Nonfarm payrolls increased 253,000 for the month, beating Wall Street estimates for growth of 180,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was 3.4% against an estimate for 3.6% and tied for the lowest level since 1969. Average hourly earnings, a key inflation barometer, rose 0.5% for the month, more than the 0.3% estimate and the biggest monthly gain in a year. – Jeff Cox, “Job Growth Totals 253,000 in April, Beating Expectations,”, May 5, 2023.

Last year’s techwide reckoning continues. In 2023, layoffs have yet again cost tens of thousands of tech workers their jobs; this time, the workforce reductions have been driven by the biggest names in tech like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Zoom. The running total of layoffs for 2023 based on full months to date is 168,243, according to – Natasha Mascarenhas and Alyssa Stringer, “A Comprehensive List of 2023 Tech Layoffs,”, May 5, 2023.

It was the week of the Mercury retrograde midpoint (May 2-3 +/- 1 day), otherwise known as the “Inferior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury,” “Mercury Cazimi,” or for market timing purposes, the “Full Stride Period of the Trickster.” And what a wild week it was in many financial markets!

The middle of the week (mid-Mercury retrograde) witnessed another rate hike by the Federal Reserve, accompanied with a hint that it may be the last increase for a while. The week ended with conflicting economic reports, as noted by the above quotes. Several companies have announced they will be (or already are) initiating large layoffs, yet the employment reports keep showing more people entering the workforce. Perhaps as people are being laid off, they are also starting two or three part-time jobs to make up for the loss of income. With Mercury retrograde, we may not have the full story. These reports are lagging indicators. Things can quickly change, as the markets themselves illustrated last week.

As an example, the DJIA rallied to a new primary cycle high on Monday, May 1, at 34,257. Just three days earlier, it was making a major cycle low at 33,235. The next three days, the DJIA fell 367, 270, and 286 points, respectively, bottoming at 32,937 on Thursday, May 4, lower than the major cycle low of the prior week. The next day, Friday, it was up over 500 points. As noted before, under Mercury retrograde, price swings every 1-4 days are common. As we approach the Sun/Uranus conjunction, the swings get larger and larger.

Commodity markets also exhibited sharp but brief price swings last week. Gold soared to 2085.40 on Thursday, May 4, still within the one-day orb of the Mercury retrograde midpoint and just less than $4.00 off its all-time high of 2089.20 recorded on August 7, 2020. One day later, it was down nearly $80 from that high. Crude Oil fell to 63.64 on Thursday, May 4, slightly below its earlier cycle low of 64.35 on March 20. The next day, Friday, May 5, it was testing 72.00, making Thursday’s new yearly low look like a classic Mercury retrograde fake-out.


However, the most important geocosmic development centers around Mars making a T-square with the Jupiter/Pluto square, as Jupiter enters Taurus (May 16). This can be problematic in a variety of ways, especially May 9-23. Because Pluto is involved, it may relate to finances again, and the possibility of raising taxes and an escalating world debt situation. Pluto can also pertain to crop damage or threats to human lives caused by either nature or human activity that tries to coerce others to its will. Furthermore, with Jupiter square Pluto, there may be a high-profile bankruptcy or surprisingly large loss of funds reported. Where did they go? How could one entity lose so much and thus threaten the financial fabric of that nation or even the world? Financially this can be a dangerous time for financial matters, and financial markets may be subject to large losses either into or following this period. Forecast 2023 Book Chapter on “Spring 2023,” written in October 2022 (

Pertaining to the above quote, the banking and financial issues suddenly erupted just as spring was about to begin (mid-March). And now, as we approach the fixed T-square of Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto, another financial threat is immediately ahead: the U.S. risks running out of funds to cover its debts (debt ceiling limit crisis). As stated in last week’s column and before, Jupiter square Pluto does have a history of correlating with financial panics (maybe 50% of the time within a 4-month orb). Along the way, the Sun will conjoin Uranus (disruption) on May 9, in Taurus, the sign of money. I think we will see very huge movements in financial markets around that time, lasting through May 23 and maybe beyond.”

Thus, there is an abundance of geocosmic factors to weigh this week. For instance, the Sun will conjoin Uranus on Tuesday, May 9. This is a big reversal signature with an 83% correlation to primary cycles in stock indices within 14 trading days, per studies reported in The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing Volume 3:  Geocosmic Correlation to Trading Cycles. But we also know that this aspect can coincide with breakouts and breakdowns if prices are near yearly highs or lows.

At the same time, Mercury is retrograde, which we also know has a reputation for breaking out of support or resistance zones only to quickly retreat again in a  “fake out.” So what will it be this time? A breakout, fake out, reversal, or all three? I think all three, in that order. We already see the setup in the Japanese Nikkei Index, where a new yearly high has just formed. But it is already in the 18th week of a 12-20-week primary cycle in the Nikkei. It’s late, and that is when false signals are most apt to appear – even if they have broken out to new yearly highs.

With Jupiter involved in the forthcoming T-square of Mars-Jupiter-Pluto, we must also be alert to a major reversal in Crude Oil. It may have just formed, but there could be a 4-9 day secondary bottom (known as the “Lendahl Wiggle”) in the May 16 +/- 1 week three-star geocosmic critical reversal time band. The geocosmic climate is wild, and implies huge profit opportunities may be underway. But that also means the risks of losses are greater than usual.

The next two weeks may be a short-term traders’ dream with such potential for large price swings. However, it could also be a nightmare to innocent people who only wish for peace and an opportunity to live their life freely without the threat of coercion from madmen who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people but claim someone is trying to assassinate them. Under Jupiter with Pluto (and Mars), such claims can be exaggerated. However, the dangers posed by these individuals are not likely exaggerated. This is a time to be very wary of exaggerated claims or promises by those with an underlying agenda that involves coverups and danger to others.


