The employment picture started off 2023 on a stunningly strong note, with nonfarm payrolls posting their biggest gain since July 2022. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 for January, above the Dow Jones estimate of 187,000 and December’s gain of 260,000, according to a Labor Department report Friday. “ The unemployment rate fell to 3.4% versus the estimate for 3.6%. That is the lowest jobless level since May 1969. The labor force participation rate edged higher to 62.4%. – Jeff Cox, “Jobs Report Show an Increase of 517,000 in January, Crushing Estimates as Unemployment Rate Hit 53-year Low,” February 3, 2023,

The Federal Reserve nudged up short-term interest rates by a quarter-percentage point and signaled it was on track to do so again at its meeting next month while officials consider whether and when to pause increases late this spring.  “We’re talking about a couple of more rate hikes to get to that level we think is appropriately restrictive,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said. – Nick Timiraos, “Fed Slows Its Tightening With Quarter-Point Interest Rate Hike,” Feb 1, 2023, Wall Street Journal.

Punxsutawney Phil, the revered groundhog of Groundhog Day fame, saw his shadow on February 2. It means we will have six more weeks of winter. But don’t tell that to the stock market, which saw the S&P and NASDAQ soar well above their previous primary cycle highs of August 16. In an interesting twist, the DJIA could not exceed its current cycle high of December 1, or even its half-primary cycle high of January 13, after it had previously rallied above its August 16 high back in November. On Friday, February 3, the S&P and NASDAQ pulled back sharply, along with the DJIA. So, for Punxsutawney Phil, seeing his shadow on a sunny day, was so far the end of the stock market rally in 2023, and a set up for a case of intermarket bearish divergence in a geocosmic critical reversal date time zone. Since we are market timers, this is important.

The performance was similar in Gold and Silver. After soaring to 1975 on Thursday morning, February 2, its highest mark in several months,  Gold plunged below 1875 the next day, a loss of $100. Silver made a triple top at 24.75 on Thursday, February 2 but it was still below its most recent cycle high of 24.77 on January 3. But after Phil’s shadow appeared, Silver lost its shine and was down to 22.32 on Friday, a drop of over 2.40. That’s huge, but it fits with the transits underway now.


Something remarkable happened last month. On Jan. 9, Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter introduced the “Fair Tax” bill to the House of Representatives, and secured a promise of a floor vote. The bill eliminates the personal and corporate income tax, estate and gift tax, payroll (Social Security and Medicare) tax and the Internal Revenue Service. It replaces them with a single national sales tax. A consumption tax, with none of the absurd complexity of our current taxes, is the answer. It funds the government with the least economic distortion. A consumption tax need not be regressive. It’s easy enough to exempt the first few thousand dollars of consumption, or add to the rebate.– John H. Cochrane, “A Consumption Tax is the Shock Our Broken System Needs,” Feb 2, 2023, Wall Street Journal.

The Groundhog Day top and sell off in stocks and metals fit very well with geocosmic studies. That is, the Sun squares Uranus and Venus squares Mars this weekend. The orb of influence for a reversal can be three trading days on either side. And when Uranus is involved, the price movement can be very sharp as especially witnessed in Gold and Silver over the past two days. 

As pre-warned last week, “The Sun will square Uranus on February 4, while Venus will square Mars the next day. Both are disrupters. The Sun/Uranus square can disrupt financial markets, especially those that pertain to interest rate gyrations like Treasuries and currencies.” Hard aspects involving Venus can also disrupt financial markets like stocks, Treasuries, and currencies. They all had sizeable setbacks on Friday following highs on Thursday. The planet of disruption is doing its job well. But for how long? Will end this week or continue into the next geocosmic critical reversal date zone? These are questions we address in our weekly subscription reports.

For this week, the major event is probably the Full Moon on Sunday, forming a T-square with Uranus. Everybody thinks they know best, so don’t expect brilliant ideas or solutions to be accepted by those in positions of power who may see such innovative ideas as a threat to their own self-perceived brilliance. We will be seeing a lot of power plays over those ideas are most brilliant once Pluto enters Aquarius on March 23 and through the following 20 months. We will discuss that in detail in our February 19 webinar on “Forecast 2023 Updated.” 


Many central banks around the world have leaned against inflationary pressures by raising short-term rates even in the face of weakening growth. This dynamic suggests the eventual return to a more stable economy, which is a welcome development for savers, who have lost out relative to debtors for nearly two decades as short-term rates have often failed to keep up with the rising cost of living. Joe Davis, “Savers Will Benefit From a Return to Sound Money,” February 1, 2023, Wall Street Journal.

Sound money. What a quaint concept. It was very much in vogue until Pluto began its 15-year jaunt through Capricorn in January 2008. Now as we prepare for Pluto leaving Capricorn for its next 20-year journey through Aquarius, those days of experimentation with never-tried-before monetary and fiscal policies have served their purpose. They won’t be back for quite some time, maybe 70-80 years based on the Saturn/Pluto synodic cycle. The good news is that savers will once again accrue monies for parking their funds in T-Bills, T-Notes, and other Treasuries. They will be able to buy presents for their grandchildren again, and not be such a financial burden on their children. Maybe they can buy junior a groundhog for a pet.

