Predictions & Forecasts

Hillary wins first debate with Trump

(27 September 2016) Early indications are that Democrat Hillary Clinton was the winner of the first presidential debate against her GOP opponent Donald Trump.  A CNN-ORC poll showed that 62% of respondents thought she won the debate while financial markets offered even more evidence that Hillary bested Trump.  The stock market is well known to prefer a Clinton presidency and Dow futures rose throughout the debate.  Markets don't like uncertainty and Clinton is seen as a status quo candidate with close ties to Wall Street (Just ask Goldman Sachs!). 

Even more telling was the rise of the Mexican peso following the debate.  The peso has closely mirror the relative strength of Donald Trump, who is seen as a net negative for the Mexican economy since he wants to tax imports from south of the border and deport millions of illegal Mexicans living in the US.   The stronger post-debate peso was more proof that the market now sees Hillary Clinton as being one step closer to the presidency.

This outcome was not surprising as I thought Hillary Clinton would likely win in this first debate.  The alignment of the Sun, Venus and Jupiter to her Sun at 9 Libra was suggestive of a positive result from being in the spotlight.   Read more...


Trump pulls even with Clinton as Jupiter dasha set to begin

(21 September 2016) The improbable candidacy of Donald J. Trump continues to defy the odds as the US presidential election heads into its home stretch.   After falling behind by 6-8 points in July and August, Trump is now in a virtual dead heat with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.   He clearly has the momentum on his side as the candidates prepare for the first debate next Monday the 26th.  If he can even hold his own against his better-prepared and more wonkish opponent, it could be enough to put him in the lead and perhaps take him into the White House. 

Last week, I reiterated my skepticism about a Trump victory.  The first debate looked like it would be a clear Hillary win, or at least some event right around the time of the debate looked strongly favorable to her.  While Trump's horoscope for the second debate on October 9th looks much better, I'm still not convinced he will be able to go all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

In previous posts on the US election, I've outlined a number of reasons for Hillary's relative strength and Trump's relative weakness in November.  This week I wanted to focus on a single factor, dashas periods, to illustrate how the race could shift gears in the days ahead.   Read more...


Hillary's pneumonia is latest setback as debilitated Venus transits Virgo

(14 September 2016)  It's been a rough September so far for Hillary Clinton.  The Democratic nominee for president has watched most of her lead in the polls evaporate as her campaign has failed to capture the public imagination.  Last week's "basket of deplorables" comment about supporters of Donald Trump also put her on the defensive against charges of elitism.  And finally there was the disturbing video of her stumbling and collapsing into a waiting van after leaving the 9/11 commemoration in New York on Sunday.  She has been officially diagnosed with pneumonia and is taking a few days off although suspicions remain the possibility of a more serious health problem.  The whole pneumonia episode has not only brought the health question front and center but it has again raised doubts about her campaign's transparency.

This setback is not surprising given the difficult placements both in her horoscope and those of her family.  Back in April, I suggested that the late August Mars-Saturn conjunction would likely reflect some new difficulties for Hillary Clinton around that time.  That has largely been the case as she has watched her post-convention bounce disappear amid her lackluster and remote campaign style.  The Mars-Saturn conjunction occurred at 15 Scorpio and thus exactly squared daughter Chelsea's Sun (15 Aquarius) in late August.   With Neptune also conjunct the Sun, the Saturn influence is likely worse in terms of undermining vitality, status, and achieving goals.   Read more...


Merkel suffers embarrassing defeat in state election

(6 September 2016)  German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a embarrassing defeat in regional elections over the weekend as her CDU party came in third behind the center-left SPD and the right-wing anti-immigrant AfD party.  The loss is another repudiation of Merkel's controversial open-door immigrant policy that has seen over 1 million Muslim refugees from Syria enter the country in the past year. With a general election due in the fall of 2017, Merkel and the CDU may be forced to backtrack on the immigrant policy or risk losing control of the Bundestag.

This loss fulfills a previous political astrology prediction I had made about Merkel's fortunes for 2016 due to some longer term planetary afflictions.  Following a similar state election setback in March, I suggested that the ongoing affliction by Saturn to her Ascendant for most of 2016 would cause more problems.  Interestingly, the horoscope for Germany itself was also under this Saturnian pressure as this reflects the prevailing sense of political unease about the future of the immigrant policy.

The problem for Ms. Merkel is that her Ascendant lies at 20 degrees of sidereal Scorpio.  Transiting Saturn is now at 16 Scorpio after stationing direct in the summer at 15 Scorpio.  Transiting Mars (22 Scorpio) is also nearby having just crossed her Ascendant a couple of days before.   Read more...


