The U.S. has (or had) 30 million small businesses employing almost half the workforce. The Main Street Lending program in last year’s Cares Act set aside $75 billion in loss provisions so the Federal Reserve could facilitate $600 billion in loans to small businesses. Here is the report card: As of October, MSLP has made fewer than 400 loans, totaling $3.7 billion. That’s it! A dud. – Andy Kessler, “Small Business Loans are MIA,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2021.

Spending packages, such as ARPA (the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act) can’t fix supply-side problems. Since the economy no longer suffers a demand shortfall, the main effect of the law will be to redistribute resources from productive, market-driven activities to unproductive politically driven ones. This bill was never intended to jump-start the economy…. It is reasonable to dedicate federal resources to increase vaccine production. ARPA does little of this, devoting $16 billion to vaccine distribution and another $50 billion to virus testing. But this is far from satisfactory, given its $1.9 trillion total. – Alexander William Salter (economist), “America Doesn’t Need More Stimulus,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2021.

We got the new moon in Pisces rally that we expected in global equity markets. It is interesting because just three weeks ago, during the full moon, the market was falling, and it seemed everyone was calling for a crash. We took exception to that and suggested that this particular new moon in Pisces, conjunct Venus and Neptune as well, has a stronger correspondence to euphoria ad irrational exuberance. Yes, when it isn’t euphoric, it could instead be panic and hysteria. But the majority of past cases with a similar dynamic were bullish for equities. Now that the market has reversed and made strong rallies into last week, more analysts are calling for a further “melt-up.” We will take exception to that group-think forecast too, based on the principle of Saturn square Uranus this year. We have dubbed this as “The Year of the Contrarian.” If everyone thinks the market is going to crumble, it is more likely to rally. If everyone thinks the market will rally, it will crumble. The latter dynamic is now dominant, a complete reversal from three weeks ago.

Most major equity markets rallied through the first half of last week. Then they started to pullback late in the week, right on time according to our understanding of the cosmic factors underway. Some indices made new all-time highs again last week, but in almost all regions, there continued to be cases of intermarket bearish divergence. Some markets had new cycle highs, while others made only secondary highs (double tops) at lower levels.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim,  most indices rallied, but could not exceed their highs made February 16-18 when the first passage of the Saturn./Uranus waning square occurred. That is significant from the Financial Astrology point of view, for Saturn/Uranus is the longest, strongest, and most significant long-term planetary cycle or phase in effect in 2021. It is the 11.25-year quarter cycle to the 45-year conjunction cycle of these two powerful outer planets. Our geocosmic CRD (critical reversal date) was March 12-15, +/- 3 trading days. All the indices we track in this region of the globe made secondary highs to the peaks in mid-February between March 9-16.

In Europe, the German DAX continues to be the star performer. It made another new all-time high last week, March 18. The other indices rallied too, but none took out their highs of January or February.

Intermarket bearish divergence was also noted in the U.S. stock market, as both the DJIA and S&P made new all-time highs on March 18, but not the NASDAQ. The DJIA, for example, made a peak on Thursday, March 18, at 33,227. By Friday, it was testing 32,500 and closing near the low of the week. Technically, this is a troubling development. The U.S. may need another big spending program to keep the momentum (or is addiction?)  going.

Fortunately, America’s highways have an abundance of potholes due to years of neglect that need to be filled. It should be easy to convince Congress to approve another massive spending bill for this project. However, there is one problem with this type of thinking: every new spending program means more debt.  The market is now overloaded with the availability of U.S. Treasuries to finance these projects. The U.S. Treasury market, which is larger than the U.S. stock market, has already started to collapse under the weight of all this new debt. And President Biden is undergoing transiting Pluto in opposition to his natal Jupiter (ruling planet) in his 8th house of debt. This is one of the classic “bankruptcy aspects” if one is not careful with spending. This is a time when one may feel confident and optimistic about the future. But it is really a time when one needs to be aware that spending more than one earns or can afford is a recipe for financial problems in the near future. It can lead to bankruptcy if one is not careful in their spending. In this case, the near future of this transit is in effect now through 2023.

Everything is fine at the present, exactly as an astrologer might expect with a new moon in Pisces that just conjoined Venus and Neptune. But that manna from heaven may not last past September. It may even encounter problems in the next week.


I see the bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today.

