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 Fitch Ratings downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating weeks after President Biden and congressional Republicans came to the brink of a historic default, warning about the growing debt burden and political dysfunction in Washington. Fitch said Tuesday that the downgrade reflects an “erosion of governance” in the U.S. relative to other top-tier economies over the last two decades. Biden administration officials criticized Fitch’s decision, blaming governance problems on the Trump administration and arguing that the U.S. was not at risk of missing its debt payments. – Matt Grossman and Andrew Duehren, “Fitch Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating,” Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2023.

One of the credit rating agencies (it does not matter which) downgraded the US government from something (it does not matter what) to something else. Markets care about the fiscal position of the US and the repeated farce of the debt ceiling debacle. They do not care what credit rating agencies think about the matter. Dr. Paul Donovan, “Things Which Do Not Matter,” UBS Morning Audio Comment, August 2, 2023.

Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 187,000 for the month, slightly below the Dow Jones estimate for 200,000. Though the headline number was a miss, it actually represented a modest gain from the downwardly revised 185,000 for June. The unemployment rate was 3.5%, against a consensus estimate that the jobless level would hold steady at 3.6%. The rate is just above the lowest level since late 1969. – Jeff Cox, “The U.S. Economy Added 187,000 Jobs in July, Fewer than Expected,”, August 4, 2023.

World equity markets reacted very closely to the planetary themes in the heavens. That is, most indices made new cycle – and in several cases, yearly – highs within two days of Mars forming a favorable waxing trine with Jupiter on August 1. But by the end of the week, as Sun approached its waxing square to Jupiter, most had commenced sharp declines. 

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the trading week was mostly similar. New cycle highs or double tops formed on July 31 or August 1 as Mars trined Jupiter. Most then fell somewhat sharply into Thursday-Friday, August 3-4. One exception was in India’s NIFTY index, which made an all-time high on July 20 and declined all the way through to August 4, the end of last week. China’s Shanghai Composite also differed at the end of the week when it rallied to a secondary high rather than falling to a new low.

In Europe, the German DAX made a new all-time high on Monday, July 31. The Netherlands AEX soared to its highest mark in 18 months the Friday before, on July 28. The Zurich SMI and London FTSE also made cycle highs the prior week, July 27-28. All four indices sold off sharply into Thursday-Friday, August 3-4.

In the Americas, there were noticeable differences in recent highs. The DJIA made a new yearly high on Monday, August 1. The S&P  made its yearly high the week before, on July 27. The NASDAQ’s yearly high was back on July 19, just prior to Venus turning retrograde. All three declined sharply into Thursday, August 3. On the news of the payroll reports, all rallied sharply the first half of the day but then started another sharp selloff afterwards, with the DJIA and S&P falling to new weekly lows. This type of intermarket bearish divergence is often a sign of lower prices to come – and maybe much lower prices if next week’s (August 9) Venus/Uranus square is a breakout instead of a reversal.

 Other markets also exhibited notable geocosmic reactions last week. Crude Oil soared to 83.24 on Friday, challenging its yearly high of 83.52 on April 12. Just 5 weeks ago, it was trading at around 67.00. It was reported that the U.S. has not replenished its Strategic Petroleum Reserves as announced it would earlier in the year if and when Crude Oil dropped to $62-67. Apparently, it wasn’t done. The reserves remain at or near their lowest levels in many years, down to 346.76M (million) barrels as of the end of July, well off its recent high of 650+ million barrels in 2020, according to

 Gold and Silver fell to new major cycle lows in Friday’s pre-market trade as heliocentric Mercury started its trek through Sagittarius. This planet-sign combination has an approximate 75% correlation to rising Gold prices for a few days. Silver is following the same path as Gold, having now dropped about 50% of its recent rally to the major cycle high of 25.47 on July 20 as Venus was about to turn retrograde. Copper has also declined from its recent cycle crest on July 19. Soybeans also fell sharply from its recent high on July 24, right after Venus turned retrograde. Bitcoin and Ethereum may have made trading cycle lows last Tuesday, August 1.

