Jobs grew at a brisk pace in March, but wage growth was contained, confirming a belief among economists that the U.S. can continue to expand employment without fanning inflation. U.S. employers added a seasonally adjusted 303,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department reported Friday, significantly more than the 200,000 economists expected.

Justin Lahart, “Brisk Hiring Bolsters Fed’s Cautious Stance on Rate Cuts,” Wall Street Journal Online, April 5, 2024.

 The Department of Energy (DOE) unexpectedly axed plans to refill its “oil piggy bank” in August and September due to surging oil prices… The administration withdrew a record 180 million barrels in 2022 to counter supply issues created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… The DOE has said it’s aiming to buy back oil for the SPR at $79 per barrel or below, less than the average of about $95 it received for the 2022 sales. However, amid increasing prices, the DOE has decided to pull back on further purchases until market conditions improve. The SPR currently holds about 363 million barrels, down from nearly 600 million at the beginning of 2022.

—Serah Louis, “President Biden Just Canceled Plans to Refill America’s Emergency Oil Reserve,”, April 4, 2024

Global stock markets started the last week on fire, with several recording new all-time highs as Mercury turned retrograde. But, in its customary fashion, the Trickster reversed, and most of those rallies ended abruptly and sold off by the end of the week.

In Europe, new all-time highs were notched on Tuesday, April 2, for the Netherlands’ AEX, the German DAX, and the London FTSE. The Zurich SMI made a triple top on April 2, but not a new all-time high, for a regional case of intermarket bearish divergence. By Friday, all had fallen somewhat sharply to their weekly lows.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, Australia’s ASX and India’s NIFTY indices made new all-time highs, with ASX doing this on April 2 and the NIFTY at the end of the week. The Shanghai Stock Composite made a double top to its high for this year, but neither the Hang Seng of Hong Kong nor the Japanese Nikkei could approach their recent highs. The Nikkei and the ASX were down rather hard into the close of the week. So, once again, this region’s stock indices exhibited a case of intermarket bearish divergence.

The intermarket bearish divergence pattern was repeated in the U.S., where the S&P futures posted a new all-time high on Monday, April 1, as Mercury began its retrograde cycle, but neither the NASDAQ nor DJIA did the same. All continued falling until they reached their weekly lows on Thursday and Friday.

So, what do these cases of intermarket bearish divergences tell us, especially as they happened within a day of the Trickster making its turnabout (retrograde)? The bearish divergence chart signal tells us the market is bearish until each of these markets can make new all-time highs. The Mercury retrograde correlation is a little more nuanced. In many cases, a primary or greater cycle high within 4 trading days of the retrograde date can often serve as an important crest and the start of a 2- to 5-week or greater decline. In other cases, markets simply move back and forth every 1–4 days in a zig-zag pattern, which is the Trickster’s normal “fake out” behavior. And then we also have to consider the Mars/Saturn conjunction on April 10, just two days after the most powerful eclipse in the last seven years in the U.S., followed by the powerful 14-year Jupiter/Uranus synodic (conjunction) cycle on April 20/21. If the Trickster is going to shift directions every 1–4 days, then the low could be in this week, followed by another strong rally in the next 2–5 weeks. But if the Mercury retrograde was the primary cycle crest or secondary high early this week, then a very sharp 2- to 5-week decline into or beyond Jupiter conjunct Uranus may be underway (see below).

The stellar performer last week was Gold again. On Friday, it skyrocketed (an appropriate image for Jupiter conjunct Uranus) to 2350, another new all-time high. Silver was also spectacular, rallying to 27.61 on Friday, its highest price since June 2021 and right in line with our outlook given in our Forecast 2024 book. Crude Oil is finally breaking out, too, which is in line with our forecast. It jumped to 87.63 on Friday’s high, a level not seen since October and a level that caused Trader Joe to give up his plan to buy when it was much lower—and where he said he would buy and could have bought in December. Unfortunately, this is what happens when one digresses from their trading plan, which is a common mistake for many traders. You make a plan to buy, but when it reaches your price level, the lack of discipline to follow through on the plan becomes a missed opportunity. That can also be another common realization associated with Mercury retrograde: I missed the train, or I forgot my ticket.


 A magnitude-4.8 earthquake rumbled through the northeastern United States at 10:23 a.m. on Friday, according to the United States Geological Survey, sending tremors from Philadelphia to Boston and jolting buildings in Manhattan and throughout the five boroughs.

—Hurubie Meko and Michael Wilson, “Earthquake Rattles Northeast, but Little Damage Is Reported,”, April 5, 2024.

At least four people have died and dozen others injured after a powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan Wednesday bringing damage and destruction to the island nation. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years. In addition to any damage in Taiwan, the earthquake also prompted evacuations for tsunami warnings in nearby Japan and the Philippines.

—Emily DeLetter, “Earthquake in Taiwan: Destruction From 7.4 Magnitude Quake,” USA Today,

April 3, 2024.

This is the week many stargazers have been waiting for. On April 8, there will be a total solar eclipse, which has a path of totality traveling from Mexico through Texas, the U.S. Corn Belt, the U.S. Canada border, and continuing into northeastern Canada. Students of astrology consider this eclipse to be especially powerful for it also conjoins Chiron, the “wounded healer” (someone can get hurt), and is followed by the warmongering Mars/Saturn conjunction two days later, followed by the excessive Jupiter conjoining the disruptive Uranus in the earth sign of Taurus. Uranus is associated with earthquakes and high winds. Jupiter exhibits the dynamic of “large” or “big.” Taurus rules agriculture and foodstuff, and it is an earth sign, so it pertains to the earth. Last week, we had two disturbing earthquakes—one in Taiwan (very large) and one in New Jersey and New York (not very large, but very disturbing).