“John Fogarty on the Devil Behind ‘Bad Moon Rising,’ ” by Creedence Clearwater Revival” in 1969, in an interview by Marc Myers in Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2021. Fogarty explains its origins as beginning “During the Summer of Love in 1967, the hippie movement was becoming quite a thing. Astrology was the rage, especially phrases like “Capricorn rising,” and “the moon is in the seventh house.” 

But I see a “good Jupiter a-rising now.”

Right on schedule, the vernal equinox for Washington D.C. is corresponding to a sense of relief, optimism, and new freedom in the United States. This is the theme of Jupiter rising in Aquarius, as described in this year’s Forecast 2021 Book and webinar. The forecast was that the threat and restrictions from the pandemic would peak in February 2021, +/- 3 months and that by spring and the vernal equinox of March 20, a new season of hopefulness and increased interaction (and decreased restrictions) would commence. Here we are, and it is happening.

The stock market’s torrid surge over the past few months also predicted this new wave of confidence and freedom. The stock market has been a good leading indicator of conditions 3-9 months ahead of time. It always looks ahead. So, in the midst of the past year’s hard times, the stock market has continued to rally to a new all-time high one after another, from the Americas, to Europe, and to Asia.

Yet, the law of gravity also purports that whatever goes up must come down. And a stock market that goes up sharply usually falls just as sharply afterward.

I don’t see the economy or society backing down from its newfound confidence and optimism prior to the autumnal equinox in September. The summer solstice finds Jupiter also rising in Washington D.C., and it will advance from Aquarius to its ruling sign of Pisces. So, the party and the collective celebratory mood are likely to continue through summer.

However, as mentioned, the stock market generally looks 3-9 months ahead. The seasonal ingresses could begin to shift from societal optimism and confidence to worry and fear again with the autumnal equinox. That is when Pluto will be rising in Capricorn, and the Sun will ingress into Libra in the 8th house. The stock market may sense trouble ahead well before September 21. The economic data will continue to look good through the summer, but that data consists of lagging indicators.

The years 2020 and 2021 could turn out to be years where bad news is good news for the stock market because it foresaw the economic and social improvements well before they registered with the data. And soon, good news may become bad news for the equity markets because the investment community will foresee problems developing before they start to show up after summer.


This outlook described above also fits with the history of the quarter phases of the Saturn/Uranus cycle. The third quarter phase of that cycle is in effect February 17-December 24, 2021. That is, long-term stock market crests tend to happen just before or during the aspect, followed by sudden declines (even panics) by the end of the aspect that can sometimes last from 1-3 years afterward.

We may see a pattern similar to the last time Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus were in a similar configuration. This was in late 1999 through early 2000. That was the last instance of Jupiter conjunct Saturn, which was in May 2000. The conjunction was in Taurus and both formed a waxing square to Uranus in Aquarius (July 1999-May 2000). Now, we find these planets and their signs reversed. Jupiter and Saturn have conjoined in Aquarius on December 21, 2020, square to Uranus in Taurus. The square between Saturn and Uranus will last through December 2021.

In the 1999-2000 instance (the waxing square), the dot-com bubble burst. The DJIA made its then all-time high in mid-January 2000, followed by a 39.7% loss of value by October 2002. The NASDAQ topped out with its then all-time high two months later, after which it began a plunge into October 2002, where it lost over 80% of its value. This time it looks like the NASDAQ will top out first. Its all-time of February 16, 2021, was just one day before the first passage of the Saturn/Uranus waning square on February 17. The DJIA has continued to march to new all-time highs even as late as last week. Even though the equity markets topped out January-March 2000 in the first case, it wasn’t until after May 2001 that they began to collapse, and especially after the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001.

Everybody expected the dot com bubble would eventually burst in 2000. But no one expected the attack on the U.S. the next year. With Saturn square Uranus, nothing goes quite as expected. The operative words are “shock” and “surprise.” So, enjoy these next six months as much as possible. Have fun and travel again and go to conferences and reunite with friends that have been missed. Think of ISAR – the International Society for Astrological Research 2021conference taking place August 18-22 in Denver. But at the same time, don’t leave yourself vulnerable to sudden shocks and surprises that could suddenly turn your investment portfolio and relationships into “a bad moon a-rising.” 


