REVIEW AND PREVIEW
The U.S. reported 77,200 coronavirus cases on Thursday, a record, according to Johns Hopkins University. That spike brought the total number of confirmed U.S. infections to more than 3.57 million. Covid-related deaths are up to more than 138,000. “There’s definitely a sense of nervousness in the market,” said one trader. – Fred Imbert, www.cnbc.com, July 17, 2020.
The bigger economic danger by far posed by the pandemic debt is that it will remain precisely that – debt. The U.S. thus finds itself stuck in a debt trap, alongside the rest of the world. Economists at the Bank for International Settlements coined that term to describe a situation in which prolonged low interest rates induce the accumulation of so much unproductive government and private debt that to raise taxes would risk a catastrophic financial system or fiscal crisis. –Joseph C. Sternberg, “The Covid Fiscal Crisis is About Debt and Taxes,” Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2020.
Federal spending for the first nine months of fiscal 2020 hit a record $5.005 trillion. House Democrats have passed a fifth virus bill spending $3 trillion more, and President Trump says he wants a fifth bill too. This means there is likely to be one, as the U.S. tests whether there are limits to what the Treasury can borrow on the cheap. The Federal Reserve is financing deficits for now, but taxpayers will start paying – and paying – next year.
Here we go again. Get ready for the return of the never-ending story of the 21st century fiscal management (err, mismanagement) roulette game. Saturn is back in Capricorn, nearing Jupiter and Pluto which have been there all year. Pluto in Capricorn has been referred to many times in this column as “The 4’D’s: Debt, Deficits, Downgrades, and Defaults.” With Jupiter present, the 4 D’s can get large, in fact, very large. We are running at a record debt spiral pace, and when it hits, it could become very nasty. There is going to have to be some forgiveness before too long, or a point will be reached where it may become unbearable. This point may be closer than many experts think, for Mars is now in Aries, about to square the Capricorn stellium planets.
First, however, we are still celebrating the gift of extreme financial liquidity, courtesy of the FED and the government’s generous monetary and fiscal policies. This leads to the return of irrational exuberance, symbolized by Jupiter sextile Neptune, approaching for the second of three times this year, on July 27. The first passage didn’t go too well. It was on February 20, 2020, the exact day of the all-time high in the S&P and some other world stock indices. The next month witnessed a record one-month decline with several record one-day losses in equity markets. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic breakout was the cause then. Today, the threat has returned and people (at least the media) are nearing a state of panic again. Yet, while Rome burns, stock markets around the world continue to boom. It is “burn and boom times.”
In Europe, the Netherlands AEX, German DAX, and Zurich SMI all rallied to their highest levels since the crash into the lows of March. The FTSE did not join this celebration to new cycle highs last week, so we have a case of intermarket bearish divergence in effect here.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, China was again the big story, but it wasn’t all joy this week. The Shanghai Composite reached 3558 on Monday, July 13, its highest mark since January 2018. By Friday, it had collapsed to 3187, a huge loss in only 4 days. The Indian Nifty Index was strong, posting its highest mark on Friday since its March lows. The Japanese Nikkei and Australian All Ords also rallied but did not make new highs for this cycle. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong declined all week. Thus, there is intermarket bearish divergence here too in our geocosmic three-star critical reversal zone related to the triple oppositions of the Sun to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn (July 14-20).
The intermarket bearish divergence story showed up in the Americas too. The NASDAQ made a new all-time high last Monday, July 13, Brazil’s Bovespa and the S&P made new post-crash highs late last week. But the DJIA could not make a new cycle high, although it did rally nicely into July 15.
Intermarket bearish divergence patterns were also present in the precious metals as Silver roared to 19.87 on July 16, its highest mark in almost 4 years. Gold did not exceed its multi-year high made the previous week on July 8 at 1829.80. The Euro also posted a new cycle high last week, but the Swiss Franc did not. Crude Oil rallied but fell just short of a new high following its generational cycle low on April 20. Bitcoin looks lost between 9000-9500 as weekly ranges keep getting more and more narrow. That will change soon with Uranus in Taurus, just like all currencies are changing. The fact that the North Node now leaves Cancer for Gemini is another geocosmic indicator of a major trend change in currencies within five months. It looks like it happened in March.