Subscriber Tony Uzzo of Connecticut, author and excellent analyst of world stress spots and geopolitical tensions, brought to my attention that the path of eclipse totality will go right over Niagara Falls at 3:15 PM on Monday. Niagara Falls generates an enormous amount of hydropower and was once a Category 5 earthquake fault line. Additionally, the path of totality will crisscross a previous eclipse that happened in the U.S. in 2017 over southwest Missouri. The New Madrid fault line runs through that area.

What does this mean? Well, first of all, understand that earthquakes do not always happen exactly on the day of the eclipse. They can be a few months off. However, in several cases, they occurred on the line of the eclipse path a few months later. Second, understand that there really isn’t too much you can do, for earthquakes are outside of one’s ability to control. You can have a plan to seek safety if one occurs. But you cannot pinpoint the exact time AND location when one will occur (although I am certain that if one does occur, someone will claim to have predicted it). It does very little good to fret over something you cannot control. Just be alert and have a plan if you are in a region (the eclipse path) that is vulnerable to any kind of natural calamity. But also know that if a calamity were to occur on the eclipse path, it could be several months after the moment of the eclipse.

Aside from that, solar eclipses often correlate with a crest in stocks +/- 2 trading days. But the crest is not necessarily the end of a long-term trend. Strong price moves are more often evident in food and grain markets. Thus, one market you may want to look at next week is grains (Soybeans, Corn). Another may be Crude Oil, but that is because of Mars/Saturn and its association with war threats, which could ignite chaos, leading to a further surge in prices due to the anticipation of a disruption in supplies and delivery.

On a more personal level, this is a week to exercise caution, especially if you are “at war” with someone or involved with someone you are counting on to perform an act with a time deadline. Be prepared for a delay. Better yet, do it yourself and don’t depend on anyone else. This is easy for a Capricorn (self-sufficient) to say, especially someone with his Mars also in Capricorn. We are used to that. If you want the job done right and on time, either do it yourself or work with someone (others) who has a professional work ethic equal to your own. Fortunately, that is thankfully the case with MMA analysts and editors. Have a great week ahead.


I would like to acknowledge an error made in last week’s column regarding NATO. I stated, “NATO is a defensive alliance against military aggression and expansion toward its members, not a warmongering alliance out to attack Russia or anyone else.” Actually, NATO did violate this principle of non-military aggression in 1999 when it bombed Yugoslavia (Serbia), and hundreds of innocent civilians died, as I was reminded last week by a reader in Serbia. I was also reminded that NATO did the same in Syria and Libya, too. However, it doesn’t change my opinion about the motivation and use of propaganda (Saturn in Pisces, Saturn applying to a conjunction with Neptune in 2023—2026) that masks the truth and the underlying motivations involved in the current aggression on the part of Russia toward Ukraine.

Here is how Google and Wikipedia reported the use of force by NATO on Yugoslavia in 1999: “NATO carried out an aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from 24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999. The bombing campaign is sometimes referred to as a “humanitarian war” or a case of “humanitarian intervention.” Part of NATO’s justification for the bombing was to end the humanitarian crisis involving the large outflow of Kosovar Albanian refugees caused by Yugoslav forces. NATO’s intervention was prompted by Yugoslavia’s bloodshed and ethnic cleansing of Albanians. It was the first time that NATO had used military force without the expressed endorsement of the UN Security Council and thus, international legal approval, which triggered debates over the legitimacy of the intervention.” (Note: Russia and China threatened to veto NATO’s request to the U.N. Security Council to gain authorization for military action in Yugoslavia). Thus, NATO does have a history of using force in situations that are not just defensive, but in their view, in cases of a humanitarian crisis prompted by one nation’s use of force and ethnic cleansing over another nation that destabilizes a region.


 NOTE 1: 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 2: THE APRIL ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report will be released this Monday, Tuesday, April 8-9. As we approach the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction on April 20-21, Gold is soaring to new all-time highs, while stocks and Bitcoin have done the same recently, all in accordance with our “NOTES TO INVESTORS AND TRADERS IN 2024” made on page viii of the annual Forecast 2024 Book. We are now entering the orb of this aspect’s greatest influence. What does it hold for these financial markets as we will soon pass out of this aspect? Each monthly MMA Cycles Report covers the outlook in the U.S. Stock Market, Gold, Silver, Copper, Treasuries, Euro currency, Crude Oil, and Soybeans. The MMA Monthly Cycles Report also provides MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and solar/lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks, as well as trading strategies for position and aggressive traders. If you would like to try out one month of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, you can sign up for the April Report for only $35! Or save by ordering a 30-month or one-year subscription.

 NOTE 3: 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 4: 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!



 April 20, 2024: LIVE! IN PERSON! “FORECASTS 2024 AND THE APPROACHING ARIES VORTEX,” Nova Southwestern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with Ray Merriman. An in-person, live event and workshop, 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM, with a 90-minute lunch break. We will also update financial markets that are likely to be at critical stages in their cycles then, which is pertinent since this is also the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction date! The cost is $95. This is one of the few live in-person events Ray will give this year. It will not be broadcast via Zoom, but recordings will be made available for sale a few days after the event. For further information and registration, please 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.