Summary of This Week’s Influences/All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
- General Influences: Monday’s Full Moon in Pisces aspecting Uranus and Pluto can shake up illusions and outmoded belief systems that might be exerting undue influence. Pay attention to dreams, which could be extra vivid now. Venus (Wednesday), Mercury (Friday), and Mars (Sunday) in Libra harmonize with Pisces’ ruler Neptune, boosting artistic and creative endeavors. Relationships can be strengthened, as people are more empathetic to the other people’s feelings/circumstances.
- Stockmarket: Last week it was Fannie & Freddie before Asia opens; this week it’s Lehman before Asia opens!
Financial markets were indeed in a “crisis in action” phase as described in last week’s Weekly Forecast and the Virgo New Moon Cycle. This is what happens when there are so many strong planetary energies occurring at once.
Monday was Fannie & Freddie. The government’s conservatorship of the GSEs came from demands by foreign investors and large bondholders like PIMCO (who benefitted by an estimated $1.7 billion on Monday), that the government “do something.” Treasury’s 79.9% stake was the maximum ownership the government could take without putting Fannie & Freddie in the federal budget.
The continuing saga of the fate of Lehman Brothers accelerated on Tuesday after the Korean Development Bank (KDB) announced it had ended talks with Lehman last month. Jupiter and Pluto moving direct last week forced Wall St. to realize that the capital infusions by foreign investors has dried up, and the only avenue open to raise capital is to sell assets. This is the underlying reason why the market sold off.
Venus challenging Jupiter and then conjoining Mars late last week created selling in bank stocks, especially Washington Mutual (WM). Last week’s Sun/Uranus opposition hit WaMu’s stock chart Pisces Sun, resulting in the replacement of the bank’s CEO, greater OTS oversight, and S&P reducing their outlook to negative. WaMu shares got as low as $1.75 Thursday. Now through November is a crucial period for the bank; Pluto conjoining natal Neptune in late October will be the real test to the bank’s survival. If so, things should slowly start to improve later in the first quarter of 2009.
Pluto rules insurance, and DJIA component American International Group’s (AIG) stock got whacked last week like WaMu as Pluto is also conjoining natal Neptune. AIG has to get through October before its situation begins to show signs of improvement.
“Nuclear issues, extremism, power plays, and secrets” surfaced last week as well, reflecting Pluto’s strong influence that continues through September 16. Pluto rules taxes. Thursday a report surfaced of a yearlong probe into Wall St. firms (C, LEH, MER, MS) that devised a scheme to help offshore hedge funds avoid paying U.S. taxes on dividends paid by U.S. companies. Another classic was the “Sex for Oil” at an agency within the Dept. of Interior.
President Bush cancelled civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia last Monday. The big nuclear-related story was the glaring absence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il at the country’s 60th anniversary celebrations last week. The August 16, 2008 Lunar Eclipse conjoined Kim’s natal Aquarius Sun and challenged his Saturn and Uranus in Taurus. This reflects cardiovascular and circulatory problems, and an overall weakening of physical vitality. There is cause for concern as North Korea has no clear successor to Kim; Saturn and Uranus exactly hitting North Korea’s Virgo Sun in early November raises the possibility of instability caused by a disruption in leadership. With the Sun challenging Pluto at the end of the week, geopolitical issues could influence the market.
Pisces rules oil, gas, and chemicals. The Full Moon in Pisces Monday puts the spotlight on these issues after Hurricane Ike knocked out at least 15% of the nation’s refinery capacity. The Full Moon conjoins Uranus, reflecting supply disruptions and sharp price movements. This is the Harvest Moon but as I’ve written, it’s not a bountiful one. Soybean prices increased $2.74 Friday (a one day record) to $14.90 a bushel, over fear of shortages due to wet weather delaying the harvest and fewer crop planted in favor of corn.
