REVIEW AND PREVIEW
The government reported Thursday that U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter, by far the worst quarterly plunge ever, as the coronavirus outbreak shut down businesses, threw tens of millions out of work and sent unemployment surging to 14.7%. – The Associated Press, “Trump Floats Election ‘Delay’ Amid Claims of Voting Fraud,” www.foxbusiness.com, July 30, 2020.
Yes, some pollsters were off four years ago, but that merely confirms that polls (and pundits) are fallible, not that they are always wrong and should be ignored. Jason L. Riley, “It’s Getting Late Early for the Trump Re-Election Effort,” Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2020.
Every dog of a bad policy idea has its day, but bad monetary policy seems to get more than one… By explicitly politicizing interest rates, the FED also opened itself to political pressure from Treasury to maintain the policy after (World War II) despite rising inflation…These concepts pale against the greatest risk: The world needs a market price for the 10-year Treasury yield, and Mr. Powell is threatening to take that away. We don’t know what price the global economy would pay for such a policy in economic distortions or financial instability. The Fed doesn’t know either. No one should be eager to find out. – “Jerome Powell’s Price-Fix Is In,” Wall Street Journal, Opinion page, July 28, 2020.
It was an incredible, almost surreal week. The President of the United States compares himself with Dr. Fauci’s popularity and in a moment of bizarre self-reflection, publicly laments “…nobody like me. It can only be my personality.” And in the same week, he tweets, “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely, and safely vote???” What? Delay the election? Nobody likes me?
The stock markets of the world certainly didn’t like this dark turn into self-pity, uncertainty, and gloom as several indices promptly sold off to new multi-week lows. Maybe it has to do with polling numbers showing Joe Biden rising in popularity (markets don’t like the idea of change of leadership, and probably for good reason in this case). Maybe it has to do with the riveting book written by his niece, Mary Trump, titled, “Too Much and Never Enough.” I read it and recommend everyone read it, whether you are Pro-Trump or Never Trump. It is the most in-depth analysis of the President’s personality I have ever read, and now (given my own formal education in Psychology) I think I have a clearer understanding of who he is and what drives him. I feel better about that on the one hand, and troubled about what it implies for the future on the other hand. I have a similar concern about the Democratic nominee’s potential effect on the future of the U.S. Maybe that’s why the equity markets are starting to struggle and show signs of weakness again. Everyone is concerned about the future of this country, the world, its leadership, the economy, and the re-emergence of the growing threat of the hidden enemy known as COVID-19. Fewer and fewer people believe we are going in the “right direction.” It is all a reflection of the “Capricorn Stellium,” which is returning now that Saturn has retrograded back into Capricorn (July 1-December 19). Capricorn has a knack for too much reality, self-absorption, fear, and lack of vision about positive possible outcomes – unless it has a well-thought out plan it confidently follows. Once it has that in place, then it can climb the mountain and experience the exhilaration that comes with effort and accomplishment.
But let’s return to the market before I get too caught up in my own Capricorn self-absorption. The U.S. Dollar didn’t like what happened last week either, as it fell to the 92.50 area, its lowest mark since May 2018. Four months ago, it was around 103, testing its highest level since hitting 103.82 in January 2017, and that was its highest level since December 2002. The Dollar does not like the idea of the Fed and the government printing and spending so much money. It doesn’t like the idea of the Fed continuing to intervene and engineering in financial markets and destroying the “Efficient Market Theory” of free trade. But you know who does like it? Gold and Silver and every other currency measured against the U.S. Dollar.
If you think the political and economic environment was surreal last week, take a close look at Gold, which topped $2000/ounce for the first time ever. Gold is also a reflection of the collective psychology, which is mired deeper and deeper into the final throes of the Capricorn Stellium.
Just think: After the winter solstice on December 2020, it may all begin to change as both Jupiter and Saturn leave Capricorn (sign of tradition, the past, the old era) for Aquarius, the sign of the future and outer space (a new era). It hasn’t started that series of conjunctions in air signs for nearly 800 years. It will be around for the next 140 years. We just have to be patient (Capricorn does best when patient) and get through this. It is what it is, until it’s not that anymore. The end of a cycle is always the most challenging time. The beginning of a new cycle is usually awesome and inspirational, filled with new ideas and new leaders.
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
– Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower,” also sung by Jimi Hendrix, Columbia studios, Nashville, TN, 1967
Family isn’t who you are born with… it’s who you die for. Lincoln Clay, Mafia 3, 2016.
