Free Weekly Forecast
July 21, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Headline inflation in Japan rose to 3.3 percent in June, outpacing the US figure for the first time in eight years and underscoring how Asia’s most advanced economy is no longer an outlier in global inflation. This increases the pressure on the Bank of Japan, which meets next week and faces calls from investors to unwind its ultra-loose monetary policy. Japan remains the world’s only central bank with negative interest rates, and any reversal of this strategy would have massive implications for global financial markets. – Kana Inagaki, “Japan’s Inflation Outpaces US Price Rises for First Time in 8 Years,” Financial Times, July 21, 2023.
Where would you like to start with the power-packed lineup of Level 1 geocosmic signatures that culminate this weekend? One source we would highly recommend for an in-depth analysis and timing of several financial markets likely to be affected would be the 4-hour recording of our July 16 Annual Mid-Year 2023 Webinar on Financial Markets. It is now available (see comments below in the Announcements).
We could start with Venus retrograde this Saturday, July 22. We identified this powerful geocosmic signature several years ago as an indicator of major policy changes by central banks of the world, which in turn have a direct effect on interest-rate related markets such as currencies and Treasuries. As noted in the quote above by the Financial Times, Japan’s latest inflation report shows prices rising faster than expected – finally! Now what will the Bank of Japan do? Will they start to hike after so many years of negative rates? Under Venus retrograde, that’s possible.
An interesting factoid is that Venus goes retrograde approximately every 19 months, or five times in eight years. And every fifth time (8th year), it happens in the same sector of the signs. When you connect those five points, it forms an almost perfect pentagram in the charts. This time it occurs in Leo, which last happened in the summer of 2015 (eight years ago). During that last passage, China re-pegged its currency vis-à-vis the U.S. Dollar, which stunned global financial markets. Japan and its central bank may be on the verge of causing similar disruptions in the global currencies markets, not to mention the escalating discussion on the possible launch of a new Gold-backed BRICS currency to compete with the U.S. Dollar for world trade transactions. So far, the currency markets have reacted very tamely to the announcement. But then again, Venus is just beginning its 42-day retrograde cycle. Like Mercury retrograde, we can expect to see whipsaws and fake outs, especially since Venus will make three passes of a waxing square aspect with Uranus (the planet of disruptions, surprises, and sudden reversals), between July and September.
Venus retrograde is not the only super-charged aspect occurring now. Mars (anger) in Virgo (workforce) has a correspondence with labor strikes. It is forming an opposition to Saturn (grievances, complaints) in Pisces (the film and entertainment world) right now, on July 20. Hollywood’s going on strike! I don’t think the world has a sense of how serious this might be. The world has never taken Hollywood seriously. This may be the lot of Pisces in general. But there is some serious money to be lost here, as well as serious cultural activities that could be lost for an extended amount of time that could make the next several months, or even years, a little more depressing than otherwise might be the case. It’s a possible turn that Saturn in Pisces could follow. With Venus retrograde also in Leo, we may be spending a lot of time watching reruns of movies we loved once upon a time. Venus retrograde in Leo likes nostalgia, going back in time when life was fun and enjoyable. Mars in Virgo, opposite Saturn in Pisces, on the other hand, is shaping up to be a “buzzkill” for movie lovers as well as movie stars, movie producers, and anyone connected to the U.S. film industry.
And then there is Barbie. Interesting that possibly the last big blockbuster movie of 2023 has to do with a walk down memory lane for millions of mothers and children, just as Venus goes retrograde in the children’s sign of Leo.
July 07, 2023
Please note there will be no weekly column next week ahead of our July 16 Annual Webinar on Financial Markets.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sUUOMoIbSLY
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Employers added 209,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%. Employers ramped up wages as they competed for a limited pool of workers. The gains, while strong, marked a slowdown from earlier in the year – Sarah Chaney Cambon, “Jobs Report Shows Hot Hiring Cooled in June; Wages Rose,” Wall Street Journal Online, July 7, 2023.
