PLEASE NOTE: U.S. markets are closed on Monday, May 31, for the Memorial Day holiday
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
U.S. equity markets flirted with record highs Friday as President Biden unveiled his $6 trillion budget proposal. Biden’s proposed budget would fund massive social programs. It would result in a $1.8 trillion deficit. Elsewhere in the economy, core personal consumption expenditures, which exclude food and energy, jumped 0.7% month over month and 3.1% annually, which was the biggest reading in at least 28 years. The 1.2 percentage point annual increase from March was the largest since recordkeeping began in 1960. – Jonathan Garber, “Stocks Rally Despite Inflation Uptick, Biden’s $6T Budget, www.foxbusiness.com, May 28, 2021.
The Jupiter-in-Pisces spending blowout begins to take shape now and investors still love the idea. And why not? More money in the economy means more money to spend on stocks – and commodities, Bitcoin, and houses. Inflating assets is one of the ways the government and central banks believe that debt levels can eventually be contained, and we should know if that belief is true or not in the next three years as Pluto rounds out its 15-year trek through Capricorn.
Although many global indices rallied smartly last week, several still remained below their yearly highs of February or late April/early May. Exceptions were noted in the Australian ASX, India NIFTY, Zurich SMI, and Brazilian Bovespa indices, which made new all-time highs on Friday, May 28. The German DAX did the same early last week and then re-tested those highs again (but fell slightly short) on Friday.
However, the more dramatic activity since our last column of two weeks ago was in the cryptocurrency markets. After posting an all-time high of 64,899 on April 14, Bitcoin plunged 53.77% into a low on May 19. That low was tested again on May 23 when it fell again to 31,000. The movement in Ethereum was even more stunning. It soared to its all-time high on May 12, a month later than Bitcoin, as it reached 4380. Ethereum then nosedived 60.5% to a low of 1730 just nine days later on May 23. Bitcoin made a double bottom at a higher price on the same day for a new case of intermarket bullish divergence, and in an MMA three-star geocosmic critical reversal date (CRD) time band coinciding with Saturn turning retrograde. These movements fit our analysis provided in last week’s mid-year Financial Markets webinar.
There was plenty of excitement in other markets too, including Gold and Silver. Gold rose to 1913.30 on May 26, an exact hit of the 3-star CRD, forming a new cycle high, and its highest mark since January 8. Silver rallied to a weekly high of 28.34, but that fell short of its prior week’s high of 28.90. Crude Oil rallied to 67.52 on Friday, its highest level since its yearly high of 67.98 on March 8.
The major geocosmic signature this week is Mercury turning retrograde, May 30-June 22. It will take place at 24° Gemini, joining the Sun and Venus there as well, with each moving towards a square to Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter is also now in Pisces.
Gemini and Pisces are “mutable signs” in the study of astrology, and mutable signs are known to exhibit dualistic, even contradictory, stances on their messaging to others. Thus, with Mercury retrograde in Gemini and the solar eclipse approaching on June 11 (also in Gemini), we will look to the next couple of weeks as “Mutable Madness.”
The “madness” potential of this period is compounded with the second passage of the volatile Saturn/Uranus waning square that unfolds on June 14. The first passage occurred on February 16 and coincided with new highs in many world stock indices, followed by multi-week declines. Japan’s Nikkei index, for instance, completed a 30-year high then. An 11-week decline of nearly 11% from that high ended only two weeks ago. The high still remains.
Thus, there is likely to be a series of conflicting messages over the next three weeks with Mercury retrograde, Saturn square Uranus, and the solar eclipse in the middle of this “mutable madness.” It is wild and exciting, but it may also be fraught with sudden events, unexpected policy changes, and a host of false rumors that jolt financial markets and may even coincide with social unrest and populist uprisings.
It would not be surprising to hear the results of the 2020 election audit taking place in Maricopa Country, Arizona, which happens to be where I live. The first passage of Saturn and Uranus was nearby to the attack on the nation’s capital. Given that the results of this audit – by an organization that has no prior credible experience in auditing elections – are likely to cause great disruption and disbelief, another revolt is not out of the realm of possibility. Saturn square Uranus is a classic indicator of non-peaceful protests.
