Published by WallStreetWeather.net
Every time I read or hear another market analyst proclaim that the recent rally will face a correction but that correction will not break the S&P’s March 6 666 intraday low I say “I wouldn’t be so sure.”
Monday’s Wall Street Journal remarked that only “the real pessimists worry that stocks could fall to new lows by autumn.” But now that the “too far, too fast” three month rally is showing fatigue, the Journal quotes Phil Roth of broker Miller Tabak who thinks the DJIA could hit 9,000 before falling below its March 9 closing low of 6,547.05.
Beyond the technical factors cited in Monday’s article and yesterday’s “Markets Fall on Growth Fears” is that the market is likely entering a choppy to corrective phase; planetary factors provide the potential for a bigger market correction than anticipated. Since the Journal reviews the technical factors that brought the markets to this point, I’ll first review the planetary influences that correlate with the market’s rapid rise from March.
When Venus (banking and finance) turned retrograde* on March 6, market sentiment was braced for nothing short of financial apocalypse and the S&P fulfilled those expectations that day when it dropped to an intraday low of 666. But retrogrades tend to reverse sentiment. After the DJIA and the S&P made 12+ year closing lows on March 9, shorts began covering in a market turnaround after super TARPed Citigroup declared the following day it made a profit in the first two months of 2009. Other banks soon declared that they too were profitable and began talking about repaying the TARP. The government demonstrated that their policies during the crisis created even bigger behemoths that were now considered truly too big to fail. Indeed, even non financial companies could now be classified as a “systemic risk” to the economy. And perhaps the government’s stimulus package would restart spending after all.
With Venus in impulsive and fast moving Aries until June 6, stocks and commodities continued to surge after Venus turned direct April 17, as Mars was about to enter Aries (April 22-May 31). Planets in Aries like to get in on the action first. These energies reflect the belief that if you wait until economic fundamentals are evident, those “green shoots” would have grown into a full crop.
Jupiter expands and Neptune inflates and with these planets approaching conjunction May 27 in Uranus-ruled Aquarius, deflation concerns where rapidly rolling over to inflation. To the Bulls, higher commodity prices reflected growing demand in China and other emerging markets. Jupiter’s optimism combined with Neptune’s world of foggy fantasy in airy Aquarius reinforced the attitude of Venus and Mars in Aries that fundamentals don’t matter. Economic news that was “less bad” than expected was a cause for the market to take another leg up. And with Jupiter and Neptune conjoining the USA’s natal Moon (consumers), Bulls didn’t see why that extra $10 of stimulus in workers’ paychecks wouldn’t translate into more retail spending. Bears went into commodities and shorting U.S. Treasuries as a hedge against the mountain of debt issuance by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve’s monetizing the debt.
Venus rules Taurus. As Mercury (communications), Venus (values), and Mars (action) were in Taurus the week of June 8, the market continued to gain but at the much slower and steadier pace of this fixed earth sign. Venus’s dominant energies since early March reflect that the biggest gains came in the banking sector. On June 12, the S&P had made a 40% gain from its early March low.
Jupiter turned retrograde June 15, reversing some of those “optimistic assumptions.” And now here we are one week later with the Sun in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn to show that there’s still plenty of debt (Pluto) and continued economic contraction (Capricorn) that can put a damper on stock market (Sun) sentiment (Cancer which is ruled by the Moon).
Market strategists quoted in the Journal article provided their projections through autumn, and I will now give an overview of the major planetary influences on the market from now to that time with more details in upcoming posts as each influence gets closer.
Whether bullish or bearish, there seemed to be consensus among the strategists that at least a 5-10% correction is upon the market. I would tend to agree with John Schlitz, chief technical strategist at Instinet, who said there will be a bit more upside and then some “very frustrating, choppy trading in the summer, setting up for a traditional October low.”
Market pundits (along with planetary pundits such as yours truly :-) ) need to stay focused to the fact that strong Uranus energies are a wakeup call to expect the unexpected. Whether the market makes its fall in September, October, November, or a bit sooner or later than that doesn’t change the overall theme outlined as a probable scenario. Saturn the ruler of tradition is opposing Uranus through mid-2010 and most of the time Uranus has more leverage.
