“Fortunately, the Congressional Budget Office provides a monthly budget update and recently reported: The federal budget deficit totaled $509 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. That amount is $87 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last fiscal year: Although revenues this year were $83 billion (or 8 percent) higher, outlays rose more—by $170 billion (or 12 percent)….Net outlays for interest on the public debt were substantially higher, increasing by $73 billion (or 49 percent), primarily because interest rates are significantly higher than they were in the first three months of fiscal year 2023.”
James Freeman, “If You Think Biden Is Unpopular Now… Wait until the reckoning for his spending spree.” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2024.
Global stock markets were under siege early last week and then suddenly reversed, perhaps reflecting the switch about to take place this weekend as both the Sun and Pluto leave Capricorn to move into Aquarius.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, it was a tale of two worlds. Japan’s Nikkei and India’s NIFTY indices soared to a new 33-year high (Nikkei, on Friday) or a new all-time high (NIFTY, on Tuesday). However, China’s Shanghai Composite fell to its lowest level in nearly four years, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell to its lowest level since November 2022.
All the indices we track in Europe were under pressure, with weekly lows on Wednesday, January 17. These were the lowest prices for the German DAX, Netherlands AEX, and London FTSE in seven weeks. But each turned around and rallied modestly into Friday, though well off their multi-year or all-time highs.
In the U.S., all three major indices we follow made a weekly or multi-week low at the mid-week but then rallied to new all-time highs on Friday. Brazil’s Bovespa followed the opposite course and fell to a 5-week low by Friday. The disparity in the regional indices of the Far East and the Americas is rather stunning and unusual but not so out-of-character when one considers the big switch about to take place with the geocosmics.
Sharp price swings were also the order of the week in the crypto markets. Bitcoin dropped nearly 20% from its yearly high of January 11, when the ETF bonanza was approved, to its intraday low on Friday. Ethereum also dropped over 10% in the last week.
Gold and Silver behaved a little like stocks at first as Gold dropped to a new 5-week low on Wednesday, the same day Silver fell to a new 9-week low. But both had decent rallies into Friday, though nothing as dramatic as U.S. stocks. Conversely, Crude oil continues to tread water in a congestion zone between $70 and $75. That is likely to change the closer we get to mid-April when Jupiter (co-ruler of Crude Oil) nears its 14-year conjunction with Uranus.
As ever, saying what Mr. Trump would actually do is very hard: he has few fixed beliefs, is a chaotic boss and can reverse position several times a day. In a town hall in Iowa he said he would be too busy in his second term to seek retribution against his political enemies. That was a few hours after his own campaign sent out an email with the subject line: “I am your retribution!” Businesses often say that what they fear most is uncertainty. With Mr. Trump that is guaranteed. This unpredictability could make a second Trump term very much worse than the first. “Donald Trump Is Winning: Businesses Beware,” The Economist, Leaders section, January 18, 2024.
Pluto is back. And this time with the Sun.
That is, on Saturday, January 20, the Sun and Pluto together will cross the boundary moving from Capricorn and into Aquarius. It is like both celestial bodies are leaving the sign of the past and entering the sign of the future. In fact, the Sun and Aquarius both pertain to the future. This double ingress represents a potential “flip the script” scenario. Right now, the script that is heavily weighted in American politics is that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are the inevitable candidates who will face off again in the November election. Each side expresses an almost arrogant belief that this is a fait accompli. Yet, both of these men are aged (Capricorn), and both represent the power conflicts of the past (Capricorn) and present, but not the future (Aquarius). The majority (Aquarius) of Americans do not wish this rematch. Thus, if “the script is to flip,” this is the time for that dynamic to make its entry. This is a big deal if you are a Western tropical astrologer, and it explains very well the turmoil the world is going through. It also coincides with Pluto transiting near (conjunct) the natal Sun of Robert Kennedy Jr, Nikki Haley, Michelle Obama, and Dean Phillips. The Sun/Pluto is a crucial indicator of their solar return charts for this year. It represents exposure to power, as in being empowered or disempowered.
