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Week Beginning May 24, 2010

Review and Preview

Raymond MerrimanThe promise of Jupiter and Uranus coming together in Aries is unfolding. This signature all but guarantees that events will happen fast and markets will move sharply. This is a time for action. And since the yearly stock market highs on the fourth Saturn-Uranus opposition passage of April 26, financial markets have performed consistent with this signature. That is to say, equity and commodity markets have fallen much deeper and rebounded much higher, and then fallen again much further again, than analysts expected. It is a signature of wild price swings.

Last week was notable in many respects for Financial Astrologers. In Europe, the London FTSE fell to 4957 on Friday, it’s lowest level since October 2009, and down 15% from its yearly high of 5833 on April 16. But none of the other European indices fell below their lows of May 7, thus creating a possible case of intermarket bullish divergence, as long as the lows of May 7 hold.

In the America’s, all the indices we track — except the Dow Jones Industrial Average — fell below their lows of May 7, which includes the NASDAQ Composite. Brazil’s Bovespa, and Argentina’s Merval Index. In the case of the Bovespa, it is now down almost 20% from its yearly highs of April 9. The Merval is down over 17% since April 12, and the NASDAQ over 14%.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, all the indices we track took out their lows of May 7 on Friday, May 20. The Russian MICEX index did too, and is now nearly 20% below its yearly high of 1539 recorded on April 15.

Gold and Silver pulled back sharply from their highs of the previous week. Gold fell to 1166 intraday, after posting an all-time of nearly 1250 just one week earlier on May 14. Silver fell below 1750 on Friday. Last week it was nearly 2000. The Euro currency fell to a new 4-year low on May 19, down to 1.2142, before rebounding smartly to close the week above 1.2500. Crude Oil washed out to a low of 64.24 on May 20. One week earlier it was trading at its yearly high of 87.15. That’s a loss of 26% in just one week, which is probably why Russia’s stock market fell so hard. It all fits with the principles of Uranus in hard aspect to both Jupiter and Saturn. We’re here.

Short-Term Geocosmics

In fact, Jupiter will undergo its first 20-year opposition to Saturn this Sunday, May 23. There will be two more passages on August 16 and then March 28, 2011. The last Jupiter-Saturn opposition took place September 1989-May 1991 (five passes), which coincided with a recession, but also a 4-year cycle crest (July 1990) and trough (October 1990) in U.S. stocks. The Jupiter-Saturn opposition before that also coincided with a 4-year cycle trough (May 1970). And two cycles before that was July 1930-June 1931, which was no picnic for investors.

But let’s go back to more recent times to understand this 20-year planetary cycle. In the study of astrology, the theory is that cycles pertinent to any planetary pair begin at the conjunction of those two planets. Decisions and actions initiated then will culminate near the time of the opposition. It is as if the seeds are planted and the ideas conceived at the time of the conjunction, and the results blossom (or come unraveled) at the time of the opposition. This particular Jupiter-Saturn cycle began with its conjunction on May 28, 2000. Then, as now, the Jupiter and Saturn pair made a hard aspect to Uranus. The conjunction in 2000 was a single passage, but its influence lasts about 9 months before and after. You may remember that was the time in which 1) the stock markets of the world topped out and the technology bubble burst, 2) interest rates topped out and began declining as “easy money” went into a housing boom, and 3) former oilman George W. Bush ascended to presidency, perhaps as gift from the Supreme Court’s decision to end the recount in Florida, in an election in which he received far fewer votes than his opponent. Jupiter is the co-ruler of oil. Jupiter and Saturn together can represent “judgment,” as in judgment of the highest court in the land. I leave it to the reader to connect the dots to the events and decisions of that time to what is happening today, and where it is happening.

We are coming out of a powerful time band of geocosmic signatures in effect May 17-23, in which Venus “translates” the Cardinal Climax planets. It completes the grand square to Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto during this time. But the heavy stuff is coming up May 30-June 25, when 12 major signatures unfold, including Jupiter and Uranus moving into Aries and forming a conjunction with one another. There is no greater correlation to primary and longer market cycles in Financial Astrology than Jupiter and Uranus in a hard aspect like this. I would say that this should be very exciting, filled with many powerful events and wild price swings in financial markets. But we are already experiencing it. This is the 4th layer of the Cardinal Climax. The fifth and deepest layer is coming up late July through early August. And then we will know what the ground looks like. But hopefully we can remember the way back out – or find a new way out.

