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 On Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials surprised markets by signaling interest rates won’t fall as much as previously planned. The tweak might be more important than it looks. In their projections and commentary, some officials hint that rates might be higher not just for longer, but forever. – Greg Ip, “Higher Rates Not Just for Longer – Maybe Forever,” Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2023.

The United Auto Workers is expanding strikes to 38 parts and distribution locations across 20 states, targeting General Motors and Stellantis, UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday morning. The union will not initiate additional strikes at Ford Motor, as the company has proven it’s “serious about reaching a deal,” Fain said. – Michael Wayland, “UAW Targets 38 Facilities at GM and Stellantis for Expanded Strikes,”, September 22, 2023.

The euphoria of the Sun/Neptune opposition on Tuesday, September 19, wore off immediately after the Fed announced on September 20 that it would not raise interest rates at this time. With Jupiter in Taurus (May 2023-May 2024), this is what we expected. With Taurus (steady), rate increases (Jupiter) were likely to be contained and steady. The only exception we foresaw would have been when Venus, ruler of Taurus, was retrograde (July 22-September 3). There was a brief .25% increase during that time.

Initially following this week’s rate announcement, stocks rose around the world. But by the end of the day, the “glamour” wore off as Fed Chair Powell reiterated his stance that rates would not likely decline either. In fact, he suggested they would remain high for an indefinite time. No surprise there to us, as we think interest rates are in a long-term upward trend until the next Saturn/Pluto conjunction in the middle of this century, as described in the last three annual Forecasts Books. But clearly, the market did not like that outlook on Wednesday. By the end of the week, most global stock indices had fallen, with several dropping to their lowest levels since the bank runs of mid-March, including the DJIA. This, combined with the auto (and other labor) strikes, warns of a possible stock market downturn, perhaps the sharpest decline for 2023 (see below).

In other markets, Crude Oil made another new high last week under the Sun/Neptune opposition of September 19, also as expected. Now, we will see whether this is just a modest major cycle correction or a more severe multi-week primary correction. The rise in Crude Oil is one reason for the stock market sell-off. It means inflation is still not under control, despite the fact that Powell dismissed it as an unreliable (erratic, unstable) indicator for inflation. As with all things Neptunian, this may be more wishful thinking than reality. Bitcoin had a positive week, rallying to a new three-week high following a possible primary cycle low on September 11. But here, too, the high of the week was right on Tuesday, September 19, with the Sun/Neptune opposition. Silver rallied smartly into Friday, but Gold is still treading water between its high and low of the past month as Mars readies for its ingress into Scorpio on October 12.


 Pre-eminence always entails obligations. You have to act the part. You have to present yourself with dignity. You have to comport yourself with class. For some time—let’s say since the turn of this century—we’ve been at a point in our power where we still love to insist on the pre-eminence—USA! USA!—while increasingly ignoring the responsibilities… We want to be respected but no longer think we need to be respectable. – Peggy Noonan, “The Senator’s Shorts and America’s Decline,” Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2023.

Let’s get right down to it. The Sun/Neptune opposition of September 19 and Venus/Jupiter square of September 17 did not lift equity markets to new cycle highs as expected. They were close to the highs of August 31-September 1 and could qualify as double top chart formations (bearish), especially as some indices (including DJIA) are now breaking below the August 18-25 primary cycle lows (bearish). We didn’t expect that – yet. Typically, even in bear markets, the rallies will last 2-5 weeks after the low. The NASDAQ and the S&P high was two weeks after their lows of August 18. But the DJIA high was only one week after its low of August 25. Hence, we (I) thought it had higher to go, based on the DJIA. But sometimes this doesn’t happen (maybe less than 5% of the time). But we (I) did anticipate in our reports that when this newer primary cycle tops out, it could lead to the steepest decline of the year as we head into the Sun/Mars conjunction of November 18. Within an orb of 8° (about six weeks), this aspect has a high correlation to the start or end of 8% or greater declines in global stock indices, according to our research conducted a few years ago. So, the bigger picture is intact, and the astrology (or geocosmics) didn’t miss the smaller picture, as some Twitter (now ‘X’) critics like to point out.

Now, I don’t mind criticism when it is constructive or followed by mature, constructive suggestions. I think that is healthy and can lead to lively and educational debate. But what is annoying is when a critic feels entitled to pass judgement that “astrology doesn’t work” because the astrologer (me, in this case) made a judgement call that didn’t work exactly as expected in a particular case.  I want to make it clear: astrology worked – and continues to work – just fine. In fact (well, in my opinion, based on 45 years of trading experience and market analysis), nothing works better as a market timing tool than astrology. As a point of reference, I went back and looked at the critical reversal dates given for stock indices in Forecast 2023. These were calculated in November 2022, well before the year began. All but one of the 9 dates given for reversals have coincided with trading cycle reversals within 3 days, seven within two days or less, and six either exactly on the date or within one day, including the high (in NASDAQ) and low of the year. How does that happen if “astrology doesn’t work?”