Pluto, the god of the underworld, symbolizing a force of power that can elicit emotions of fear and terror, is crossing 0° Aquarius for the third of five times between March 2023 and November 2024. But fear and terror are reserved for those who think they have power — relentlessly trying to hold onto it — but refuse to surrender it to advance the well-being of the collective (Aquarius) when reforms are clearly called for. Nobody escapes Pluto unscathed without an admission that change (reform) is in dire need of being put into action, of correcting that which is clearly not working for the betterment of the majority. The majority, the masses, are represented by Aquarius, so the entire world will not escape unscathed unless there is a major reform of the use of power on the planet. It’s a major battle for humanity’s future. Denial is not a winning strategy in a cosmic situation like this.
Pluto can symbolize corruption. But it can also signal an effort to get rid of corruption. And this is where Aquarius can come in and be a positive agent of change. If Pluto (the planet) represents the power to transform, then Aquarius (the sign) presents the means to do so via innovation and originality. The goal of Aquarius is freedom. It procures that by invention and discovery plus the application of a futuristic type of knowledge that benefits the masses, which comes from an innate understanding of what the world needs at this moment.
Of course, in the early going, this type of knowledge is revolutionary and, therefore, a threat to those in positions of power (Pluto) who are determined to resist change. Even worse, they may act violently against their real or perceived enemies in their quest to hold onto power. But with Pluto, surrender is necessary – and it ultimately comes or is forced – after which the promise of reform and freedom are realized. Thus, Pluto in Aquarius can be turbulent and violent in the beginning. But this is only the first phase of a purging process that leads to freedom (and reform) through the simultaneous themes of innovation and invention.
The importance of 0° Aquarius cannot be overlooked either. This was the degree of the “New Aira” (thank you, Kat Powell, for that), when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined on December 21, 2020, to begin a 140+-year cycle of the Great Mutation (Jupiter conjunct Saturn) taking place in air signs for the first time in about 800 years. Whenever an outer planet crosses this point now, an important characteristic of the New Aira is activated. When Pluto first crossed it going direct in March 2023, four major banks went under, and panic swept financial markets. But also, the excitement of the AI technological renaissance blasted off with ChatGPT and Nvidia. Now Pluto will go direct again over 0° Aquarius, this time with the Sun. It is time for Aquarian leaders to stand up, expose the problems of societies and governments, and offer solutions.
The Sun in Aquarius is never an easy trading period. In Aquarius, things don’t go according to plan. Markets can rally or fall sharply when everyone is expecting the opposite. Thus, we can anticipate the next month will not go according to expectations or current narratives. This means traders need to be very nimble, especially now, with the Sun and Pluto both entering Aquarius, but also next weekend when Uranus (ruler of Aquarius) turns direct. This is one of the strongest reversal or breakout signatures in astrology pertaining to financial markets. It’s a breakout if a market is near its yearly high or low. It’s more often a reversal if it is undergoing a corrective countertrend move. In politics, it means front-runners may start to lose momentum, and reverse their apparently invincible standings. Or, they can break out to even greater margins and never look back. It can be either/or, or both. One party may break out, while another may reverse. That’s why the next three weeks are critical for Americans who do not want a rematch of what happened in 2020. That’s why the switch from Capricorn to Aquarius could “flip the script” now.
With Aquarius and Uranus highlighted for the rest of this month, large price swings may be noted in technology stocks, like the NASDAQ index. It could also coincide with high winds, electrical blackouts, earthquakes, and other natural calamities. At the same time, it is favorable for those who are receptive to having sudden insights and innovations for a vision into the future. Timing is not always accurate and the ability to easily connect revolutionary ideas with others may be absent. Others may think you are strange and weird (maybe you are). But the vision may be very clear and exciting to the one who plays host.