Gold rally faces headwinds from hawkish Fed and Saturn dasha

(30 August 2016) As the global economy sputters along despite massive central bank intervention, gold has had a pretty good year thus far in 2016.  Like most stock markets, gold has benefited from all the QE bond buying and negative interest rates as investors factor in greater inflation risks.  Gold is the traditional hedge against inflation and currency debasement, so it tends to do well when the Fed, the ECB and their fellow travelers are up to their usual money printing tricks to encourage people to spend money they don't have.

The price of gold bottomed in December 2015 at $1050 and has been on the rebound ever since as central banks have become more "creative" in their efforts.  It has been taking a bit of a breather this summer after making an interim high of $1375 in June just after the Brexit vote.  The Fed has been sounding more hawkish lately as more rate hikes are likely on the way.  Can the gold rally continue as the Fed tightens?

Usually, I favour the 1919 London horoscope for the price of gold as this chart represents its first publicly posted price.  But other charts are still useful and can provide additional or confirming information.  One of these is the horoscope for the GLD ETF which is one of the largest ETFs in the world.  GLD was first traded on 18 November 2004.  Instead of having to buy physical gold, ordinary investors can enjoy the benefit of owning gold through purchasing this ETF through the NY stock exchange.   Read more...



Markets await Yellen at Jackson Hole as Venus enters Virgo

(22 August 2016)  Financial markets are anxiously awaiting Friday's Jackson Hole speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  Her annual presentation at the economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming often clarifies Federal Reserve policy for the coming months.  This year many Fed watchers are wondering if the famously dovish Yellen will make a stronger case for another rate hike in the near term, possibly in September.   If she does signal higher rates sooner rather than later or delivers some other surprises, stocks are more likely to fall.  Despite modest improvement in US fundamentals recently, the market may not like the sound of higher rates after enjoying the fruits of the near-zero interest rate policy over the past seven years.  The Fed's near-zero interest rate policy has increasingly been criticized as the main reason for growing economic inequality in the US and why the record high stock market is now so widely divergent from the real economy.

Stocks have been going mostly sideways so far in August.  In the first two weeks of August, the Jupiter-Uranus alignment and simultaneous entry of Jupiter into sidereal Virgo kept sentiment fairly positive.  As I suggested in my previous market forecast, we have seen more weakness in recent days, however, as the apparent Jupiter influences begin to wane.  As Jupiter moves away from its angular alignment with Uranus, there is a greater risk of declines as the bearish Saturn influence may manifest more readily.  Mars exactly conjoins Saturn on Tuesday and this may well be an important turning point in financial markets as both malefic planets will then form a larger alignment with Neptune and the North Lunar Node (Rahu).  Read more...


Stocks flying high as Jupiter enters sidereal Virgo

(9 August 2016)  Stock markets are still flying high this week as the summer rally continues apace.  This Panglossian state of affairs is largely the result of the efforts of the world's central bankers who are committed to buy as much debt and other assets as possible as they bravely attempt to stimulate economic activity.  This strategy hasn't worked very well over the past seven years but that is not stopping them for digging the debt hole even larger.  There is a belief in some quarters that central banks can't fix the economy and all they can do is postpone the collapse of the financial system for a while.

The buoyant mood may be partially attributable to the prominence of Jupiter and Uranus in the sky at the present time.  Jupiter and Uranus form a near-exact 150-degree alignment this week just as Jupiter enters the sign of sidereal Virgo on Thursday the 11th.  Jupiter is bullish, of course, so this is a double shot of Jupiterian optimism as the Uranian influence often magnifies its bullish effects.  However, it is unclear how long this state of contentment can last.  Uranus is now retrograde and hence will be separating from its alignment with Jupiter after this week.  That could let some air out of the financial balloon as time goes on.

Jupiter's entry into a new sign is often bullish for a few days although other factors can offset this effect.  Read more...


How sustainable is the Indian stock rally? Dashas in financial astrology

(2 August 2016) 2016 has been a good year so far for Indian stocks.  After bottoming out in January and February, stocks have rebounded strongly as the benchmark BSE-Sensex is now 25% above its recent lows.  It is now just 6% away from matching its all-time high of 30,000 set in early 2015.  Part of the explanation for the rally has been relative weakness in the US Dollar which has encouraged more international capital to flow into emerging markets.  The domestic scene has also been favourable as corporate earnings have been strong and the Modi government has proceeded apace with reforms such as the GST.   But how long can it last? 

