REVIEW AND PREVIEW
U.S. equity markets finished in record territory Friday after Congress paved the way for President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package and the jobs report showed a drop in the unemployment rate. Stocks rose despite a ho-hum jobs report with the addition of 49,000 jobs in January as the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, according to the Labor Department. In Washington, the upper chamber of Congress early Friday morning voted 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, to adopt a budget resolution for coronavirus relief. Later on Friday, the measure was passed by the House. – Jonathan Garber, “S&P 500, NASDAQ Hit Records as Congress Nears $1.9T Coronavirus Relief,” www.foxbusiness.com, February 5, 2021.
Like Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day 2021, the “Trickster” – Mercury retrograde – was front and center last week. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday, February 2, and returned to his burrow in the ground and thus forecasting six more weeks of winter. The “Trickster” also began its reversal through the cosmos last weekend, on January 30. Just before Mercury’s backwardation began, world equity markets experienced their most bearish technical ending to a week in since late October. That bearish setup on Friday, January 29, was abruptly negated on Monday, February 1, as world stock indices and other financial markets quickly reversed and returned to their former trends. It was like Groundhog Day all over again, just one day ahead of schedule.
When it is Mercury’s time to turn retrograde, matters often appear to go backward and upside down. This happens every three months for a period lasting three weeks (January 30-February 20). It affects communications on all levels. And yes, we know astrologers hate it when Mercury retrograde is blamed for anything and everything. But let’s be clear: it’s not causal. But it is correlative and occurs often enough to warrant attention if you are a trader employing market timing studies. It just so happens that is our niche, our specialty because market timing provides that extra edge that all traders seek. What astrology doesn’t provide is the ability or initiative to act upon this knowledge. That is where free will comes in, and combined with the correlation to cosmic phenomena, the outcome of a matter is determined.
In any event, the prior week (January 29) ended very bearish with the steepest decline in three months. But all those losses were recovered with strong rallies by the end of last week, which was very bullish, negating the bearishness of the previous week. Welcome to another live episode of Mercury the Trickster turned retrograde. It should be interesting as Mercury retrograde continues this month, and we approach the first passage of Saturn square Uranus, the Renegade, on February 17. Flip-flops and sudden, unexpected events and changes of direction become the norm.
In the U.S., the S&P and NASDAQ made new all-time highs on Friday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average just missed. In Europe, the German DAX came within17 points of a new all-time high, but the other indices were still well below their yearly highs. In Asia and the Pacific Rim. India’s NIFTY index made a new all-time high, and Australia’s ASX rallied to its highest mark since the pandemic low of last March, but the other indices remained well below their highs of January 14-25. Thus, bearish divergences still persist in several regions of the world. Does this mean it is time to apply the “buy the rumor, sell the fact” axiom now that the next U.S. stimulus blowout is about to be enacted? Could be. It should provide new ammunition for the WallStreetBets crowd. Hedgers beware – or be prepared.
It was a noteworthy week in precious metals, too. Silver soared to 30.35, its highest mark since February 13, 2013. This rally was the “next big thing” recommended by the WallStreetBets group that banded together on the Reddit platform and then traded on the Robinhood platform the prior week to drive GameStop prices to the sky, causing great pain to the professional hedging community as they were caught off guard with their short positions. The hedgers got even last week and drove GameStop sharply down, proving once again the old adage that “You can make a small fortune in trading, but it usually follows starting with a larger fortune.” But back to the metals. As Silver soared above $30/ounce, Gold fell below $1800/ounce, testing its lows of late November. Within the next three days, Silver fell nearly 15%, but the rallies may not be over yet, with more stimulus checks on the way. They will surely find their way into the hands of the new class of speculators bent on taking it to the professional trading establishment (Saturn squared by Uranus).
