Employers added a seasonally adjusted 199,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, slower than earlier in the year but consistent with gains before the pandemic. November’s job gain was roughly 169,000, slightly cooler than 180,000 in October. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7%. It had climbed to 3.9% in October from 3.4% in April, fanning fears on Wall Street of a more rapid slowdown ahead. Often, a rise in the unemployment rate of that magnitude has coincided with the start of a recession. Amara Omeokwe and Nick Timiraos, “Economy’s Soft Landing Comes Into View as Job Growth Slowly Descends,” Wall Street Journal Online, December 8, 2023.
Neptune, in its ruling sign of Pisces, turned direct in the middle of last week (and not retrograde, as noted in last week’s column). And the week ended with Venus in opposition to Jupiter, with the Sun still transiting the middle of Sagittarius (the sign of Jupiter’s rulership). What happens when Jupiter and Neptune and their ruling signs are highlighted in the same week? Irrational euphoria or hysteria. For many of the world’s stock markets and cryptocurrencies, it was euphoria. For other global indices and Crude Oil, it was more like hysteria. With Mercury about to turn retrograde this week, it is not surprising to see one part of the world exhibiting strong rallies and another part teetering on breakdowns.
The stars of the global stock market last week were India and Germany, whose major indices soared to new all-time highs. There was also joy in the stock markets of the United States and Europe, several of which are closing in on new all-time highs or at least multi-month highs. Anxiety, on the other hand, is growing in China and Hong Kong, where indices are falling. China’s Shanghai Composite is nearing its yearly low, and the Hang Seng notched a new 2-year low last week.
In other markets, Gold made a new all-time high early last week, rising to $2152. But by Friday, it had plunged to $2010, so anxiety is rising there, too. Silver was even more skittish, rallying to 26.34 last Monday, which was a test to its yearly high of 26.43 recorded in May, only to collapse $3.00 down to 23.24 on Friday, a drop of over 11%. This fulfills our warning of a 9% or greater decline given in last week’s Gold and Silver subscription report.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum put in stellar performances last week as well. BTC rose to $44,497 on December 6 as Neptune turned direct, its highest mark since April 2022. Ethereum reached 2392, its highest level since May 2022. Crude Oil, on the other hand, fell to 68.80 on December 7, one day after the Neptune station. It is still well above the double bottom lows of March and May at 64.36 and 63.64, respectively, but given that it is in the time band for a 44-month cycle trough, the possibility of breaking to a new low first cannot be ruled out if it doesn’t reverse here.
The year isn’t likely to go out with a whimper based on geocosmics. It might, however, go out with a whiplash or two as Mercury begins its retrograde cycle (aka “the Trickster”) this week on December 13, which will last through January 2. Typically, financial markets will reverse within four trading days of Mercury retrograde. If not, then they can reverse within two trading days of its mid-cycle point, which would be December 23, a weekend.
We also note five planetary aspects or stations that take place between December 6 and 21 have high correlations to sudden reversals or whipsaws. That’s a lot, and with the Trickster in its glory, traders are advised to be on the alert for sudden, sharp price movements even though the holiday season is usually jolly and steady. It may not be so steady during this period. Perhaps traders are exiting positions for end-of-the-year tax reasons. Or perhaps they want to exit to show profits for the year to their clients.
It has, after all, been a fantastic last two months for many (especially MMA subscribers), whether you trade stocks, metals, or cryptos. I am very proud of the MMA analysts and their performance this year, such as in Gold, where every primary cycle low (three of them) was called accurately and resulted in exceptional profits. These were the lows of late February near 1800, late June near 1900, and best of all, the special report sent out to subscribers on October 4 as Gold traded below 1830 with a special options strategy that ended with a 12-fold return. We will visit that trade and look at new options trades in this week’s special webinar with veteran options trader Derek Panaia. Click here for details.
The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity. Henry Hazlitt, Economic journalist, “Marxism in One Minute,” 1998.
Imagine receiving a tax bill for the appreciation on your investments, including the equity in your home, before you’ve even sold them. It could happen if the government has its way at the Supreme Court… the justices focused on the question of whether the 16th Amendment’s authorization of “income” taxes allows for the taxing of unrealized gains. It has long been understood that income taxes apply only to realized gains. Ilya Shapiro, “The Wealth Tax You May Already Owe,” Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2023.
Conventional wisdom purports that every presidential election is a referendum on the economy during the watch of the incumbent. If true, what can the current leadership do to assure the economy will be strong by election time? A lot.
As I see it, one of the main hurdles in the current U.S. economy is the housing market and the frustration it elicits among voters today. This is the result of the sudden reversal of low interest rates during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2019-2021, to the inflation of 2022-2023 that caused mortgage rates to explode from under 3% to nearly 8%. Many people are locked in to sub-3% rates and are now unwilling to sell their homes and take on a much larger mortgage rate. Thus, there are few homes for sale. And those that are for sale now command prices well above their 2019 levels. No one wants to sell and lose the 2.5-3% mortgage rate, and no one can afford to buy at nearly three times that rate unless they have cash. The housing market is frozen, and so is the refinancing avenue, which provides much liquidity to the consumer/homeowner. These could stunt the growth of the economy shortly, despite the positive job reports. Yes, more people have jobs, but not jobs that have seen wages increase as much as inflation and home prices over less than two years.
