This week, it (the Fed) pivoted. “You’re getting now back to the point where both mandates (Inflation and employment) are important,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday after the central bank’s meeting. This pivot means the Fed is ready to backstop the economic recovery. It doesn’t rule out a recession, but makes one much less likely. Greg Ip, “Pivot Shows Central Bank’s New Focus,” Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2023.
Mercury turns retrograde, and everyone pivots, even the Fed. But this pivot to a more accommodative tone is just setting up the conditions for 1) a better housing market, with lower rates, going into the election, and 2) another round of inflation afterwards, just as discussed in last week’s column.
In the week that witnessed a New Moon in Sagittarius (Tuesday), Mercury retrograde (Wednesday), and Mercury in the process of moving back and forth in a favorable trine aspect with Jupiter (December 7-18), stock markets around the world soared. Several markets are now up double digits from their lows of late October, which was down double digits from the prior yearly highs of July 18-August 1 when Venus turned retrograde. This also fits the Sun/Mars conjunction pattern outlined in this column for September-November.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, India’s NIFTY index ended the week with another new all-time high and is now up 14% from its low on October 26. Australia’s ASX also surged close to its yearly high made in February and is now up 10% from its low of October 30. Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices rallied late in the week off lows earlier in the week. In the case of Hong Kong, its low on December 11 was its lowest mark in over a year. China’s Shanghai Composite is also near its yearly low, in contrast to the rest of the world’s rising indices. Something’s not working with the economy in China, and that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the world, which needs China’s economy to be stronger for global growth next year.
Except for the London FTSE, all major indices that we track in Europe did extremely well last week. The German DAX, however, was the only index making a new all-time high. The Netherlands AEX is drawing close, and both the AEX and DAX are up 12.1 and 15.2%, respectively, from their lows in late October. The Zurich SMI index made a 6-month high and is now up 10.6% from October 23. The FTSE is only up 6% during the same time.
In the Americas, all indices made new yearly highs, but only the DJIA made a new all-time high. The DJIA and S&P are now up 15% or more since their lows of late October. Brazil’s Bovespa is also within striking distance of its all-time high as of last week. Thus, we have a case where one market in each region made a new all-time high, but none of the others have done the same yet. Is this going to be a case of intermarket bearish divergence going into the end of the year?
“Time is absolute” – Sir Issac Newton.
“Time is relative.”- Albert Einstein.
“Time was invented by clock companies to sell more clocks.” – Karl Marx.
Mercury began its retrograde cycle (aka “the Trickster”) on December 13, which will last through January 2. This cosmic roadrunner is known for erratic and sudden changes of market direction in short spans of time (usually 1-4 days), and often distorts cycle periods, chart patterns, technical indicators, and will often even affect other geocosmic as well as solar/lunar signatures in ways contrary to historical trends related to those signatures. It is the reason why we avoid initiating new position trades during Mercury retrograde. We do, however, initiate plenty of very short-term trades for aggressive traders.
We are currently in the midst of four geocosmic signatures between December 6-21 that also have historically high correlations to sudden and sharp reversals within four trading days. But Mercury retrograde can sometimes stymie those behaviors. If there is no major or greater cycle reversal within four trading days of Mercury turning retrograde (December 13), then instead of reversing, the current trend will usually continue into the midpoint of the Trickster’s cycle, which will be December 23, which is a weekend. The point is that one should be prepared for a sharp reversal now, before December 20. If not, then anticipate the reversal within two trading days of December 23. They follow back-to-back with one another, so basically, the market could be choppy until the very end of this month.
Besides Mercury retrograde, the Sun will also form a closing square to Neptune on Sunday, December 17 and Venus will be in opposition to Uranus on December 21. Both are important reversal signatures. The first pertains to Crude Oil. Given that Neptune just turned direct on December 6, Crude Oil may have recently formed an important cycle low on December 13, right in between the two strong Neptune signatures (as it should). The second one, Venus opposition Uranus, is important to interest rate sensitive markets such as Treasuries and Currencies. It also has a strong correspondence to reversals in the stock market, but requires an orb of up to 10 trading days, although usually it commences within only four trading days.
The Venus/Uranus opposition may also apply to the unexpectedly dovish announcements by the Fed last week and possibly to re-considered opinions of that announcement this week (perhaps a pivot on the pivot, which would be characteristic for the Trickster). Nevertheless, markets are vulnerable now to sudden but brief and sharp changes this week unless the combination of Mercury retrograde and the approaching holiday season results in subdued volume and market volatility, or if the Venus/Uranus opposition is instead going to correlate with an escalation of the upside breakout in stocks to more new all-time highs by year-end. Normally that would not be the case with the combination of Mercury retrograde and these aspects in effect through December 21. But a continuation of the rally to new highs can’t be ruled out either because Jupiter will be highlighted in the last week of the year. It will be in a trine aspect to the Sun on December 27, then turn stationary direct on December 31. That is generally a hopeful signature for the future. People tend to be optimistic then, so shorting the market before the end of the month should be approached with much caution. It may be wiser to watch for sharp 1-4 day declines as buying opportunities.