While Japan is on the “down” side of the roller coaster, the euro and British pound are on the up. The euro now trades at $1.09 per dollar, roughly a year after sinking to parity for the first time in two decades. It has appreciated nearly 14% since falling below 96 U.S. cents in September. An explanation for the euro’s strength is hard to discern. – “The Global Currency Roller Coaster: The Yen is the Warning That All Is Not Well for Monetary Policy,” The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2023.
It was a shortened holiday trading week. However, that didn’t stop financial markets from sharp and significant price action in the first week of trading following Neptune turning retrograde, a Full Moon, and the first of three passages involving Venus square Uranus between now and the end of September. Sharp reversals of recent trends suddenly erupted in several markets.
After ending the quarter on a very strong bullish note the previous week, with a “gap up” and bullish island reversal” signal on Friday, June 30, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (and other U.S. indices) suddenly reversed course. After the holiday, the DJIA “gapped down” and formed a new “bearish island reversal” on Thursday, July 6. This bearish turn was captured nicely in a timely Special Report sent out to subscribers on Tuesday, July 4, stating, “If I were only utilizing MMA’s market timing tools (i.e., cycles studies and geocosmic factors), I would be looking for a steep decline beginning at any time. Instead of being a high, as favored in the strategies section of the weekly subscription report, we cannot dismiss the very strong possibility that the primary cycle high could be forming right now. A close below 34,122 will negate the bullish island reversal setup. That would be bearish and suggest a steep decline into….”
June 30, 2023
NOTE: U.S. financial markets will be closed for half a day on Monday and all day on Tuesday in observance of the July 4 Independence Day holiday.
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
(Fed Chair Jerome) Powell has signaled that officials are prepared to raise rates at the Fed’s July 25-26 meeting after holding them steady at their meeting earlier this month. “Our commitment isn’t to a particular number of rate hikes; it is to a stance of policy that’s sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to 2%,” Powell said. Nick Timiraos, “Jerome Powell Says Next Phase of Rate Rises Will Be Harder to Predict,” June 29, 2023, Wall Street Journal.
The US decision to freeze Russian foreign exchange reserves is, to this writer, the most momentous decision in international finance since Richard Nixon broke the US dollar’s link with gold in 1971. The long-term consequences of that decision could prove profound consequences, as hinted at by the record central bank buying of gold last year, which has continued into the first quarter of this year – Christopher Wood, Grizzle Research and Quant, June 30, 2023.
The pre-holiday market week was in a celebratory mood for the U.S. and most of the other world stock indices. This was not surprising following the low on Monday, June 26, as Mars squared Uranus, touching off the Mercury/Pluto square in the New York Stock Exchange chart as discussed in last week’s column as a time for a low. This was followed by Neptune turning retrograde on Friday, June 30, a time that often coincides with a state of irrational exuberance. Even though the Fed announced it would likely hike rates soon, which is the policy that led to the large declines of 2022, investors seemed not to care this time around. Perhaps they no longer trust the Fed’s guidance since they have changed their narrative so many times in the last 18 months. That would certainly fit the nature of Neptune.
The path of Gold and Silver was opposite to that of equities until Friday. Gold fell to a new three-month low on our June 29 three-star CRD (geocosmic critical reversal date). But Silver held its low of the prior week for a case of intermarket bullish divergence. Both rallied nicely with Friday’s “Sagittarius Factor” after starting out the day lower. Bitcoin re-tested its yearly high on Friday, but then had a sharp pullback of nearly $2000 when the SEC denied filings from large companies to offer an ETF on the spot Bitcoin market as inadequate. However, the filings can be re-submitted with more complete information. Crude Oil continued to languish near the 70.00 mark, but did in fact, rally the last three days of the week as Neptune, which co-rules this market, turned retrograde on Friday.
