REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 431,000 for the month, while the unemployment rate was 3.6%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Economists had been looking for 490,000 on payrolls and 3.7% for the jobless level. To combat inflation, the Federal Reserve is planning a series of interest rate hikes that further would slow growth. Markets now are anticipating rate increases at each of the six remaining Fed meetings this year, likely starting with a half percentage-point move in May and continuing to total 2.5 percentage points before 2022 comes to a close. There was little in Friday’s report that would alter that outlook. – Jeff Cox, “Economy Added 431,000 Jobs in March Despite Worries Over Slowing Growth,” www.cnbc.com, April 1, 2022.
U.S. 5-year and 30-year Treasury yields on Monday briefly inverted for the first time since 2006, raising fears of a possible recession. This is the first time the shorter-dated 5-year Treasury yield has risen above that of the longer-dated 30-year U.S. government bond since 2006 — just a couple of years before the Global Financial Crisis. – Maggie Fitzgerald and Vicky McKeever, “5-Year and 30-Year Treasury Yields Invert for First Time Since 2007, Fueling Recession Fears,” www.cnbc.com, March 28, 2022.
It was a big news week for economic matters. The news sounded mostly grand in the short-term, but more worrisome longer-term. That may be fine for traders, but ought to raise warning flags for investors that the outlook for sustained economic growth is not so rosy.
Several world stock indices paused their impressive multi-week rallies last week as Venus and Mars entered the time band of their conjunctions to Saturn, March 29-April 5. But then, as I discussed in last week’s YouTube interview on Antonia Langsdorf’s monthly New Moon Outlook (see Announcements), the Russian/Ukraine conflict escalated. That, along with the inversion of the yield curve, does not bode well for either inflation or the economy. The probability of a brief recession by the end of this year just increased.
In Europe, the Netherlands AEX, German DAX, and Zurich SMI all topped out on March 29 at their highest levels in 5-7 weeks. The London FTSE did the same two days later.
In the Americas, the three major U.S. Indices also topped out on March 29 at their highest levels in 7-10 weeks. In Brazil, the Bovespa continued its explosive rally right into the end of the week, reaching its highest mark since August 12.
It was a little more complicated in Asia and the Pacific Rim. China’s SSE and India’s NIFTY indices rallied all week. In the case of the NIFTY, it was its highest level in 8 weeks. In Australia, the ASX soared to its highest level in 12 weeks on March 31. But neither the Hang Seng of Hong Kong nor the Japanese Nikkei Index could take out the prior week’s high.
It was the reverse in commodities. Gold, Silver, and Crude Oil all dropped on March 29. In the case of Gold and Silver, it was their lowest price in 5 weeks. But in the cryptos, both Bitcoin and Ethereum marched in tune with stocks as they recorded their highest price of the new year on March 28-29 before pulling back into Friday, April 1.
The Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation threaten to sink the U.S. into contraction, according to economist Mohamed El-Erian. El-Erian said consumers will be struggling with inflation in the coming months. The Fed will try to contain inflation with rate hikes that could constrict economic growth. “We are looking at a cost-of-living crisis. That’s what we are looking at for the next two quarters, three quarters, where the consumer is going to be hit hard by inflation, they’re gonna get hit hard by lower consumer sentiment,” he said. – Jeff Cox, “El-Erian Warns of ‘Cost of Living Crisis,’ Says Fed Rate Hikes Could Cause Recession,” www.cnbc.com/, March 28, 2022.
Biden tries everything to cut gas prices except what would work… His latest gambit was to say he will release 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the next six months. But the oil will need to be replaced, which will push up future demand. … He could strike a deal in Congress to remove regulatory obstacles to U.S. oil and gas production in return for more green-energy spending, as Senator Joe Manchin has suggested (similar) to the 2015 deal between Paul Ryan and Barack Obama. – Opinion Page, “A Strategic Political Petroleum Release,” Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022.
Remember when the political class was claiming that tax cuts had produced a historic decline in federal revenues? In the first five months of fiscal 2022 through February, federal receipts climbed a remarkable 26% from a year earlier. These fiscal 2022 increases follow enormous increases in fiscal 2021. Washington would prefer that Americans not know that tax revenue is booming… The current tax system is throwing off revenues to spend if the politicians would show a modicum of restraint. Yet the Biden Administration is proposing $2.5 trillion in tax increases over 10 years. That would take the tax share of GDP to new records and it’s the last thing that taxpayers or the economy needs. Opinion Page, “Washington’s Record Tax Windfall,” Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022.
All in all, last week was pretty much reflective of the transits to Saturn, which is more representative of the principles of contraction, frustration, and worry about the future than expansion and optimism about the future. That dynamic of tension and conflict may peak this week as the Mars/Saturn conjunction is in a direct opposition to President Putin’s natal Pluto. That tension was evident on Friday, April 1, at the midpoint of Venus and Mars conjoining Saturn, as Russia accused Ukraine of striking an oil depot in Russia. That, combined with President Biden’s earlier comment about Putin that, “This man cannot remain in power,” certainly have escalated the tension.