Monday’s Full Moon conjoins the Sun position that began what became known as the banking panic of 1907. Pisces rules rumors which have spread like a contagion through the financial system. The Full Moon conjoins Uranus, reinforcing the market’s “seesaw” action from last week. With the Full Moon challenging a still stationary Pluto, the mood can quickly shift from panic to euphoria and back again. Pluto rules mergers and takeovers. The Full Moon challenges the First Quarter Moon of March 14 – the first “crisis in action” that saw the fall of Bear Stearns. Will we mark Tuesday’s six month anniversary of the government’s fire sale of Bear to JPMorgan (JPM) with the end of Lehman Brothers? (At this time, the firm is expected to report earnings Thursday.)
Tuesday’s action includes earnings from Goldman Sachs (GS), the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on Fannie & Freddie, and the Federal Reserve’s announcement on interest rates. With Saturn challenging the Fed’s Mercury and Saturn, the FOMC is likely to present a more pessimistic outlook. Personally, I don’t know how anyone can even think about the Fed lowering rates as “real life” inflation rages on. Inflation will continue to increase as we get into 2009.
And if all this wasn’t enough, Friday is quadruple options expiration.
Disclosure: Long C, FRE, JPM.
Monday, September 15, 2008
- General Influences: The Pisces Full Moon can make people emotionally extra sensitive, so it’s important to take extra care in how you express yourself to others. Allow your intuition to serve as your b.s. detector. Pisces Moon becomes VOC* at 3:03 PM. The pace of life quickens when the Moon enters Aries at 5:39 PM.
- Stockmarket: Massive buying or selling (or both!), but market likely to be strongest around 3:00 PM.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
- General Influences: The Moon in Aries challenging Jupiter this afternoon provides a boost of self-confidence, particularly in professional matters. There’s a tendency to spend now.
- Stockmarket: Positive trend bias, but could get choppy/mixed in mid-afternoon.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
- General Influences: Any tensions very early this morning quickly dissipate by engaging your intuition. Venus harmonizes with Neptune today. This is a good time to socialize with others and gather together people that tend to have a difficult time reaching agreement with one another, as people tend to be more compassionate. Listening to music and absorbing the beauty of nature and the visual arts provide creative inspiration. Aries Moon becomes VOC at 6:26 PM. Moon moves into slow and steady Taurus at 8:57 PM.
- Stockmarket: Choppy/mixed, ranging from moderately down to moderately up.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
- General Influences: The Moon in Taurus is a good time to accomplish work that must be thorough. Since Taurus rules finances, this is also a good time each month to review your net worth. Harmonious aspects to Jupiter and Saturn early this evening provide the right mood to accomplish chores and work odds ‘n ends, particularly gardening and other outdoor work.
- Stockmarket: Positive trend bias.
Friday, September 19, 2008
- General Influences: The Moon challenging Neptune this morning can make it hard to be in the mood to work rather than start the weekend early. People tend to be more laid back today. Mercury harmonizes with Neptune, making this a good day to express your thoughts and converse with others who share your ideals and interests. Taurus Moon becomes VOC at 6:51 PM; Moon enters Gemini at 11:17 PM.
- Stockmarket: Early selling, then choppy/mixed to improving conditions in afternoon. The Sun challenging Pluto might create merger/takeover talk.
Weekend: September 20-21, 2008
- Saturday: The Moon in Gemini is the time to get out and explore your neighborhood and local environment. The Sun challenges Pluto, highlighting personal areas needing transformation through eliminating what's not efficient or essential. Gather up items you no longer want to recycle, donate or sell. The Moon challenging Saturn later this evening could be tiring after all the day’s activities. Save the socializing for Sunday.
- Sunday: It’s all systems go from mid-morning on as the Gemini Moon harmonizes with Mars, Neptune, Mercury, and Venus today, and Mars harmonizes with Neptune. There’s a need to connect with others (particularly with that special someone) and talk, talk, talk! Cultivating peace within yourself spreads to loved ones and the world around you. Thoughts and issues occurring now could resurface September 28 and October 30.
*VOC (Void-of-Course) = When the Moon (our emotional barometer) does not form any relationship to a planet before entering a new zodiacal sign. This time period is best suited for anything where NO ACTION OR SPECIFIC OUTCOME is desired, as actions taken during the VOC period might not turn out as planned.