NOTE 1: THE JANUARY ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report was released last week. It was our first issue of this year. Each issue gives an overview of what we expect for the next month and even year with MMA’s proprietary CRDs (critical reversal dates). As we enter this year, our concerns are focused on the status of the 4-year cycle in stocks and the 16.5-month cycle in Gold, as well as the 44-month cycle in Crude Oil and other long-term cycles in Copper, Euro, T-Notes, and Soybeans. Of course, we will also update the status of primary cycles in each of these markets as well for traders. In addition to MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs), each issue also lists MMA’s solar/lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks for stock indices, Gold, Silver, and the Euro. If you would like to try out one month of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, you can sign up for the January 15th report for only $35! Or save by ordering a 3-month or one-year subscription.
NOTE 2: FORECAST 2024 IS NOW OUT IN ALL FORMATS – PRINT, EBOOK, AND AUDIO!
This is the 48th year of publishing this popular annual astrological almanac by Raymond Merriman. This year’s 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 analyzing mundane cycles, this book also provides our outlook on the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, 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. Order now before they sell out (they sold out in six of the past nine years, including last year).
This year’s printed and eBook versions will also be available in these languages:
NOTE 3: 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 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 4: The Abridged Edition of Forecast 2024 Audiobook is now available! 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 chapters concerning “The New Aira,” the “Aries Vortex 2025 to 2028,” the “Cycles of War, “Technological Renaissance,” “Living in ‘The New Aira,’” “The World and National Economy,” and “The U.S. 2024 Presidential Election.” Original and special studies conducted on the history of the major aspects of 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 Audiobook 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.
NOTE 5: THE MMA WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce, is conducted on Wednesday evenings! Each 5 to 20-minute FREE episode reviews the market activity of the previous week and offers a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the following week and beyond.
NOTE 6: Raymond Merriman was interviewed recently in a very interesting and entertaining 45-minute discussion on the most important themes of the Forecast 2024 book. The interview was conducted by Thomas Miller, who was also the narrator of this year’s Forecast 2024 Audiobook. For more in-depth and up-to-date thoughts on 2024, please click here to listen to this most recent interview.
There are two other insightful interviews featuring Raymond Merriman that were posted on YouTube in early December.
The first interview was conducted by Callum Wilkinson of Kepler College on November 30 as part of the Kepler College’s “Leaders in Astrology” series. 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 to watch the interview.
Both interviews delve into Merriman’s background and history as an astrologer and financial market analyst, ranging from his original work on “Evolutionary Astrology” to “Financial Astrology.” His other accomplishments include his 50 years of community service to astrology, serving as president of ISAR, founding AFAN and UAC, and creating the Merriman Market Timing Academy (MMTA). The discussion touches on his research studies in astrology as well as his vision for the future of astrology as it connects with his involvement in the transformation of astrology from a hobby to a profession.
NOTE 7: MMA’S FREE WEEKLY COLUMN IS NOW A PODCAST ON SPOTIFY, APPLE, AND AMAZON! 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. Check out our podcasts on Apple, Spotify, and Apple Music. It makes for great listening!
NOTE 8: MMA’S Daily and Weekly Subscription services continue to be very hot, especially with stock indices, metals, and Bitcoin over the past several weeks. To order any of these subscription reports, please click here.
February 18, 2024, MMA’s Annual Forecast 2024 World Wide Webinar with Raymond Merriman. Starts at noon EST, which is 11:00 AM CET, 9:00 AM PST, and 6 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 2024 Webinar. This broadcast will address themes from this year’s Forecast 2024 book, with updates on financial markets since the book was written in November 2023. This presentation will include trading plans based on the possibility of big moves related to the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of April 21 and afterwards in the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, and Bitcoin. It will also cover the geopolitical setup of the outer planets moving into new signs between now and 2025 (war cycles, techno-renaissance cycle) and into the Aries Vortex of 2025-2027. Cost is $55.00, and includes the PDF of the presentation slides 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. Registration for the Forecast 2024 Webinar is now open. 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. We will also update financial markets that are likely to be at critical stages in their cycles then. Cost is $95.00. This is one of the few live in-person events to be given by Ray Merriman this year. 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 2024 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 it will be 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.