In the meantime, voters who want to move or buy are frustrated with the economy, despite the leadership’s attempt to paint this as a successful economy.
Rates have started to decline recently, which is a favorable sign. But I think it will take 30-year fixed mortgages to get below 6% and preferably 5.5% to get homeowners to sell and potential homebuyers to purchase. Can the administration facilitate that by the election? I think they can, and if they do, that will provide the boost needed to be re-elected – IF the economy is the main driver of the election.
I think something like this is the plan. But there is a catch. If they succeed in bringing mortgage rates down to 5.5%, there will be a moderate lag time after which inflation could suddenly roar back. Ideally (for the incumbents), mortgage rates might continue to fall into the election. People might start selling their homes and buying new ones, thus feeling better about the economy and the current administration. That is until prices skyrocket on the next economic wave that begins shortly after the election. It all has to be timed perfectly for the election.
How long could this boost to the economy via the housing market last? One possibility is until mid-2025 when Jupiter in Cancer crosses the U.S. natal Venus, Jupiter, and Sun. After that, Saturn (and Neptune) move into Aries and begin their square aspects to the same Cancer planets in the U.S. chart. Additionally, 2026 will be the middle of the President’s term, plus the Lunar North Node will enter Aquarius and then Capricorn, which are often periods of a low in the economy.
Time your real estate planning accordingly.
NOTE 1: LAST CHANCE! MMA PRESENTS A SPECIAL “OPTIONS” WEBINAR WORKSHOP, December 10, 12:00 – 3:00 PM< EST, with Derek Panaia, and an intro by Raymond Merriman. The cost is $250, and registration will close after Saturday, December 9. Click here for more information and registration.
This webinar/workshop will cover the following topics:
– How to use MMA Market Timing Methods to identify optimal time bands for initiating option trades
– Long calls and puts.
– Bull spreads and bear spreads using options to minimize risk exposure at MMA reversal zones that are in time bands for possible primary cycle crests and troughs.
– Importance of Delta in choosing which strike prices to initiate option trades
– Strategies – current and future.
Derek Panaia has been a veteran options trader since 1985. He is also a current MMTA3 student who is very familiar with using MMA market timing tools, including CRDs (critical reversal dates) and cycles methodology, combined with price target objectives and technical overbought/oversold indicators. Options trading is considered high risk (but risk can be limited) and all those attending must understand that there is risk of losing the entire cost of an option or spread, and if shorting options, the risk can be unlimited (we won’t be giving strategies for those). The course will only present strategies with risk limited to the cost of the options, unless otherwise stated.
Option strategies to be discussed will be in the S&P futures and two other markets that appear to be setting up for a favorable trade at the time of the presentations, which may include Gold and Crude Oil. We will also discuss strategies for the forthcoming Jupiter/Uranus conjunction this spring. A distinction will be made using options on ETFs versus futures.
Note 2: THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report will be released this Monday, Tuesday, December 11-12. With the new highs in Gold and new yearly highs in stock indices since their lows in October, investors and traders are of course wondering how long this can last. In Gold, will there be a 16-month cycle low? If so, $1900 cannot be ruled out at the end of this current primary cycle. If not, $2600 cannot be ruled out in 2024. MMA’s market timing methodology (cycles and geocosmics) can help pinpoint the important time bands for turns here. 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 with 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 December Report for only $35! Or save by ordering a 30-month or one-year subscription.
NOTE 3: THE EBOOK EDITION OF THE ANNUAL FORECAST 2024 BOOK IS OUT! THE PRINT EDITION IS DUE TO BE MAILED NEXT WEEK Order the eBook now for instant access to Forecast 2024 by clicking here.
This will be the 48th year of publishing this popular annual astrological almanac by Raymond Merriman. This book is 200 pages and provides projections of major social, political, mundane, and economic issues of the next year as seen through the lens of rhythmic and planetary cycle studies. This is critical at this time because 1) we are approaching the Aries Vortex in 2025-2026, which itself is the middle of the “New Aira” period of 2020-2032, and 2) the U.S. presidential election is taking place in 2024. This year’s book gives an in-depth view of this election. In addition to analysis of mundane cycles, this book also provides our outlook on the Stock Market, Gold, Silver, Copper, Bitcoin, Currencies, Crude Oil, Treasuries and Interest rates, and Grain markets. The back section contains an ephemeris and geocosmic calendar outlining planetary aspects and lunar ingresses in effect every day of every month from January 2024 through March 2025.
The retail price of the Forecast 2024 printed edition is $66 (while supplies last), and the eBook is $55. The print edition is limited based on the number of pre-orders received by December 8. When they sell out, they are gone. There are no reprints. This book has sold out in six of the last eight years, so order now and make sure you receive your copy of Forecast 2024!