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden—the seemingly inevitable matchup—dramatizes a massive failure: Whoever wins, the country loses. What genius invented this election? – Lance Morrow, “The 2024 Presidential Race Barrels Towards the Rapids,” June 29, 2023, Wall Street Journal.
The holiday week will begin with a Venus/Uranus square on July 2, the first of three that will unfold between now and September 29 due to the retrograde motion of Venus starting July 22. This suggests a very interesting summer, for both Venus retrograde and Venus square Uranus (in the money sign of Taurus) indicate suddenly changing central bank policies that can affect interest rate sensitive markets like Treasuries and currencies. In fact, they can also correspond to sudden reversals in equity, Copper, Corn, and Soybean prices as well. It looks like this may be a summer of unusually high volatility.
After the first Venus/Uranus passage this weekend, along with a Full Moon on Monday, July 3, the geocosmic climate becomes quiet until July 20-22. And then the next big bang erupts as Mars opposes Saturn (war-like and hot), the Sun opposes Pluto (possible threats and danger to crops and life), Jupiter semi-squares Neptune (floods and more irrational enthusiasm or panic), and the biggest bang of them all, Venus turns retrograde. It’s all about money and love, and … why can’t we all get along? Why can’t we be given choices we want instead of only choices we don’t want? Be wary of people who are jealous in matters of love and envious of others who have earned money and success.
The war, Mr. Prigozhin said, was launched under false premises. Ukraine wasn’t the aggressor. President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted agreements. Russia’s Defense Ministry “is trying to deceive society and the president and tell us a story about how there was crazy aggression from Ukraine, and that they were planning to attack us with the whole of NATO.” This was “a beautiful story.” But “the special operation was started for different reasons”—chiefly to enrich the oligarchs and the ruling elite. “The task was to divide material assets” in Ukraine. – Peggy Noonan, “What Will Prigozhin’s Rebellion Mean?” June 29, 2023, Wall Street Journal.
Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 general election by a landslide to Ronald Reagan, so it’s difficult to understand why Joe Biden continues to follow the Carter ‘malaise’ playbook today. – Mike Watson, “Biden Follows Jimmy Carter’s Failed Middle East Model,” June 28, 2023, Wall Street Journal.
Last week was the aftermath of an incredible previous week which witnessed the one-day surprising mutiny of the Wagner group against the Russian government. The revolt shocked Russia’s leaders because the group advanced unimpeded on its march towards Moscow before suddenly deciding to stand down. What was that about? Although the rebellion was short-lived, it exposed major weaknesses in Putin’s power to protect the country from invasion. Now many geopolitical analysts are calling this the beginning of the end of Putin’s reign of terror. His days may be numbered.
The possibility of an implosion in Russian governance should come as no surprise to readers of these reports and the annual Forecast books over the past few years, and in particular, the Forecast 2023 Book. You read it here first how the 36-year Saturn/Neptune conjunction of February 2026 has an uncanny correlation to the end of Russian governance as it was known prior to that aspect. You also read it here first, in 2020, that the Joe Biden presidency (and his economy) would closely resemble that of Jimmy Carter. Both were elected during the 45-year Saturn/Uranus waning square aspect. You also read it here first that there would be a modern-day renaissance starting around this time (2023-2026), led by inventions and innovations in technology and communications as denoted by Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all entering new signs similar to what transpired during the Italian and European renaissance of the 15th century. This, too, was covered in great detail in Forecast 2023, but originally presented in the 2020-2022 books. It just takes a while for the rest of the world and the news to catch up with our understanding of the cosmos and its correlations with historical events and trends.
In the past, we have given different names to these rare periods when long-term geocosmic cycles have unfolded that we think will have a profound, transformational influence on human activity as they did in the past. We coined the phrase “The Capricorn Climax” in the mid-1980s to describe the 1988-1993 period when Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Lunar North Node all conjoined in the sign of Capricorn. That coincided with the fall of Soviet Communism, the Berlin Wall, and the transition of the way the world conducted business, moving from brick-and-mortar retail shopping to the world of online transactions.