Of course, the downside of these Pluto-in-Capricorn monetary and fiscal policies has put the government on a dangerous debt course towards a possible default. The Fed seems to be leaning into sound monetary policies, but the same cannot be said for Congress and the White House, which is now up against its debt ceiling limit. Of course, no one wants to see the government default on its financial obligations. The debt ceiling limit has to be raised because the consequences of not doing so are catastrophic. On the other hand, the government cannot just continue to “kick the can” down the road and spend recklessly as it has been doing the past two years (and even the past 15 years).

Treasury Secretary Yellen says she can stretch the payments out until early June. This is interesting because in the second half of May, Mars-Jupiter-Pluto will form a T-square. Jupiter/Pluto, in hard aspects is often a time of a financial panic nearby. If you are thinking about purchasing short-term Treasuries, perhaps it would be best to avoid those coming due May-July. On the other hand, that may be the best time to purchase Treasuries that come onto the market then, for their rates may be briefly and sharply higher than normal as fear of a selling frenzy could engulf the financial community. It’s good to lock in rates when holders are in a panic. They want the comfort of getting out and you want the opportunity to maximize the return on your investment. Be smart and plan your investment strategy with that period in mind.

The U.S. is not going to default. Transits and progressions to the U.S. founding chart (July 2, 1776) are mostly positive (listen to the audiobook of Forecast 2023 Abridged edition). The only geocosmic aspects that show this possibility are the transits to the natal chart of President Biden, who has transiting Pluto in opposition to Jupiter, his ruling planet, in the 8th house of debt. This will be followed by Pluto in a square to his natal Moon, which rules his 8th house of debt. Pluto rules debt and a few other terms that start with “D” (downgrade, deficit, and default). Once again, the U.S. isn’t going to default. But the president may have some explaining to do about his fiduciary duties and spending sprees regarding the U.S. Treasury in 2023-2024. He may also have some explaining to do about the activities and possible coverups of his family members, as the Moon pertains to one’s home life. In the fifth house, it can pertain to his children. His (in)ability to get a grip on the financial well-being of the U.S. as well as his family’s missteps will probably tell the tale as to whether he will be the choice of the Democrats to run again for the presidency. He is lucky right now with the transit of Neptune making a grand trine to his natal Sun/Venus and Jupiter. But no one escapes Pluto unscathed. 


NOTE 1: REGISTRATION IS NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT INTO THE 2023-2024 MMTA (MERRIMAN MARKET TIMING ACADEMY) TRAINING PROGRAM. Would you like to learn how MMA was able to advise its clients to purchase Gold in the 1640’s last fall and then carry the position until the nearby month hit $1950 last week? Or to sell Silver short above 24.40 recently and carry it down into last week’s lows? Or purchase Bitcoin recently near its lows as it now continues to test $24,000? This is the skill set of MMA’s Market Timing methods, which will be taught in the new  MMTA program 

We would like to thank those who have applied and to inform our readers that about half of the available spots for entrance into this 2023-2024 program have now been filled. Applications to this series of MMTA courses will remain open for the discounted tuition rate until March 11, or until all slots are filled. Course 1 begins on March 18. This is your chance to learn how to analyze and identify important time bands (and price targets) for market reversals in financial markets for traders and investors alike. This is the most complete course offered anywhere on the integration of cycles, geocosmics, trend studies, price objectives, chart patterns, and technical analysis. If you want to become a better trader, investor, or an analyst for traders and/or investors, this is the course for you! This will be the last MMTA program co-taught by Raymond Merriman. For further information or assistance with applying, or regarding the program and course schedule, please contact 

NOTE 2: Ray was interviewed by Thomas Miller last week about his background and the next several years for the state of the nation and globe. The interview is now available on YouTube as a podcast as of Friday evening. It’s an hour long, very in-depth and engaging. It’s an excellent listen. To hear this podcast, please click here. Thomas is an excellent interviewer with a great voice. He is the narrator for our recent audiobooks. 

THE AUDIOBOOK OF THE ABRIDGED EDITION OF FORECAST 2023 IS NOW AVAILABLE. Click here to order this abridged edition for only $19.95, or $13.96 if you are an Audible member, or for one credit (no cost) if you have earned Audible credits. Narrated by astrologer Thomas Miller (he does an excellent job!), this audiobook is 5 hours and 34 minutes. It covers all sections of the Forecast Book except the financial markets and the geocosmic calendar and ephemeris in the back of the book. It is an excellent way to listen to the major geocosmic trends underway that are affecting the entire world and nation. When you go to the Audible website linked here, click on the book cover > sample > to hear the introduction. ORDER NOW and load it onto your phone to listen to while you are working out or just taking a walk. It’s a great way to get prepared for the New Year! 

