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Week Beginning December 28, 2009

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Raymond Merriman Last week was fascinating to Financial Astrologers for many reasons. First, it was the third and final passage of the 14-year Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, which took place on Monday, December 21. This was also the day that commenced the annual winter solstice, darkest and shortest day of the year for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Secondly, Mars began its ten-week retrograde journey the day before, December 20. This is a 25-26 month planetary occurrence, and symbolizes a time when the aggressive, assertive qualities of Mars tend to retreat, either due to force of circumstances, or on the basis of wisdom and strategic planning by those who also possess great initiative. Furthermore, these two powerful geocosmic events happened right in the middle of the December 10-29 time band when eleven important geocosmic signatures unfolded in short order. This constitutes what we call a “geocosmic cluster,” a period when many financial markets will frequently make a reversal of their trend within three trading days of such a midpoint. But this was also a pre-holiday trading week, a time when many markets don’t make trend reversals. So it was with great curiosity that Financial Astrologers approached this week. Would a trend reversal occur within three trading days of December 21, as the history of geocosmic signatures would suggest? Or would markets just continue their trend, as is usually the case when holidays and light volume are involved?

We won’t know the answer to this question until after next week. Yet there are many markets that are already implying a reversal indeed occurred last week. Gold and Silver, for instance, made an isolated low on Tuesday, December 22. After reaching an all-time high of 1227 on December 2, Gold had fallen to 1075 on December 22, a loss of $152 in just 14 trading days. But then it turned, consistent with thoughts expressed last week concerning Mars retrograde and Gold prices. It ended the week near 1105. Silver fell from its yearly high of 1950 on December 3 to 1678 on December 22, a loss of $2.72/ounce, or nearly 14%, in just 13 trading days. Silver ended the holiday shortened week at 1744. It is too early to state emphatically if the move down is over, but as stated last week, “As reported in the now out-of-print ‘Gold Book: Geocosmic Correlations to Gold Price Cycles,’ Mars retrograde stations have coincided with some of the most impressive reversals and contra-trend moves in Gold prices. There are several cases where a trend has been in force, only to reverse within ten trading days of Mars turning retrograde. The contra-trend move then continues into a two-week period surrounding the date when Mars turns direct, and then the trend returns to it former direction too. It doesn’t happen all the time, but often enough that it has to be watched carefully. When a reversal does occur near either the retrograde or direct date of Mars, that high or low oftentimes remains solid a support or resistance for several weeks, and even years.”

In equity markets, there were a number of interesting developments last week. In Europe, each of the indices we track made new yearly highs on their last day of trading. In the case of the AEX (Netherlands), DAX (Germany) and SMI (Switzerland), the last trading day was Wednesday, December 23. The FTSE traded December 24 and made its new yearly high then. However, the MICEX index of Moscow actually trended down all week, falling to 1340 as of December 24. Its yearly high was posted on December 14 at 1412.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, only the NIFTY index of India made a new yearly high on December 24. The Nikkei of Japan had a very good week, rallying to 10,558 last Thursday and its highest price since its yearly high of 10,767 last August 31. The All Ordinaries of Australia also performed well, rallying to 4803 late last week. However, this is still well below its yearly high of 4897 on October 15. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong, however, fell to a new cycle low of 20,932 last Monday as these aspects unfolded. However, by Thursday, it had recovered back to 21,592, which is still far below its yearly high of 23,099 realized on November 18, right after the first passage of the Saturn-Pluto square.

In the United States, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite indexes gently rallied to slightly higher yearly highs on Christmas Eve, December 24. However, the Bovespa of Brazil and Merval of Argentina traded sideways-to-down last week. Both are well below their yearly highs, which was 69,785 on December 14 in the case of the Bovespa, and 2343 back on October 22 for the Merval.

Crude Oil rallied strongly last week, hitting 78.75 on Thursday after falling as low as 68.59 on December 14. The Euro also started to reverse upwards from a low of 1.4216 on December 22.