I’ve got a mood going on today. Maybe it is related to the Moon in Capricorn. I feel like writing more from the subjective point of view (a dangerous temptation) rather than that of a columnist trying to be objective and detached. I feel like sharing my concerns about the rest of the year, and my hopes about the rest of this life. As part of this introspection, I find myself reviewing where I came from, how today is a lot like living in the 1960’s, like the only way you could make it out of that time alive and in one piece was to be bold, brave, find your tribe (family) in your expanded generational discovery of one another and hold onto a sense that a new age was unfolding, and you and your circle of adventurists were co-creating this brave new world. Current events were dark, just as today, but our visions for a brighter future and a world of peace and beauty were strong, which is something we need today, but are presently missing.
I look at the arrangement of the cosmos for the rest of this year, and in particular August 4-24, and I think: I’ve been here before. We’ve been through this before. We went through this in the mid 1960’s. And we went through this earlier this year (March-April 2020). The U.S. stock market made all-time highs in February 1966, as the DJIA touched 1000 for the first time in February of that year, as protesters fought police and government, and civil unrest escalated for the next 3-5 years. The all-time high in the DJIA lasted about 2 days and then stocks fell hard over the next eight months. It didn’t bottom until shortly after Richard Nixon decided he had enough and resigned on August 8, 1974.
The DJIA made another new all-time high in mid-February 2020 (it likes February for making highs), and then fell hard for the next five weeks. It has rallied again, with the NASDAQ making a new all-time high in mid-July and once again the President is probably wondering if this is all worth it. “No one likes me, it can only be my personality.” He might be thinking, as I am thinking, ”There must be some kind of way outta here,” but probably for different reasons. I am wondering how to get out of here because I want to be with my wife who lives in Germany. But I can’t get out of here because of the uneven, nonsensical travel ban restrictions between the U.S. and the Euro zone. Our country won’t allow Germans to travel here, so the Euro union won’t allow Americans to travel there, even with current COVID-19 test results. I mean, we could meet in Serbia, which both countries allow citizens of the other to enter. Is Serbia, which I love, safer than Germany? Did I mention that these are very surreal times? I will be glad when Jupiter (travel) leaves Capricorn (restriction) around the same time that Jupiter separates from Saturn, ruler of Capricorn (restriction and bans) at the end of this year. Then, I think, there will be some way outta here.
But back to the markets before I sign off for this week. Between August 4-24, Mars will transit in its first quarter cycle square to the Capricorn Stellium planets (Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn). This cycle started when all four planets conjoined March 20-31, 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 hysteria and market crash. So the first quarter phase of that planetary combo is up now, August 4-24, which means we could have a repeat (at least thematically-speaking), which in turn serves a warning sign to investors. Markets could easily get riled; this could become dangerous if you are complacent, perhaps because politicians and central bankers are getting riled and thus prone to impulsive, confrontational, decisions and acts.
This is what you need to know as a trader or investor: August is a red flag – danger –period. It might get hot (weather-wise too, for traders of grains). This might continue to be favorable for precious metals and currencies, because they get excited under cosmic storms like these. So do I because I like to trade precious metals and currencies. The only problem is that due to Mars turning retrograde on September 8, this waxing square involving Mars to the Capricorn Stellium will happen two more times before the year is out. And as a Capricorn, I don’t know how much more excitement I can tolerate. As a Capricorn, I like to manage my emotions – and maybe those of others too. Actually, I wish others wouldn’t get too emotional around me… just be happy, playful, and keep stress to yourself, please. Or talk it over with my new favorite psychologist, Mary Trump.
Nevertheless, the message I hope you, dear reader, get from this week’s column is this: be aware that the next three weeks may be extremely volatile, and it may repeat again in the first three weeks of October. Also be vigilant around the time that Mars turns retrograde September 9-10.
Yet there is also cause for hope. Further out, this cosmic volcanic eruption will end with the beginning of winter when Jupiter and Saturn conjoin, right after they depart from Capricorn. Short-term, there is also a path for enjoyment and hope, for the Sun and Mars are both in their ruling fire signs of Leo and Aries, respectively. For that matter, Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Capricorn are also in their ruling signs. That’s four planets in their ruling sign through August 22. When planets are “home,” positive things can happen too. Maybe the stock market will find something to be happy about (even with Mars square to the stellium in Capricorn, which can be climbing a “wall of worry”). Maybe the president will too, as the Sun in Leo will cross his Leo ascendant. Don’t be surprised if he gets off the ground and finds his sword by the middle of August and starts wielding it again. As Yogi Berra, says, “It’s not over until it’s over.”
NOTE 1: The ICR (International Cycles Reports) was released last week, July 28-29. If you are a subscriber and did not receive your report last week, let us know at once. 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 (MJ), and Live Cattle). Order now to make sure you get this month’s report!
