Review and short-term geocosmics
The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, snapping a decade-long record of employment growth, as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and forced Americans to stay at home. It was the first decline in payrolls since September 2010, and the steepest since March 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent, up from a half-century low of 3.5 percent in February. – Megan Henney, “US Employers Shed 701,000 Jobs in March, Unemployment Jumps to 4.4%,” www.foxbusiness.com, April 3, 2020.
Two weeks ago, many world equity markets suffered their greatest one-week loss ever, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many completed multi-year lows between March 19-March 23, and then began record-breaking rallies that lasted 3-5 days one week ago. Last week saw corrections to those rallies. But in several cases, these corrections exhibited a case of intermarket bearish divergence where one market took out the highs of the prior week, but a related market in the same part of the world did not. Most of those then pulled back from that secondary high into the end of last week.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the rally off the lows of two weeks ago ended the prior week, March 25-27 in the Japanese Nikki, Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng. But the Australian ASX index made a sightly higher high on Tuesday, March 31, whereas the others did not, for a case of intermarket bearish divergence in this region.
The pattern was similar in Europe. The German DAX and London FTSE made their recovery highs the prior week, March 25-27. But the Netherlands AEX and Zurich SMI continued their rallies to recovery highs last week, on March 31. Each then declined after exhibiting this case of intermarket bearish divergence.
The U.S. showed a similar pattern. After falling to a 3-year low of 18,213 on March 23 (Mars conjunct Pluto), the DJIA commenced its greatest 3-day rally in history, rising 24% to 22,595 on March 26. It tested that level again when it reached 22,480 last week, on Tuesday, March 31. However, on March 31, the NASDAQ and S&P made higher highs than the prior week, and the DJIA did not, for yet another case of intermarket bearish divergence, and right in the middle of the March 27-30 three-star critical reversal date (CRD) time band. Each market then declined smartly, with the DJIA falling to a low (so far) of 20,735 as of April 2. These are interesting developments because 1) the rally was a correction of the historic plunge form the all-time high of mid-February to those lows of March 18-23, and 2) the move down last week was a correction of the historic rally of the prior week.
This doesn’t clearly tell us the future direction of world equity markets, but it does mean that the volatility has subsided from the previous weeks. And that does tell us something. It tells us that the investment community is carefully weighing the pros and cons of this new recession and how long it may last. They aren’t convinced the worst is over for the economy. Nor are they convinced that the future looks all that terrible longer-term, as they had thought March 18-23. In other words, our idea that the world’s outlook would change as four major planetary pair cycles came into conjunction March 20-31 seems to be taking hold, at least in the investment community if not the political one too. The level of hysteria and anxiety, as measured by the VIX, is starting to recede. That would seem to bode well for equity markets – if this current decline can find support and then take out those highs of the past two weeks. It is a big “if,” but at least we now have an “if” whereas prior to last week – prior to the start of the conjunctions – it all seemed doom and gloom. Now, only half the world seems obsessed with the idea of doom and gloom. The seemingly bottomless pit is now seen as at least half full again.
The big winner last week was Crude Oil, which had plummeted to a new 18-year low of 19.27 on March 30. But by the end of the week, after President Trump announced that there would be a summit between Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut prices, Crude Oil jumped to 29.13/barrel on Friday, a gain of over 50% in just three days. It made that record 3-day rally in the DJIA look pale in comparison.
Short-term geocosmics and longer-term thoughts
This is a government-induced recession to achieve public health objectives… Those who fret about the federal debt are considered quaint. But monetizing the debt through central bank purchases, which we’ve resumed doing, runs its own economic risks. Robert Robb, “Spending Contagious for Trump,” USA Today Network, April 3, 2020.
The series of four important conjunctions, March 20-April 4, will end this weekend. That is, Mars conjoined Jupiter on March 20, followed by the Mars/Pluto conjunction of March 23, Mars/Saturn conjunction of March 31, and the host of this entire configuration, the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction taking place this weekend, April 4. In market studies, we know that the end of a cycle is bearish, the most difficult and challenging part of a market cycle. We also know that the beginning of a market cycle is bullish.
Planets also orbit in cycles to one another. Their cycles end and begin at their conjunction aspect, when they appear to come together in the heavens as seen from earth. We also believe that cycles in the cosmos correlate with cycles in human activity, which in turn is often demonstrated in the price of financial markets, like equities. The cycles in human activity are more psychological. The cycles in markets are psychological too (collective psychology, investor sentiment), but sometimes the actual price of a stock market cycle will bottom before or slightly after the collective mood bottoms. Nevertheless, we do note that the low of many of the world’s stock markets occurred during this March 20-April 4 period when four major planetary cycles ended and began their cycles to one another. Let’s see if the low that happened then will hold.
This week will also find Mars in a waning square aspect to Uranus on Tuesday, April 7. Like the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction, this is a Level One signature, which means it has the highest correlation to primary cycles in stocks. The Jupiter/Pluto conjunction has an 88% correlation to primary cycles in the DJIA with an orb of 11 trading days. The Mars/Uranus waning trine has a 77% historical correlation to primary cycles within an orb of 13 trading days. We also note that Mercury will ingress from Pisces into Aries on April 10, an indicator that several professional astrologers believe will coincide with signs of a change (for the better) in the war against the novel corona virus. It will remain in Aries through April 27, after which it will join the Sun and Uranus in Taurus. It would seem that clarity is on the way, the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” is coming into view.
After that, our attention will shift on the period of May 10-20, when Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn all turn retrograde. Venus and Saturn are especially significant in financial market cycles (trend reversals). Either our collective behaviors to end the threat of this behavior are paying off by then, or we start to become complacent and commence a relapse. Pluto is still in Capricorn, and still involved in its three passage series of conjunctions with Jupiter through November 12. Progress is likely to be seen shortly from our collective sacrifices, done out of concern for both our own health and safety and those of our fellow humans. The Jupiter/Pluto combination implies we need to continue these new modes of socializing with one another through the end of this year. The retrogrades of mid-May indicate a temptation by our leaders to claim victory too soon, and if we don’t continue with the reforms to protect one another that we have begun to take seriously and which are beginning to show positive results, we could be in danger of a relapse.
Pluto in Capricorn, conjunct Jupiter: its message is to take these “extreme measures” required seriously. Continue the awareness of these reforms to your lifestyle and health practices, even after it appears the worst is over, or face dire consequences. Pluto is a deep and profound experience, life threatening and/or life altering, when in close contact with other planets, depending on choices made. It is not a time to be arrogant or complacent, but rather humble and vigilant, always trying to understand the lessons to be learnt from this experience. Pluto doesn’t let anyone off unscathed and healed until a true transformation of behavior and attitude has taken place, collectively and individually. But once adapted and embraced, the path ahead can be extremely rewarding and powerful.
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.