A brief overview of the dasha periods for the BSE-Sensex horoscope suggests the rally is more likely to falter fairly soon.  In my experience, dashas are one useful tool among many for analyzing longer term trends over months and years.  They are often not decisive for anything shorter than that, and indeed they often give unclear results when the indications are mixed.  And a mixed outcome is more often the case since planets may not be clearly negative or positive.  That is why the financial astrologer -- and all astrologers -- need to refer to other factors to create a comprehensive picture.  Transits, progressions, varshphal (returns) are just a few of the other techniques that we can use when forecasting price trends of different lengths.   Read more...


Hillary Clinton chooses Tim Kaine as VP running mate

(26 July 2016)  The US Presidential election is about to move into a higher gear.   Following last week's raucous Republican convention that formally nominated Donald Trump, the Democratic Party takes center stage this week as Hillary Clinton is nominated as the candidate to stand for election in November.  Already, the Democratic convention has seen some controversy following the release of hacked emails that showed the DNC and the party establishment favoured Clinton over challenger Bernie Sanders.   Sanders' delegates are understandably angry but it seems unlikely to affect the overall outcome of the convention.

The nomination of Donald Trump has put many liberals in America into a state of shock and fear as their worst nightmare is now one step closer to reality.  The possibility of a Donald Trump presidency frightens many since Trump represents a radical sea change from Barack Obama on all fronts: an unpredictable and bellicose temperament, a ill-defined foreign policy, an anti-free trade stance, and much more draconian approach to immigration. 

Based on my reading of his horoscope, I thought it was unlikely that Trump would get this far.  On that, I was wrong.  But I did think that he was going to have a good campaign and that he would do better than many of his dismissive critics suggested last summer.   Read more...


Our violent world: Mars and the sting of Scorpio

(19 July 2016) The news has been full of terrible events lately.   The Islamist terror attack in Nice, France saw 84 people mowed down by a truck during celebrations on Bastille Day, 14th July.  The attempted coup in Turkey just a day later resulted in the violent deaths of 300 people and the arrest of several thousand.  The unprecedented twin shootings of 7 US policeman in Dallas (7th July) and Baton Rouge (17th July) as revenge for a series of recent videotaped killings of black men apprehended by police.  And now word today (19th July) of another ISIS attack, this time in Germany by an Afghan teenager wielding an axe on a train.  This follows the recent mass shooting of the gay nightclub in Orlando in mid-June by another Islamist terrorist.

While it is always possible to highlight this or that violent incident in the news at any given time, this cluster of high profile violence is unusual.  It is rare to see such a clustering of politically significant incidents which have impacted the public imagination to this extent.  One possible explanation for this string of incidents is the recent entry of Mars into sidereal Scorpio.  Mars entered Scorpio on 11th July after completing its retrograde cycle in late June.  Due to its recent direct station in the very last degree of Libra on 29th June, it has been moving forward very slowly.  As a rule, slower moving planets are more powerful and are more likely to manifest their intrinsic symbolism. Mars has been in the proximity of this first and most powerful degree of Scorpio for most of June and so far all of July.

As everybody knows, Mars symbolizes violence, conflict and war.  Read more...


Is Jupiter pushing stocks higher?  Lessons in financial astrology

(12 July 2016) Global stock markets have extended their post-Brexit rally into the start of another week.  While there remains considerably uncertainty about the UK economic situation, investors are seeing the glass half-full here after the sudden victory of moderate and pro-EU Theresa May for the leadership of the British Conservative Party.   The re-election of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe over the weekend was also seen in positive terms as it likely means even more government and central bank stimulus will be forthcoming for its perennially moribund economy.

The current rally has even managed to hit a new all-time high for the blue chip S&P 500 on Monday with the Dow now just a few points away.  Other US smaller cap indexes still have some ways to go before they make new highs, however.  European and Asian stocks are no less bullish here as Japan's Nikkei has added 7%  in the first two trading days this week while India's Sensex finished the Tuesday session at 27,808, an 11-month high.

In last week's market forecast, I had thought we might have started to see some of the negative effects of the entry of Mars into sidereal Scorpio early this week, but so far optimism is still the prevailing mood.   Read more...


Market recovers post-Brexit but for how long?

(5 July 2016) Financial markets recovered their footing last week in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK last month.  The strong rebound was the result of the promise of more central bank intervention from both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.  In addition, some investors took solace in the possibility that the UK may not ultimately leave the EU given a long and complex negotiation process that may take several years and yet another referendum or vote in Parliament.