On my recent one-month visit to Europe, I had the honor of meeting with one of Europe’s (if not the world’s) leading mundane astrologers, Dr. Christoph Niederwieser ( ).    Christoph is also a scholar of astrological history. At our meeting, he shared the importance of my role in a time-honored tradition in astrology – my annual Forecast Book, which has been written every year since 1976. In his words:

Yes, you are definitely in an honourable tradition with the yearly almanacs. I did quite some research on this subject in 2018-2020, when I was invited as a visiting fellow at the University of Erlangen, to write two of my Prognostication books. They had a wealth of scientific literature regarding the history of astrology:

Among my findings: – The peak of almanac popularity was 1580 – 1610. Afterwards, a slow decline set in
SOURCE: Barnes, Robin B. (2016) Astrology and Reformation, New York: Oxford University, pages 172f.  The most popular almanacs reached up to 50.000 printed copies.

The final fall of astrology was mainly because of all the incorrect forecasts astrologers had made over the decades in order to raise sales with spectacular headlines of catastrophes. This had been overexcited especially during the Thirty Years War 1618 – 1648. SOURCE: Campion, Nicholas (2017) The Revival of Astrology, Interview with Chris Brennan in “Astrology Podcast” –

The major event that made people very skeptical towards astrology was the solar eclipse of August 1654. Astrologers held a public dispute whether this eclipse will be full or partial. Hence people thought: If they cannot tell if it will be total or partial, how can they make predictions on wars, famine, weather etc.? SOURCE: Herbst, Klaus-Dieter (2010) Die Schreibkalender im Kontext der Frühaufklärung, Jena: Verlag HDK.

So there you have it. The annual Forecast Books have revived a tradition in astrology that reached its pinnacle during the latter stages of the great European Renaissance. I am proud to be a modern-day version of this time-honored tradition of almanacs utilizing astrology. It is with pleasurable anticipation that I research and write this almanac every year, and hope to continue for at least 50 years in total, which will culminate in three years. Thank you, Christoph, for giving me a sense of one of my places in the history of astrology. As a double Capricorn (with Uranus and Lunar North Node conjoined near the MC), I value this historical information and my role in this noble study!


 NOTE 1: LAST WEEK FOR SPECIAL RATE!  JUNE 1-4: THE 2023 MMA INVESTMENT RETREAT AND MMTA3 COURSE TWO: “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO LONG-TERM INVESTMENT CYCLES.” The 4-day investment retreat is taking place at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan, and is also offered virtually via Zoom. Instructors and presenters will include Ray Merriman, Gianni Di Poce, Kat Powell, and Rita Perea.

This 4-day intensive will introduce the participant to the role of Outer-Planet Aspects and Ingresses to long-term financial market cycles. With this understanding, one will learn to identify time bands that historically have coincided with the most favorable long-term investment opportunities as well as time bands that have correlated with long-term market peaks or selling opportunities. These studies are based on actual research on the performance of financial markets going back to the 17th century. Once these studies and methods are disclosed, the instructors will then illustrate how they apply them to current market conditions. Outlooks will be given for long-term cycles in various markets (such as stock indices, Gold, and Bitcoin), with the goal of identifying when the next excellent investment or selling opportunities are most likely to take place. Additionally, MMTA Graduate Rita Perea will give a presentation on “The Role of Psychology in Financial Market Trading: Maximizing the Key Mindset Traits of Successful Traders and Investors.”

 You do not need to be a student of the two-year MMTA3 program to join! “Geocosmic Correlations to Long-Term Investment Cycles” is a standalone course designed for investors, but there will also be discussions on the near-term climate for traders as well. This event is an excellent opportunity to interact with MMA President Raymond Merriman and MMTA Director Gianni Di Poce, and several other like-minded students of financial market timing methods over an extended 4-day period. There is nothing like the in-person interactions that occur at an MMA Investment Retreat!

 The cost is $2750, or $2500 if reserved before May 11 (that is Thursday of this week). Cost includes a 120-page workbook, all class recordings, and slides of the class presentations. Note that this retreat is also in conjunction with Course Two of MMTA3, and non-student participants will get credit for Course Two if they decide to attend MMTA in the future. SIGN UP THIS WEEK AND SAVE BIG BUCKS! For further information on this unique and special event, contact MMA at 1-248-626-3034 or by email at For more information, click here.

 NOTE 2: TUNE INTO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube show, hosted by Gianni Di Poce. 5-15 minute FREE episodes 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 alerted when a new weekly episode is released! To view this week’s MMA YouTube episode, click here.

Please note that Ray Merriman will be Gianni’s special guest the following week, May 12, to discuss the powerful geocosmic signatures of May 9-23 and what they suggest for current financial markets like Gold, Silver, Bitcoin, Currencies, Crude Oil, and the Stock Indices.


May 20, 11:00 AM: “Eye of the Geocosmic Storm: What’s Next for Financial Markets.” MMA Analyst and MMTA Director Gianni Di Poce will be giving a lecture with Astrology University on Saturday, May 20 at 2pm ET: Eye of the Geocosmic Storm: What’s Next for Financial Markets? We are in the final stages of the most intense astrological signatures of the year. Will markets boom or is gloom on the horizon? Special attention will be paid to stocks, bonds, forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and real estate. The T-square between Jupiter-Mars-Pluto will also be of major focus, along with Venus retrograde later this year. The cost is $30. To sign up, click here.

June 1-4: MMA INVESTMENT RETREAT: “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO LONG-TERM INVESTMENT CYCLES.” A 4-day, in-person investment retreat hosted at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan. It will also be offered virtually via Zoom. See description above. For more information and to view the class schedule, 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.