U.S. inflation eased in December for the sixth straight month following a mid-2022 peak as the Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates and the economy showed signs of cooling. The consumer-price index, a measurement of what consumers pay for goods and services, rose 6.5% last month from a year earlier, down from 7.1% in November and well below a 9.1% peak in June. –  Gwenn Guilford, “U.S. Inflation Slowed for Sixth Straight Month in December,” Wall Street Journal, Jan 12, 2023.

The federal government ran an $85 billion deficit in December, a wider shortfall than in the same month a year earlier, as the government’s debt burden nears its legal limit.  The federal deficit … widened by 12% in the first few months of the fiscal year that began in October as rising interest rates increase borrowing costs for the government. The government posted a record deficit for the month of November in 2022. The Treasury has spent $57 billion more, a 37% increase, on paying for the government’s debt so far this fiscal year than it did in the same period a year earlier, the largest source of higher government spending. The federal government is approaching the roughly $31.4 trillion limit on borrowing set by Congress. As of Tuesday, the government has borrowed roughly $31.3 trillion. – Andrew Duehren, “Federal Deficit Widened to $85 Billion in December,” Wall Street Journal, Jan 12, 2023.

In an act of gleeful revenge against all bearish pundits, Mars turning direct late last week coincided with strong rallies in several major world stock indices. The Trickster, Mercury retrograde, who is also on the loose through January 18, couldn’t be happier, because this may be his chance to enact another one of his famous fake outs.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, it wasn’t quite so glorious as in other regions of the world. Still, the Australian ASX and Shanghai Composite rose to new monthly highs, the latter in compliance to our outlook on Chinese markets given in last week’s special webinar for China. The big action, however, was in Hong Kong where the Hang Seng soared to a new 6-month high. The rally in Japan’s Nikkei index was rather anemic, and in India, everything was upside down as the NIFTY fell to its lowest level since late October. This was the only major index we watch that was actually lower last week.

The most glorious celebrations were in European equity markets. The London FTSE came within striking distance of an all-time high on Friday, reaching 7864, just a shade below the ATH of 7903 recorded on May 18, 2018. The German DAX and Netherlands AEX reached their highest levels since February 2022. The Zurich SMI made a 7-month high. All seems quite well in Europe this New Year, but we must not forget: The Trickster is still on the loose and Europe isn’t doing that well as we enter the midst of winter. Last week’s warm weather helped, perhaps with the support of Jupiter in the fire sign Aries. Maybe it will last, which would put a wrench in Vladimir Putin’s strategy of pain by freezing.

The market behavior in the U.S. was somewhere between Europe’s and Asia’s. All major U.S. indices rallied last week, but still remain below their highs of December 13. The NASDAQ isn’t that far off its yearly lows. With Uranus about to change directions on January 22, this could become a problem. The cosmic disruptor has a penchant for breaking through markets that are near their yearly highs or lows.

Other markets also exhibited spectacular behavior last week. Bitcoin and Ethereum jumped to new cycle highs, exhibiting their first bullish chart pattern since late March. Of course, back then, the crypto markets suddenly reversed a week later and resumed their downtrend to their yearly low of this past November. But this time the signal could be different because the time and price parameters for a new bull market are starting to be met as described in our Bitcoin subscription reports. We will review them again in tomorrow’s weekly Bitcoin report.

Just as exciting – maybe more – is the Gold market, which has just exploded over the past two months. On Friday, it closed at 1923, up over $300 since its low on November 3, just a couple of days after Mars turned retrograde. The retrograde ends now, as of January 12. Does the rally end here too? We’ll have some strong thoughts on that as well in the weekly Gold and Silver reports coming out tomorrow.   


The decision by the Kremlin to return Russia’s top commander to direct the war efforts in Ukraine comes at a pivotal point in the conflict, possibly heralding a fresh Russian offensive as Moscow grapples for success on the battlefield… Russia had expected the invasion would be followed by a rapid victory last year but instead has become bogged down in a long and costly conflict. “This is confirmation that there will be serious offensives coming,” said Mark Galeotti, principal director of London-based consulting firm Mayak Intelligence and longtime Russia watcher. – Thomas Grove, “Russia Aims to Regain Offensive in Ukraine War,” Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2023.

We now begin the first major time band of geocosmic activity taking place this year, and probably the most important for the entire first quarter. As stated last week, But looking ahead, a stronger period for political and financial market activity is looming, when three planets will change direction. The first will be Mars turning direct in Gemini on January 12. This is more powerful than Mercury turning direct, which takes place on January 18, but probably equally as explosive as Uranus changing directions on January 22. The two together (Mars and Uranus) being highlighted by their stations January 12-22 can be very disruptive.