In other markets, Crude Oil rallied to its highest mark in over a year. Bitcoin came back and is approaching 40,000 again. Corn soared to 558, its highest level in almost eight years. It is a wild time, every bit as crazy as expected given that we are in the midst of three outer planet hard aspects, December through February, and now with Mercury retrograde in Aquarius added to the cosmic mix.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
There is a long history of high budget deficits being associated with inflation…maintaining stimulus longer than needed usually creates costs that go beyond the short-term federal balance sheet. Michael D. Bordo and Mickey D. Levy, “The Short March Back to Inflation,” Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2021.
This book is an invitation to let go of knowledge and opinions that are no longer serving you well and to anchor your sense of self in flexibility rather than consistency.” – Adam Grant from his book “Think Again,” as reviewed by Philip Delves Broughton, Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2021.
It’s the mid-late 1970’s shaping up all over again. That was the last time the 45-year Saturn/Uranus waning square occurred. Richard Nixon had recently resigned as the U.S. President, rather than submitting himself to impeachment. Jimmy Carter and the Democrats defeated the Republicans to take over the Executive branch of the U.S. government. Inflation was just about to explode before Carter’s one-term stint would end. The stock market made a 4-year high as his term began, but within 18 months, it had about 25%. By the time of the election season in 1980, it was even slightly lower. History could repeat. Joe Biden seems a lot like Jimmy Carter to me, the kind of congenial person you could sit and chat with on the porch of your home at the end of a long day.
Yet, as students of geocosmic studies, we are also aware that under Saturn square Uranus, nothing goes as expected or planned. Government programs and financial markets are all subject to disruptions and changes this year. Conflicts between government rules and regulations versus free markets and the continuing subsummation of small companies by large tech companies, are likely to clash. That is the nature of Saturn (plans and goals) in a hard aspect to Uranus (sudden, unforeseen events or consequences to one’s actions). It occurs in three passages between February 17 and December 24, 2021. It will be the underlying theme of our Forecast 2021 Webinar taking place next week. It is a year where it will be advisable to be flexible in your thoughts, opinions, goals, and expectations lest you risk sudden shocks due to being overly rigid. Uranus shatters the glass of Saturn’s structures and systems. That which rises sharply can fall even more sharply without much warning.
Shorter-term, we may get another taste of the Saturn/Uranus dynamic this week as Venus will conjoin Jupiter and Saturn and square Uranus, February 6-11. Right in the middle of this time band is the midpoint of Mercury retrograde (February 9-10), another “change” indicator. We just came out of a similar cosmic configuration January 20-29, when both the Sun and Mars formed similar hard aspects to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. Get ready for round two.
It won’t end there. The following week finds the Saturn/Uranus square occurring February 17. Transiting Mars will next conjoin the Sun/Mercury in the New York Stock Exchange’s founding chart (May 17, 1792), February 19-26. This will be followed by transiting Jupiter in opposition to the NYSE’s founding Uranus on February 21, allowing an orb of correlation of +/- 1 week. The Ides of March (settlement of debts) comes about a month early for the stock market and perhaps the U.S. government, given that the trial of the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump begins now.
With Mercury retrograde, do not be surprised if the Trump defense centers around election fraud. It is likely to be resurrected (Mercury retrograde). At some point, people will likely begin to realize that life isn’t always fair, that some people cheat, and the greatest exploiter of that truism was probably none other than the former President himself. It will soon be time to move on, for both the Democrats regarding the 2016 election and the Republicans regarding the 2020 election. The Independents, which represent the largest voting bloc in the U.S. today, will patiently wait, hoping that the two parties do not destroy one another and the foundation which has become known as the American experience in democracy.
I think that by the Vernal equinox on March 20, 2021, or shortly thereafter, the light at the end of the tunnel will become visible, and Phil the groundhog will be right. A new day, a new season, will begin and both the nation and the world can experience a new sense of optimism. The drama of the past two elections may finally be over. And the arc of COVID-19 may start receding. It’s already showing signs of improvement in the latest data figures for the U.S. So, let’s visualize that it will continue, and we can have a very enjoyable spring and summer with one another. It is possible if we exhibit care, concern, and respect for one another. Follow the guidelines that you know work. That is the antidote for the Saturn/Uranus tendency to suffer from violating the guidelines that work. We are almost there.