As we left that period in the mid-1990s, we pointed our readers to the next powerful configuration involving the outer planets of 2008-2015, a period we coined as “The Cardinal Climax,” for Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto would all be entering cardinal signs (along with Jupiter and Saturn too), forming a powerful cardinal T-square with one another for the first time since the Great Depression. Indeed, it was another economic depression, now called the “Great Recession” of 2008-2011, when many companies and even nations (like Greece) went bankrupt or suffered credit downgrades. The current worldwide debt crisis exploded then under the experimental policies of central banks known as QE (quantitative easing) and ZIRP (zero interest rate policies), and out-of-control fiscal (stimulus) spending by many governments of the world, including the U.S.
And now we are headed into another powerful geocosmic configuration involving the major outer planets. We will henceforth refer to this as the “Aries Vortex.” In February 2026, Saturn and Neptune will both enter Aries in a powerful conjunction aspect at the “world universal degree” of zero Aries. Additionally, Uranus will form a trine Pluto from Gemini and Aquarius, respectively, and their midpoint will be near the zero Aries point. Thus, this is not only a Saturn/Neptune conjunction and Uranus/Pluto trine but also a double sextile aspect between Saturn/Neptune to both Uranus and Pluto. It will look like an arrow with the zero Aries point at the tip, hence acting like a cosmic vortex attracting a powerful energy that brings together the principles of Saturn/Neptune and Uranus/Pluto. According to colleague and Astro researcher Daniel Gordon, who initiated the discussion on creating a name for this cosmic event, nothing like this has happened before. Yes, there are remarkable similarities to the mid-1400s and the European renaissances, but nothing involving the four outermost planets sharing the universal degree of zero Aries, which represents the end and beginning of the astrological signs.
Even though it is not exact until early 2026, the themes of this unusually powerful geocosmic combination are already underway as of December 21, 2020, when Jupiter and Saturn began the 160-year “Air Epoch” (or the “New Aira,” a term coined by colleague Kat Powell) with their conjunction at 0° Aquarius. This was then followed by the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius (the same 0°) on March 23, 2023.
You can see and feel it starting to unfold now. The direction of humanity is undergoing an enormous change of direction, and we are not quite sure exactly where it will end up, typical of Saturn/Neptune. But we experientially know it is happening. We are aware of the dangers as well as the hopes this Aries Vortex poses. We were (and are) prepared for it to happen via our understanding of the correlation of geocosmic cycles to cycles in human activity. After all, this awareness and understanding is the real value of astrology to society.
NOTE 1: The Annual Mid-Year 2023 Webinar with Raymond Merriman and MMA Analysts. Save the Date! July 16, 2023, at 12 PM EDT is our annual Mid-Year Webinar. This broadcast will address themes from this year’s Forecast 2023 Book, with updates on the U.S. stock market, Gold, and Bitcoin by Ray; Crude Oil, T-Notes and Euro by Gianni Di Poce; Copper by Matthieu Kaiser; and Soybeans by Wyatt Fellows. Cost is $55.00, and includes access to the live presentation via Zoom, the slides of the presentation, plus the video recording of the live event 24 hours after the presentation. Questions will be answered that are submitted one week before the event if they are deemed of interest to the overall audience. If you are unable to attend live, the video recording will be available the following day. To register, click here.
NOTE 2: We have posted the first video of MMA’s new series on “Casual Cosmic Conversations” with Ray Merriman and Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman, being interviewed on current news events by MMA Managing Director (and Ray’s daughter) Alie Schneider. This 20-minute video features their take on the recent Titan submersible tragedy, the new world trends towards a shorter work week and expensive danger-laden adventures, the recent explosion in AI interest as the beginning stage of the “Aries Vortex” cosmic configuration approaching in February 2026 (Saturn/Neptune conjunction at the midpoint of the Uranus/Pluto trine) – or the “Communication Revolution and Technological Renaissance” that is changing our lives. To view our first episode of “Casual Cosmic Conversations,” please click here.