US stocks jumped 3% on the week with the Dow closing at 17,949 which was just a bit below its June 23rd close.  Similar gains were also seen in Europe with the London FTSE 100 regaining all of its post-Brexit decline and then some.  Indian stocks also registered strong gains of more than 3% as the Sensex closed Friday at 27,144.  Most stocks have been moving lower so far this week as markets have become concerned about the solvency of Italian banks.  The British Pound is also headed lower again this week as the ongoing political uncertainty in the UK weighs on sentiment.

In last week's market forecast, I thought we might have got more downside after Monday's decline, perhaps for another day or two.  As it happened, however, Monday was the post-Brexit low for most global markets as the rebound began in earnest on Tuesday.   Read more...


Markets plunge as UK votes to Brexit

(27 June 2016) Global financial markets are reeling for a second straight session following the surprising Brexit outcome in last week's UK referendum.  The choice to leave the EU shocked markets which had pushed up stock prices ahead of the vote on the expectation that the Remain side would prevail.  The Brexit vote defeat compelled Prime Minister David Cameron to tender his resignation effective within three months. 

The Leave victory was in keeping with my expectation for increased level of sudden or shocking events in late June due to two very tense planetary placements.  As I had written back in February when the EU referendum date was first announced, the fact that the vote would be held on the very same day that Uranus entered the sign of sidereal Aries greatly increased the likelihood for a Leave win.  Uranus is the planet associated with notions of independence, freedom and rebellion and when it changes signs once every 7 years, it often correlates with events which exhibit these qualities.  The fact that the Uranus sign change would be happening just a week before Mars stationed direct and formed a close alignment with Uranus only added to the level of instability and potential for shocking outcomes. 

My analyses of several key charts also seemed to support the notion that the UK would vote to Leave.    Read more...


UK Brexit referendum: a shocking Uranian turn of events

(21 June 2016)  All eyes are on the UK this week ahead of Thursday's historic referendum on EU membership.  The Leave side had pulled last week ahead in most polls last week until the shocking murder of pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox.  Cox was gunned down early in the afternoon on Thursday, 16th June by a mentally ill pro-Brexit constituent.  Stocks began to rally soon thereafter as investors sensed a shift in momentum.  Indeed, sympathy for Cox has spilled over into a significant boost for the Remain side in recent days and the most polls now show Remain slightly ahead of Leave.

As I have noted previously about the Brexit scenario, the end of June was likely to be an unstable and eventful period given the entry of Uranus into sidereal Aries.  Uranus is a planet of sudden and shocking events that are often marked by a desire for freedom, independence or even rebellion. Since Uranus only changes signs once every 7 years, this is a phenomenon not to be taken lightly.  Previous sign ingresses of Uranus have an impressive track record.  The October 1987 ingress of Uranus into Sagittarius coincided with the biggest one-day stock market crash in history.  The crash occurred just two days after the sign change of Uranus according to Krishnamurthi ayanamsha.  The April 1933 referendum for independence by Western Australia took place just four days after the entry of Uranus into -- you guessed it -- sidereal Aries.  Uranus completes its revolution around the Sun every 83-84 years.

As an added wrinkle to this unstable Uranian influence, it also forms a close alignment with retrograde Mars, which is now at 29 degrees of Libra.  Read more...


ISIS terror attack in Orlando shocks US

(13 June 2016)  ISIS has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 people.  The US-born Omar Mateen declared his allegiance to the radical Islamist terror organization in a 911 call just before opening fire on innocent club goers in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.  It was the biggest mass shooting in US history and was the second ISIS terrorist attack in as many years on US soil after the San Bernardino attack which killed 14 people.  The Orlando shooting was likely a lone wolf attack by an ISIS-inspired sympathizer and may well have marked a new phase in America's ongoing struggle with radical Islamic terrorism.   

While the attack has spawned a fierce political debate in the US about intermingling of radical Islam, inadequate gun control and homophobia, the astrological perspective provides clear confirmation of the influence of Mars, especially as it approaches its alignment with Uranus at the end of June.  Mars is currently retrograde in the first degree of sidereal Scorpio.  It is now moving very slowly and is due to station direct at 29 Libra on June 29th. As a rule, the slower the planet, the stronger it becomes.  Mars is the planet of violence and conflict, of course, so it is not surprising that we should see these kinds outbreaks of violence around the time of its station in late June. 

But fiery Mars is doubly volatile and dangerous because it is forming an exact 150 degree alignment with the planet Uranus. Uranus is associated with intense energy, sudden events and rebelliousness.  Read more...


