WallStreetWeather.net Weekly Forecast: September 12-19, 2011

Summary Of Last Week’s Influences:
Wall Street began the abbreviated holiday week worried about Europe and ended the week worried about Europe. In between the market was bullish about Europe, but it was not enough for the major indices to once again finish the week lower than where they began.

As described in last week’s Forecast, Mercury’s third and final opposition to Neptune Thursday reflected the market’s disappointment that Fed Chairman Bernanke failed to provide a clear signal that additional monetary stimulus is on the way. It was the Fed Chairman’s second speech in a row where he reiterated the process Congress went through before reaching agreement to raise the debt ceiling was not one that the economy could afford to repeat. Bernanke explained this was the reason for S&P’s downgrade of the USA’s long term credit rating.

President Obama’s speech Thursday before a joint session of Congress began 9 minutes late at 7:09 PM EDT. At 7:00 PM, the USA’s progressed Sun in Pisces would have exactly conjoined the chart for the speech’s Ascendant.(1) While still strongly in play at the time the President began speaking, an exact conjunction between the two would have helped to increase the cohesion between what the Administration and the nation believes needs to be done to increase economic expansion and employment.

Mercury the planet of communication in its home sector of the chart representing the labor force opposite Neptune the planetary ruler of the chart indicates there has been a lot of behind the scenes discussions with the opposing political party since Mercury rules the sectors of the chart representing Republicans and “open enemies.” The White House fact sheet notes that House Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor recommended the “bridge to work” program that offers the unemployed the opportunity to take temporary employment or perform volunteer work while continuing to receive unemployment benefits. In fact the origins of most of the components in the President’s $447 billion proposal (which charges the “supercommittee” to offset with an equivalent amount of spending cuts) emanate from ideas or legislation sponsored by Republicans such as Supercommittee member Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Rep. and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. (Both co-sponsored legislation on employer/employee payroll tax cuts and business expensing.)

As I have written before, the energy of an opposition is akin to a Full Moon (when the Moon is in the opposite sign of the Sun). Oppositions represent a culmination point as the interaction with other people, situations, and information help us understand and integrate the differences. The expression “opposites attract” is totally true. Although one energy expresses itself quite differently (opposite) from the other, both share similar enough characteristics to provide a “bridge” to cooperation, collaboration and ultimately, integration.

With his natal Sun in Leo and his progressed Sun in Libra, President Obama believes his purpose is to lead the nation as a bridge builder. The Moon in a nation’s chart represents the general public and the nation’s behavioral instincts. The transiting Moon describes the mood of the moment. The USA was born with the Moon in Aquarius - the same sign the Moon was in Thursday evening. President Obama aptly describes the characteristics of the Moon in Aquarius, together with Thursday’s strong Mercury/Neptune/Pisces influence which represents the oneness and unity when he said:

“Yes, we are rugged individualists. Yes, we are strong and self-reliant. And it has been the drive and initiative of our workers and entrepreneurs that has made this economy the engine and the envy of the world.

But there’s always been another thread running throughout our history -- a belief that we’re all connected, and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.”

The strong Mercury/Neptune/Pisces influence also reflected the speech lacked concrete details. More important than the details of the plan was President Obama’s presentation of the plan. Americans in trying times seek the security of a leader exuding confidence and the ability to remain poised and calm under pressure, as reflected by the USA’s natal Sun in Moon-ruled Cancer squaring Saturn in Libra.

Thursday evening’s speech showcased President Obama playing out his Solar Return, which occurred after the first Mercury/Neptune opposition. Venus in Virgo conjoining his natal Mars (which conjoins the USA’s natal Neptune in Virgo) represented his passionate call to Congress to “pass this jobs bill right away!” – in a tone reminiscent of President Reagan admonishing Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!”

Unfortunately only a fraction of the “American Jobs Act” is dedicated to infrastructure projects. Neptune and Pisces like to express their energies through symbolism (such as dreams, myth, and metaphor). Which is why I do not view it as coincidental that 31 minutes before President Obama began speaking, a worker handling a capacitor at a substation in North Gila, Arizona caused a short circuit that shut down a major transmission line in the electrical grid, knocking out power from Arizona to San Diego and Orange County California (as well as Mexico’s Baja peninsula).

Mercury in Virgo opposite Neptune in Aquarius (electricity) describes the vulnerabilities of having a grid so interconnected that a short circuit becomes a major economic problem that suspended the flow of transportation and commerce. It also reflected confusion about what happened as many initially feared the blackout was caused by terrorism. While this belief prevented looting and vandalism, it showcased that shoring up our nation’s infrastructure not only would create jobs and grow the economy, but it would also provide greater protection against terrorism. There is no need for the terrorists of today and tomorrow to crash jetliners into buildings or smuggle in nukes when they could turn off the grid or penetrate our digital financial infrastructure. Imagine if the $3.3 trillion+ already spent fighting the “twin wars” had been spent on protecting America’s vital interests at home!

Mercury is a dualistic energy, so as I wrap up describing the cycle of Mercury opposite Neptune, I want to mention a couple more things relating to this planetary signature.

Mercury opposite Neptune in Aquarius represented news about Medicare providers being charged with billing $295 billion in fraudulent claims as part of the Administration’s “operation HEAT.”

Last week I wrote that the opposition of Mercury and Neptune could increase the “potential for a major sovereign (non-U.S.) or corporate credit downgrade.” There are media reports that Moody’s may cut the credit ratings of the largest French banks – BNP Paribas, SocGen, and Credit Agricole could be downgraded due to their exposure to Greece.

