REVIEW AND PREVIEW
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is concerned about the ballooning amount of United States debt. "I'm very worried about it," Powell said at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. The Fed chief's comments came as the annual U.S. deficit reaches new sustained highs above $1 trillion, a fact many economists worry could spell trouble for future generations. Annual deficits have topped $1 trillion before, but never during a time of sustained economic growth like now, raising concern about what would happen if a recession hits… Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion. Fitch Ratings — one of the top credit rating agencies that analyzes companies and governments alike — said Wednesday that the ongoing government shutdown could soon start to impact its ability to pass a budget and could impact the government's triple-A sovereign score. – Thomas Frank, “Fed Chairman Powell “Very Worried” About Growing Amount of U.S. Debt,” https://www.cnbc.com, January 10, 2019.
British lawmakers are set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's much-maligned Brexit deal on Tuesday (January 15), with less than three months to go before the U.K. is set to leave the European Union. Remarkably, May's template to exit the bloc faces virtually certain defeat. That leaves the prospect of a complete collapse of government, a disorderly exit from the bloc or even the entire Brexit process being scrapped altogether over the coming weeks…. Westminster must now either accept the government's plans for a structured exit and relatively close economic ties with the EU or reject it and spawn massive uncertainty over the country's next steps. – Sam Meredith, “A Crunch Brexit Vote is Coming That Could Trigger Even More Political Chaos, https://www.cnbc.com, January 11, 2019
All the wild swings experienced in December and early January seemed to pause as global stock markets rose steadily for most of last week. This may be related to the approaching first passage of Jupiter square Neptune this weekend, January 13. Unlike Uranus, which is wild and has been extremely strong through January 9, the influence of Neptune is more like floating on a raft on a sunny day in a calm lake with no wind and no worries. It’s passive, which to a trader, is akin to being complacent. And therein lies the danger as we head into more Uranus aspects, without the benefit of much Neptune, later this forthcoming week. If there is no real “bad” news or disturbing tweets suddenly launched, investors are apt to find reasons to invest, supporting gradually rising equity prices. Stock markets around the world, were generally higher last week, with some (like the DJIA) now up over 10% since their lows of December 26. In the 12 trading sessions following that low, the DJIA has been up 9 days. And one of the days it was down was Friday, January 11, when it fell only five points. During this same 12 days, the DJIA rose over 2300 points from low to high. It is this this type of market behavior that can lead to the complacency often associated with Neptune, which turns into vulnerability when disturbing news, ala Uranus, does hit the market. This is due again January 18-21, +/- three days.
Since one of the astrologer’s creed is “As above, so below,” it is not hard to find a fundamental explanation for both the mild waters last week and the pleasant, dreamlike qualities of an expansive Jupiter/Neptune. The vote on the Brexit deal didn’t happen last week. It happens January 15, right in time for the next dose of Uranus. With Jupiter still very close to a square to Neptune, the investment world wonders if anyone really has a clue as to what the UK wants and what they are going to do. They might find out in the next week. Or, they might find out that they really don’t have a clue as to what they really want, and instead of the vote clarifying the issue, it just becomes more and more muddled, which is kind of like the normal state of mind when Jupiter squares Neptune. It’s a pleasant day on the raft in the lake when you have nothing to do, nothing taking place that can disturb you. But when you try to make something happen, it is more like falling off the raft and realizing you are now in quicksand. You are stuck and no one is helping. They are just watching and thinking: why did those people try to get off the boat there, in the mud, instead of steering to a safe shoreline for secure docking?
Of course, the same could be said about the recent attitude change taking place with the Federal Reserve Board too, as it decided it can now be “patient” with regard to any further rate hikes. And on that news, the U.S. Dollar fell, which gave support to currencies, crude oil, and precious metals. Crude oil rose to $53.31 on last week’s high, an appreciation of over 25% from its low of $42.36 on December 24. What a difference a couple of weeks make. We might be saying that again in reverse in the next two weeks.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
There is another cosmic storm approaching on the horizon, literally and figuratively. On January 18, the Sun will square Uranus, followed by a lunar eclipse as the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20-21. Also, on January 21, Mars square Saturn, which is anything but a pleasant day on a raft in a peaceful lake. It is more like an attack of mosquitos biting into your sunburnt skin. Yet, this is also in the midst of Venus forming a conjunction with Jupiter, which is very nice, but in square to Neptune, January 20-22. One group of signatures suggests another market dive. The other suggests a sudden recovery. This might imply that the USA government shutdown reaches a climax and resolution then (January 18-25). The impasse is frustrating and drives the market down, but the resolution is sudden and welcomed, and drives the market higher. But keep in mind that everything is short-term here.
We have to keep our eyes focused on Jupiter in Sagittarius for most of this year. Even though it squares Neptune, which has the potential for market hysteria and panic, the history of this Jupiter in Sagittarius is more bullish than bearish, so it can also correlate with a market bubble. My guess is that we are entering a period much like early 2008. The stock market made an all-time high in October 2007, the previous time that Jupiter was in Sagittarius. Equity prices then came down hard in late January, and the Fed was forced to create more liquidity. After bottoming in late January, the Fed’s serious monetary easing lifted the stock market back up into May 2008. Once again, the USA stock market topped out with a new all-time high in October 2018. It then had a serious fall into late December, almost three months long like October 2007-January 2008. Then, in the past few days, the Fed came in and started messaging monetary easing (or at least, it backed off from its somewhat aggressive rate-hiking direction), and the stock market started to recover nicely. Maybe December 26-27 was the 4-year cycle low, and this rally can continue for a few months while Jupiter is in Sagittarius, lulling everyone back into complacency believing the danger period has passed.
And then Wiley E Coyote comes to the “Edge of the Cliff” and has to decide whether to jump, or go back down and face the more important real wall (“Capricorn Stellium” of 2020) that is being built, which is a wall of debt.
Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycles’ analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day. No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.