 In summary, Venus retrograde on July 22, followed by the Mars/Jupiter trine and Full Moon on August 1, approaching its square with Jupiter on August 7, are coinciding closely to cycle turns of importance. 


 Donald Trump is now criminally charged for actions taken before and after Jan. 6, 2021. He is accused of directing a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution with an intent to retain power after losing the 2020 presidential election… For seven years, Democrats have scored Republican officeholders for not wanting to talk about Donald Trump. Why do they concede nothing about Hunter, not even admitting the perceptions are bad? Why aren’t they honestly troubled? Mainstream media has work to do. This is a story. Let the chips fall where they may. – Peggy Noonan, “Trump’s Jan. 6 Trial: We Owe It to History: Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s Legal Problems Become Newly Substantial to Voters in the American Middle,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2023.

The movements in the cosmos are very complex right now. Venus retrograde is doing what Venus is known to do: deciding to be indecisive, forever seeing pros and cons to all things. It doesn’t help that Jupiter is part of the issue today, moving from a favorable waxing trine aspect with Mars last Tuesday, August 1, to a challenging square aspect with the Sun on Monday, August 7. Both aspects have a high correlation to sharp price moves and sudden reversals within 4 trading days, which is happening from the cycle high in stocks on Monday, August 1, as we now approach Monday, August 7.

Next up will be the unpredictable Venus/Uranus square, the second of three of these passages between early July and September. The first pass on July 3 correlated with a new yearly high in equities followed by a somewhat sharp one-week decline, and then it was off to the races and new highs.

Uranus, in aspect to any planet, is unpredictable because it can either be a reversal within 4 trading days or a breakout if trading near primary cycle lows or highs. The second passage in a 3-passage series is usually the most pronounced and correlates with the most dramatic moves of the three passes. Will it be a reversal or a breakout? On top of that, Venus retrograde will reach its midpoint as it conjoins the Sun next weekend, often another period indicative of market reversals +/- 2 days.

You might think Uranus will take a break after that, but it doesn’t. August 2023 is the month for Uranus upheavals, whether in financial markets, personal relationships, broken agreements, or natural earthbound upheavals (like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes). Yes, it can also correspond to new announcements regarding innovations in artificial intelligence or new discoveries in other branches of science or outer space. But it can also indicate revelations and/or acts of terrorism when and where no one expects it. On August 16, the Sun will make its opening square to Uranus., the same date that Mars will make a trine with the planet of disruption. On August 28, Uranus turns stationary retrograde, one of the very strongest reversals uncovered in our published research studies.

This new month is not likely to be serene and quiet. Financial markets are more likely to continue to reflect the turbulence suggested by Uranus’s activity in the cosmos. This is likely to be a month of great risks, but if one’s timing is good, these risks can be very profitable. If not, losses can mount. Better to have both a plan and a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected. And be ready to support your local chiropractor. Whipsaws are second nature when Uranus looms large.

And – oh yes – Uranus rules astrology, so one thing that might be expected is media attention to those who understand the relationship between cycles in the cosmos and cycles in human activity. Who else can adequately explain the insanity and drama of today’s polarized political landscape, and of the problems besetting the two front runners of the U.S. 2024 presidential election? Instead of truth, we seem to chase unfounded conspiracies. Instead of love, we seem to choose combat. Instead of silence and inner peace, we seem more attracted to loudness and protest. Instead of trust, we give greater attention to the untrustworthy.

Despite the correlation of Uranus to such disturbances, it also seeks the pursuit of truth, even in the midst of controversy. The pursuit of truth often involves working through the challenges of controversy. August is likely to present an abundance of such challenges for many, including the two frontrunners for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. It’s already starting. Brace yourself. The arguments for and against impeachment and imprisonment could become hot topics in the media this month.