Democrats want a high global minimum tax that would end national tax competition and reduce the harm from their huge tax increase on U.S. business. But tax competition has been a boon to global growth and investment as Ireland’s famous low-tax policy makes clear… Between 1986 and 2006 their economy grew to nearly 140% of the EU average. Employment nearly doubled and the brain drain of the 1970’s and 1980’s reversed. After Ireland slashed its rate and broadened the corporate-tax base, tax revenues soared. The other ingredient in Ireland’s tax success is that politicians across the ideological spectrum (have supported) the 12.5% corporate tax rate for more than 20 years… as damaging as the high rates the Biden (team) are proposing is the signal to businesses that tax policy remains a political football. – “Ireland’s Tax Lesson for Biden,” Wall Street Journal Opinion page, May 28, 2021.
As the U.S. approaches its first Pluto return, this is an opportune time to revisit the dynamics of Pluto as it relates to the nation’s financial foundation.
In past columns, I have often referred to Pluto as the correlate to the four D’s in finances: debt, deficits, downgrades, and defaults. I have also observed the correlation of tax reform efforts during periods when Pluto is in aspect to other current transiting planets, as well as in a critical aspect to a nation’s planetary positions at the time of its founding.
In the case of the U.S., I find these correlations most accurate when applied to the chart of July 2, 1776, when the Moon and Pluto were conjunct at 25-27° Capricorn. With a 248-year orbit around the Sun. Pluto is now returning to these same degrees in 2021-2023. This is known as a nation’s “Pluto return.” It implies that the principles of Pluto will be in full force in terms of its behavior, attitude, and areas of human experience associated with Pluto (the four D’s, taxes, research, race matters, etc.). It is in the financial arenas that this column is interested in exploring.
The driving principle behind Pluto is that of reform, or the “urge to purge” that which is deemed harmful and destructive. In its effort, great projects are attempted to rebuild, repair, and improve existing conditions (think “infrastructure”). But to do that, existing structures (both physical and ideological) must be torn down and terminated in order to commence a proper “rebirth.” The danger is that this process often leads to greater harm and damage than the current situation it seeks to improve by destroying and rebuilding (“the cure is worse than the ailment.”) Instead of reform and rebuilding, it tears down and terminates, perhaps with a greater intention to enact revenge or settle resentments than to improve what it promotes in order to garner public support.
It all depends on the underlying motivation of those bent on change who come into power (another Pluto term). With Pluto, there is always an underlying motivation that may or may not complement its narrative for the virtues of reform. In the end, Pluto cares very little about the “virtues” it espouses, although it is often concerned with justice and ending abuses that harm other people. Can that be accomplished without also harming yet another segments of the population in the process? That’s the challenge of Pluto: to be authentic and garner support for the reforms it couches in righteous promises and objectives, versus its not-so-positive underlying wish to enact revenge after it attains the power to carry out those changes. The ideas of the Cuban revolution of the 1960’s and the “reforms” promised in Venezuela in the last 30 years come to mind.
Another quality observed with Pluto is its “incubation” characteristic. While Pluto’s transit is in force, the “causes” of the matter that are believed to need reform are set into motion. But the consequences or results of that awareness and actions are often not realized until well after the transit has passed. If we are discussing major tax reforms to pay for the huge acceleration of a nation’s debt (both Pluto-related concepts) as the U.S enters its Pluto return, the consequences of such actions may not be known until a couple of years after the aspect has passed. And is the motivation for tax increases really to reduce the nation’s debt, or to exact a revenge on those it perceives as opponents labeled as the cause for the injustices believed to be harmful to society?
More important to the investment community is the forecast of what the result will be on the nation’s financial system from these “reforms.” The narrative is that it will lead to greater employment and income balance between workers and job creators (business owners and management), which is admirable if true. It could be true if business creators are not disincentivized to produce, grow, hire more workers, and pay higher wages in an environment that at the same time extracts higher taxes and thus allows less profits for their efforts. The counter-argument is that such “tax reform” policies will eventually lead to less production, less growth, less hiring, more layoffs, and a reduction of wages in order to maintain adequate profit margins. Yet it is also true that the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” in society is grossly imbalanced and the cause for much of the polarization that is driving these reform efforts.