Longer-Term Thoughts

“… widening deficits leave countries uncomfortably close to debt thresholds that have been associated with severe debt servicing difficulties….Banking crises almost invariably lead to sharp declines in tax revenues as well as significant increases in government spending. On average, government debt rises by 86% during the three years following a banking crisis.”
— Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, “This Time is Different,” Princeton University Press, 2009.

Would you say financial markets are erratic these days? Would you say your own life is rather erratic these days? Then you are probably experiencing Saturn in opposition to Uranus.

Would you say that government and business leaders (or some people you know personally) are wildly exaggerating the truth, or underestimating the dangers, these days? If so, you are witnessing the principles of Jupiter and Uranus together in late Pisces and early Aries in the next few days. Take for instance British Petroleum’s estimate that 5000 barrels of oil per day were being spewed in the Gulf of Mexico disaster it oversaw. It turns out that was off by a factor of about 19. On Thursday, scientists revised that spillage to 95,000 barrel per day.

Or how about President Obama’s claim on Thursday that passage of Financial Regulatory overhaul bill will now prevent a financial collapse from ever happening again in the USA? Really? Perhaps it is true that such a financial crisis won’t be caused by banks again. But what about a financial crisis being caused by the government’s own housing policies and mortgage entities, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, both of which are left virtually unchanged by the new bill, and will end up costing taxpayers far more than TARP? That’s a big Pluto-in- Capricorn “gorilla in the room,” about to be squared by Uranus seven times in 2012-2015.

With Jupiter and Uranus about to start a three-passage conjunction with one another through early next year, it has been my thought that this will coincide with excessive speculation and hence “bubbles” in financial assets. My thought was that this would be witnessed in equities and precious metals. And although that might still be the case, it is looking more and more like this “bubble” is evolving in the Treasury markets of the world. As Greece and other countries in the Euro union (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Belgium, and France) continue to reveal the depth of their debt crisis (you can add the United Kingdom to the mix), investors are not flocking to stocks. Instead they are sprinting to the safety of government bonds, particularly in the USA. This is causing Treasuries and the U.S. Dollar to soar in value, but stocks and commodities are falling.

As with all bubbles, there is a danger in the case of Treasuries rising so fast. It has to do with two things. First, as the quote at the beginning of this section states, ““… widening deficits leave countries uncomfortably close to debt thresholds that have been associated with severe debt servicing difficulties.” The USA balance sheet is not getting better. The amount of the country’s deficit is already at a record, and government spending is expected to continue on a record pace, which means this deficit will continue to widen as well. “All the King’s Men” continue to shout that more government spending will stimulate the economy. Maybe it will in the very short-term (just like taxes), but it is an economic killer longer-term if it results in default (Pluto in hard aspect to a nation’s Venus or Jupiter, as in the USA chart). And that is what too much debt leads to: default, just like Greece, just like Iceland, with more likely to come in the next 4 years if “All the King’s Men” get their way with their cultish belief in Keynesian economics. That won’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again for long. They would be better off using astrology as a guide to “what to do” and “what not to do.” Just revisit the history of the Saturn-Pluto cycle.

With Uranus there is bound to be change. With Saturn, there is resistance to change because, after all, we operate on the premise of certain inherent agreements (trusts) with one another. It is not that Saturn is opposed to change, especially when there is logic and/or precedent that demonstrates the change will be constructive. Even though Saturn is concerned with the integrity of the process, it is equally concerned that the defined goal is achieved. When the change of Uranus is enacted without regard to logic or a convincing precedent, but rather only for the sake of change itself (perhaps because the status quo just isn’t working), the resistance of Saturn is apt to be all the more powerful, or else end up as great disappointment. When change and resistance meet head on, the result is increasing polarization. Those who want change begin to attack the motives of those who resist. Those who resist begin to attack the motives of those who want change. The space for “middle ground” begins to shrink, and conflict escalates.

We are living in a time when Saturn is in opposition to Uranus, 2008-2010. There have been many promises made, and many are being broken. One of the keys to navigating successfully through these next few years will involve integrating both the principles of Uranus (change) with the principles of Saturn (truthfulness, and honor of one’s word).

Well, let’s end on a positive note. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries combination begins manifesting in the skies this week, and it will last through early September. These are principles which can bring about enlightened thought and inventive solutions to the problems that stymie world leaders today, as well as each of us in our individual life. Think big and think outside of the box. The solutions and the new thoughts needed today are not in the box. But they are there to those who are receptive and have the capacity for brilliance. And we all have Uranus somewhere – even our world leaders. 

© 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.