NOTE 3: THE JUNE ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report Plus+, edited by Pouyan Zolfagharnia, was issued last week. This market letter is a very popular addition to the MMA Cycles Report (less technical, more visual, high-quality analysis and update on MMA Cycles Report markets). The mid-month addendum to the MMA Cycles report has stunning graphics and charts (people love it!) and is very readable. It contains more illustrations and references to geocosmics than most MMA Cycles reports and is only available for subscription to those who also subscribe to the MMA Monthly Cycles Report. If you wish to try this month’s addendum, along with the latest issue of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, sign up online at the link above. The cost for a monthly copy of both reports is $55. That will give you both the most recent June copy of the MMA Cycles Report and the June MMA Cycles Report Plus+ addendum coming out this week. For further information and ordering instructions, please click here.
NOTE 4: The MMA Monthly Grain Report by MMTA Graduate Wyatt Fellows was also issued last week. This is an exceptional report by a top MMTA graduate who runs a large family-owned farm operation. Wyatt knows the farming business and grain markets from both a cyclical and fundamental point of view. This report is an in-depth look at long-and short-term cycles in Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, and Cotton. The MMA Monthly Grain Report has been extremely accurate in forecasting trends, turning points, and price targets. If you trade grains or are in the farming business and wish accurate timing and understanding of when to hedge your crop, this report is not to be missed! To order, click here.
NOTE 5: SUBSCRIBE TO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead. Each 5-15 minute FREE episode reviews 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! To view this week’s MMA YouTube episode, click here.
NOTE 6: Now you can listen to a podcast or broadcast of this weekly column by Thomas Miller. The Free Weekly Forecast Podcast is now available on Saturday. Just follow Merriman Market Analyst Spotify 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!
JULY 16: 12:00 PM EDT: The Annual Mid-Year Market Update Webinar with Raymond Merriman and Team. Save the Date! Starts at 12 PM EDT, which is 5:00 PM GMT, 6:00 PM CET. It will be very early in the morning in Australia, Beijing, and Tokyo. In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into MMA’s annual Mid-Year Financial Markets Update Webinar. This broadcast will address the following points:
- The forthcoming Pre-Presidential Election Year Trough in stocks
- The November 18 Sun/Mars conjunction in Scorpio and its correlation to trends in U.S. stock markets and Gold
- Has Gold’s (and Silver’s) long-term cycle topped out or is there another new high ahead?
- How high can Crude Oil and Bitcoin go?
- How low can the Euro, Soybeans, T-Notes and Copper fall – and when?
- What can we expect with Venus turning retrograde July 22?
- What are the other major reversal periods for trading this year?
The cost is $55.00, and includes access to the live presentation via Zoom, the slides of the presentation, plus the video recording of the live event 24 hours after the presentation. Questions will be answered that are submitted one week before the event if they are deemed of interest to the overall audience. If you are unable to attend live, the video recording will be available the following day. To register, 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.
June 23, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
U.S. stocks fell Friday with the S&P 500 index on track for its worst week since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March, suggesting the three-month rally may be coming to an end. “U.S. Stocks Fall to Cap Off Worst Week Since March,” June 23, 2023, www.marketwatch.com.
Bitcoin hit its highest level in a year amid renewed fervor for digital assets despite a slew of challenges for the industry. – Vildana Haljic, “Bitcoin Hits Highest in a Year as Crypto Rebounds From Scandals,” June 23, 2023, Yahoo Finance, www.yahoo.com.
What an exciting, strange, and tragic week that just ended. And it all started right after Saturn turned retrograde and the New Moon in Gemini squared Neptune the previous weekend, June 16-19, an MMA two-star geocosmic critical reversal date.
