Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 1.6% in the first quarter, according to an initial estimate the Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday. That was below the 2.2% growth that economists surveyed by FactSet had expected…. Thursday’s slower-than-expected growth could signal that the U.S. economy isn’t as strong as previously thought. It could prompt Fed officials to cut rates earlier.

Megan Leonhardt, “GDP Growth Trails Behind Forecast, Hinting at Rate Cuts,” Barron’s, April 25, 2024

 In the post Jupiter/Uranus conjunction week that was, financial markets exhibited several possible reversals or secondary tests to their recent highs and lows. At the same time, last week was also the final week of the current Mercury retrograde cycle. Thus, the interest rate narratives that changed from lower to higher just before the retrograde, appear to be settling back towards less rate-hiking fears in the U.S. As a result, the momentum of the recent stock market “declines” is abating, and new rallies are starting. This fits well with our methodology of combining geocosmic studies with rhythmic market cycles.

 Several global stock indices made new all-time or multi-year highs from mid-March through the first week of April, and then declined sharply into April 19, one day before Jupiter conjoined Uranus. Most of them rallied last week. If April 19 was the primary cycle trough in several stock indices, it fits the time band very well via both cycles and geocosmic studies. And now we see if the bull market can continue to new all-time highs into the summer before the three-passage series of the Jupiter/Saturn square begins August 19, with Mars also triggering it that week. Our main focus for this current rally will be on the tech stocks (NASDAQ) as Uranus rules this market, and it was just conjoined with Jupiter (which indicates reversals and large price moves). Also, tech stocks may soar because as Jupiter soon enters Gemini (early June), it will pass over the same degrees at which Uranus in Gemini will trine Pluto in Aquarius, 2025-2026. This favors AI, tech, and communication stocks, as well as electric vehicles. All of these were worrisome under Mercury retrograde, and all are due to return as Mercury turns direct now.

 In other markets, Bitcoin is also following a path similar to equities. That is, Bitcoin may have completed a major cycle low on April 19. It needs to exceed 67,300 to support this view before dropping below 59,500. Gold and Silver may have also completed major cycle lows last week, on April 23, just two trading days after the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction and within the time band for a CRD (critical reversal date) low of April 26 +/– 3 trading days. Crude Oil dropped to a possible primary cycle low on Monday, April 22, the first trading day after the conjunction, as it tested the 80.00 mark and held.

However, the big story last week was the 34-year high in the U.S. Dollar against the Japanese Yen. Panic is setting in here, and the Dollar has gone parabolic to the Yen. However, it is late in its 5.5-year cycle, and one of our basic rules is that when a market is late in a longer-term cycle, the higher it goes, the harder it falls. MMA Analyst Gianni Di Poce has caught this entire move up in MMA’s weekly reports over the past year.

 Short-Term Geocosmics and Longer-Term Thoughts:

 Donald Trump’s allies are quietly drafting proposals that would attempt to erode the Federal Reserve’s independence if the former president wins a second term….Several people who have spoken with Trump about the Fed said he appears to want someone in charge of the institution who will, in effect, treat the president as an ex officio member of the central bank’s rate-setting committee. Under such an approach, the chair would regularly seek Trump’s views on interest-rate policy and then negotiate with the committee to steer policy on the president’s behalf.

Andrew Restuccia, Nick Timiraos, and Alex Leary, “Trump Allies Draw Up Plans to Blunt Fed’s Independence,” Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2024.

Isn’t that almost exactly what was forecasted in the recent MMA webinars? The transits to the chart of the  Federal Reserve Board look favorable—and even accommodative—after Mercury leaves its retrograde shadow zone on May 11. Then, a multi-month transit of Uranus in favorable trine aspect to the FRB’s natal Jupiter at 23° Capricorn follows. This suggests some rather innovative new policies (and arguments) by the Fed that could be perceived as unusually accommodative given the data that is actually being reported.

