Summary Of Last Week’s Influences:
A plethora of planets in Aries can indicate “firsts.” As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries likes to start something new and is enthusiastic about taking risk. Jupiter in Aries reflects that risk taking must rapidly expand in order to generate the same level of return previously generated. Mars in its home sign Aries conjoining Jupiter now together with Mercury, Mars, and Uranus in Aries indicates one has to act think and act quickly to make fast money by staying ahead of the competition and the herd following them who are arriving late in the game. Besides, Aries energy knows the pace will begin to slow down a bit when Jupiter enters Taurus June 4 when Uranus will be the only planet remaining in Aries.
Reflecting all this fast movement, on Thursday the Dow Jones Transports closed at a record 5,510.06. On Friday the Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks closed at an all-time high of 865.29. While the NASDAQ has never returned to its March 10, 2000 5,048.62 record close, it closed Friday at 2,873.54, its highest level since December 2000.
It takes Jupiter about 12 years to make a complete cycle around the Sun. Jupiter in Aries for the first time since the dot com bubble reflects that the tech heavy NASDAQ is once again fired up (Aries is the first sign in the fire element) about tech stocks and the internet companies in particular. Jupiter in Aries correlates to a frenzy to get venture capital to invest in internet and internet-dependent companies before the funding starts to dry up as all those optimistic assumptions begin to get questioned when Jupiter shifts from the fire to the earth element of “show me the money” Taurus.
The last time Jupiter was in Aries all a company had to do was add a .com to their name and claim they had a reasonable amount of eyeballs in order to get venture capital to IPO.(1) Although Amazon.com (AMZN) is one of the few successful survivors of that era, I remember back then that CEO Jeff Bezos said something to the effect that “making a profit would ruin our business plan.”
Fast forward one Jupiter cycle later:
The years that Uranus (technology; internet) was in Neptune-ruled Pisces (2003-2011) during the same time Neptune was in Uranus-ruled Aquarius (1998-2011) saw the rise of online social networks. People are spending more time on Facebook than on the internet. This is a throwback to the last time Jupiter was in Aries when millions of people never ventured onto the internet but stayed within then red hot internet company America Online. May 15 marks the first Jupiter return when Time Warner (TWX) announced it would acquire AOL which was the first and largest deal that made history by merging new media with old media in a deal that became history.
The bar has been raised higher this time around and shares in the hottest internet companies such as Facebook and Groupon are traded on a limited basis in the private market mostly by wealthy investors (very Pluto in Capricorn). This contrasts with the last time Jupiter was in Aries and Pluto was in Sagittarius. The objective then was to IPO as quickly as possible with a limited supply of stock, leaving the masses to boost valuations into the stratosphere. The differences of Pluto’s energy in these two signs is demonstrated by the enormous optimism of Pluto in Sagittarius that a company could generate huge profits simply by the number of people who visited the website and saw the ads. Pluto represents secrets and privacy, while Capricorn rules mining and the corporate bottom line.
One Jupiter in Aries cycle later, the belief is that this time the internet can be profitably monetized through intensive data mining all the information people provide on various websites, especially from social networks such as Facebook to create highly customized advertising. Secondary to this is the tracking cookies companies leave each time someone visits their site (unless an individual has set up their security to block them).
Jupiter in Aries is winding down while Uranus in Aries is now within reach of challenging Pluto. Their 7 time exact square off will officially begin in June 2012 (until March 2015). What’s hot now might unexpectedly turn cold the moment a new trend (Uranus) is born. Before there was Facebook there was MySpace which Murdoch can’t even give away now. Uranus is rebellious and it could become increasingly more likely that people will begin to rebel in one form or another about companies not only profiting from all their “likes” and personal information, but using it against them to charge them more for insurance, for instance. (2) If the public begins to demand that these practices stop it would certainly have an adverse impact on their business models.
It is usually after a major planetary alignment has completed its cycle and then gets reactivated by an eclipse or New/Full Moon or faster moving planet that the world starts to fully process these energies. Jupiter and Saturn are the key planets representing business and the economy. The opposition of Jupiter in Aries and Saturn in Libra which was exact March 28 means these two planets have reached the midpoint (“Full Moon”) of their 20 year cycle. So while the valuations of these privately traded internet companies are overinflated (Jupiter), the infrastructure (Saturn) costs to support them has been greatly underestimated.
A robust audio/visual or retail site requires an extensive infrastructure behind it, including billion dollar plus server farms and heavy tolls for bandwidth. The only safe bet when it comes to these companies is that Intel (INTC) processors will be the key drivers behind the internet server infrastructure. Whether companies such as Google (GOOG) and Facebook are building their own boxes, or Amazon whether is using commodity boxes, it all comes down to “Intel inside.”
The Jupiter/Saturn opposition can describe events that raise ethical (Jupiter) concerns that can damage the reputation (Saturn) of a company and/or one of its top executives. David Sokol who as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings had been speculated as a potential successor to Warren Buffett, submitted his resignation March 28 which Buffett publicly announced just after Mercury turned retrograde March 30. In the press release Buffett writes that Sokol’s purchase of 96, 060 Lubrizol shares before pitching Buffett to buy the company were not “in any way unlawful.”
Jupiter conjoining Buffett’s natal Uranus in Aries and Saturn opposing it while both planets squared Buffett’s natal Jupiter in Cancer indicated this matter could become a big threat to Buffett’s carefully cultivated reputation.(3) The April 3 Aries New Moon squared Buffett’s natal Jupiter which raised ethical concerns about Buffett’s behavior concerning the matter. Buffett supposedly told Sokol to go on CNBC’s Squawk Box show the next morning and aggressively defend himself. The April 3 Aries New Moon squaring Buffett’s natal Jupiter in Cancer reflected that Buffett would be dealing with ethical issues over the next month.