However, the cosmos holds out hope that the course of escalation might change this week as Mars moves past Saturn, and Jupiter continues towards its conjunction with Neptune on April 12. On its own, this indicates a reduction of the Saturn themes (contraction and pessimism) and a transition to Jupiter and Neptune themes (euphoria or hysteria), possibly lasting through the end of the month when Venus will conjoin both Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, April 27-30. This also overlaps with Pluto turning retrograde on April 29 and the solar eclipse on April 30. At its best, this could coincide with a period of speculative frenzy, driving equity markets sharply higher than anyone is focused on at the moment. Or, if it relates to hysteria, the opposite could happen and equity prices could crater.
A key market to watch will be Crude Oil, ruled by both Jupiter and Neptune as well as the sign of Pisces. With Biden’s directive to release strategic U.S. supplies of oil and gas, one would think prices will fall sharply in the short-term. Indeed, they did last week. But with Middle Eastern oil producers and leaders unwilling to work (or even speak) with President Biden to expand production, along with the president’s own resistance to ramp up U.S. production in a time of military threat to its allies, the long-term outlook for Crude Oil has to remain bullish. At some point, those supplies have to be replenished, and thus bought back. Hence, worries about inflation won’t likely end in the next six months unless the administration itself reverses its policy – even temporarily – towards the nation’s own oil producers.
Yes, it is very well to be concerned about the well-being of the planet and the lands we live on. It is also important – arguably, more important – to be concerned about protecting the lives of humans that live on this planet in a time of heightened danger. Sometimes you have to make short-term sacrifices in order to attain your longer-term goals. Reasonable people do that. The waxing phase of Jupiter and Saturn (2021-2030) points to that behavior as a pathway to success and the accomplishment of goals.
Are we there yet?
NOTE 1: TUNE INTO MMA’s NEW WEEKLY YouTube Channel on the geocosmic climate related to financial markets hosted by MMTA Educational Director Gianni di Poce. The video is recorded late Friday night and posted then or early Saturday, depending on the editing process. These 5-10 minute video presentations review the market activity of the past week and offer a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the next week and beyond. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get announcements when each geocosmic market review is ready for viewing! Ray Merriman will be Gianni’s guest for this week’s show. To view this week’s show, click here.
“Just a quick word to say your (Gianni’s) weekly video on YouTube is really a great complementary format to Ray’s letter. I find it interesting and masterfully delivered. Thanks to both of you for this!” M.K., Paris, France, Portfolio Manager.
NOTE 2: The interview with Ray Merriman hosted by Antonia Langsdorf live, on Wednesday, March 29 on her “Cosmic Vibe” program, is now available for viewing free on our YouTube station. To view it, click here. The subject was the “Russian-Ukraine War: Now and In the Future.” The interview was in English, and it was also translated into German for both her and our German-speaking audience. To view this interview in German, click here.
April 1: Ray Merriman joined Gianni di Poce on MMA’s weekly YouTube Channel discussing the geocosmic climate related to financial markets. The video is now available for viewing here. We reviewed the market activity of the past week, offered a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the next week and beyond, and answered the question: “What Is Financial Astrology and How Does It Work?” Like this free weekly column, this video is intended to be educational and there will be no cost. You may subscribe to our YouTube Channel today and get announcements when each geocosmic market review is ready for viewing!
May 8, 2022: MMA’S ANNUAL FINANCIAL MARKETS UPDATE WILL TAKE PLACE MAY 8, 2022, 1:30 PM EDT: This broadcast will take place on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 1:30 PM EDT (that’s 10:30 AM PDT, 6:30 PM UK, 7:30 PM CDT. 2:30 AM Tokyo, 3:30 AM Sydney). In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into MMA’s Annual Spring Webinar on Financial Markets. This 3-hour webinar (with two 5-minutes breaks) will give an intermediate-term update on several financial markets, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, the Euro currency, Bitcoin and Soybeans. This will be an especially timely presentation because 1) the 12-year Jupiter orbital cycle will be making its first entrance into Aries on May 10, and 2) May 27-June 22 has been highlighted as one of the more probable times in 2022 for major moves in Bitcoin as well as several other financial markets. Joining Ray to share their outlook will be Ulric Aspegrén (Euro, U.S. Dollar) and Gianni Di Poce (U.S. Treasuries, Crude Oil and Soybeans). Ray will be covering equities, metals, and Bitcoin. There will be a Q&A with attendees during this webinar. The cost to attend is $55.00 and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. If unable to attend live, you can still sign up, as everyone who orders the Webinar will receive the video recording following the live event. For more information, click here and SIGN UP NOW TO LOCK IN YOUR PLACE for this event!
August 25, 2022: 1:00 PM, Denver, CO, ISAR Conference, 4-Hour Pre-Conference Workshop by Raymond Merriman on “ASTROLOGY AND THE ART OF FINANCIAL MARKET TIMING: HOW TO FORECAST TRENDS AND MARKET REVERSALS.” Financial markets offer objective means to test astrological validity. The Moon changes signs every 2-3 days and is valuable for short-term trading. Planetary stations and aspects identify longer-term market reversals. Approximately 4-5 times/year, markets will form important highs or lows, which are the most favorable times to buy and sell for position traders. This course provides research studies showing the correlation of astrological factors to short-term and longer-term financial markets. The focus will be on stock markets, precious metals (Gold and Silver), and Bitcoin, and how to integrate astrology with cycle studies to attain optimal market timing skills. Visit https://isar2022.org/schedule/ for further information and register for a great event!
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.