NOTE 1: The “Annual MMA Forecast 2024 Pre-Publication Sale” will begin for subscribers of MMA Cycles Reports on Tuesday, August 8! Keep an eye on your inbox THIS WEEKEND for the annual sale announcement. You won’t be able to order before then, as the start of the sale on August 8 is astrologically timed 😊.

 The sale will include MMA’s once-a-year sales on both the annual Forecast Book, both the print edition and eBook, as well as MMA Subscription Reports, where prices are reduced as much as $300+ for some yearly subscription services. Want to see how our Forecasts for 2023 turned out? We have our most recent Scorecard available:

 NOTE 2: August 26, 2023 – October 7, 2023: “Solar/Lunar Correlations For Short-Term Trading.” This course will begin in 3 weeks, with a break for Labor Day weekend  (Sept 2), then resume Sept 9-October 7. This is a six-week course on how to determine, measure, and use solar-lunar combinations in financial markets for optimal short-trading (even day trading). This six-week course is based on studies of Ray Merriman as presented in Volume 4 of The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing; The Sun, The Moon and Silver Market: Secrets of a Silver Trader; and Solar/Lunar Correlations to Short-Term Trading in Gold. The course explains the studies identifying Sun-Moon combinations that have the highest correlation to isolated highs or lows in stock indices, Gold, and Silver from which tradeable reversals are likely over the following 1-4 trading days. The setup that activates the trade in these time bands is shared, and supporting market signals that will help in determining the price target with the “lowest risk to optimal reward” possibilities via these studies. In addition, we will also share our latest results on the lunar cycles correlating with sharp, short-term reversals in Bitcoin and the Euro, and if ready, Crude Oil studies. This six-week course will be part of the MMTA (Merriman Market Timing Academy), Course 4. Those who complete this class will receive credit for that course. The cost is $2500, which includes six Zoom classes of about 2.5 hours each, plus recordings of each class and a workbook. Classes will take place each Saturday, beginning at noon EDT, from August 26 through October 14, with the exception of September 2, which will be a break due to the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. Instructors will be Raymond Merriman (CTA) and Gianni Di Poce (CTA), with one or two special guests to be announced soon. Registration is limited, so sign up now by clicking here.

NOTE 3: SUBSCRIBE TO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce. Each 5-15 minute FREE episode reviews the market activity of the past week and offers a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the next week and beyond. There will be a slew of special guests coming up in the next month, so stay tuned for announcements via our Twitter feed. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get alerted when a new weekly episode is released! Raymond Merriman, President of the Merriman Market Analyst, will be Gianni’s special guest on this week’s MMA YouTube episode. For further information, click here

NOTE 4: MMA’S FREE WEEKLY COLUMN IS ON APPLE NOW! Now you can listen to a podcast or broadcast of this weekly column by Thomas Miller. The Free Weekly Forecast Podcast is now available on Saturday. Just follow Merriman Market Analyst Spotify to listen to all our episodes. New Podcast episodes will be released every weekend. This is a FREE service and is available to everyone. Checkout out our Podcasts on Apple, Spotify, MMA- Merriman Market Analyst Podcast and on YouTube, Merriman Market Analyst. It makes for great listening!


August 10, 2023: MMA Mid-Year Update on Chinese markets, 7 PM, Beijing Time, 1:00 PM CEDT. This 3-hour Zoom presentation will be presented by Raymond Merriman in English, with translation into Chinese by the staff of NoDoor School. Markets to be covered include: Shanghai Stock Composite (SSE), Renminbi (RMD – Dollar/Yuan), Crude Oil, Gold, and Bitcoin, plus Q&A. For further information and enrollment, please click here (and use Google translation into English).

August 26, 2023 – October 7, 2023: “Solar/Lunar Correlations For Short-Term Trading.” Please note the change from last week’s incorrect dates. For details see announcement above. Registration is limited, so sign up now by clicking 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.