However, after that, the “Aries Vortex” comes into play as Saturn and Neptune approach their conjunction at 0° Aries in February 2026, right on the FRB’s Midheaven and in a potent T-square to its Sun/Pluto opposition. This implies a fierce power struggle for control of the Fed, +/– one year. The “Aries Vortex” and its relationship to the Fed’s and USA’s chart was also discussed in detail during the February 18 “Forecast 2024” webinar, as well as last week’s “Aries Vortex” presentation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

In the shorter term, we find Mars conjoining Neptune in late Pisces on Monday, April 29, which is a classic cosmic expression of “passive/aggressive” tendencies. People may act very boldly in criticizing their antagonists – to other people, but not directly confronting the person who is the source of their anger or jealousy. In financial markets, this aspect may correspond to reversals in Crude Oil prices. In politics, it symbolizes “all bark and no bite.”

The next day, April 30, Mars enters Aries for the following 5–6 weeks. Now the threat has “bite,” for Mars is home in its ruling sign of Aries. The only problem is that it may act and react impulsively, causing more mayhem than necessary and hurting support for its cause.

Wednesday and Thursday, May 1–2, stand out for their strong Pluto themes. First, Venus squares Pluto, and then Pluto turns retrograde. Pluto rules the four D’s: debt, deficit, downgrades, and default. This, in turn, corresponds to reversals in debt-related markets, like Treasuries and currencies. The panic in Tokyo over the falling Yen may become hyperbolic. News about the escalating U.S. debt may also command headlines, along with proposals to raise taxes that will only escalate divisions and differences between the two dysfunctional parties.

Pluto is in Aquarius, so expect more protests turning to riots and demands for free speech versus censoring hate speech. Aquarius demands freedoms and free speech, but Pluto excels in hate and threats of violence if it doesn’t get what it wants when it wants it. This leads up to the bigger geocosmic fireworks scheduled May 13–18, when both the Sun and Venus conjoin Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus. It’s all related because Uranus rules Aquarius, which is where Pluto will be roaming over the next 19 years. So protests and anti-authoritarian movements are in vogue and driven to disturbances against the status quo in mid-May. This can be a shocker socially and also can coincide with extreme price movements in several financial markets, including Bitcoin, NASDAQ, and grain (food) markets. It will also be just in time for our May 18 annual webinar on Mid-Year Financial Markets Update (see below). We should have a lot to talk about.


 NOTE 1: May 18, 2024: 3 PM EDT (noon PDT, 7 PM Greenwich), the Annual MMA Mid-Year Market Update with MMA Market Analysts!!! In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune in to MMA’s annual Mid-Year Financial Markets Update Webinar. This broadcast will be hosted by Raymond Merriman and will include updates for the next several months with top MMA market analysts as follows: Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin (Merriman), T-Notes and Yen (Gianni Di Poce), Euro and U.S. Dollar (Ulric Aspegren), Copper, (Matthieu Kaiser), Crude Oil and Silver (Pouyan Zolfagharnia), and Soybeans (Wyatt Fellows). This webinar will last approximately three hours (approximately 20 minutes per market plus Q&A). The cost is $55 and includes access to the live presentation via Zoom, the slides of the presentation, plus the video recording of the live event 24 hours after the presentation. Questions submitted one week before the event will be answered if they are deemed of interest to the overall audience. This is MMA’s once-a-year midterm market update. If you cannot attend live, the video recording will be available the following day. To register, click here.

 NOTE 2: COMING SOON! THE MMA SOLAR/LUNAR APP FOR IPHONE USERS! We’ve been working for several months on the first MMA app for short-term traders. Now, the beta-testing stage is nearly complete. A very attractive and convenient app for the iPhone will be available possibly by mid-May. This new app will list the newly updated solar/lunar weighted value scores each day for the DJIA, Gold, and Silver, based on the daily price movements of the last 40+ years and their historical correlation to isolated highs or lows from which the market has reversed 3% or more (4% in Silver). It will also show the historical frequency of reversals, specifically from highs or lows, plus “big range days” for day traders. The opening screen will show the scores for each day over the next two weeks, along with the exact time that the Moon and Sun will change signs (new weighted values scores go into effect). There will be a notification feature (optional) for the iPhone to issue an alert when the solar/lunar combination changes (i.e., when the Moon enters a new sign). It also provides weighted value scores for Mercury and Venus positions when the Sun is in each sign. There is also an informative FAQ and a section on “How to Trade Markets using MMA’s Solar/Lunar values – the Setup!” If you are a short-term trader or one looking for high-probability dates based on historical studies that identify isolated lows or highs for trading in the DJIA, Gold, or Silver markets, this is a very valuable app to have! Stay tuned for a special announcement!

