MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING APRIL 18, 2022 ©

NOTE: There will be no weekly column this week. In its place, we are sending a section from Forecast 2022 on “JUPITER IN ARIES,” a geocosmic signature that will begin May 10, 2022 and is relevant to today’s events. This was written in October 2021 for Forecast 2022. 

JUPITER IN ARIES: COMPETITION AND COMBAT 

 Whereas Pisces is moist, Aries is fiery. Jupiter in Pisces may correspond with rains and floods, but Jupiter in Aries is more apt to coincide with fires and droughts.

Jupiter will ingress (enter) Aries in two stages. Its first foray into the sign of assertion, aggression, competition, and combat will take place May 20-October 27, 2022, and then a second time December 21, 2022, through May 16, 2023. Aries is the pioneer, exhibiting principles of exploration, venturing into new areas that are just waiting to be discovered, like outer space, or some new business endeavor. With Jupiter, it can be very athletic and competitive, setting about to achieve new records in various aspects of human activity, like sports, debate, and political contests.

With Aries, it is a “win at any cost” mission. We are referring to a “warrior mentality,” Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING APRIL 11, 2022 ©

NOTE: There will be no weekly column next week. The U.S. stock market will be closed on Friday, April 15, Good Friday, a national holiday. 

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Larry Summers, who can credibly claim to have been right from the start (regarding inflation), writes that the Fed’s current policy “is likely to lead to stagflation with … unemployment and inflation both averaging over 5% over the next few years – and ultimately to a major recession.” ­ William A. Galston, “How Will Inflation End?” Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2022. 

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is an economic theory that suggests that the government could simply create more money without consequence as it’s the issuer of the currency. – Melanie Lockert, “What is Modern Monetary Theory?” www.busnessinsider.com, October 6, 2021. 

It was fun while it lasted. But the party is over, and the punch bowl that had been filled and refilled by proponents of the now discredited Modern Monetary Theory has been emptied.

The passage of the triple conjunction between Venus, Mars, and Saturn, March 29-April 5, had a sobering effect on world stock markets last week. Reality (Saturn) began to sink in that inflation is not going to be subdued without aggressive monetary contraction (higher interest rates, reducing the Fed’s balance sheet). Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING APRIL 4, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 431,000 for the month, while the unemployment rate was 3.6%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Economists had been looking for 490,000 on payrolls and 3.7% for the jobless level. To combat inflation, the Federal Reserve is planning a series of interest rate hikes that further would slow growth. Markets now are anticipating rate increases at each of the six remaining Fed meetings this year, likely starting with a half percentage-point move in May and continuing to total 2.5 percentage points before 2022 comes to a close. There was little in Friday’s report that would alter that outlook. ­– Jeff Cox, “Economy Added 431,000 Jobs in March Despite Worries Over Slowing Growth,” www.cnbc.com, April 1, 2022. 

U.S. 5-year and 30-year Treasury yields on Monday briefly inverted for the first time since 2006, raising fears of a possible recession. This is the first time the shorter-dated 5-year Treasury yield has risen above that of the longer-dated 30-year U.S. government bond since 2006 — just a couple of years before the Global Financial Crisis. – Maggie Fitzgerald and Vicky McKeever, “5-Year and 30-Year Treasury Yields Invert for  First Time Since 2007, Fueling Recession Fears,” www.cnbc.com, March 28, 2022.

It was a big news week for economic matters. The news sounded mostly grand in the short-term, but more worrisome longer-term. That may be fine for traders, but ought to raise warning flags for investors that the outlook for sustained economic growth is not so rosy.

Several world stock indices paused their impressive multi-week rallies last week as Venus and Mars entered the time band of their conjunctions to Saturn, March 29-April 5. But then, as I discussed in last week’s YouTube interview on Antonia Langsdorf’s monthly New Moon Outlook (see Announcements), the Russian/Ukraine conflict escalated. That, along with the inversion of the yield curve, does not bode well for either inflation or the economy. The probability of a brief recession by the end of this year just increased. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 28, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

The rate for the most common kind of mortgage just surged again. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher Friday, rising to 4.95%, according to Mortgage News Daily. “That’s the second time this week, and it puts this week on par with the worst week from the 2013 taper tantrum — a record we didn’t see being legitimately challenged a few days ago,” said Matthew Graham, COO of Mortgage News Daily. – Diana Olick, “Mortgage Rate Soars Closer to 5% in its Second Huge Jump This Week,” www.cnbc.com/, March 25, 2022.

U.S. stocks rebounded for a second consecutive week as investors gained confidence that the economy can withstand the escalating war in Ukraine and the Federal Reserve’s plans to lift interest rates to control inflation. The S&P 500 climbed 1.8% for the week, extending its gains over the past two weeks to 8.1%, the strongest run since late 2020. – Ben Eisen and Anna Hirtenstein, “Stocks Cap Largest Two-Week Gain Since Late 2020,” www.wsj.com/, March 25, 2022.

Knowledge of the two Venus/Mars conjunctions between February 16-March 7 has proven to be a value worth its weight in Gold – or Silver, Dollars, or any currency. It was during this period that most world equity markets bottomed, either on February 24, the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, or on March 7, when a secondary low occurred. It was right at the end of this period on March 8, that Gold, Silver, and Crude Oil topped out as well. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 21, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

The era of ultralow mortgage rates is over. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage topped 4% for the first time since May 2019, Freddie Mac said Thursday. – Orla McCaffrey, “Mortgage Rates Rise Above 4% forth First Time Since May 2019,’ Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2022.

Federal Reserve officials voted Wednesday to lift interest rates and penciled in six more increases by year’s end, the most aggressive pace in more than 15 years in an escalating effort to slow inflation that is running at its highest levels in four decades. – Nick Timiraos, “Fed Lifts Rates and Signals Six More Increases,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2022.