It was exciting because Bitcoin started another impressive rally that thrust this “royalty” of the digital currency era to new yearly highs, when just seven months ago, it was engulfed in a scandal and many were forecasting its imminent demise. Neptune rules scandals. It was strange because Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary militia that has been waging the heaviest brunt of the Russian war on Ukraine, lashed out at Russian military leaders, claiming that they launched strikes on his training camps. He even accused the Russian Armed Forces Chief of Staff of leading Russia into war under a false narrative. False narrative – shades of Neptune! It was tragic (Saturn rules loss) because the Titan submersible was on a mission to visit the legendary (Saturn) Titanic luxury cruise liner that sunk (Neptune) over 100 years ago. It disappeared (Neptune), and the lives of all those on board appear to have perished (Saturn with Pluto moving back into Saturn’s ruling sign of Capricorn).
June 16, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
The Federal Reserve did not change interest rates (it was not a skip, according to Fed Chair Powell). The press conference presumably did intend to sound hawkish, and presumably did not intend to sound economically incoherent. The fabled “dot plots” signaled two rate hikes—given how these are prepared; they are unlikely to be a coordinated Fed message. Powell said pausing allowed the Fed to get more information before making decisions. At a time when data is less reliable, pausing to reflect should be a way of life for policy makers, not a revelation at the eleventh hour. Dr. Paul Donovan, “Not the Fed’s Finest Hour,” UBS Morning Audio Comment, June 15, 2023.
In English, redux describes things that have been brought back—metaphorically, that is. For example, if the relationship between two nations resembles that of the United States and the Soviet Union in the late 20th century, one might call the situation a “Cold War redux.” Dictionary, www.merriman-webster.com.
Things are looking up for global equity markets after their strong showing last week. Some, like the German DAX, soared to a new all-time high on Friday. Others, like the Indian NIFTY index, are testing their all-time highs. The Japanese Nikkei exploded to multi-decade highs, while other indices look poised to do the same shortly.
However, this week finds the powerful ringed planet, Saturn, turning retrograde at the same time it forms a favorable sextile aspect with Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Could it be that the elusive sound of a gong everyone is looking for to announce the top of the global economy and stock markets is nearby? It’s always a possibility, and the sentiment is surely bullish, so very few are expecting it. But these are the conditions under which tops form, and the cosmic signatures (mid-June through late July) give the “gong show redux” added gravitas.
In other markets the Dollar is back above the 140 mark against the Yen, but strangely enough the Euro is testing its yearly high against the U.S. Dollar. It’s not the Dollar that is the leader, but rather it is the buffer between other currencies, some of which are rising and others falling. This is causing a mixed impact on Gold and Silver. Gold fell to a new cycle low in the August contract when it fell to 1936 on Thursday before rising again to 1980 the very next day. Silver did not make a new cycle low on Thursday’s decline back to 23.27, but by Friday, it too was up nicely to a high of 24.29. Bitcoin, like Gold, also fell to a new cycle low on Thursday, and then bounced back smartly by over $1700 by Friday.
June 09, 2023
Listen to this Free Weekly Forecast HERE on our Spotify Channel, read by Thomas Miller
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
It’s official! The S&P 500’s (SP500) longest bear market since the 1940s has come to an end. The benchmark index closed up 0.6% to 4,294 on Thursday, vaulting it back into bull territory with a 20% advance from its October low. The rally has been powered, in large part, because of a handful of companies posting outsized gains, like Big Tech, Tesla (TSLA) and AI darling Nvidia (NVDA). There has also been somewhat of a resurgence in economic optimism, compared to the sentiment that plagued the market in 2022. – Wall Street Breakfast, “Run, Bull, Run,” www.seekingalpha.com, June 10, 2023.
Global equity markets were mixed last week, with some soaring to new multi-week or multi-month highs, others falling to multi-week lows, and still others between the lows and highs of the prior week. Such discordance must mean … we are in the Sun sign of Gemini, where markets will be all over the place and not all following the same instruction manual.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the Japanese Nikkei index made a new 33-year high last week. The Indian NIFTY index is close to making a new all-time high. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong had a good week, but only after making a multi-year low on May 31. China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX indices held the prior week’s low, but not by much as both economies struggle to show signs of growth.
