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Week Beginning January 11, 2010

Review and Preview

Raymond MerrimanThe year started out in typical Mercury retrograde fashion. The end of the prior week — the end of last year — witnessed a new yearly high, but then a sharp sell-off into the close of the week. The technical set up was for equities to sell off this week. Yet, as stated in last week’s column, “You would think stock markets would now come down, given that many made new yearly highs last week, but then sold off sharply at the end. And perhaps they might…. many technical signals also started to lose their bullish momentum, suggesting that at least a corrective decline should now be in process. But traders and Financial Astrologers must remember one thing: both Mars and Mercury are now retrograde. Thus there are apt to be many false buy and sell signals. Technical sell signals at the end of last week could fall into this category of being a “trick” from the trickster, Mercury retrograde. It could be a false signal.” Indeed it was. By the end of this past week – the first trading week of the New Year – almost all indices bounced right back and made new yearly highs.

In Europe, the Netherlands AEX, German DAX, and Switzerland SMI indices had all made new yearly highs by Tuesday. Then they started to pull back, but rallied again into Friday. In Asia and the Pacific Rim, all but the Hang Seng of Hong Kong made new yearly highs last week. Japan and Australia finally made new yearly highs after struggling for several months. In the Americas, all stock indices made new yearly highs too. But there is a concern in Argentina where an all-out battle is erupting between the President and the head of their Central Bank. On Thursday, President Christina Kirchner fired bank President Martin Redrado, “… setting up a showdown between Argentina’s executive branch and the opposition-controlled Congress, whose leaders have maintained that Mr. Redrado can’t be removed without legislative consultation,” according to Friday’s Wall Street Journal. This is the kind of battle we would expect between the Federal Reserve Board and the USA Congress, given the powerful Saturn-Pluto transits going on right now to the FRB chart. But we may see these kinds of battles between government and central banks happening all over the world, a symptom of the waning square between Saturn (government) and Pluto (banks), in effect October 2009 through August 2010. The problem, of course, is debt, which is the major domain of Pluto.

Crude Oil prices continued their rally to new yearly highs as well, as they exceeded 83.00/barrel, above the previous yearly high of 82.00 seen on October 21. Gold and Silver rallied as well, but Gold is meeting much resistance around 1140.

Short-Term Geocosmics

As pointed out earlier, both Mars and Mercury are now retrograde, which has a history of exhibiting many false buy and sell signals. Mercury will be in retrograde through January 15, which ends on this Friday’s solar eclipse. The stock and Crude Oil markets have been mostly up before and during this Mercury retrograde time band. Usually a market will suddenly reverse before Mercury ends its retrograde motion in cases like this. We witnessed that in Soybeans, which topped out on Monday, and then sold off sharply into the end of the week.

In addition to Mercury and Mars, Saturn will also turn retrograde on Wednesday, January 13. This is one of the more important planetary stations, which has a 65% historical correspondence to primary cycles within a range of 13 trading days. Within 4 trading days, an isolated low or high tends to form after which prices reverse at least 4%. The rate of frequency of this phenomenon is 70%. It is considered a Level One signature, the highest ranking of geocosmic signatures correlating with price reversals in U.S. stock indices, per the criteria set for in “The Ultimate Book in Stock Market Timing Volume 3: Geocosmic Correlations to Trading Cycles.”

Saturn stations at this time of the year can also coincide with extremely cold temperatures, as pinpointed in our “Forecast 2010” book. Unfortunately this is already coming true, as Florida’s citrus crop (orange and juice market) is threatened with serious damage due to the unusual freezing temperatures now hitting the Sunshine state.

Longer-Term Thoughts

This may be an especially challenging time for many people in many walks of life right now. In the study of astrology, Capricorn and its ruling planet Saturn pertains to “struggles.” It takes serious concentration and commitment to see a project through to its successful completion. When these two principles are highlighted, nothing comes easy, everything is scrutinized, and intentions are oftentimes severely criticized. It is hard to please any party, let alone all parties, when Saturn and Capricorn are emphasized in the cosmos.

Most readers know that the Sun is now in Capricorn. But so are Mercury, Venus, and Pluto, which accounts for 40% of the planetary and luminary bodies that astrologers study. But that is not all. Friday, January 15, will find an annular solar eclipse occurring in 25 degrees of Capricorn, conjunct Venus. Just two days earlier, Saturn (ruler of Capricorn) will turn retrograde, still in a very close square aspect to Pluto (less than one degree apart). Saturn in Libra is also in what is called a “mutual reception” to Venus (stocks and currencies) in Capricorn. They are in one another’s ruling signs, which further highlight the characteristics of both planets and signs. This week may be very important in terms of reversals in these markets.

The solar eclipse intensifies the qualities of the sign it is in, and the qualities of any planet it aspects. A planet that is close to its station (i.e. changing from retrograde to direct, or vice-versa) also finds its characteristics highlighted in terms of human activity. Thus we will find the next few days to be very intense and challenging in terms of the principles associated with Mercury (which turns from retrograde to direct on January 15), Saturn (which turns from direct to retrograde on January 13), and Venus (which is in mutual reception to Saturn, and conjunct the solar eclipse in Capricorn, Saturn’s sign).

The first signs of this challenge appeared today in the employment reports, which were very disappointing. Mercury is the ruler of Virgo, which pertains to employment. The number of jobs lost last month was much greater than anticipated in Friday’s report, and unemployment remained at an unacceptably high level of 10%. Mercury also rules communications, and the latest update on the failed Christmas terrorist attack reveals a “systemic failure” to communicate effectively between the various branches of the USA intelligence divisions. The result will be more delays (Saturn) in air travel (Mercury) as security measures will now be intensified (Pluto squared by Saturn). But perhaps even more worrisome is the fact that politicians are using this “systemic failure” as a means for political opportunism, rather than banding together and trying to find a workable solution that will make air travel safer. It’s the “blame game,” which is absolutely the lowest form of the Mercury-Saturn expression.

Under such signatures, it is hard to imagine that equity levels can continue to rally much higher before pulling back. After all, these are the kind of signatures that pertain to worries about the future. We may see a slew of reports (Mercury) coming out shortly that are not as optimistic as hoped for, much like Friday’s payroll report. However, if the leaders of the world and their intelligence agencies can keep their eye on the goal – if they can remain focused and committed to their duty and not get caught up in the ‘blame game” – these “systemic risks” can be corrected and the travel experience can become both safe and more efficient. These next two weeks may be a challenge to see just how much has been learnt from this latest “Christmas terrorism” episode. Coincidentally, the attempted terrorist act occurred midway between the first two passages of the Saturn-Pluto waning square. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack also occurred midway between the first two passages of the last hard aspect between Saturn and Pluto. In fact, for Mundane Astrologers, you may find the transits of this attempted act of terrorism closely aligned with the transits on September 11, 2001. You may be quite surprised at their relationship.

© 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.