The energy of Uranus in Pisces will be more pronounced June 26 through July 6 as it turns retrograde on July 1 (until December 1) in what could be a “wild Wednesday." Uranus creates volatility; a rollercoaster ride that can send prices lower or higher faster than anticipated. Mars in Taurus challenges Jupiter and Neptune on July 6 which could raise questions about credit issues as well as CMBS which is part of the next wave of the financial crisis.
During an eclipse the Sun or Moon’s light is concealed by the Moon (Solar Eclipse) or the Earth (Lunar Eclipse). The period one week before and between eclipses is not a favorable time to make decisions as the light being blocked symbolically represents that we do not have all the information we need to make a sound decision. Eclipses are harbingers of change, and things tend to be seen in a whole new light beginning a week after the eclipses have passed.
Eclipses don’t always have a profound effect on the market right away, but the July 7 Lunar Eclipse, July 21 Solar Eclipse, and the August 5 Lunar Eclipse all impact key planetary energies in the charts for the New York Stock Exchange and the USA. Pluto rules debt and the Solar Eclipse in Cancer (consumers/real estate/domestic security) falls in the area of the USA chart representing debt, opposing the USA’s natal Pluto in Capricorn in the area of the USA chart representing the financial system. Foreign governments could be shedding their holdings of U.S. debt. With the Moon ruling the area of the Solar Eclipse chart representing the stock market, market sentiment is very changeable.
The Solar Eclipse also conjoins the Federal Reserve’s natal Neptune. These aspects indicate the next financial crisis has arrived, and once again the Fed is not only asleep at the wheel, but preoccupied with keeping a grip on its power to hold onto regulating consumer credit (Neptune), and could be trying to prevent a scandal erupting over its handling of AIG and the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch deal.
Mars in Gemini challenges Saturn (August 10) and Uranus (August 18). These energies tend to depress the market and create volatility, especially because Mars triggers the energies of Saturn in Virgo opposing Uranus in Pisces. Saturn in Virgo seeks to create greater efficiencies within the bounds of current governmental and societal structures. Uranus in Pisces promotes the need to dissolve status quo systems that have become obsolete and replace them with something new that benefits everyone.
The planetary energies in September share similarities to the energies of September 2008. Mercury will turn retrograde on Labor Day, the exact place where it went direct on October 15, 2008 which was the same degree as the September 29, 2008 Libra New Moon. That was the day the Dow dropped almost 800 points after the House failed to pass the TARP bill.
On the one year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Saturn will oppose Uranus for the third time. The first Saturn/Uranus opposition occurred on Election Day and the second took place on February 5, 2009. The market was bullish on those days, but on both occasions the major indices made multi-year lows within one month of the opposition. The September 18 Virgo New Moon occurring on quadruple options expiration day will accentuate these energies as the Sun and Moon conjoin Saturn and oppose Uranus. Both the USA and the New York Stock Exchange charts will be affected, and Mars in Cancer will reactivate the issues present around the July 7 Lunar Eclipse.
Mercury retrogrades back into Virgo on September 17 where it will rendezvous with Saturn on September 22, the day of the Autumnal** Equinox and the FOMC meeting, and oppose Uranus the next day. News could depress the market and then create volatility to the upside the next day. Mercury turns direct conjoining the USA Neptune and challenging the USA Mars, highlighting military matters and foreign relations, as well as facts that turn out to be fiction or based upon incomplete information.
Jupiter turns direct on October 13. Jupiter usually creates big market moves, and its direct station tends to be optimistic, but Venus conjoining Saturn the same day can create financial fears. Mars reactivates the themes surrounding the July 21 Solar Eclipse on October 15.
On October 29, Saturn will enter Libra for six months and then again from July 2010 to October 2012. On November 15, Saturn will make the first of several challenging alignments to Pluto in Capricorn. The transit of Saturn in Libra is to teach the lesson of balanced financial relationships and rules and regulations that are fair to all parties. Saturn challenging Pluto will expose not only who is not playing fair in the corporate/financial world but also in government, which could create market turmoil.
*Planets do not really move backwards, but appear to from Earth’s vantage point.
**CORRECTION made 6/24/09 at 7:35 AM: I had originally written Vernal Equinox by mistake. (The Autumnal Equinox marks the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere and the Vernal Equinox marks the first day of spring.)