MMA will also offer a special “bundle” discount rate for those who wish to order both the eBook and print editions of Forecast 2024 and even the audio of the first section of the book. The eBook will be received about 1-2 weeks before the print edition mailing, and avoids delays caused by the postal system, especially if overseas. Yet many readers prefer the print edition, so ordering both via the Forecast 2024 Bundle makes sense. You will likely receive the eBook on or before December 15th, and your print copy will be mailed mid-December. The cost of the bundle for both is $86.00, which is a savings of $35.00.
This year’s printed and eBook versions will also be available in these languages:
We created an updated list of our most common Forecast FAQs to help this Forecast season.
The updated Forecast 2023 Scorecard of the Forecast 2023 Book can now be viewed by clicking here.
NOTE 4: Great News! Thanks to the genius of Thomas Miller, an Abridged Edition of Forecast 2024 is now available in an audio format this year – it just came out December 7! This shortened MP4 audio edition, narrated by Thomas Miller, includes the first nine chapters on the Mundane Astrological outlook for the year (and the next eight years) based on the long-term planetary cycles and their historical themes over the past several centuries. This will include “The New Aira,” The “Aries Vortex,” Cycles of War and Renaissance, Living in “The New Aira,” The World and National Economy, and The U.S. Presidential Election in 2024. Original and special studies conducted on the history of the major aspects in 2024 related to the election outcome are given. The audio edition will also include the retrograde time bands of Mercury, and Mars and their importance in 2024.
The Forecast 2024 abridged audio edition is an excellent choice for those who enjoy listening to books while driving, walking, or working out. The cost of the Forecast 2024 Audio version is $29.99. If you already pre-ordered the print or eBook edition of Forecast 2024, check your inbox, as you were sent a special coupon code to SAVE $10 on the Forecast 2024 Audiobook. The audiobook is now out! For more information or ordering, please click here.
NOTE 5: Raymond Merriman was interviewed twice this past week in very interesting, two hour intensive discussions. The first interview was conducted by Callum Wilkinson of Kepler College on November 30, as part of the Kepler series called “Leaders in Astrology.” It is available for viewing by clicking here. The second interview was conducted by Volker Schendel of Germany in his series on “Astrology in the 21st Century.” Click here. Both interviews delved into Merriman’s background and history, as an astrologer and financial market analyst, ranging from his original work on Evolutionary Astrology, to Financial Astrology, to his 50-years in community service to Astrology and his role as President of ISAR and founding of AFAN and UAC, as well as the creation of the Merriman Market Timing Academy (MMTA). It includes discussions on his research studies in astrology as well as his vision for the future of astrology as it connects with his involvement on the transformation of astrology from a hobby to a profession. The German interview followed the Kepler segment, and asked challenging questions that were a result of the interview. So, it is like a part 1 and part 2 of Merriman’s background in astrology. Both went extremely well and make for good viewing and listening by anyone interested in the history of Modern Day Astrology, particularly in the U.S., but also in the international community.
NOTE 6: THE MMA WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce, is now conducted on Wednesday evenings! 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. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get alerted when a new weekly episode is released!
NOTE 7: MMA’S FREE WEEKLY COLUMN IS NOW ON SPOTIFY, APPLE, AND AMAZON PODCAST! 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. 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, and Apple Music. It makes for great listening!
NOTE 8: MMA’S Daily and Weekly Subscription services have been very hot, especially with stock indices, metals, and Bitcoin over the past several weeks. For instance, these reports have been long Gold since the lows of October 6 (below $1840), stocks since right after their low of October 27, and Bitcoin for several weeks as well. To order any of these subscription reports, please click here.
December 10, 2023: SPECIAL “INTRODUCTION TO OPTIONS” WORKSHOP. The cost is $250. Click here for more information and registration.
January 12, 2024. “Trends for 2024,” sponsored by AstroData of Zurich, Switzerland. Speakers are to be announced shortly, but will include Ray Merriman giving his outlook on 2024. This event is in German, and Merriman’s presentation will be translated from English to German. For further information, contact www.AstroData.com.
February 18, 2024, MMA’s Annual Forecast 2024 World Webinar. Details and reservations will be opened after January 1. Save the Date!
April 20, 2024: “FORECASTS 2024 AND THE APPROCHING ARIES VORTEX,” Nova Southwestern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with Ray Merriman. An in-person event and workshop, 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM with a 90-minute lunch break. Cost $95.00. This event will not be broadcast via Zoom, but recordings will be made available for sale a few days afterwards. For further information and registration, please click here.
September 19-22, 2024: SAVE THE DATES!!! This will be the next MMA Investment Retreat! Negotiations are currently underway to bring this exciting gathering to a destination location in Europe for the first time since 2015. Once the agreement with the hotel is finalized, we will make a formal announcement, but for now… SAVE THE DATES! You won’t want to miss this chance to meet with the top MMA Analysts (and others to be invited) live and hear their strategies for long-term investments and wealth-building ideas using MMA market timing methods. There is nothing quite like a life-altering MMA Investment Retreat!
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.