Friday, November 30, 2007

Stock Market Comments For The Week Beginning December 3, 2007

Written by Raymond Merriman

Review and Preview

Financial Astrology works - again.

It’s not like we weren’t forewarned about the importance of Uranus - a powerful Level 1 signature - turning direct last Saturday, and its tendency to correlate with sudden, unexpected reversals within a couple of trading days. Last week’s column stated the following: “If you are a Financial or Mundane Astrologer, you have to at least appreciate the correspondence between today’s planetary signatures and its correspondence to a sense of panic and urgency on the part of the global investment community… The probability is greater that you are close to seeing the end of these moves for now. And the hysteria is completely consistent with the fact that we are presently in between three major signatures that pertain to exactly this type of collective over-reaction.”

Uranus turned direct on Saturday, November 24. Within two trading days, all the major equity markets of the world were in a free-fall and to say that panic and doomsday scenarios were gripping the headlines would be truly underestimating the fear that was present less than one week ago. But today, November 30, all these same equity markets are soaring strongly for 3-5 straight days up, and the tune being sung is completely different. Confidence is returning in a big way, which is the nature of Jupiter in Sagittarius. By the way, that 13-month transit comes to an end in December. Oh sure, there may be some spillover into early Capricorn. But slowly and surely, the speculative and wild days of Jupiter and Sagittarius will give way to the more rational and sobering months of Jupiter in Capricorn.

In Europe, the AEX of Netherlands and the Swiss stock Index bottomed the prior week on November 21 at 480 and 8080 respectively. By Friday, November 30, they were up to 509 and 8849 respectively. That’s a 10% move in the Swiss index, after it was at its lowest level in over a year just one week ago. The German DAX was in the midst of testing its August lows just last Tuesday at 7444. By Friday, three days later, it was up to 7894. The FTSE of England was down to 6026 a week ago. On Friday, it was back up to 6455.

Similar impressive gains were noted in Japan, which dropped well below its August lows at the end of the prior week, falling all the way down to 14,670. But on Friday, November 30, it was up over 1000 points from that low, touching 15,751. India’s Nifty Index fell to a new monthly low of 5394 on November 22, but by November 30, it was up as high as 5782. The Hand Seng bottomed at 25,861 on the same November 22 date, but on Friday was back up to 28,792. And in Australia, the All Ordinaries bottomed at 6373 on November 22, only to rise sharply to 6608 on Friday, November 30.

In the United States, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite completed their re-tests of the August lows on Monday at 12,724 and 2539 respectively. On Friday, they rallied as high as 13,467 and 2696 respectively, one of their sharpest one week rallies in quite some time.

Equally big moves were noted in Crude Oil and Gold. After posting its all-time high at 99.29 on November 21, Crude Oil was down to 88.45 on Friday, a loss of nearly 11%. Gold looked like it was going to quickly soar to a new high when it jumped from 776 the prior week to 832 on Monday. But by Friday, it was back down to 782 intraday. And even the Euro started to fall. From its all-time high of 1.4966 one week ago, it was testing the 1.4600 level by Friday, it’s steepest drop in quite some time. All of this is indeed consistent with then nature of Uranus changing directions, one of the strongest correlations related to reversal in financial markets as demonstrated in the statistical studies published in some of our market timing books.

Short-Term Geocosmics

Uranus retrograde correlates with sudden and unexpected changes, and so do other planetary signatures involving Uranus. On Friday, December 7, the Sun will square Uranus. It happens on the day when the Employment and Payroll reports come out, which typically leads to very large price swings anyway. This time will probably not disappoint, if one is looking for volatility. Not only that but early the following week, Jupiter will make its 13-year conjunction to Pluto. As stated in last week’s column, “In the study of Financial Astrology, time bands that highlight combinations of Mars, Jupiter and Uranus can coincide with extreme price moves, corresponding with a sense of hysteria, panic, or over-confidence. The nature of Uranus is to be more irrational. Markets can move well above resistance zones, or below support zones, and thus there is a sense of a “break-out.” Jupiter and Pluto come together only every 13 years, and together they can coincide with a sense of urgency, even hysteria due to the nature of Jupiter (it exaggerates whatever it contacts). In this case, it contacts Pluto, ruler of debt and fear of the worst. The sub-prime mortgage tragedy is a perfect example of today’s Jupiter-Pluto crisis. The extent of those losses is just coming to light. But to read all the solicitations by the financial expects who somehow get a hold of your email address, you would think that this crisis will never end. The aspect soon comes to an end, and just as it has in the past, such crises will come to an end too.”