I am going to end this section with a concern I have that relates to another application of astrological forecasting involving Pluto. I have observed that “bankruptcy” in an individual’s chart is most highlighted when the transit of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto make a “hard” aspect (square, or opposition) to one’s natal Venus, Jupiter, or ruler of the second house. It doesn’t mean that one necessarily goes through bankruptcy. But it indicates a period when one tends to spend far more than one brings in, when expenses can run away and greatly exceed one’s revenues or income, if not careful. The key word is “careful” – to be aware of one’s spending patterns and the consequences of overspending,
President Biden is in one of these periods now, and hence the concern. His natal Jupiter, ruler of his chart, in the 8th house (debt), at 25° Cancer. His progressed Mercury (decision-making) is at 25° Capricorn. The U.S. natal Moon-Pluto is 25-27° Capricorn, which just happens to be where transiting Pluto is for the next two years. President Biden is thus currently under this potential “bankruptcy” aspect (Pluto in hard aspect to his natal Jupiter) and it ties into the U.S. chart. It doesn’t mean Biden, or the U.S. necessarily go through bankruptcy, but it could happen if the ratio between spending (expenses) and revenues is not carefully monitored to curtail the current debt explosion.
The belief that higher taxes will result in higher revenues and economic growth beyond the first one-two years will be tested. There is little historical evidence that this is the case, and Ireland is an excellent example of the success of the opposite approach.
But enough of that for now. This is a holiday weekend, and it’s the unofficial start of the summer season in the U.S. It is also the time of “Mutable Madness,” as the eclipses and several planets are now in mutable signs. It is time to enjoy life. But given the presence of Pluto in the nation’s chart, combined with Jupiter now in Pisces (May 13-July 28) and Saturn approaching its second square to Uranus (June 14), it would be wise to control spending and behavior that might be “over the edge.” With Saturn (the “edge”) square Uranus (doesn’t care about “boundaries” – they are only challenges begging to be tested and violated), going “over the edge,” or “over the top” may be followed by a sudden and precipitous decline. That goes for financial markets too during the next six weeks. It will have an amusement park-like climate and is likely to be an emotional and financial roller coaster ride for many. Stay safe and enjoy the theatrics.
NOTE 1: MMA’S FINANCIAL MARKETS WORLD WEBINAR AND FORECASTS 2021 UPDATE TOOK PLACE MAY 22, 2021, 12:00 PM MST: This 3-hour broadcast gave an intermediate-term update on several financial markets, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, the Euro currency, U.S. Dollar and Bitcoin. Joining Ray to share their outlook was Ulric Aspegrén (Euro, U.S. Dollar) and Gianni Di Poce (U.S. Treasuries, Crude Oil). Ray covered equities, metals, and Bitcoin. The recording is now available and very current (especially Bitcoin!). The cost for this recording is $55.00 and includes the slides of the presentation. For more information, go to www.mmacycles.com, Shop> Webinars. Or click here.
NOTE 2: A SEVEN-WEEK COURSE ON “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO TRADING CYCLES” takes place on Saturday afternoons, eastern time via Zoom, June 19-July 31.
This is the most important course on market timing for traders offered by MMA. The historical correlation between planetary cycles and cycles in financial markets will be taught and demonstrated with stock indices, Gold, Silver. T-Notes, Currencies, Crude Oil, and grain markets. With the knowledge of certain geocosmic cycles and their phases, one can narrow market cycle’s time band down to a specific date with an orb of only three trading days! This is how MMA provides that extra edge” that all traders seek. Beginning June 19, and lasting seven weeks, Raymond Merriman and his protégé Gianni di Poce will offer 2-3 hour training webinars on this methodology. The classes will be offered via Zoom, starting at 1 PM Eastern Time, for seven consecutive weeks (June 19-July 31). This is part of the Merriman Market Timing Academy (MMTA) curriculum (Course 3), but it will also be available as a standalone course for up to ten persons not enrolled in the academy.
The cost for this 7-week training course is $1800. Each course will be recorded and available for future viewing by participants. For further information and application, please visit www.mmacycles.com > Events, or click here.
JUNE 19-JULY 31: A SEVEN-WEEK COURSE ON “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO TRADING CYCLES” taking place on Saturday afternoons, Eastern Time via Zoom.
For further information, see “Announcements” above, or visit www.mmacycles.com > Education, or click here.
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.