MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 4, 2024 ©

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 The Nikkei stock index recorded last week its first new high in 34 years, a fitting tribute to Japan’s re-emergence as a genuinely exciting economy. It also comes amid mounting evidence that Japan has finally broken the hold of deflation. — Greg Ip, “Japan Is Back. Is Inflation the Reason?” Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2024.

The prelude to the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of April 21 is already working out as we expected. Uranus is excitement and breakouts to new long-term highs, and Jupiter is the principle of abundance, optimism, and exaggeration. Last week, several global stock indices soared to new all-time highs, including Japan’s Nikkei (after 34 years of being in the financial “Dark Ages”), the U.S.’s S&P and Nasdaq, the German DAX, Australia’s ASX, and India’s NIFTY index. And the DJIA hit its high the previous week on Friday, February 23rd. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 26, 2024 ©

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 “A whole new industry is being formed, and that’s driving our growth,” he [Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang] said on the company’s earnings call. On Wednesday, Nvidia reported quarterly sales of $22.1 billion and forecasted another $24 billion for its current quarter, each more than triple what was posted a year earlier and ahead of Wall Street’s bullish expectations. Asa Fitch, “Nvidia Hits $2 Trillion Valuation on Insatiable AI Chip Demand,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2024.

It was a very stunning week for global stock markets as the powerful conjunction between Venus, Mars, and Pluto (February 13-22) ended with the Venus/Mars conjunction on Thursday, February 22. The day before, the tech-heavy NASDAQ index had just put in its lowest price in three weeks, and it looked like many global indices were in the midst of their sharpest decline of this new year. But then Nvidia announced earnings to the upside that surprised everyone. By Friday, all major U.S. indices were making new all-time highs. Such is the correspondence of geocosmics to market reversals. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 12, 2024 ©

NOTE: There will be no weekly column next week, as I will be preparing for the Sunday (February 18) MMA Worldwide Webinar on Forecast 2024. It will be an update on financial markets and the status of the national and world economic outlook as given in the annual book, with more of a shorter-term analysis of the status of these cycles as we approach the powerful Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of April 20, 2024.

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 Stocks rose on Friday after December’s revised inflation reading came in lower than first reported, and the S&P 500 closed above the key 5,000 level as strong earnings and economic news chugged on. “A close above this closely watched level will undoubtedly create headlines and further feed fear of missing out (FOMO) emotions,” said Adam Turnquist, chief technical strategist at LPL Financial. Samantha Subin and Yun Li, “S&P 500 Closes Above 5000 For First Time Ever,” www.cnbc.com, February 9, 2024. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 5, 2024 ©

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 Job growth posted a surprisingly strong increase in January, demonstrating again that the U.S. labor market is solid and poised to support broader economic growth. Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 353,000 for the month, much better than the Dow Jones estimate for 185,000. Wage growth also showed strength, as average hourly earnings increased 0.6%, double the monthly estimate. Jeff Cox, “U.S. Economy Added 353,000 Jobs in January, Much Better than Expected,” www.cnbc.com, February 2, 2024.

 The U.S. began a series of airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq on Friday, hitting seven facilities in a bid to deter further attacks against American forces in the region after U.S. troops were killed in a deadly drone strike in Jordan. The Biden administration has said the strikes could extend for days and would be coupled with economic sanctions and diplomacy that is aimed at safeguarding American forces while not pushing the U.S. toward direct confrontation with Iran. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that the U.S. can repeat its strikes as long as the threat warrants. “They have a lot of capability, I have a lot more,” Austin said. Gordon Lubold and Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Groups in Syria and Iraq,” The Wall Street Journal Online, February 2, 2024 (note this was posted as the market closed.) Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JANUARY 29, 2024 ©

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 The US economy continued its seemingly unstoppable ascent out of the pandemic recession and its inflationary aftermath, further burying wrong calls of recession by posting fourth-quarter growth numbers that crushed forecasts. The economy’s main growth engine—personal spending—rose at a 2.8% rate while business investment and housing also helped fuel the larger-than-expected advance. David Rovella, “America Pulls Away,” Bloomberg Evening Briefing, January 25, 2024.

