REVIEW AND PREVIEW
The U.S. economy created a better-than-expected 4.8 million jobs in June as states gradually eased coronavirus restrictions, allowing more businesses to reopen and rehire idled workers. It marked the second consecutive month of growth in the millions, indicating a continued improvement in the nation’s stressed labor market as business activity resumed. The unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent, down from 13.3 percent in May. A separate report on Thursday showed that another 1.43 million Americans filed for jobless aid last week, indicating that layoffs are continuing to mount. – Megan Henney, “U.S. Economy Created 4.8M Jobs last Month,” https://www.foxbusiness.com/ July 2, 2020.
Unemployment is likely to remain in double digits through year end and the economic downturn will be more severe than previously forecast, according to projections released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office. The (jobless rate) is likely to remain above the pre-coronavirus pandemic level of about 3.5% through the end of the decade.– Kate Davidson, “CBO Downgrades Economic Forecast,” Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2020.
Mercury retrograde, the Trickster, provided interesting fake outs in some markets last week, such as in Gold and Silver. But the big story – big surprise – was in China, where the Shanghai Composite Index just exploded to its highest level since April 2019. According to our sources in China, the Chinese stock market doesn’t really reflect the economic progress in China and is seen to be much more in the “value” area than the U.S.
Other world equity markets did not enjoy nearly the good fortune that China did. Some did fairly well, such as in Hong Kong, India, and Germany where prices rose to their highest levels since early March. And of course, the NASDAQ in the U.S. rallied to another new all-time high. But for most of the world’s indices, prices traded in a rather narrow range, in an “inside week,” which means the highs of the week were lower than the prior week, but the lows of the week were higher than the prior week.
What is interesting is that once again Venus proved to be an important marker for reversals in world stock indices. On May 13, Venus turned retrograde, something it does every 19 months and lasts for about 6 weeks. One day later, on May 14, world stock markets ended their first 1-2 week decline and started the next leg up in this impressive recovery following the pandemic crisis low of March 16-23. Then, on June 25, Venus turned direct. One day later, on Friday, June 26, the DJIA completed yet another major cycle low. Other markets followed the next trading day, Monday, June 29. Another rally is now underway as of the end of last week, and the investment community awaits to see if – like last time – world stock indices can make another post-crash high. There are some geocosmic headwinds on the horizon.
Gold was subject to some Mercury retrograde fake-out activity last week. At first, it appeared that Gold was breaking out as it crossed the 1800 mark. On July 1, it reached 1807.70, its highest level since its all-time high of 1920 in September 2011. But it couldn’t hold the breakout and fell to 1766 on Thursday, July 3, before staging a modest rally into the close of the week, back to 1787. Silver also had a nice rally up to 18.85 on July 1. But this was below its 18.95 cycle high of June 1, and well below its yearly high of 19.75 on September 4, 2019.
The behavior in both the stock markets of the world and precious metals, where some made new multi-year highs and others could not even make a new primary cycle high, is what we refer to as “intermarket bearish divergence.” Usually this is signal that markets will retreat. However, with Mercury still retrograde through July 12, technical and charting signals are often unreliable, which is why Mercury retrograde, the Trickster, is also considered a master fake out artist. Of course, planetary correlations to market movements are simply reflections of the occasional unreliable behavior of world leaders and sometimes misleading headlines regarding the data of economic reports.
Amid multiple crises – a pandemic, a badly damaged economy, and racial unrest – Americans need to see competence equal to the country’s challenges, and a bold second-term agenda. Anything that undermines this – a needless tweet, a focus on a less important topic, or a feud – increases the odds that Mr. Trump will be a one-term president. Karl Rove, “The Trump Campaign Needs to Hit ‘Reset,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2020.
Ground scrapping interest rates turn savers into speculators and quarantined millennials into day traders. They facilitate over borrowing, suppress market signals, misdirect investment dollars, and promote the dubious business of turning well-financed public companies into heavily indebted private ones. – James Grant, “Powell Has Become the Fed’s Dr. Feelgood,” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2020.
We now enter the “grinding” phase of Mercury retrograde, from its midpoint of July 1 through the time when it turns direct. This is a period when no one seems quite sure what to make of the future, a time when the importance of certain data is either missing or in conflict with other metrics used for forecasting.
The major aspect of this week will be stationary Mercury square Mars on July 8, which will return again July 27, and for all intents and purposes, the dynamics of this square will last through the entire period. Mercury/Mars is not a time when cool, rational, mature minds tend to prevail. It can coincide with sudden and abrupt movements in financial markets too, perhaps as a result of someone’s impulsive and rash words or actions.. It is sort of a “speaking out before thinking out” time. It is best for leaders who command the world stage to carefully think out what they want to say before they say anything now. The same advice goes to everyone as individuals. If you don’t want an argument or a fight, then hold off on an urge to attack others. If you don’t want to crash and burn, then don’t be careless in your words or actions.
