WallStreetWeather.net Forecast For Week Of October 11, 2009

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Summary Of Last Week’s Influences:
Friday marked the two year anniversary of the Dow (14,164.53) and the S&P500 (1,565.15) closing at record highs. The Dow celebrated by closing at a fresh 2009 high (9,864.94), but at 1,071.49, the S&P stopped short of beating its September 22 close. Both indices were slightly shy of surpassing their September 23 intraday highs. It also marked the first time since June 2007 that so many stocks (1,069) closed at 52 week highs.

The fact that financial markets have defied fundamentals reflects that once again the Federal Reserve has enabled asset inflation. Venus rules currencies, and Mercury represents exchanging one currency for another and the news traders react to. The euro and other currencies gained Monday after G7 finance ministers meeting over the weekend expressed no concern about the weaker dollar.

For all the talk about the dollar, the dollar is still above its closing low against the euro ($1.5981) set on April 22, 2008. On that day, Mars in Cancer harmonized with Uranus in Pisces; October 4 marked the first time Mars in Cancer harmonized with Uranus since then.

The dollar hit a fresh 2009 low against several currencies Thursday as Mercury conjoined Saturn which prompted the central banks of Thailand, S. Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines to intervene to stem the appreciation of their currencies against the dollar. Uranus has a tendency to reverse direction, and the dollar slightly strengthened after Fed Chairman Bernanke said in a Thursday night speech that the Fed will have to tighten monetary policy “at some point.”

Mercury conjoining Saturn in Virgo represents news about healthcare. Health insurance company stocks rose when these two planets first conjoined August 17 on the belief the public option would be scrapped. On Thursday’s third alignment, these stocks fell over concerns that health overhaul will pass Congress. Mercury conjoining Saturn can represent somber news and in Virgo this can mean a contraction in the number of jobs available. The Labor Department reported that the number of job openings declined in August to 2.4 million from 4.65 million in August 2008, as job separation outpaced new hires.

As Venus (diplomacy) opposed Uranus (surprises; outer space) Friday (a day ruled by Venus), America woke up to the unexpected news that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And with the Moon in Gemini, the sign of the twins, NASA was smashing two spacecraft four minutes apart into the south pole of the Moon early Friday morning as if we were at war with our lunar neighbor (Gemini). The purpose of NASA’s LCROSS mission is to find water on the Moon that would support future human missions to the Moon and Mars. With the Moon exactly conjoining the USA Mars at the time of Friday morning’s impact, this is a military mission.

After the President gave a speech Friday about winning the peace prize, he met with his war council for three hours to discuss Gen. McChrystal’s request to double the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

Summary Of This Week’s Influences:
From Monday through Wednesday Jupiter appears to be motionless from Earth’s vantage point, making its energies more pronounced. Jupiter expands and tends to exaggerate current sentiment, creating the potential for large market moves (in either or both directions).

Jupiter turned retrograde on June 15. Commodities dropped and the dollar strengthened that day. Stocks dropped June 15-16 in the market’s first weekly decline in five weeks. For the most part, Jupiter energy is optimistic and has high expectations. Jupiter turning retrograde reversed the bullish sentiment. The June 15 cover of Barron’s proclaimed the market had gone “Too Far, Too Fast.” (See the June 22 Weekly Forecast for additional economic events connected to Jupiter turning retrograde.)

Jupiter retrograde proved to be a very minor and very temporary pullback, as stocks have continued their upward trajectory since then to reach new highs for the year while the dollar made a new low for 2009. Jupiter in Aquarius turning direct could bring some unexpected developments in the areas of foreign relations and trade, legal rulings, higher education, religion, and politics. People tend to feel more confident now, but it’s best to wait to put plans into action until October 20 after 5 PM EDT through October 22.

During Jupiter retrograde, Republicans revealed that their real agenda is not only to defeat healthcare reform, but make President Obama appear totally ineffective. As Jupiter turns direct on Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will meet at 10:00 AM to vote on their version of the healthcare reform bill. The Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill last week, but Sen. Olympia Snowe said she needed more time to review the bill. This is despite the fact that a majority of people in Maine want a public option since Anthem Blue Cross dominates the individual market. Venus represents women, Saturn is time, and Virgo is healthcare. Venus conjoining Saturn reflects Sen. Snowe’s stalling strategy. And Venus challenging Pluto could mean that appeasing her might require a high price tag.

Venus represents money, banking, and values. Venus will conjoin Saturn (Tuesday), shift into “home” sign Libra on Wednesday, and challenge Pluto in Capricorn on Thursday. These influences will affect the chart of the Federal Reserve. Several Fed officials will be giving speeches and testimony this week, and on Wednesday the Fed will release the Minutes from the September 23 FOMC meeting. These influences could create more volatility in treasuries and market interest rates.

All of these planetary influences reflect the topics that will be debated at Wednesday’s Congressional hearings. The House Financial Services Committee will hold a markup session on the bill creating the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), as well as the bill to reform the OTC derivatives market. Meanwhile the Senate Banking Committee will be “examining the state of the banking industry,” as Chairman Christopher Dodd plans to have a bill ready for the Committee to markup in November to be ready to take to the Senate floor early in 2010. This exactly coincides with the time when Saturn in Libra will be challenging Pluto, placing regulations that restrict financial institutions from continuing past practices in high leverage and opaque instruments.

The market could react cautiously to remarks about the financial system made by government officials as Venus conjoins Saturn Tuesday. (National Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Christina Romer will be speaking Tuesday morning, and there will be speeches by Fed Vice Chairman Kohn and NY FRB president Dudley.) Venus conjoining Saturn in Virgo can raise concerns about consumers’ limited ability to spend on discretionary items, putting stocks under some selling pressure.

Venus enters Libra Wednesday evening until November 7, putting the focus on financial relationships and partnership arrangements. People tend to be more socially focused now, especially with the New Moon in Libra this weekend and Mercury in Libra until October 28.

Venus challenging Pluto in Capricorn Thursday could reveal financial information or arrangements that had been kept secret. There could be speculation about mergers, along with a sharp moves in oil and gold prices.

Mars is action. Mars in Cancer conjoins the degree of the July 21 Solar Eclipse, reactivating the themes highlighted then. The eclipse conjoined the Fed’s natal Neptune (interest rates), the day that Fed Chairman Bernanke wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Fed’s exit strategy.” Mars conjoining the eclipse pushes to act faster to adjust monetary policy.

Mars moves into Leo Friday morning until June 7, 2010 (due to Mars being retrograde from December 20 until March 10). I will be writing more about this cycle; here’s a post from the last time Mars was in Leo.

Monday, October 12, 2009
Negative trend bias, but improves as the day progresses.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Potential for big moves/reversals in either or both directions. Venus conjoining Saturn is likely to inject caution, keeping the market in negative territory at least in the morning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Positive, then weakens to choppy/mixed to negative. Could improve going into the close.

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Weak early, then improves as day progresses. Indices close mixed to positive.

Friday, October 16, 2009
(Options expiration) Choppy/mixed to mostly positive.

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