Summary Of This Week’s Influences:
Monday’s Full Moon is called the “Harvest Moon” as it marks the time of the year traditionally connected to reaping the fruits of one’s labor. Each year the season’s harvest is gathered under the light generated by the Pisces Full Moon. What began at the time of the August 28 Virgo New Moon is reaching culmination now.

As the final sign of the zodiac, Pisces describes the conclusion of one a cycle in order for a new cycle to begin again. Pisces is not only the last sign of the zodiac, but is also the last sign in the water element. Water does not always flow in a predictable direction; Pisces energy is not concerned with adhering to boundaries as it is attuned to going with the flow. Like a sponge, Pisces is ready to surrender and absorb whatever comes along.

Pisces motto is “I believe.” Pisces and Neptune rule credit which means “to believe.” Germany’s natal Moon in Pisces conjoins Monday’s Full Moon as Mars in Moon-ruled Cancer conjoins Germany’s Cancer Ascendant at the end of the week. These energies are described in a Bloomberg story appropriately titled “Germany Readies Surrender in Fight to Save Greece.” Mars conjoining Germany’s Ascendant indicates the nation is forced to act rather than react as Greece’s ability to repay its debts under the current arrangements is not credible.

Since German banks hold the largest amount of sovereign debt, they would have to absorb the writedowns unless the government was willing to “ringfence” the banks. Germany's progressed Sun entered Scorpio in late June. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto the planetary energy of transformation. Germany will need to take the lead in steering the Eurozone through its first sovereign default.

Neptune and Pisces promote the spread of contagion which Pluto can elevate into a massive pandemic.(2) Since Pisces is ruled by Neptune and Neptune is in Uranus-ruled Aquarius, this further reinforces the frictional square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto. It remains uncertain whether the full impact and extent of a sovereign default could lead to chaos or freedom to make a fresh start. Pluto appearing stationary in the sky as it prepares to turn stationary direct Friday exacerbates these concerns since Pluto in Capricorn the sign of government describes the enormous mountain of sovereign debt held on Eurozone banks books and spread throughout the world. Debt, bankruptcies, M&A (especially takeovers), taxes/entitlements, insurance, nuclear issues, and power grabs all come under Pluto’s domain. Secrets are more likely to be revealed.

Last week I noted that the Pisces Full Moon conjoins the degree of the September 15, 2008 Pisces Full Moon when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Now the chorus of comparisons to Lehman has grown. Three years later the tides have reversed as now it is the European banks that are in trouble.

The Moon enters Aries early Tuesday and conjoins Uranus and squares Pluto in the morning to early afternoon. Aries is ruled by Mars which is in Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon. Mars has been in Cancer since August 3 and is eager to finish its sojourn on Sunday as bold and brash Aries energy needs to charge ahead, and is uncomfortable I energy of bold and brash Aries is uncomfortable in Cancer’s emotionally expressive world.

First the Sun harmonized with Jupiter in Taurus September 2; now on Wednesday its Mercury’s turn to do so. The market was bearish September 2 due to a weaker than expected employment report and Greece’s finance minister saying Greece would not make its deficit targets as its economy has shrunk more than expected.

Venus enters its home sign Libra at 10:40 PM EDT Wednesday evening until October 9. Financial relationships are in focus, especially leading into the September 27 Libra New Moon when half of the planets will be in Libra. There is a greater desire to collaborate with others now. 

Venus in Libra will oppose Uranus and square Pluto September 17-18 and conjoin Saturn September 29. These energies will continue to generate volatility and concerns about counterparty risk over the extent of sovereign debt held by banks, along with the fear that corporate profits are shrinking. Jupiter in Taurus describes the excess cash being held by banks, corporations, and individuals. Jupiter is wealth and Taurus likes to hold onto what they have, so Jupiter in Taurus is first and foremost about wealth preservation.

The Moon enters Taurus, the other sign ruled by Venus, 3:25 PM Thursday until 4:06 AM Sunday. Fridays are ruled by Venus, and Friday has a “double Venus” quality with the Moon in Taurus and Venus in Libra. Pluto turns direct after being retrograde since April 9. Yields on long term U.S. Treasuries could reverse today due to shifting sentiment that the Fed might not do any further monetary stimulus.

The combination of Venus squaring Pluto, Mars entering Leo at 9:51 PM Sunday until November 7, and Saturn moving into new degree territory on Monday increases the potential for a reversal on Monday the 19th.  This could be related to news of government intervention in Europe over the weekend. These influences can also indicate merger activity (or speculation of such activity) which could make this the first “merger Monday” in a few weeks.

Reminder: The forecast for Monday, September 12 is part of last week’s Forecast as the Weekly Forecast now runs through the following Monday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Reversal from Monday; mostly positive but could weaken into the close.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Negative and weakest early before becoming mixed to positive.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011 (Quadruple Options Expiration)
Improving conditions as the day progresses.

Monday, September 19, 2011

(1)The Ascendant (rising sign) is the sign rising on the eastern horizon. Progressions move the natal planets and chart positions forward in time, symbolizing the individual/entity’s evolution.

(2) Speaking of contagions, the film industry is ruled by Pisces and its planetary ruler Neptune.
“Contagion,” a film about how much faster plagues can spread in our interconnected world, topped the weekend box office. (You would think there’s enough troubling real life stuff out there that people would prefer to pay to see something fun, but explaining this contrary behavior would take up a separate post.)

Related Post: 2011 Summer Solstice Forecast

Barack Obama:  August 4, 1961 7:24 PM AHST Honolulu, HI
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM LMT Philadelphia, PA
German Reunification: October 3, 1990 midnight CET Bonn, Germany

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