NOTE 1: ONLY ONE MORE WEEK! FEBRUARY 14, 2021, 12:00 PM MST: MMA’S FORECAST 2021 WORLD WEBINAR will take place on Sunday, February 14, 2021, 2:00 PM EST (that’s 11:00 AM PST, 7 PM, GMT, 8 PM CET. 1 AM Mumbai, 4 AM Tokyo, 6 AM Sydney). In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s annual worldwide Forecast 2021 Webinar. This broadcast will address subjects from this year’s Forecast 2021 book, with updates on financial markets since the book was written in November 2020. The focus will be on the Saturn/Uranus squares of 2021 and their relationship to national and international politics, economy, and financial markets, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, the Euro currency, and Bitcoin. Under Saturn/Uranus, things do not usually go as expected. It is shaping up to be “The Year of the Contrarian.” In addition, this webinar will identify the three most intensive (potentially explosive and volatile) times in 2021, as shown by geocosmic studies. Hint: we are in the first one now! Cost is $55.00, and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. If unable to attend live, you can still sign up, as everyone who orders the Webinar will receive the video recording following the live event. For more information, go to https://www.mmacycles.com/product/forecast-2021-webinar/, or www.mmacycles.com then click Shop> Webinars> Forecast 2021 Webinar. SIGN UP NOW TO LOCK IN YOUR PLACE for this once-a-year event!
NOTE 2: The next issue of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report will be released this week, Tuesday, February 9. Has the 15.5-month cycle topped out yet? Or when is it due? That’s the focus on the stock market section of this issue. Every issue provides MMA’s intermediate-term outlook for the U.S. stock market, Gold and Silver, Treasuries, Euro Currency, Crude Oil, and Soybeans. Each issue also contains MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks for DJIA, Gold, and Silver, complete with trading strategies for position traders during the next month. If you are not a subscriber to the monthly MMA Cycles Report and wish a copy of our outlook for financial markets, consider trying the February issue for only $35.
NOTE 3: MMA is pleased to announce that Great Conjunctions: Shifting Times is now available! Written by Chris McRae, who was one of the world’s leading Mundane Astrologers before her sudden passing to the cloud, this fascinating book on the history of Great Conjunctions involving the outer planets throughout history is of great importance to all astrological historians. It is especially appropriate today because 2020 was such a year exhibiting Great Conjunctions. In fact, the grandest of all outer planet conjunctions – the Jupiter/Saturn synodic cycle – took place on December 21, 2020, so this book is timely. The insights that McRae provides on these rare but remarkable configurations will make this one of the most valuable additions to the field of Mundane Astrology. The cost is $24.95 plus postage.
NOTE 4: The print edition of the Forecast 2021 Book is now available while supplies last! The e-Book English version is also available.
This year’s printed and/or e-Book versions of Forecast 2021 are also available in these languages:
In addition to this year’s Forecast book, we are offering a separate publication for those who enjoy the yearly trends for the twelve individual signs. It is titled “Trends for the Twelve Signs 2021” and written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and Ray Merriman. It, too, is at the printer now and due out any day. The eBook version is now available as of Monday, December 7! The cost of this book is $25, with a further discount if ordered with the Forecast 2021 Book.
February 14, 2021: The Annual MMA Forecast 2021 Webinar. Noon, MST. This will be our annual address to the world regarding the year ahead. The focus will be on the long-term outlook for the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, Bitcoin, the Euro, and U.S. Dollar currency. It will also review and update our views on the world economy and the national political situation. This presentation will also identify the three most intensive (potentially explosive and volatile) times in 2021, as shown by geocosmic studies. Always exciting, informative, and well-attended. Sign up now to make sure you secure your place in the live presentation. An MP4 recording will be available on the following Monday (February 15) to all who sign up. The cost to attend is $55.00. For more information and registration, go to https://www.mmacycles.com/product/forecast-2021-webinar/ or www.mmacycles.com, Shop> Webinars> Forecast 2021 Webinar.
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 hence potentially affect 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.