NOTE 3: The MMA 2024 Investment Retreat Is Now Open For Registration!!! This special event will take place at the Rikli Balance Hotel, located in the Julian Alps region of beautiful Lake Bled, Slovenia. This will be MMA’s first investment retreat in Europe since 2015. You won’t want to miss this chance to hear the outlooks and wealth-building strategies using MMA market timing methods by top MMA analysts Raymond Merriman (USA), Gianni Di Poce (USA), Ulric Aspegrén (Switzerland), Pouyan Zolfagharnia (UK), Irma Schogt (Netherlands), Matthieu Kaiser (France), Rita Perea (USA), Vincent Wang (Singapore), Wyatt Fellows (USA), plus special guest speakers Claude Weiss (Switzerland) and Aleksandar Imsiragic (Serbia). Special attention will be given to the stock markets of the USA, Germany, China, and Japan, plus Gold, Silver, Copper, Bitcoin, Wheat, Crude Oil, Real Estate, and interest rates. There is nothing quite like a life-altering MMA Investment Retreat! The cost is $3500, but only $3000 if you register before August 1, live, in person, or online. Sign up early if you wish to attend in person to secure one of the limited rooms reserved for our group at the fabulous Rikli Balance Hotel right on Lake Bled. To register for this spectacular event, click here. To see the full brochure, schedule, topics, and speakers’ bios, click here.

NOTE 4: The MMA Weekly YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce, is conducted on Wednesday evenings! Each 5- to 20-minute FREE episode reviews the previous week’s market activity and offers a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the coming week and beyond.

 NOTE 5: MMA’s Free Weekly Column Podcast Is Available On SPOTIFY, APPLE, AND AMAZON! Now you can listen to a podcast of this weekly column by Thomas Miller on Saturdays! Just follow Merriman Market Analyst on Spotify or Apple to listen to all our episodes. A new podcast episode will be released every weekend. This is a FREE service and is available to everyone. Check out our podcasts on Apple, Spotify, and Amazon Music. It makes for great listening!

NOTE 6: The April 20 workshop with Ray Merriman at NOVA University, in Ft. Lauderdale went very well. The subject was “The Aries Vortex and the hope for Humanity.” It also discussed the stock market, real estate, interest rates, Gold, Silver, and Bitcoin. Recordings are now available and may be ordered by clicking here.



 May 18, 2024: 3 PM EDT (noon PDT, 7 PM Greenwich), the Annual MMA Mid-Year Market Update webinar. Hosted by Raymond Merriman, this annual mid-year event will include updates for the next several months with top MMA market analysts on the following markets: Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin (Merriman), Crude Oil and Silver (Pouyan Zolfagharnia), T-Notes and Yen (Gianni Di Poce), Euro and U.S. Dollar (Ulric Aspegren), Copper, (Matthieu Kaiser), and Soybeans (Wyatt Fellows). The cost is $55 and includes access to the live presentation via Zoom, the slides of the presentation, plus the video recording of the live event 24 hours after the presentation. To register, click here.

 September 19–22, 2024: MMA’s 2024 Investment Retreat. Save the Dates!!! We will be hosting our 2024 Investment Retreat in Europe for the first time since 2015. You won’t want to miss this chance to meet with the top MMA analysts (plus special guest speakers Claude Weiss and Aleksandar Imsiragic) live and hear our long-term investment and wealth-building strategies using MMA market timing methods. There is nothing quite like a life-altering MMA Investment Retreat! The location is the beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia, a premier (and affordable) destination in the Julian Alps, with a historic castle nestled in the mountains where the Saturday evening banquet will take place. The cost is $3500, but only $3000 if you register early. Registration is now open! The event will be available in person or online, but registration is limited for those who want to attend in person. Sign up early if you wish to attend in person to secure your room at the fabulous Rikli Balance Hotel, which will be the site for this event. For a brochure of the event, click here.


Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to forecast 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 often cite 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 may affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from the perspective of a cycles 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 the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and their potential effect on financial markets.

 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 of this column assume any responsibility whatsoever for anyone’s trading or investment decisions. Readers of this report should understand that commodity futures and options trading are considered high risk.