The Federal Trade Commission said it would investigate the growing arms race among the biggest technology companies to produce and commercialize artificial intelligence. Dave Michaels, “FTC Launches Probe of Big Tech’s AI Investments,” Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2024.

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MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JANUARY 22, 2024 ©

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“Fortunately, the Congressional Budget Office provides a monthly budget update and recently reported: The federal budget deficit totaled $509 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. That amount is $87 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last fiscal year: Although revenues this year were $83 billion (or 8 percent) higher, outlays rose more—by $170 billion (or 12 percent)….Net outlays for interest on the public debt were substantially higher, increasing by $73 billion (or 49 percent), primarily because interest rates are significantly higher than they were in the first three months of fiscal year 2023.”

James Freeman, “If You Think Biden Is Unpopular Now… Wait until the reckoning for his spending spree.” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2024.

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MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JANUARY 15, 2024 ©

NOTE: U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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 Americans aren’t in the clear yet. The consumer-price index increased 3.4% from a year earlier in December, the Labor Department said Thursday. The acceleration from November’s 3.1% advance shows inflation isn’t fully beaten. Gwynn Guilford and Nick Timiraos, “Inflation Edged Up in December After Rapid Cooling Most of 2023.” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2024.

In the week that saw a New Moon in Capricorn form a favorable trine to Uranus (January 10-11) and the exalted Mars in Capricorn form a trine to the optimistic Jupiter in Taurus (January 12), several equity markets continued their surge to new all-time and multi-year highs. This was most notable in the United States (DJIA), Japan, and India. However, not all equity markets performed well. Both Hong Kong and China’s stock indices continued to trade near their yearly lows. Additionally, even in those regions where new highs occurred, other indices did not make new highs, thus creating cases of intermarket bearish divergence. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING JANUARY 8, 2024 ©

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 The U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday. That was larger than November’s gain of 173,000, and better than forecasters were expecting. For all of 2023, employers added 2.7 million jobs, a slowdown from 4.8 million in 2022, but a better gain than in the several years preceding the pandemic. Wages rose a healthy 4.1% last month from a year earlier and the unemployment rate in December held at 3.7%. The labor market’s slowing but steady pace during 2023, coupled with a sharp slowdown in inflation, has fueled optimism that the economy can achieve a so-called soft landing. That would mean inflation eases without a recession. Amara Omeokwe and Chip Cutter, “Job Gains Picked Up in December,” Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024.

 It’s a New Year and a new Mercury cycle. A lot has happened since our last column two weeks ago.

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MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING DECEMBER 25, 2023 ©

NOTE: There will be no weekly column next week. This will be our last column of 2023. I will be sending out a letter of thanks and appreciation to everyone on our list, discussing a lot of things that are on my mind as we enter the critical election year of 2024. And approach the Aries Vortex of 2025-2026.

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 “If Trump is kept out of office through judicial fiat rather than being defeated in a fair election…his country will become ungovernable. It’s time to trust the voters. It is up to the people to decide who the best candidate is. Not the courts. The people. That’s Democracy 101. When any candidate is deprived of his right to run, the American people are deprived of their right to choose.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “RFK Jr. Issues Stark Warning After Colorado Court Blocks Trump From Ballot.’” Danielle Wallace, Fox News, December 21, 2023.

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MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING DECEMBER 18, 2023 ©

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 This week, it (the Fed) pivoted. “You’re getting now back to the point where both mandates (Inflation and employment) are important,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday after the central bank’s meeting. This pivot means the Fed is ready to backstop the economic recovery. It doesn’t rule out a recession, but makes one much less likely. Greg Ip, “Pivot Shows Central Bank’s New Focus,” Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2023.

Mercury turns retrograde, and everyone pivots, even the Fed. But this pivot to a more accommodative tone is just setting up the conditions for 1) a better housing market, with lower rates, going into the election, and 2) another round of inflation afterwards, just as discussed in last week’s column.

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