But back to the markets. The end of Mercury retrograde is usually laborious. It’s a grinding time. But with Mercury square Mars, there can also be sudden spikes in prices. It may be one of those times where you trade opposite the rumor, after the rumor or sudden eruption quickly flares out.
We are more concerned about the following week, July 12-20, when Mercury turns direct and the Sun will be in opposition to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn. As stated in last week’s column, “The combination suggests that the situation starts to get clearer and decisions are likely to be made with a new sense of awareness. Each of these oppositions is a Level 1 correlation to primary cycle highs or lows. Thus, markets are apt to change directions then. But this could also be a time of new political directives. Decisions will likely be made that can affect the economy and financial markets, and possibly the message of “Law and Order” will be very loud.”
How loud? Well, quite loud now as Mars has ingressed into Aries last week (June 27) where it will continue through January 6, 2021. Mars rules Aries, and both share the principle of “action” and/or “aggression.” Both have rulership over wars, disputes, and the possibility of military and/or political confrontations. This is the cosmic reason why we forecast a very nasty and combative election season in the U.S. Mars usually remains in a sign for about six weeks, but it will be in Aries much longer this time because it turns retrograde on September 9. During this period, it will form a waxing square aspect to the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto stellium in Capricorn three times.
The waxing square is the first quarter cycle of the greater cycle that started with the conjunction of these four planets March 20-31, 2020, a time that coincided with the peak of the coronavirus panic. As the first quarter cycle phase approaches, we see this fear, or hysteria, starting to build again. The concern is that the world stock markets could also have a flashback to the time that that the cycle started in March, especially since Saturn is also now ingressing back into Capricorn, July 1-December 17, after having spent just a short time in Aquarius since March 21. It is as if we have some unfinished business to take care from the last two weeks of March 2020.
The good news is that we will likely take care of that unfinished business this time. For after all, this is a waxing square, the first quarter phase of the Mars cycle to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn. Waxing squares, like waning squares, coincide with crises. But unlike waning squares, the waning square usually resolves the crisis and continues its forward momentum. It is a crisis in action, a threat to the status quo, but it not usually a crisis in survival. It requires a change in approach or direction, but it doesn’t require the termination of that direction. In other words, we may have a dispute or uncomfortable confrontation, but it doesn’t have to lead to a war or a revolution. Not this year, anyway.
And finally, happy birthday America! It looks like a wild year ahead (again). Let’s also pray that it is a year of healing, greater understanding, and tolerance of one another and of our relations with the rest of the world.
NOTE 1: MMA will offer its second 2-year program of the Merriman Market Timing Academy beginning on October 24, 2020! 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 12-20 classes per course, 8 courses in all. Each course will take place in 6-7 weekly online segments that will last 2-3 hours each. These will take place live on Saturdays, and MP4 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, you will need to know how to read an ephemeris or purchase the DVD that instructs how to do this. There will be a certificate of graduation (as an MMTA apprentice) 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 exams and 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 2: The Forecast 2021 Book will begin taking pre-publications orders in early August. 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. That will save me about 2 weeks of work that I can use to focus on the main body of the book that addresses the world’s political, economic, and financial markets outlook. 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. 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 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. 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 9-14, 2020: The ISAR 2020 Conference in Colorado on “Reimagining the Future.” The largest and most exciting international astrological conference taking place in 2020. With a faculty of over 100 of the world’s top astrologers from 25 different countries, and very dynamic tracks on Financial Astrology, Mundane and Political Astrology, and other topics, this is an event you will not want to miss.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020: Raymond Merriman will be conducting a 4-hour workshop on “Astrology and the Art of Financial Market Timing: How to Forecast Market Trends and Market Reversals.” This course will provide research studies showing the correlation of astrological factors to short- and longer-term financial market timing in stock markets, precious metals, and Bitcoin. It is the only workshop Ray plans to conduct in 2020.
Saturday, September 12, 2020: Raymond Merriman will be presenting a lecture on “The Times, They Are a Changin’ – The Political, Economic, and Monetary Revolution.” It’s not just the convergence of the 20-, 200-, and 800-year long-term Jupiter/Saturn cycles. It is also Saturn in Aquarius, squaring its ruler, Uranus, in Taurus. The convergence of the Jupiter/Saturn cycle in air sign Aquarius symbolizes the dawn of a new socio-economic-political era; the waning Saturn/Uranus square, the demise of an older order. What does this bode for financial markets of the world, and what can you do? We will discuss that in this lecture. Please note: This conference may be re-scheduled. The discussion to re-schedule or go online is underway and an announcement will be made by July 25.
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.