European bourses also struggled to find direction. It was an inside week in all the major indices we track, with the London FTSE closer to its multi-month lows, whereas the DAX was closer to its recent all-time high. Is it a bull or is it a bear? Don’t ask Europe when the Sun is in Gemini. It’s both or neither, depending on how well you can bi-locate.
The Americas, however, are much clearer that it is indeed a bull, especially after Washington lawmakers finally put the debt limitation crisis to bed just before the June 5 deadline when a national fasting and energy savings mandate would have to be implemented in order to make sure the government stayed open. Just kidding. But lawmakers mostly went to bed anyway after that exhausting struggle over so little. It was a welcome sign in any event that they found a way to compromise and avoid a financial disaster (at least for another day) at the last moment.
In other markets, Bitcoin fell to a new 12-week low on June 6 but then recovered quickly. But it’s still a case of lower lows and lower highs lately. Gold and Silver are both trying to bounce back from recent declines, but the road is bumpy in Gemini. Crude Oil made a new cycle high of 75.06 last week, a nice move from its primary cycle low of one month ago at 63.64. This back-and-forth nature of Gemini may get a reality check next week when Saturn and Neptune both get highlighted (see next section).
May 26, 2023
PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO COLUMN NEXT WEEK AS WE WILL BE CONDUCTING THE MMA 2023 INVESTMENT RETREAT (SEE ANNOUNCEMENTS BELOW – LAST WEEK TO SIGN UP). ALSO, U.S. MARKETS ARE CLOSED ON MONDAY IN OBSERVANCE OF THE MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY.
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress Friday that the U.S. government is now expected to run out of cash to pay its current obligations by June 5, updating her previous estimate that said the day could come as early as June 1. – Elizabeth Elkind, “Yellen Estimates Government Will Run Out of Cash by June 5 Without Debt Ceiling Agreement,” www.foxbusiness.com, May 26, 2023.
Like many economists and market participants, my working assumption has been–and remains–that Washington, DC, will resolve the #DebtCeiling saga. But this is not to say that there are no adverse longer-term spillovers, including: further erosion of trust domestically in the policymaking process, the diversion of political attention and interest away from urgent sustainable growth and productivity issues; and unfavorable messaging to the rest of the world about US economic management. – Mohammed A. El-Erian, CEO, Pimco, Twitter feed, May 26, 2023.
And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
- Sonny and Cher, written by Sonny Bono, “The Beat Goes On,” recorded 1967.
It was a wild week for the nation and for the world, but if you were looking for logic, common sense, or a pattern in financial markets, chances are … you were bewildered. And that’s just the way Gemini likes it as we have entered the season of the witch, er, twins.
In the U.S., for example, the DJIA broke to a new 8-week low late last week (before Friday’s rally), whereas the NASDAQ soared to its highest level in over a year. The S&P is not far behind its high for this year. Two markets up, one market down.
Getting everyone on the same page was quite a challenge last week, whether you were a politician or a financial market. One party says we’re making progress in the debt ceiling talk, while other members of the same party say we’re far apart, so… let’s take a break for the holiday and reconvene next week while Rome burns. And the beat goes on while the media keeps pounding the same rhythm into our brains. La de da de de, la de da de da. The week was a perfect reflection of the dualistic nature astrologers attribute to Gemini.
May 19, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Friday that stresses in the banking sector could mean that interest rates won’t have to be as high to control inflation. – Jeff Cox, Fed Chair Powell Says Rates May Not Have to Rise as Much as Expected to Curb Inflation, “ www.cnbc.com, May 19, 2023.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Old saying from either boxing lore and/or the Bible.