On Wednesday Venus in Aries squared Pluto in the sky, a planetary signature that Buffett was born with. Buffett’s Venus is in its home sign Libra squaring Pluto in Cancer indicates a penchant for profiting from secret and sometimes shady deals; Venus widely squaring Jupiter and Pluto while Jupiter conjoining Pluto when Buffett was born are other indicators of his enormous wealth.
Puto rules insurance and Buffett bragged a few years ago when Berkshire’s General Re unit agreed to let AIG pay General Re for “reinsurance” when Berkshire was really being paid by AIG so it could cook its books which would relieve AIG of a completely known liability to make AIG appear to be more profitable. Buffett was never charged with fraud, yet the CEO of General Re was sentenced to jail following a jury trial and a couple of other General Re and an AIG executive involved in the trickery were also found guilty of fraud.
After Berkshire’s Audit Committee report emerged Wednesday portraying Buffett as a victim (natal Sun conjunct Neptune in Neptune) who was misled by Sokol. Uranus in Aries opposing natal Mercury and squaring natal Mars, together with Mercury no longer retrograde has caused Buffett to reverse his previous remarks. At Berkshire’s annual meeting yesterday, Buffett said Sokol’s actions were “inexplicable and inexcusable.” True to his Sun conjoining Neptune the planetary energy of fraud and illusion in Virgo, Buffett wants to ensure he retains his “purity.”
Pluto opposing Buffett’s natal Saturn indicates Buffett’s reputation is undergoing transformation. Pluto opposing Buffett’s natal Saturn This is further emphasized by Saturn in Libra which opposes Buffett’s natal Uranus, squares his natal Jupiter and Pluto and conjoins his Venus between August and October this year. So many challenging alignments by Saturn could strain even a far younger person’s physical vitality. These influences mean Buffett might face legal challenges.
I have made a Jupiter-sized digression here, so let’s get back to Jupiter and the market. The Dow had its best four month start in a new year since 1999. Crude oil closed Friday at $113.93, its highest level since September 2008. Furthering my premise that the bulk of oil’s gains is due to the cost of speculation made cheap by the Fed, CNBC attributed the slight price decline in crude Tuesday to traders awaiting Wednesday’s FOMC statement. Oil futures for the month of April experienced their best streak of gains since they began trading on the NYMEX on March 30, 1983. The Federal Reserve’s progressed Pluto conjoins Neptune (oil) in this chart and the Sun (speculation) exactly conjoins the Fed’s progressed Sun, indicating the Fed’s zero interest rates (Pluto)/ultra accommodative monetary policy is contributing to this growing bubble.(4)
Then there’s the race between gold and silver as both made new nominal highs last week to coincide with the dollar index closing at its lowest level since July 2008 as the market viewed the Fed’s FOMC statement Wednesday as a risk free invitation to speculate in the riskiest investments.
But as I explained in this post and the prior post before that, the Fed is slowly beginning to embark on a reversal of its ultra easy rates. The market might begin to start to process this after the Fed’s next meeting and press briefing June 22.
Summary Of This Week’s Influences:
With so many planets in Aries, many people are moving so fast that they never look up in the sky! Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are visible in the early morning sky just before dawn as they conjoin each other throughout May. Since the Sun rules speculation, these planets rising before the Sun to start the day can accentuate the market’s enthusiasm. This is especially true with Venus which has been in the morning sky since the Fed officially launched QE2 in November but will disappear from the morning sky in July.
The week begins with the Moon (sentiment) in Venus-ruled Taurus, the sign that rules money, banking, and net worth which are all in focus now until the Moon enters Mercury-ruled Gemini early Wednesday afternoon for the remainder of the market week.
The April 17 Full Moon in Venus-ruled Libra highlighted financial relationships and alliances. Now as the Sun and Moon conjoin at the New Moon in Venus-ruled Taurus Tuesday at 2:51 AM EDT in a challenging alignment with Saturn in Libra, adjustments must be made to deal with the USA’s fiscal and monetary imbalances. The New Moon harmonizing with Pluto indicates it is far easier to deal with the debt ceiling issue now.
Venus opposed Saturn and Mars conjoined Jupiter over the weekend. The former energies can indicate trading in a tight range and the latter alignment can represent large market moves as investors act first and ask questions later. These energies tend to be a influence the market to the upside, although the tendency for choppy and mixed conditions at least intraday could increse this week.
Consensus estimates are calling for Friday’s employment report to show 183,000 new private jobs were created. While the report could show job creation came in higher than expected, the market could sell off.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Positive and strongest early but could begin to weaken as the day progresses to close mixed to moderately positive.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Positive bias but could weaken in the afternoon and close mixed.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
(1)Jupiter was briefly in Aries June 6 – September 9, 2010. Like its current sojourn that is “split” into two transits, Jupiter was last in Aries from February 12 – June 28, 1999 and October 23, 1999 – February 14, 2000.
(2) For more on the subject of online privacy, I recommend reading The Wall Street Journal’s excellent series of articles on “What They Know.”
(3)Buffett’s natal Jupiter exactly conjoins the USA natal Sun in Cancer which explains why he has amassed his wealth in owning mostly American companies.
(4) A mathematical calculation that moves the planets forward in time as a method of prediction. Transiting Pluto exactly conjoined natal Neptune when WTI crude closed at a record $145.29 on July 3, 2008.
Warren Buffett: August 30, 1930 time unknown Omaha, NE. (I have not been able to find birth information for David Sokol except that he was born in Omaha in 1956.)