The House voted Wednesday to condemn the testimony of the three university presidents (Harvard, MIT, and University of Pennsylvania) whose comments on campus antisemitism last week sparked calls for their resignation. The testimony exacerbated tensions over the Israel-Hamas war on college campuses and was widely condemned by university donors, politicians and Jewish advocacy groups. Demands for the university presidents to resign escalated. Suryatapa Bhattacharya, “House Condemns Campus Antisemitism Testimony of Penn, Harvard, MIT Presidents,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2023.
How can anyone have been shocked at the antisemitic marches at universities across the country the past two months? What happened was the ugly culmination of decades of institutionalized cowardice. For those three university presidents testifying before Congress about “context” in the calm tones of a graduate seminar, the anti-Jewish protests were simply another occasion to look the other way. An opportunity is at hand to reorient U.S. colleges away from terminal loopiness and back to learning. Daniel Henninger. ”University President Flunk Out,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2023.
We seldom talk about declinations, which are the alignment of planets in the skies horizontally. They are measured by the planet’s distance above or below the celestial equator. Contra-parallels are planets equidistant above or below (north or south) of the celestial equator. They are considered similar in influence as a conjunction, which is the vertical alignment of planets to one another in the heavens.
Our friend Richard Hardy (recording musician formerly with the Carol King band, and also an excellent astrologer) reminds us that Jupiter and Saturn are in contra-parallel with one another November 26-December 4 and again December 11-19. In the study of astrology, Jupiter rules higher education. Saturn rules authority, government, and restrictions.
It is interesting to note that this is playing out in last week’s condemnation (Saturn) of three Ivy League presidents (Saturn) who testified before Congress regarding the issue of antisemitism taking place on their campuses (Jupiter). It may continue this year as Pluto transits over the super-charged 0 degrees of Aquarius, where the Jupiter/Saturn 20-year synodic cycle commenced on December 21, 2020, ushering in the “New Aira.” This is covered in great detail in the newly released Forecast 2024 Book (it just came out).
NOTE 1: THE EBOOK EDITION OF THE ANNUAL FORECAST 2024 BOOK IS OUT! THE PRINT EDITION HAS STARTED MAILING OUT THIS PAST WEEK AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MONDAY, ACCORDING TO THE MAILING HOUSE. 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.
This year’s printed and eBook versions will also be available in these languages:
The updated Forecast 2023 Scorecard of the Forecast 2023 Book can now be viewed by clicking here.
NOTE 2: Each foreign translation of Forecast 2024 has a section on that nation’s stock market that is not in the English or other nations’ Forecast Book. Yet we are aware that some readers and investors may be interested in the stock markets of these other nations, but do not wish those editions to be in the other nation’s language. Therefore, we make those stock market outlooks available in English as a separate service for $35.00 each. The overseas market reports for 2024 that are available separately in English include: Japan’s Nikkei, China’s Shanghai Composite, and the German DAX plus Zurich SMI indices. Each is available in PDF format. Each report contains their monthly charts as of December 13, 2023, and a list of their critical reversal dates for 2023.
NOTE 3: The Abridged Edition of Forecast 2024 is now available in an audio format this year! 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. They 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 4: THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly ETF Report by Gianni Di Poce will be issued this week. Written by MMA market analyst Gianni Di Poce, the ETF is a monthly newsletter that everyone trading ETFs is encouraged to read, especially those that seek less risky trading venues than futures. This report covers 8 ETFs on a monthly basis for readers. The ETFs include: SPY (S&P 500), GDX (gold miners), BITO (Bitcoin), TLT (+20-year Treasuries), USO (Crude Oil), XLV (healthcare), XLK (technology), and XHB (homebuilders). This is a report that was requested by popular demand, and Gianni’s insights and strategies are excellent. For further information, click here.
Note 5: THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report was released last week 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 rally can last. In Gold, will there be a 16-month cycle low? What about the status of the 4-year cycle in the U.S. stock market? 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 6: Raymond Merriman was interviewed recently in two 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: MMA’S Daily and Weekly Subscription services continue to be 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.
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.
January 19, 2024: Forecast 2024 – Chinese stock and currency markets, plus Gold and Crude Oil. This 3-hour webinar will be presented in English by Ray Merriman, but translated into Chinese by NoDoor School of Astrology in Beijing. For information and registration, please contact NoDoor at www.nodoor.com/.
February 18, 2024, MMA’s Annual Forecast 2024 World Wide 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 live 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 (plus special guest speakers Claude Weiss and Aleksandar Imsiragic) live and hear 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! This one will be very special, and our first Investment retreat in Europe since 2015!
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.