As traders, we would especially focus on any market that made a primary cycle low or high near the time that Mars turned retrograde on October 31. This would coincide with the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite stock indices, which both bottomed exactly on October 31. It would also apply to Gold, which bottomed November 3, and any other market that bottomed or peaked (or made double tops or double bottoms) within 10 days of October 31, such as the Dollar/Yen, Wheat, Corn, and T-Notes.

Mars’s retrograde coincides with other human activities as well. Mars is the god of war and aggression. And as if exactly on cue, here come headlines that Russian President Vladimir Putin is readying another major military offensive to destroy Ukraine. Maybe, with Mercury also retrograde, he will change his mind or alter his strategy. If not, well, this becomes another fundamental reason for Gold prices rising. But all those retrograde cycles ending the next 10 days imply changes in several different sectors of human activity. It may be best not to get too attached at any definite courses of action just yet. 


NOTE 1: THE Recording of “The MMA CHINA WEBINAR FORECAST 2023 WEBINAR” which took place on Friday January 6, is now available. Financial markets reviewed included the China SSE stock index, Gold, Crude Oil, DJIA, Bitcoin and the Chinese Yuan currency. The webinar went very well! Topics covered included 1) the four most highlighted geocosmic time bands for trend reversal through July for many financial markets; 2) the importance of the outer planets changing signs 2023-2025; 3) the significance of Pluto crossing the Jupiter/Saturn “supercharged degree” 5 times in 2023-2024; 4) war versus Renaissance cycles coming up; plus 5) the financial markets listed above and questions asked by participants ahead of time. The cost for the recording, which includes the PowerPoint slides, is $55. Understand that this was a 3-hour webinar and included translation into Chinese from English. You will hear both languages (English first, then Chinese). To order this recording, click here. 

NOTE 2: 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 box. Last year’s book sold out, so order now before they are gone. 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.

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 as an eBook in English and German!!!. Click here to order from Amazon. The audiobook via has now been accepted and will be available ANY DAY NOW (We just got the final acceptance on Wednesday that it will be up and ready for purchase within 10 days). 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.


January 17, 2023: The monthly  MMA ETF Monthly Cycles Report will be released this week! Written by MMTA director Gianni Di Poce, this report covers SPY (S&P stock market), GDX (Gold), BITO (Bitcoin), TLT (Treasuries), USO Crude Oil ETF), XLV (Health groups), XLK (Technology), and XHB (home builders, real estate). Now you can get our cycles and geocosmic outlooks for the most popular and traded ETFs, which trade like stocks on the major exchanges. A great compliment to the monthly MMA Cycles Report. For an overview from Gianni about what this new monthly report will cover, check out his ETF Episode on Merriman Market Analyst’s YouTube Channel. 

January 21, 2023, Noon, PST: “Outer Planet Shifts in 2023: Crash or Boom” with Gianni di Poce on Zoom  for the Astrology University. Cost is $30.00. To register, click here.


January 23, 2023: Noon, MST: REGISTRATION OFFICIALLY OPENS FOR MMTA3!!! For more information on this two-year course of financial market analysis and financial market timing using the MMA methodology, see “Events” below for March 19. This is your chance to learn how to analyze and identify important time bands 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! Stay tuned for how to enroll, starting January 23, the first business day after the new moon gets underway.

January 25, 2023: The first official release of the MMA Grain Cycles report. The analyst of this new report will be Wyatt Fellows, a top MMTA graduate and owner of a large farm operation in Wisconsin. It will cover Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, and Cotton, from both a cyclical and geocosmic outlook, and also with attention to the fundamentals related to grains. He is excellent! He knows his business! To order this report, click here. 

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, 2023: The third MMTA (Merriman Market Timing Academy) since 2013 will commence. This two-year educational and training experience will change your life and how you view financial markets. Yes, the course is challenging, but it is also very exciting and fun! With this course, you will know where the market is at any given interval of time, and the trading or investing strategy to employ. These 8 courses consist of 6-7 zoom meetings (100+ hours of live instruction and interaction with instructors Ray Merriman and Gianni di Poce, including review and preview of current markets each session) over a two-year period, on Saturdays (noon, EST), with 1-2 month breaks in between each course. That is, you will be in 2-hour Saturday sessions 18 weeks/year, two in-person, live weekends, all over a two year period (March 2023-September 2024), plus one additional voluntary review session for each test after every course. There is nothing else as comprehensive in the field of market timing as this program available anywhere! It covers MMA’s market timing methodology for long-term and intermediate-term investing, plus position and aggressive short-term trading. Please note: This will be the last 2-year MMTA program taught by Ray Merriman. Cost is $2500/course, with a discount if registering for the full two-year program. Applications for enrollment will begin January 18 and will be limited to 40 full-time students (last time we had to turn applicants away). Enrollment includes an interview prior to acceptance. Below are just a couple of the many comments received from MMTA 2 graduates. More to come.

“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.

Thank you for all your help through MMTA2, it 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.