NOTE 2: MMA will offer its second 2-year program of the Merriman Market Timing Academy beginning on October 24, 2020! This is the rare opportunity (only the second time in 7 years that it is offered) to learn the MMA Methodology of financial market timing and financial market analysis. The first course took place between 2013-2014 and graduated 20 apprentices, many of whom are now professional market analysts. Several of the graduates now serve as analysts of specific markets for various MMA subscription reports. This second 2-year program will be offered online and will be led by MMTA graduate Gianni Di Poce and founder Raymond Merriman. There will be 6-7 classes per course, 8 courses in all. Each class will last 2 hours each. These will take place live on Saturdays, and video recordings will be available the following Monday to those who register. There will be a one-month break between each course. The cost for the 2-year program in 2013-2014 was $20,000 and required students to spend 3-4 day courses onsite in at the Michigan State University Management Center in Troy, Michigan. This second series of courses will be online, and will cost $12,000, with a 10% discount for those who register by September 20, 2020. To enroll for the “MMTA Apprentice,” designation, you will need to know how to read an ephemeris and/or take a pre-entrance exam to demonstrate this aptitude. If you don’t know how to “Read an Ephemeris,” a link to a video presentation will be provided at no cost to those who sign up for at least the first year. An “MMTA Certificate of Graduation” (as an MMTA apprentice) will be awarded for those who take and pass exams at the end of each course and complete a research project with teams of up to three members each between courses. Courses may be taken separately, without an entrance exam, course exams, or research papers if one only wishes the knowledge without the certificate of graduation. For more information and schedule, please visit MMTA and find out how you can become a financial market timer and analyst, the MMA way.
NOTE 3: The Forecast 2021 Book will begin taking pre-publications orders on August 10. Our preliminary outlook is that 2021 will be another very important year with the long-term Saturn/Uranus square aspect taking place. There will be changes this year, as every Forecast Book since 2010 has grown larger and larger and has taken more and more research and time to write. From a book size of 150-160 pages, it has steadily grown to 250 pages last year. The results have been impressive, but it was a challenge last year to complete the book on time. Thus, it is necessary to cut back on some features in order to finish in a timely manner. One of the sections that will not be included in this year’s annual Forecast Book will be the 32-36 pages on individual Sun Signs. That will save me about 2 weeks of work that can be used to write the main body of the book that addresses the outlook for the national and global, political, economic, and financial markets. We are, however, developing a plan for a second publication for those who enjoy the yearly trends for the 12 individual signs. It is titled “Trends for the Twelve Signs 2021,” will be written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and myself. Antonia is one of Europe’s most renowned astrologers and has written an annual Sun Sign book in German for the past several years, based on interviews conducted with me beforehand. We will follow that same format in 2021, where she will interview me on the career, health, and relationship outlook of each sun sign for the year ahead, and then she will write the text based on these views. We anticipate that this book will be just as popular here in the U.S. (and elsewhere) as it has been in Germany. Stay tuned for further announcements – and pre-publication sales – on Forecast 2021!
September 12-13, 2020: The ISAR 2020 conference is being rescheduled into two events. The first part is a 2-day online event, called “A Virtual Conjunction: Reimagining the Future,” On Saturday 12, 2020, from 1:00 – 5:30 PM, EDT, eight world class astrologers will make 25-minute online presentations addressing “Reimagining the Future: The Astrology of Entering a New Era.” The second day will take place 1:00 – 3:30 PM, EDT. The subject will be “The USA 2020 Presidential Election: An Astrological Perspective,” featuring a discussion on the charts of the election, between Lynn Bell, Caroline Casey, Lee Leaman, Christeen Skinner, and Raymond Merriman. The cost for the two events is $95, or $55 for any single one. For more information and reservation, please visit the ISAR website at https://isar2020.org/ and prepare to be amazed!
The second event will be the main conference, which is being rescheduled to August 18-22, 2021 on site, in person, at a location to be announced shortly.
September 17, 2020: Special Q&A webinar for MMA Subscribers with Raymond Merriman! 4:30 PM, EDT or 1:30 PM PDT 9:30 PM GMDT. This webinar is free to those who subscribe to any MMA subscription reports, or $55 if not a subscriber. Subscribers may send in a question they wish Merriman to address ahead of time. The only requirement is that the questions be of general interest to everyone attending the Q&A. Questions about a specific market are fine. It is possible that there may not be enough time to address all questions, so they will be answered on a first come, first serve basis. This event will last 90 minutes. You must register to attend at least two days before the event and a link to enter the meeting will be sent to all registrants that week.
October 24, 2020: The first class of the 2-year program of the Merriman Market Timing Academy begins! For details, see the above announcement, or visit MMTA.
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 a 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 hence potentially affect 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.