Bottom line: this powerful rally off the Uranus stationary direct could come crashing right into then next powerful zone of the Sun-Uranus square, along with Jupiter-Pluto conjunct, late this week and early the next. But one thing to keep in mind: the market community is looking for the Federal Reserve to make another interest rate cut. I agree with this outlook, for after all, as Jupiter moves into Capricorn in mid-December, it will oppose the FRB Pluto and conjunct its natal Sun. This is a signature of accommodation, or lowering rates. We should have this gift in time for the holiday season. How thoughtful our fearless fire sign leaders are. And so as long as that belief is out there, there is no reason for the stock market to go back down to the levels seen a week ago. Of course with Uranus, logical reasons for the market to perform a certain way may be defied. It will oftentimes do what is not expected. So basically I am saying to expect an interest rate cut, but also expect market volatility as long as Uranus is activated, which should be the case for another two weeks.

Longer-Term Thoughts

Let’s get some perspective here. This may have little to do with astrology, except that next year will be an election year, and we will of course spend a good amount of this column analyzing candidates for the high office.

So let’s review what certain markets did under Bush Sr., then Bill Clinton, and then Bush Jr., and maybe you will see a pattern – and a glimpse of what might happen under a Hillary Clinton presidency. Like father like son… like husband like wife, perhaps.

When George H. Bush, Sr. came into office in January 1989, the U.S. Dollar was strong, and continued to a high of 106.52 against a basket of foreign currencies into June 1989. But then the famous mantra “Bring the Dollar down so American corporations can compete,” took hold, and Treasury Secretary Baker did just that. By September 1992, just two months before the next election, the Dollar had been devalued to a historic low of 78.43, a loss of nearly 30% in three years. Bill Clinton then defeated Bush Sr., and from that historic low, the Dollar began rising, reaching a peak of 121.29 just after leaving office, in July 2001. That was a Dollar appreciation of over 50%. George W. Bush, Jr. assumed presidency in January 2001. After the initial rise in the Dollar to July 2001, the greenback commenced a descent that continues to this day. This month, the Dollar has fallen to a new historic low of 74.65, a devaluation of nearly 40% under Bush Jr. leadership. What do you think will happen to the Dollar if Mrs. Clinton becomes President?

The price of Crude Oil had fallen to 12.28 in October 1988, one month before the election that would place Texan George H. Bush Sr. into the White House. Exactly two years later, in October 1990, Crude Oil soared to a new all-time high of 41.15, an increase of 235%, as Iraq invaded Kuwait, and thus started the Persian Gold conflict. It came down afterwards, but not below 20.00 before Bill Clinton assumed office in January 1992. Under his watch, Crude made lower and lower highs, and continued falling to a low of 10.35 in December 1998. Then Clinton started in on the Balkan conflict, and crude rolled back up to 37.80 in September 2000 before starting a sharp decline again. Crude Oil continued falling as George W. Bush Jr. took office in January 2001, with Crude oil around 25.00. It fell to a low of 16.70 in November 2001 (yes, even after 9-11). But then began one of the greatest bull markets in financial history, and Crude has soared and soared, to a record high of 99.29 about a week ago. What do you think will happen to the price of Crude Oil if a Texan is not elected president in 2008? Or if a Clinton is elected? Like father like son. Like husband like wife.

One thing is almost certain: once the Bushes are gone, the markets will reverse trends in many markets, especially currencies. Is that good or bad? It’s good for us, because we can anticipate the trading-investment opportunities that will arise. It will be interesting to see if Clinton replaces Bush – again - as happened in 1992, and whether or not we are seeing the foundation of the two-family dynasty taking over the governance of the U.S.A. Those things tend to happen during the time band in which Uranus conjoins Neptune, followed by the two planets entering into mutual reception (1993-2011). Fortunately (?) it comes to an end by the 2012 election.

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