NOTE 3: FORECAST 2023 – THE BOOK – is completed In both the print and eBook (English) versions. If you live in the U.S., you should have received it by now. If you live overseas, the actual delivery depends on your postal service.

The price for the printed edition of Forecast 2023 is $66 as long as supplies last. We are down to the last 25 copies now. Last year’s book sold out, so order now before they are gone. Once we get down to the final 10 copies, the price will increase to $95 for the print edition. There will be no additional printings. The price for the eBook edition will remain $55 and will continue to be available even if the printed edition sells out as it has four of the prior eight years.

This year’s printed and eBook versions of the full Forecast 2023 Book will also be available in these languages:

German: or email at



 NOTE 4: Trends for the Twelve Signs 2023 is now available at Audible! Just go to and type in the book title and the choice of eBook, printed version, or audible will come up. Or Click here to order from Amazon. There are a lot of excellent sun sign books available each year. However, we don’t think you will find a more insightful and well thought-out book dedicated to the yearly trends for the twelve individual sun signs than this one. It is, in our opinion, the finest of all the 2023 sun sign books. Period. The book, Trends for the Twelve Signs 2023, is written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and Raymond Merriman and is also available directly through MMA, print or eBook edition. The format of this year’s book covers the outlook for health, relationships, business, career, finances, and overall psychological factors of each sign for the year. It includes specific birthdates that are affected by the major geocosmic transits within and to each sign. There is a discount available for those who order the Trends for 2023 book along with Forecast 2023 Book. 

NOTE 5: TUNE INTO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube Channel on the geocosmic climate related to financial markets hosted by MMTA Educational Director Gianni Di Poce. These 5-15 minute video presentations review 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! To view this week’s MMA YouTube episode, click here.


February 4, 2:00 PM, EST. Live Q&A on MMTA3. Raymond Merriman and Gianni Di Poce will answer questions about the next series of courses from the Merriman Market Timing Academy (MMTA) that starts on March 18. There is no cost to attend this event, which starts at 2:00 PM, EST. But you do need to register to receive the link to join that was sent to everyone this past week.

February 10, 2023: Ulric Aspegrén, MMA Euro Currency analyst, will be the special guest on the MMA YouTube channel hosted by MMTA director Gianni Di Poce.

February 19, 2023, 1:15 PM EST: The Annual Worldwide Webinar and Address on Forecast 2023 with Raymond Merriman. Save the Date! Starts at 11:15 AM, MST, which is 1:15 PM EST, 6:15 PM GMT, 7:15 PM CET. It will be very early in the morning in Australia, Beijing and Tokyo. In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s annual worldwide Forecast 2023 Webinar. This broadcast will address themes from this year’s Forecast 2023 Book, with updates on financial markets since the book was written in November 2022, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil and Bitcoin. Cost is $55.00, and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. Questions will be answered that are submitted one week before the event if they are deemed of interest to the overall audience. If you are unable to attend live, the video recording will be available the following day. To register, click here. 

March 18-April 29, 2023: Cycles and Patterns in Financial Markets. This 6-week online course will take place for 2.5 hours  every Saturday (except April 8), starting at noon, Eastern Time.  If you are interested in how cycles work and how to use them to time your investments or positions trades for maximum profit potential, this is the course for you. There is no astrology in this 6-week course. It purely identifies cyclical time bands for long-term investment and short-term position trading. You will learn to speak the language of cycles as they pertain to financial markets, and to understand what constitutes a bullish or bearish trend via cycles and their relationship to the proper moving averages. You will also learn the three type of cycle patterns in bull and bear markets and what strategy to apply in each phase of the cycle. After this course, you will see charts and their patterns like never before. Charts will not appear random anymore. And each class will end with a discussion of how these methods apply to the current markets in the week ahead. 

This will also be the first course (of 8 courses) of the  MMTA (Merriman Market Timing Academy). You do not need to be enrolled in MMTA to take this course unless you also aspire to be a graduate of MMTA over the next two years. It is open to everyone. The cost for this course is $2500. To sign up, click here.

I noticed that learning your method, which has made me rather well off, is already leading me to think beyond profits. These courses are worth more than what you are charging. So what you are doing will challenge the weight of Gann and Elliot in technical analysis. – Vincent W, Bank Career Trader and Head of Foreign Exchange Desk at major bank, Singapore. 

“My perspective on the markets, and perhaps life, have changed dramatically since being gifted the privilege of joining MMTA2. I am extremely grateful for having been given the opportunity to learn directly from you.” – Kyle M, MMTA2 graduate, North Carolina, programmer, trader, and high school math teacher.

Attached is my final research project on the cotton market…as always critiques are welcomed!! Doing these research projects and really dissecting the cotton market during this course has allowed me to trade cotton very successfully over the last year. It is extremely rewarding to do the work and then to watch it unfold according to plan.” – Wyatt F, Wisconsin, MMTA2 graduate, Owner of large family farm operation, and now an MMA analyst.

MMTA2… was one of the best things I have ever done.” – Renato R, Australia, MMTA graduate.

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.