Is there any adage more appropriate that describes the current T-square of Jupiter (the “biggest”) to Pluto (the “fall” or “collapse”) and Mars (the “trigger” or “the punch”)? In politics, it could mean exactly what it says. In terms of markets, it could also mean, “The higher they go, the harder they fall.”
Since we are talking about financial markets here, we note several global stock indices have blasted off to new multi-month and even multi-year highs last week, which certainly fits the Mars/Jupiter square from early Leo to early Taurus. Will they now fall as hard as they have rallied since their breakouts that began around the time of the Sun/Uranus conjunction on May 9 (Uranus pertains to breaking out above long-term resistance or below long-term support)?
Most notable is probably the breakout in the Japanese Nikkei stock index, which soared to 30,924 last week, its highest level since 1990, and a “breakout” above the double tops at 30,714 and 30,795 in February and September 2021 under the Saturn/Uranus waning square. But maybe it was the German DAX, which actually did rally to a new all-time on Friday, reaching 16,331, slightly above its prior all-time high of 16,290 achieved on November 18, 2021, under the same Saturn/Uranus waning square.
In the Americas, it was a tale of two markets. The NASDAQ soared to a new yearly high, and the S&P to its highest mark in 9 months. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was closer to its 7-week low early last week before recovering somewhat into Friday, but again down on the day and well off its cycle high of May 1 when the Trickster was near its retrograde midpoint.
Nearly all of the world’s stock indices rallied nicely into the end of last week, except the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, which instead did indeed fall to its lowest mark in eight weeks on Friday.
May 12, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Banks are in trouble because of rising interest rates. Rates have climbed because inflation is high. And inflation is too high because demand is hot. One way to cool demand would be for the federal government to cut spending—which happens to be what Republicans, who control the House, are demanding in return for raising the federal government’s $31.4 trillion borrowing limit. – Greg Ip, “A Debt Deal Can Help Fix Inflation, Too,” Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2023.
“On the other hand, what will happen if the government’s debt continues to increase at the pace it is on? How long before the nation’s credit is downgraded and then it goes into default? … The other transiting outer planet involves Saturn entering Pisces, which will also form harmonious aspects to (Venus and Jupiter) in the U.S. founding chart, May 10, 2023, through January 22, 2024… Thus, a long-term plan to deal with the nation’s fragile economy can lead to positive results and the accomplishment of goals. Maybe it deals with the nation’s debt and the reversal of its deficit spending activities. It will be all about exhibiting the favorable qualities of Saturn, which is best when oriented to the long term, as in investment of time and resources.” Forecast 2023 Book, the chapter on “The U.S.A,” written in October 2022 (www.mmacycles.com).
This final week of Mercury retrograde (aka “The Trickster”) proved to be a real annoyance for traders, especially on the heels of the Sun/Uranus conjunction of May 9. In classic form related to these two disruptors, several financial markets negated a slew of technical buy and sell signals, while displaying distorted cyclical time bands for “normal” highs and lows.
The Sun/Uranus conjunction of Tuesday, May 9, corresponded to new cycle highs in many global stock markets within two days. This was to be expected as any major aspect involving Uranus has the potential to time “breakouts.” But with Mercury also retrograde (April 21-May 14), several of those “breakouts” turned out to be “fake outs” as they reversed right back down again.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, China’s SSE Composite provided the perfect example with a new yearly high right on May 9 under the Sun/Uranus conjunction. The SSE made a double top to its prior 33-month cycle high of 3424 of July 5, 2022, thus fulfilling our call that this high would at least be re-tested again following its low in the index of October 31 at 2885. The SSE turned sharply lower the rest of the week. India’s NIFTY Index topped out on Thursday, May 11, whereas Japan’s Nikkei index made a new yearly high right into the end of the week.
May 05, 2023
REVIEW AND PREVIEW
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,” www.cnbc.com, 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 Layoffs.fyi. – Natasha Mascarenhas and Alyssa Stringer, “A Comprehensive List of 2023 Tech Layoffs,” https://techcrunch.com/, 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.