Voters in Pennsylvania largely support former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, but a majority of respondents to the latest Monmouth University Poll suspect that their community contains many “secret Trump voters.” The poll found that 57% of Pennsylvania voters believe that “there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support Trump but won’t tell anyone about it,” while only 27% believe there are similar “secret voters” for Biden. – Theodore Bunker, “Monmouth: Biden Leads in Pennsylvania but Most Expect Secret Trump Vote.” www.newsmax.com/politics, July 17, 2020.
If the virus crested through quickly, and once, a V-shaped recovery was possible. But if the pandemic returned for a second wave, we could easily suffer a double dip recession. – Alan S. Binder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, “The Economy Won’t Get Healthier While America Gets Sicker,” Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2020.
We are nearing the end of the three solar oppositions to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn, July 14-20. The Sun will enter its ruling sign of Leo, July 22-August 22, a time traditionally when the world wants to socialize and enjoy parties. Leo can be a bit of a risk-taker, so this year there will be a need to apply more than the usual amount of self-control and discipline. This is further amplified by the transit of Mars now in Aries. It will be there through the first week of January, but starting August 4, it will begin making a three- passage square aspect to those same three planets in the Capricorn stellium. Mars in Aries, like the Sun in Leo, seeks fun and entertainment and is more willing than usual to take risks. The square to the Capricorn planets indicate there could be an unwanted consequence to do so, especially August 4-24. In terms of financial markets, this may be favorable for traders seeking large price swings, especially as Uranus is also highlighted August 2-15. During periods when Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus are active at the same time, the possibility of a severe financial or stock market selloff increases.
These precipitous declines are usually the result of a sudden event in nature (fire, drought, hurricanes) or a surprise announcement by political or banking leaders, or some other human-induced incident that shocks the world. It just happens at the same time transiting Mars will conjoin natal Saturn in the “Buttonwood chart” of the NYSE, in opposition to the Buttonwood’s natal Jupiter/Neptune. It’s indicative of more irrational exuberance leading to the possibility of turning into a panic.
So, what is one to do? As a trader, you need to be quick. This is not a time to hesitate and wait for confirmation of your signals. The signal comes, but it doesn’t usually give a second chance, so action is critical. As an individual going about his/her normal daily life, this can be a time of great effort, but if you are not clear on your goals, it can end up becoming a time of delays and frustration. Be certain on your choice of people to work with. Avoid at all costs those who create stress and too often fall behind on deadlines because that will create stress too. Avoid taking on more than you can handle or dealing with others who think the way to get things done is by threat and abuse. This can be a productive period if you are clear, or a time of great frustration if you take on projects or work with people that are too exhausting and demanding. You don’t want to burn out or waste your time or effort, and the best way to avoid that is to organize your time and pace your activities with people who are reliable.
NOTE 1: The MMA Monthly Cycles Report came out last week, Monday-Tuesday. Every issue provides MMA’s outlook for the U.S. stock market (DJIA and S&P futures), Gold and Silver, Treasuries, Euro Currency, Crude Oil and Soybeans. Each issue also contains MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks for DJIA, Gold, and Silver, complete with trading strategies for position traders. If you are not a subscriber to the monthly MMA Cycles Report and wish a copy of our outlook for financial markets, consider a one-month July subscription for only $35.
NOTE 2: MMA will offer its second 2-year program of the Merriman Market Timing Academy beginning on October 24, 2020! It’s starting to fill up. This is the rare opportunity 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 2-3 hours each and cover 1-3 topics. 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. 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 an 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 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 may be just as dramatic as 2020. 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. We are, however, developing a plan for a second publication for those who enjoy the yearly outlook for the individual signs. It will be written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and myself, based on interviews that she conducts with me beforehand. We will follow that same format in 2021, where she will interview me on the career and relationship outlook of each sun sign for the year ahead, and then she will write the text based on these views. Stay tuned for further announcements – and pre-publication sales – on Forecast 2021!
We will have an update on the ISAR conference by July 25, which will be re-scheduled. Details 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. More details to be announced in August.
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.