Due to preparations for this evening’s Webinar on China’s stocks market, Gold, and Crude Oil, I will not be able to provide our normal review on last week’s financial markets.

However, our three-star CRD (geocosmic critical reversal date) of March 4-7 can now be confirmed as coinciding with the primary cycle trough or secondary low in many world stock indices, and possibly primary cycle crests in Crude Oil and precious metals. We will update those markets in tonight’s webinar and this weekend’s weekly reports. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 14, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Prices rose 0.8% in the month (of February), the fastest rate in four months. That’s 7.9% over the last 12 months and 8.4% over the last three months. That’s the bad news from Thursday’s consumer price index report and the White House can’t blame Vladimir Putin for this one, though it is trying. “It’s Joe Biden’s Inflation: He Blames Putin, But His Policies and the Federal Reserve Are at Fault,” Wall Street Journal Editorial, March 11, 2022.

In the week that witnessed Gold and Crude Oil testing their all-time highs, while stocks and Treasuries continued to be pressured by the relentless bombardment of Ukraine by Russian military forces, as well as further economic signs of rising inflation, our three-star geocosmic critical reversal period of March 4-7 +/- 3 trading days has coincided with at least a pause – if not a major reversal – in several financial markets. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING MARCH 7, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Job growth accelerated in February, posting the biggest monthly gain since July as the employment picture got closer to its pre-pandemic self. Nonfarm payrolls for the month grew by 678,000 and the unemployment rate was 3.8%.. That compared with estimates of 440,000 for payrolls and 3.9% for the jobless rate. In a sign that inflation could be cooling, wages barely rose for the month, up just 1 cent an hour, or 0.03%, compared with estimates for a 0.5% gain. –Jeff Cox, “February Jobs Rose a Surprisingly Strong 678,000,” www.cnbc.com, March 4, 2022.

Despite the strong jobs number on Friday, world stock markets were still under pressure last week as the brutal war in Ukraine showed no signs of abating. Financial markets are never easy to predict when wars break out. Everybody gets very dire and pessimistic about the effect on economies and equity markets, but in most cases, equity markets do not decline as much as many expected initially. The bigger declines are more the result of economic crises, and wars usually follow the more severe economic ones. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 28, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Tempting as big short-term price swings are …investors should pay close attention to long-run shifts that Russia’s moves will intensify, because they probably mean more inflation and slower growth. – James Mackintosh, “Invasion Holds Long-Run Lessons for Investors,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2022. 

The stunning reversal in world equity markets on February 24 occurred right in the middle of the two-event passage of the Venus/Mars conjunction, February 16-March 6. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 14, 2022 ©

NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO WEEKLY COLUMN NEXT WEEK DUE TO THE ANNUAL FORECAST WEBINAR TAKING PLACE ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20. 

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Consumer prices in January surged more than expected over the past 12 months, indicating a worsening outlook for inflation and cementing the likelihood of substantial interest rate hikes this year. The consumer price index, which measures the costs of dozens of everyday consumer goods, rose 7.5% compared to a year ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday.– Jeff Cox, “Inflation Rises 7.5%, Even More Than Expected and the Highest Since 1982,” www.cnbc.com, February 10, 2022.

So, how’s the U.S. government’s grand experiment in modern monetary theory turning out? Not well…The (inflation) pain might have been lessened if the Fed had begun to withdraw its pandemic money rush more than a year ago. But Washington had grown to believe that a new era of cost-free spending and low interest rates had dawned. The old fiscal and monetary verities no longer held, and those who warned about inflation were proclaimed to be dinosaurs from the Reagan era. – “Inflation Haunts the Biden Economy,” Wall Street Journal “Review and Outlook,” February 11, 2022.

With Thursday’s ultra-hot inflation report during the mutable sign quarter moon in Gemini that same day, it was just too much for the recent rally off the low of January 24 (Mercury retrograde midpoint) to continue. It didn’t help that tensions also escalated surrounding the threat of a Russian invasion into Ukraine with the Great Bear’s “war exercises.” With all that mutable cosmic energy, plus Jupiter approaching its conjunction to Neptune in Pisces, the whipsaw behavior between the irrational exuberance and hysteria of investors led to a sudden jolt in global equity markets mid-week. First, the stock indices raced to their highest level since the lows of January 24. Then they abruptly reversed and fell hard on Thursday and Friday, but not without some short-lived efforts to rally along the way. Continue reading…

MMA FREE WEEKLY COLUMN FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING FEBRUARY 7, 2022 ©

REVIEW AND PREVIEW 

Job growth rose far more than expected in January despite surging omicron cases that seemingly sent millions of workers to the sidelines, the Labor Department reported Friday. Nonfarm payrolls surged by 467,000 for the month, while the unemployment rate edged higher to 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Dow Jones estimate was for payroll growth of 150,000 and a 3.9% unemployment rate. The stunning gain came a week after the White House warned that the numbers could be low due to the pandemic. – Jeff Cox, “Payrolls Show Surprisingly Powerful Gain of 467,000 in January,” www.cnbc.com, February 4, 2022. 

It was so like the Trickster (Mercury retrograde) to pull out one more unexpected surprise at the end of his retrograde cycle on Friday. In fact, there were several surprises last week. First was the unexpected bullish earnings report by Google, which sent stocks prices soaring into Wednesday. Then the unexpectedly very bearish earnings reported by Facebook (Meta), leading to the greatest one-day decline in its history. On the same day, the January ADP jobs report posted a huge cut of 301,000 jobs in January. And then Friday’s report of 467,000 new jobs created in January. Who is right? The Trickster doesn’t care but showing these kinds of contradictions seems to be his modus operandi. Continue reading…