As one ‘X’ follower tweeted, astrology is difficult to use as an “actionable” trading tool because it is “nuanced.” That is true. But what market indicator is not “nuanced?” Astrology is not a “stand-alone” system for successful trading. It is mostly used as a “market timing” indicator of a potential/probable reversal, which by itself has value but by itself cannot assure success in trading. It requires being used in combination with other market analysis tools. The same can be said about astrology being used as a tool to help other people. Just making “predictions” based on a chart doesn’t actually help another person in many cases. Used that way, astrology is either just information or entertainment. In fact, it can be harmful when not used with adequate consulting or counseling skills. Professional astrologers know this. Professional traders know this. But those who have not really studied either subject don’t know this. Yet they often think they know that “astrology doesn’t work” only “because it shouldn’t work.” That’s all they have. So, they will marginalize those who have or know something that they do not have or know.

The moral of this week’s column: The more you know, the more “nuanced” you are likely to become. You will never be perfect, and your decisions will never be 100% correct all of the time. You will make decisions that do not work out as you expect. It’s life. But the risks you take can always be viewed as investments in learning and facilitating your own personal evolution. And in the process, you will become a person of interest to others. Do not be afraid to take risks, for you will miss out on opportunities. But be disciplined and measure your risks and opportunities intelligently.

Have a great week ahead.



 NOTE 1: THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report was issued last week. This month’s issue is particularly exciting because each market was analyzed by graduates of the Merriman Market Timing Academy and reviewed and edited by Raymond Merriman. Merriman contributes the Review and Preview sections, as well as provides his outlooks for each of the sectors in the “Key Points” section of the report. The analysis of the various markets is written by top MMTA graduates – and they are good! These include: Matthew Kaiser of France, Pouyan Zolfagharnia of the UK, Ulric Aspegrén of Switzerland, Gianni Di Poce, and Wyatt Fellows of the USA. The future of Market Timing studies – which includes Cycles and Geocosmic Studies – looks very bright! Each monthly MMA Monthly Cycles Report covers the outlook in the U.S. Stock Market, Gold, Silver, Copper, Treasuries, Euro Currency, Crude Oil, and Soybeans. The MMA Monthly Cycles Report reviews MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks with trading strategies for position and aggressive traders during the next month. If you would like to try out one month of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, you can sign up for the September Report for only $35!

 NOTE 2: The “Annual Forecast Pre-Order Event” is underway!!! The sale will run through October 31 and will include our once-a-year sale discounts on both the annual Forecast Book and MMA Subscription Reports. You may pre-order Forecast 2024 Print at the discounted rate of $55, or the eBook at $45. And the best deal on MMA Subscription Reports is also offered at this time! Save 10% off any subscription ($275+) with purchase of Forecast 2024.

After the pre-order event ends on November 1st, the retail price of Forecast 2024 Print increases to $66, and the eBook increases to $55.

 MMA will also offer a special “bundle” discount rate for those who wish to order both the eBook and print editions of Forecast 2024. The eBook usually comes out 1-2 weeks before the print edition, and avoids delays caused by the postal system, especially if overseas. Yet many readers prefer the print edition, so ordering both via The Forecast 2024 Bundle makes sense. You will receive the eBook on December 15th, and your Print copy will be mailed mid-December.

 This year’s printed and eBook versions will also be available in these languages:

German: or email at



 We created an updated list of our most common Forecast FAQs to help this Forecast season.

 The Forecast 2023 Scorecard of the Forecast 2023 Book can now be viewed by clicking here.

 NOTE 3: Special Offer this season!!! MMA’s newest monthly report, “MMA Monthly Grains Report” by Grains Analyst Wyatt Fellows. The cost of this subscription is normally $325, but on sale now for only $300 for a 1-Year subscription. If ordered together with the Forecast 2024 Book, there will be a further 10% discount bringing the cost of the report down to only $270 for a 1-Year Subscription! To order, click here.

 Note 4: THE MMA WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce, is now conducted on Wednesday evenings! Each 5-15 minute FREE episode reviews the market activity of the past week and offers 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! Tune in on Wednesday evenings to hear Gianni and his guests update financial markets on YouTube! For this week, September 27, the special guest will be Ulric Aspegrén, MMA Currency Analyst from Switzerland.

NOTE 5: MMA’S FREE WEEKLY COLUMN IS NOW ON SPOTIFY, APPLE, AND AMAZON PODCAST! 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. Checkout out our Podcasts on Apple, Spotify, MMA- Merriman Market Analyst Podcast and on YouTube, Merriman Market Analyst. It makes for great listening!


 February 18, 2024, MMA’s Annual Forecast 2024 World Webinar. Details and reservations will be opened after January 1. Save the Date!

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.