophysical realm, there were at least four tropical storms started in the Caribbean and Atlantic. There was a devastating typhoon in Taiwan, forest fires in California and earthquakes in Japan. In the geopolitical realm, there was great sadness as the second Kennedy in a month made a transition. This time it was Edward Kennedy, who some consider the most effective Senator in modern history. This is consistent with one of the principles of Jupiter conjunct Neptune, which can be a theme of great sadness and tears. In financial news, President Barack Obama announced his re-appointment of Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke. In my opinion, this was one of the best decisions — and best timed decisions — made by the president so far. To have waited much longer, or to not reappoint Bernanke, would have caused great chaos in the markets at a time when they need assurance and consistency. Although President Obama ran on a campaign of “change,” there are some things that are not wise to change when the economy has experienced such a trauma. Tax increases for small businesses would be another area that should not be changed, in my opinion, until we start seeing signs meaningful employment growth – real signs, back to where we were a year ago. Yet being in the downside of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, history is not on my side regarding holding small business taxes steady until employment picks up substantially.

Even though stock markets of the world were not as volatile as I would have expected, given the aspects involving Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus, they were nonetheless significant. Many markets made a “major cycle” trough around the midpoint of the cluster, August 18. Then from that low, many stock indices made new yearly highs this past week. In Europe, the Netherlands AEX, British Financial Times, and Swiss SMI indices all reached their highest levels since last October on Friday. The German DAX did the same last Tuesday, three days before the others. Yet all of these indices closed with some troubling technical (momentum) readings.

In the Far East and Pacific Rim, the All Ordinaries of Australia and the NIFTY Index of India made new highs for this year on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei made a new high on Wednesday. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the MICEX Composite of Russia did not make new yearly highs last week, for a case of intermarket bearish divergence.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite both made new highs for this year during the day on Friday. But both closed with similar negative technical signs. Whether these signs of weakness relate to the fact that next week is a pre-holiday market (Labor Day is the following Monday), or whether they are real signs of deterioration starting to build, remains to be seen. The signs aren’t so bearish that we should give an outright sell signal yet. But it’s coming.

In other markets, both Crude Oil and precious metals shot up last week. Crude soared to 75.00/barrel for the first time in 2009 last Tuesday. Both Gold and Silver shot up sharply on Friday during the “Sagittarius Factor,” when the Moon was in Sagittarius.

Short-Term Geocosmics

Last week was significant because three planets changed signs. Last Tuesday, Mercury ingressed into Libra and Mars into Cancer. On Wednesday, Venus moved into Leo. Such numerous sign changes can correlate with a change in investor psychology, and indeed technicals suggest that the psychology may be changing from confidence to caution, perhaps more in line with the Mars movement into Cancer. That same Mars transit happens to hit the natal Pluto, opposite Sun, in the Federal Reserve Board chart. And with Pluto in Capricorn on the FRB Sun opposite Pluto, it is quite significant that Obama announced his reappointment of the Fed chair last Tuesday. The announcement was in line with the nature of Mars as far as timing is concerned. But there may be more problems than meets the eye with this decision, for they (Mars and Pluto) indicate a power play yet to come involving the Federal Reserve Board.

There are no major transits in effect this week that have a high correlation to market reversals. The next series starts on September 6 when Mercury again goes retrograde. It will last through September 29, and this one should be a stunner, for it happens with the third (of five) passages of Saturn in opposition to Uranus (September 15). That will also coincide with the one-year anniversary of the economic panic.

Longer-Term Thoughts

On September 15, Saturn will make its third opposition to Uranus. The first two were noteworthy. The first occurred on November 4, 2008 as the United States elected a new president. The stock market rallied to a major cycle crest that day. The second passage was on February 5, 2009, and again the U.S. stock market rallied to a major cycle crest. In both cases, the DJIA then dropped approximately 2000 points within the next 3-4 weeks. That doesn’t mean the pattern will repeat again, but traders need to be aware that it is possible.

From the point of view of Financial Astrology, we note that this one, or the fifth and final passage next July 26, may be the most important of all five passages, based on what else is happening at the time. In the case of the one coming up September 15, we note that the new moon of September 17-18 will conjunct Saturn, which is just the opposite of last year when it was a full moon occurring on this major geocosmic signature. The new moon is different than the full moon. Whereas the full moon may coincide with over-excitement and even panic in this case, the new moon may coincide with a sense of building something constructive and long lasting. But what is it that is being built? For after all, Mercury will also be retrograde during this full moon and third passage. What kinds of decisions are being made? Last year, after the September 15 full moon and start of the crisis, Mercury went retrograde and the TARP programs were passed by Congress and the White House, and then had to be altered over and over again. In this respect, government leaders need to be careful again about rushing to decisions before their time is ripe. One would think with the new moon and Saturn in Virgo, sign of health, that the issue would be health care and/or insurance reform proposals. I don’t think many people disagree with the idea that reform is needed (other than insurance companies and their lobbyists). But there is a major problem with creating a sense of understanding as to the “best way” to go about this. And the danger is that the White House and Congress may force passage of a bill before the majority of the population truly understands it.

If I were to make one suggestion at this time to the White House and Congress, it would be to take that time necessary to make sure the general public is on board. With Uranus in Pisces and in mutual reception with Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius, the majority wants reform and they want it this year. But they also want to understand it, and in its present form, it is not a reform that is clearly understandable. To force passage of this initiative just because the numbers are there, under Mercury retrograde and a new moon conjunct Saturn in opposition to Uranus, will likely create a whole new problem involving “trust with the public.” If not developed and passed with this consideration in mind, be prepared for another Saturn-Uranus crisis. It may or may not be reflected immediately in the world equity markets, although it could, because these chart patterns look a lot like August-October 1987. The danger may be more akin to societal disturbances in the relationship between the masses (Uranus) and the government (Saturn). It is quite possible that the next few weeks will determine the success of the Obama first term. After all, this opposition and new moon are occurring right near his natal Mars. Saturn on one’s Mars works best at building something with great attention paid to detail, tolerance, and patience. It fails when it tries to force something before it is ready, and in that case it often results in loss – loss of the battle or loss of one’s stature. Make it or break it – that is a symbolism for Saturn and Uranus in hard aspect. But make it or break it right, with support of others, if possible.

© 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.