Short-Term Geocosmics

The impressive geocosmic cluster of December 10-29 ends this week with the final three important signatures. On December 26, Mercury will begin its three-week retrograde trek. This will be followed by Venus transiting over Pluto, and square to Saturn on Monday and Tuesday. Thus, Venus is making a “translation” to the Saturn-Pluto square, which highlights the continued concerns over debt and deficits by many governments.

There are two ideas to keep in mind here regarding two of these signatures. First, Mercury retrograde (December 26-January 15) is a usually a quirky time for financial markets. This is probably because it tends to coincide with a slew of mixed messages for politicians and release of economic data. Our motto under Mercury retrograde is to “Take profits too soon,” which simply means be a very short-term trader. Trends tend to get interrupted during this period, and price moves only last 1-4 days before suddenly changing directions. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that technical studies of support and resistance are oftentimes violated just slightly, and instead of markets breaking out, as these studies would suggest, they suddenly reverse back, creating what is called a “fake out,” or “whipsaw.” Buy and sell signals can be quickly negated for technical traders. One needs to be very nimble during these times. Otherwise it can be very frustrating.

We note that Mars and Mercury will both be retrograde through January 15. Since both represent periods of retreat and reassessment of decisions made, it promises to be a period of very vocal and heated discussion regarding the Senate’s passage of the Health Care reform bill, last week. How will they resolve the critical differences with the version of Health Care reform passed by House of Representatives? It is not going to be easy, according to these retrograde factors. In fact, the debate is likely to get even more hostile. Despite what many pundits say, the issue is far from a “done deal.” At the very least, mundane astrologers probably see this as a period of many changes to each proposal. Don’t expect either version to be passed in its current form without considerable modifications. There is even danger of implosion, for after Mercury turns direct, Mars will remain retrograde and we head right into the second of the Saturn-Pluto squares in late January, at the same time the Sun and Venus will be in direct opposition to Mars.

The second idea to keep in mind this week is that Tuesday’s Venus-Saturn square is usually a favorable time to buy any market that has been declining into it. Look for any market making a new two-week low, or a retest of a recent low, as a buying opportunity.

Longer-Term Thoughts

Sometimes you just have to step back from all the noise and quietly reflect on just how much progress – and regression – we are making as a world community. We are living in times where all the farthest out planets in our solar system (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) are in a waxing phase of their cycle to one another. Not only that, but Uranus and Neptune continue in a mutual reception to each another (they are in one another’s sign), and Neptune and Pluto continue in a favorable 100-year sextile to one another for several more decades. This condition hasn’t existed since the great European Renaissance of the 15th century. It is a 500+-year planetary cycle.

When the 171-year Uranus-Neptune conjunction occurred in 1993, it was at the end of the powerful Capricorn Climax (1988-1993). This was a time when Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the Moon’s North Node all crossed one another in Capricorn. It was the advent of a scientific and technological revolution. It was the time when the world’s applied knowledge of technology revolutionized the way we communicated and did business with one another. The fax machine, computer, internet, and email led to the idea that whatever we could dream could become real. There was no limit to what we could accomplish. Plus the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and all the Communist Protectorates of Eastern Europe were released to become consumers in the free market world, leading to one of the greatest economic advances of history. By the time we crossed into the 21st century, we were looking at a world with unlimited economic potential and an unending period of world peace. Industrialized nations were operating on budget surpluses, debt was under control, people were working and paying taxes and many could afford a home.

Somewhere around 2001 that path and that vision ended. Somewhere around then we went from economic prosperity and hopes for world peace, to fear of terrorism and explosive debt. The dream was lost. Or was it? Maybe – just maybe – as we look beyond Saturn to the further-out planets and see they are still all in the waxing phases (conjunction to opposition) to one another for most of this new century, we can get back on track. That is the hope I wish to keep in my mind as we enter this New Year, and new decade. I do believe the first two decades of this new century will be the most difficult, for Saturn will be in its waning (downward) phase to all the planets beyond its orbit. But I also hold hope that we will recognize the causes of what interrupted our pathway to progress (it was debt, the great killer of hopes), and make the necessary sacrifices to correct those errors. We can do this.

© 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.