November 06, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Despite the uncertainty around the presidential vote, Wall Street notched its best weekly performance since April. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq jumped 7.3% and 9%, respectively, for the week. The Dow rose 6.9% this week. The S&P 500 also posted its biggest election week gain since 1932… Victories by Republicans in several key Senate races, thus lowering the odds of a “blue wave” and the potential for higher taxes and stronger regulations, have been cited by Wall Street strategists as a reason for the rally in stocks. – Fred Imbert and Jesse Pound, “S&P Posts Best Week Since April Even With Election Undecided,” www.cnbc.com November 6, 2020.
The Labor Department said in its Friday report that employers added 638,000 jobs last month, sending the unemployment rate down for the sixth straight month to 6.9%, topping Wall Street’s expectations. – Megan Henney, “Where Are All the Jobs?” www.foxbusiness.com November 6, 2020. Continue reading…
October 30, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
The U.S. economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter – increasing at a 33.1% annual rate – recovering about 2/3 of the ground it lost earlier in the coronavirus pandemic. – Harriet Torry, “U.S. Growth Eases Much of Slide,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020.
In spite of the better-than-expected GDP number, world stock indices continued their sell-off last week, mostly due to the record number of new daily cases of COVID-19 being reported in the U.S and across the globe. Along with this alarming increase in new cases, many communities are starting to impose new lockdown measures. This will hurt business activity, which is why the markets are falling. Hopefully, however, it will save lives and lead to another strong economic rebound once this second (or is it the third?) wave ends.
The Mercury retrograde cycle will also end next week, November 3, and thankfully, so will the U.S. 2020 election campaign, although we may not know the victor for days or weeks afterward. We will discuss the correlation of this year’s election to past geocosmic cycles that are in effect now, at the end of this week’s column. But in terms of market activity, last week witnessed equity markets breaking out of their narrow trading range that was in effect through the first half of the Mercury retrograde cycle. Continue reading…
October 23, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
President Donald Trump said Friday that he does not want the aid deal to bail out Democratic states. The major averages fell to their session lows on those remarks… Several market experts and economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, think it is imperative that lawmakers reach a deal on another stimulus package. – Fred Imbert, “Dow Falls on Concern About Stimulus as Wall Street Heads for Weekly Loss,” www.cnbc.com, Oct 23, 2020.
The latest good news was Thursday’s report that continuing jobless claims for the week of Oct 10 declined by nearly one million, and by 3.6 million in the last three weeks. Employers are also raising wages. Third quarter median weekly earnings increased 8.2% year-over-year and 9.2% for the bottom 25% of workers. – “Red and Blue States of Recovery,” Wall Street Journal Opinion page, October 23, 2020.
It is the middle of the Trickster’s retrograde cycle. And this time, Mercury has a companion, for during this same period, Mars is also retrograde (September 9-November 14). What do we know about Mercury and Mars in retrograde? Not much. There is not a high correlation to a trend when either of these lords is retrograde, except when Mars ends its retrograde motion (November 13-14). Market reversals happen then. Continue reading…
October 16, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
“This did not start as a financial crisis, but it is morphing into a major economic crisis, with very serious financial consequences,” World Bank Chief Economist Carmen Reinhart told Bloomberg. “There’s a long road ahead.” – Brie Stimson, “Top World Bank Economist Says Coronavirus Pandemic Morphing Into ‘Major Economic Crisis,’” www.foxbusiness.com, October 16, 2020.
The World Health Organization said Friday that Europe’s coronavirus outbreak is “concerning” as the number of available intensive care beds continue to dwindle and near capacity in some regions. When adjusting for population, the number of new coronavirus infections in Europe has now overtaken the United States. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., “WHO Concerned About Europe’s Coronavirus Outbreak as ICU Beds Near Capacity in Some Regions,” www.cnbc.com, October 16, 2020.
The Trickster has returned. Mercury turned retrograde last Tuesday, October 13. His movements related to financial markets or political messaging might be more wily and difficult to predict than usual this time because his retrograde cycle overlaps with that of Mars (September 9 through November 13). Within a week of Mars turning retrograde, many stock markets of the world made multi-year or all-time highs, including the S&P and NASDAQ, on September 2. Last week, within a day of Mercury turning retrograde, many of these same markets have made a secondary high.
October 09, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
“If Biden gets in, this market’s going to crash,” Trump asserted in an interview on Fox Business Network with host Maria Bartiromo. Invoking Biden’s tax plans, Trump also claimed that the former vice president would “tax this country into a depression like in 1929.” – Robert Schroeder, “Trump Claims Biden Win Would Crash Market, Cause Depression,” www.marketwatch.com, August 13, 2020.
It may be the middle of one of the most challenging geocosmic time bands of the year. And the world (and the union) may seem like it is falling apart with no chance of healing, while the sitting president of the United States is falling deeper and deeper in the polls with the election only three weeks away. But the stock markets of the world keep rising. It is like the markets don’t believe Trump can lose, for it is almost universally agreed that if he does lose, the stock market will fall into an abyss that will make last March’s decline look like some kind of an innocent fluke. Well, maybe the outlook of a Biden victory and a stock market panic is not universally agreed upon, but it is what the President stated this week (and many times before), and it is what many market commentators believe as well, including yours truly. Yes, historically, stock markets perform well under a Democrat presidency. But they don’t always start out so well, and their best performance is when Republicans control one or both branches of Congress at the same time.
October 02, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
U.S. stocks fell on Friday after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus… The Trump tweet initially knocked down Dow futures more than 500 points in overnight trading… “This October surprise raises the already high level of political uncertainty markets are dealing with as election day approaches,” said Jeff Buchbinder, Equity Strategist for LPL Financial. “Markets appear to be increasingly pricing Joe Biden in as the favorite, and this news may not change that, but Trump could gain support from a quick recovery.” – Yun Li, Eutstance Huang, Pippa Stevens, “Stocks Fall After Trump Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Stimulus Hope Adds Some Support,” www.cnbc.com, October 2, 2020.
The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, suggesting the labor market’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to plateau amid fading government relief money and a gradually growing virus caseload. It showed the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.9% from 8.4%. – Megan Henney, “Final Jobs Report Before Election Day,” www.foxbusiness.com/economy, October 2, 2020.
It was a rather disappointing jobs report. On top of that, the President and the First Lady were both diagnosed with COVID-19 late Thursday evening. Continue reading…
September 25, 2020
REVIEW AND PREVIEW: MMA Free Weekly Forecast
The steepest and most prolonged decline since the pandemic lows of March 16-23, 2020, continued last week. It is not surprising since the transit of Mars retrograde, in late Aries, is making a waxing square aspect (first quarter cycle) to the Capricorn Stellium now through October 19. The panic low of March 2020 happened when Mars was conjoining these three planets. The conjunction represents the beginning of a cycle. The first quarter cycle (waxing square) usually represents a testing or a re-visit to the themes that were present at the start of the cycle. The COVID-19 and the decline of world stock indices are indeed a return to the fears and market patterns of March. However, so far, the drama is not yet nearly as intense as it was in March. But we still have three more weeks to go. As noted from March 1-23, 2020, three weeks is plenty of time for markets to fall and cases of COVID-19 to rise significantly throughout the world. Yet it is also plenty of time for everyone to apply the lessons we learned from the mid-March time frame and prevent the amplitude of panic experienced six months ago.
After posting new post-crash highs just before Mars turned retrograde on September 9, several global stock indices fell to their lowest levels in 2-4 months last week.