Is inflation over? That was the temporary market sigh of relief you heard Wednesday morning as the feds reported that the consumer price index for March rose a mere 0.1%. But prices are still rising at a 5% 12-month rate, which will not strike most Americans as a triumph. This is the real inflation story. A price level that rises 5% instead of 9.1% isn’t deflation. It is disinflation, which means prices are still rising, only not as fast as they were. The overall standard of living is lower and Americans are still paying more for nearly everything. – Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, “On Inflation, the Price is Still Wrong,” April 12, 2023.

Americans pulled back on spending at retail stores in March as demand cooled sharply in the face of banking turmoil, persistent inflation and high interest rates. Retail sales, a measure of how much consumers spent on a number of everyday goods, including cars tumbled 1% in March, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is well below the 0.4% decline projected by Refinitiv economists and a marked drop from February, when sales fell 0.2%. It is the biggest decline since December. – Megan Henney, “Retail Sales Tumble More Than Expected,”, April 14, 2023.

Global stock indices continued their rallies off the primary cycle lows of March 13-20 into the very end of last week before this powerful geocosmic reversal zone of April 11-21 struck, fueled by Venus square Saturn and the disappointing (Saturn) retail sales (Venus) report.

The Asian and Pacific Rim markets were closed by the time the U.S. retail sales report was announced. Hence, most ended on a very positive note for the week, with multi-week highs realized. None of the indices in this region made new yearly highs, but China’s Shanghai Composite came close with Friday’s high of 3340, just slightly below the high of 3342 on March 7. Each recorded their highest levels last week since the lows of March 14-20.

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The Labor Department reported Friday that payrolls grew by 236,000 for the month, compared to the Dow Jones estimate for 238,000. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 3.5%, against expectations that it would hold at 3.6%. Though it was close to what economists had expected, the total was the lowest monthly gain since December 2020. – Jeff Cox, “Job Growth Totals 236,000 in March,”, April 7, 2023.

Lawmakers are growing more uneasy about raising the debt ceiling, the self-imposed $31.38 trillion borrowing limit they hit in January. Without new legislation, a default by the US government could come over the summer or in early September, according to various analyses. (Jamie) Dimon, who has worked closely with the White House and Congress this year on various economic problems, told (Poppy) Harlow that there would be no default under his watch. “Not as long as I’m alive.” – Nicole Goodkind, “There Are Storm Clouds Ahead for the Economy, JPMorgan Chase CEO Says,” CNN Business, April 7, 2023.

It was a shortened holiday week for global markets. However, it was still noteworthy for many markets related to the Venus/Uranus conjunction in Taurus on March 30. The 4-day allowable orb (trading days) finally kicked in early last week, April 4-5, for most global stock indices, which ended strong 3-week rallies off their primary cycle lows of March 13-20. In some cases, new highs for this year were attained last week during this allowable time band for a reversal or pause.

In Europe, the German DAX soared to its highest level in over a year on April 4. The Zurich SMI came close to its high of January 17, 2023, on Friday and near its highest level since June 2022. The Netherlands AEX rallied also to a high on April 4, and the London FTSE rallied all week. Each is up smartly from their lows of March 13-20, MMA’s last three-star geocosmic critical reversal zone.

Asia and the Pacific Rim were mixed. China’s SSE index and India’s NIFTY index rallied all week, with China nearing its high for 2023. Both Japan’s Nikkei and Australia’s ASX indices peaked early in the week, on April 4-5. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong was an outlier, having peaked the prior week on March 31.

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March recorded the worst U.S. bank failures since the 2008 crisis, but that did not stop some investors from snapping up battered financial stocks to bolster their bets on the sector’s long-term health, fund-flow data showed… That’s despite both funds plunging about 29% in March as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank triggered fears of a contagion and doubts about the sector’s stability. – Lisa Pauline Mattackal, “What Crisis? U.S. Bank-focused ETFs See Strongest Demand in Months in March,”, March 31, 2023.

“Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence” – Old archaeological adage quoted by Kristin Romey, “What Archaeology Is Telling Us About the Real Jesus,” National Geographic, March 29, 2023.

What banking crisis? Wasn’t all the evidence there for a banking collapse? Answer: only in the land of Neptune and Pisces, where realities don’t depend on evidence as much as intuition and imagination. However, in time, their intuition may prove correct, even if their timing is premature.

All the fear of two weeks ago that the global financial and banking systems were on the verge of a massive collapse suddenly evaporated. It was so Neptunian. The Sun, Mercury, and Neptune were conjunct in Pisces and in a square aspect to Mars on March 15-16, with Venus square Pluto as well, right at the height of the hysteria (Neptune and Pisces). Now, two weeks later, several global stock indices are on a two-week torrid rally, and much of the recent decline has been recovered. This is what markets look like when an MMA three-star geocosmic critical reversal combination occurs at the end (and beginning) of a primary cycle.

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