NOTE 1: The March issue of the ICR (International Cycles Reports) will be released this week, February 23-24. The ICR Financials includes analysis on ASX (Australian Stock Index), RUT (Russell 2000), SSE (Chinese Shanghai Stock Composite), HSI (Hang Seng Index), AUD (Australian Dollar), DXY (US Dollar), and GBP (British Pound). The ICR Commodities Report includes analysis on LC (Live Cattle), MJ (Cannabis), XAU (Gold and Silver), KT (Coffee), KA (Sugar), C (Corn), and W (Wheat). These reports are written by MMA Analyst and editor Mark Shyterman (metals, stock indices, and soft commodities), MMA President Raymond Merriman (China’s Shanghai Composite Index), MMA Analysts Ken Liao (Hang Seng), Ulric Aspegren (Currencies), Isabella Suleymanov (Grains), and Gianni Di Poce (Australian ASX and Dollar, Cannabis, and Live Cattle). Order now to make sure you get this month’s report! Consider a one-month trial for only $35. 

NOTE 2: The recordings of Course One in the MMTA series of eight courses are now available on the MMA website. It was an excellent course, and the recordings came out very well. Course One covered the methodology of market timing via cycle studies as developed by Raymond A. Merriman, C.T.A. (registered Commodities Trading Advisor). Course One took place over 7 class times, lasting 2-3 hours each, in January-February. The course was taught by Gianni Di Poce, MMTA graduate, and Raymond Merriman. This is an excellent way to understand the timing and patterns of market cycles in any financial or commodity market as developed in “The Ultimate Books on Stock Market Timing” series, with the emphasis here on “Volume 1: Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes.” The course was not limited to the stock market, however. Cycles in precious metals, currencies, grains, and treasuries were also covered. For more information on the title of each of the 19 classes taught over seven weeks, Click here.

NOTE 3: MMTA Course 2 will begin April 3! The subject of this course will be “The Correlation of Long-Term Market Cycles to Geocosmic Studies.” This course is also open to anyone who simply wants to learn the MMA method of determining the time bands for long and intermediate-term cycle highs and lows related to the overlapping of market cycles and longer-term planetary cycles (the correlation is impressive). The cost for this valuable investment timing Course 2 is $1800 and includes 6-7 classes from 1 –3:30 PM, Eastern Time, every Saturday, for six-seven weeks, via Zoom. A recording of each plus the workbook, plus the slides from each class, are provided to those who sign up. Registration is now open (Click here). Several markets will be studied, with most emphasis upon the correlation between longer-term planetary cycles and long-term market cycles in stock indices and precious metals. 

NOTE 4: 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.



APRIL 3, 2021: MMTA Course 2 begins! The subject of this course will be “The Correlation of Long-Term Market Cycles to Geocosmic Studies.” Course 2 is also open as a solo learning experience to anyone who just wants the information and does not want to take the entire MMTA 2-year program or its tests and research projects with the current class of MMTA students. The cost for this valuable investment timing Course 2 is $1800 and includes 6-7 classes from 1 –3:30 PM, Eastern Time, every Saturday, for six-seven weeks, via Zoom. Registration is now open (Click here).    Several markets will be studied, with most emphasis upon the correlation between longer-term planetary cycles and long-term market cycles in stock indices and precious metals.

MAY 22, 2021, 12:00 PM MST: MMA’S FINANCIAL MARKETS WORLD WEBINAR AND FORECASTS 2021 UPDATE. This broadcast will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2021, 3:00 PM EDT (that’s 12:00 PM PDST, 8 PM UK, 9 PM CEDT. 5 AM Tokyo, 6 AM Sydney). In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s  Webinar on Financial Markets and Forecasts 2021 Update. This 2.5-hour webinar will give an intermediate-term update on several financial markets that were covered in the Forecast 2021 Book, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, the Euro currency, and Bitcoin. This will be an especially timely presentation because 1) the 12-year Jupiter orbital cycle will be making its first entrance into Pisces on May 13, and 2) May 3-July 9 has been highlighted as one of the more probable times in 2021 for an intermediate-term (and possibly long-term) trend reversal in several financial markets, including world stock indices. Joining Ray to share their outlook will be Ulric Aspegrén (Euro, U.S. Dollar) and Gianni Di Poce (U.S. Treasuries, Crude Oil). Ray will be covering equities, metals, and Bitcoin. There will be a Q&A with attendees during this webinar. The cost to attend 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, Shop> Webinars. Or click here and SIGN UP NOW TO LOCK IN YOUR PLACE for this event!

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.