Review and Preview
The New Year has started out with a thud. Typical of Venus moving towards a square with Saturn this weekend, many stock indices of the world ended the first week of 2008 with substantial declines. As stated in last week’s column, “… traders may want to concentrate on the Venus-Saturn square of Sunday, January 6. Any markets declining into that signature could complete a bottoming formation, and ready themselves for a rally. When Saturn coincides with a depression in values, that depression oftentimes lifts when the aspect separates. Venus rules values, such as stocks.” Almost as if on automatic pilot, stocks started selling off on the first trading day of the year, and continued their decline right into the end of the week.
In the United States, the sell-off in equities was evident all week. Near the end of the prior week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up to 13,563, and appearing on the verge of a thrust to new all-time highs. By the end of this week, the DJIA was down to 12,800, flirting with the neckline of a “head and shoulders” chart formation, and about 75 points above its double bottom low of November 26. A break of that trendline may finally lead to the kind of a washout usually seen when 4-year cycle troughs unfold. The only problem is that we are now entering the 6th year, something we haven’t seen since 1938 when the DJIA lost 50% of its value in an “expanded” 4-year cycle. In all cases since the early 1890’s, 4-year cycles happen in 3-5 year increments. And yes, one might say that in the case of all other world indices (Europe, Asia), the 4-year cycle bottomed in 2003 and not 2002, so it would still be “on time.” But I think this is a case of cycle distortion, which tells us something about the longer-term cycles yet that are soon to unfold.
Severe sell-offs were also noted in Japan, where the Nikkei “gapped down” last week and fell to its lowest level since June 2006. In fact, it is now in the vicinity of challenging the 14,045 level recorded at that time, which was the last 18.5-month cycle trough. In Switzerland, the Swiss stock index fell to 8109 intraday on Friday, just barely above its yearly low of 8081 back on November 21. All other U.S. and European markets ended the week considerably above their lows of November. And in case of India, the NIFTY stock index actually made a new all-time on Friday, briefly touching 6300.
What does this tell us? It suggests that as depressing as it seemed in some countries, the indices of other counties were not quite so bad. In fact, we may see some indices making new multi-month and maybe even yearly lows at this time, but they may not be confirmed by other indices, thus creating cases of bullish intermarket divergence. If these markets do in fact reverse upwards by early this coming week, it will show yet another instance where Financial Astrology and pattern recognition studies worked very well together.
Last week was notable in other markets too. Crude Oil touched 100.00 for the first time ever, with a high of 100.09 in the nearby contract on Thursday. Gold also achieved a new all-time high on Thursday, with the February contract notching 872. And the Dollar fell hard again. By the end of the week, the Euro currency was approaching 1.4800, not far off its all-time high of 1.4966 recorded back in late November.
The Venus-Saturn square ends this Sunday, January 6. This offers hopes for the bulls. But the next aspect is another Venus square, this time to Uranus, on the following weekend, January 12. What is interesting here is that this is the first case of a faster moving planet translating the most significant aspect coming up this year: Saturn in opposition to Uranus. Thus this offers us a preview of what we might expect when this longer-term planetary signature unfolds five times between November 4, 2008 (Election Day) and July 26, 2010. By the looks of last week, it will not be pretty. For now, these two planets are about 7 degrees away from exactness, and they will widen that distance over the next few months. But come October and November, they will start their 45-year cyclical havoc on human affairs, and this will last nearly two years.
This coming week will also feature a new moon at 17 degrees of Capricorn on Tuesday. This is where transiting Jupiter will be on Election Day, November 4, 2008. In fact, the Moon will also return to this position at the start of election day too (a lunar return to this new moon), Consequently we are getting a preview of what this election holds in the next two weeks, during the waxing phase (new moon through the full moon), in effect January 8 through 22. Any candidate who gains momentum during this period has a good chance of being on the ballot in November. Based on this principle, it would seem that New Hampshire (and other primaries taking place prior to January 22) may be more reflective of what to expect in November than Iowa was this past week – unless of course, these primaries mirror the Iowa results. But I wouldn’t rest on those results if I were Obama or Huckabee.
Jupiter and Saturn will commence the first of their three trine aspects in earth signs later this month (January 21). Not only that, but Saturn is now retrograde, and will move within one degree of a trine to Pluto in April-May. According to the studies I reported in “The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing, Volume 2: Geocosmic Correlations to Investment Cycles,” there is a strong correlation to 4-year cycles in U.S. stocks within one month of the first or second passage of this transiting aspect. January 21 is actually the third of five passages, which is most unusual. But it is the first to happen in the earth signs, so traders and investors need to pay close attention to this and the next passage, which takes place September 8, just one day after the Jupiter retrograde ends. As we look at the stock market, it is apparent that there is no 4-year cycle crest happening right now. But if the DJIA breaks below 12,500, a case can be made that a 4-year cycle trough may be forming.
With Jupiter in Capricorn, home of Saturn and ruling sign of such things as real estate and government, it would seem that the economic leaders of this nation could resolve the sub-prime mortgage crisis that is currently spooking the markets. And with Saturn retrograding back to a trine to Pluto in April-May, when the second Jupiter-Saturn trine unfolds this year as well, it would seem like this could all soon be a distant memory, for Pluto rules debt and the trine is a favorable aspect in terms of Mundane Astrology. In other words, I think there is fear in the market place right now, and it may even lead to an expanded 4-year cycle trough in the next few weeks and even days. But I am not yet convinced that this is “the big one,” just yet. There is plenty of reason to still have faith in Bernanke and Paulsen, and their capacity to conjure up magic and pull the stock market out of these doldrums. In fact, I would not be surprised to see them announce some new effort designed to do just that within the next 1-3 weeks. As stated time and time again, this fire-sign duo doesn’t want a recession or stock market collapse on their watch. And I still believe they have the power and the will to do something to avoid it prior to the November elections. Of course, Jupiter is now in earth signs, and not the fire signs to which they belong, so perhaps their magic is leaving them. I wouldn’t bet on that, though. I think there are yet other ploys to try, and they could realize more successes yet this year.
After the election, however, anything is possible. That’s when the 45-year Saturn-Uranus oppositions begin, and last through much of 2010.