UK polls show slim lead for Brexit

(7 June 2016) The UK appears to be inching closer to doing the unthinkable as weekend polls showed the Leave side gaining a slight edge for the first time since the campaign began.  The UK is due to hold a referendum on its EU membership on June 23rd.   Political betting markets are still indicating that a "Brexit" is the less likely outcome although the odds for the Leave side have risen somewhat recently and are now approaching 30%. 

As I posted several months ago, the planetary alignments offer strong astrological evidence for Brexit.  As I noted back in February, several of the relevant horoscopes showed considerable instability in June.  The referendum day transits alone were likely enough to make a case for a Leave vote since Uranus was changing sidereal signs into Aries on the very day of the vote. Uranus is the planet of sudden change, independence and often rebelliousness.   When it changes signs every 7 years, there is usually some symbolically equivalent event which reflects its unstable energy within days of its sign change or ingress. (N.B.  I am using the Krishnamurti ayanamsha although occurs only a couple of days alter using Lahiri.)  It seems more than just coincidence that the UK would be holding this referendum on the same day that this Uranian energy is peaking. 

The vote is still two weeks away, but the momentum appears to be shifting towards the Leave side.   Read more...


Gold tumbles $22 on possible June Fed rate hike

(24 May 2016) The price of gold tumbled today as investors considered the possibility of an early Fed rate hike in June following strong housing data.  Higher interest rates boost the US Dollar and thereby make gold less attractive as an asset.  Higher interest rates are believed to reduce inflationary pressures and this is bad news for gold since it is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.  Gold fell almost 2% today closing at $1227. 

This sharp decline in gold was in keeping with the basic principles of financial astrology.  Financial astrology holds that assets rise or fall in value according to specific alignments of the planets.  Benefic planets like Venus, Mercury and Jupiter are said to coincide with gains while malefic planets like Saturn, Mars and the Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) tend to correlate with declines. 

I have observed that gold prices tend to vary according to the geometric situation of the planets Venus, Jupiter and the Sun.  When all three of these planets are strong by transit and without affliction from malefic planets, gold will tend to rise in value.  When malefics are more closely aspecting one, two or all three of these key planets, gold tends to struggle.  Saturn also tends to depress prices when it forms close alignments with slowing moving planets such as the Nodes (Rahu/Ketu) and the Outers.  The key natal charts for gold also play a role, of course, but the transits are an important reference point for understanding gold price fluctuations.   Read more...


Mars and the ghost of 1937: the NYSE Solar Return chart

(17 May 2016) Today is a day of special significance in financial astrology as the New York Stock Exchange turns 224 years old.  The NYSE was founded on May 17, 1792, most likely around 10 a.m., although the exact time of its origin is a matter of some debate.  The birthday of the world's biggest and most venerable stock exchange provides a valuable window on the financial outlook for next 12 months. According to the basic principles of astrology, the return of the Sun to its position at the time of birth is said to contain clues for what may happen in the coming year.  This idea holds true for both individuals and collective entities such as the NYSE.  It is also worth noting that due to the procession of the equinoxes, the Sun does not actually return to its natal position of 6 degrees of sidereal Taurus until May 20th. 

The financial significance of the Solar Return or Vashphal chart emerges when it is overlaid with the natal chart.  Significant planetary placements and alignments determine if gains or losses are more likely in the coming year by the next birthday on 17 May 2017.  The core principle of financial astrology is that if malefic planets like Mars and Saturn form closer alignments then declines are more likely whereas benefic planet alignments will tend to produce gains.  Precedence is usually granted to the Moon, Sun and Ascendant in this regard so that the planetary alignments involving these points will have a larger influence on the final outcome.

At the time of last year's NYSE birthday, I suggested that US stocks were likely to decline in the subsequent 12 months since Saturn was very closely aligned with the Sun by 90-degree square aspect.  Read more...


Apple in trouble after weak iPhone sales

(10 May 2016) It's tough times for Apple and its CEO Tim Cook.  Its most recent earnings report showed the first quarterly decline of iPhone sales in its history.   The disappointment in this iconic company persuaded many investors to bail out of the stock as prices touched new 52-week lows of $93. It had been trading as high as $130 in mid-2015.  A few days later, Tim Cook gave an exclusive interview to CNBC's cheerleader Jim Cramer in an effort to bolster interest in Apple's supposedly bright future.  However, critics saw the interview as a desperate PR move in the wake of the earnings failure and plunging stock price.

A quick look at the horoscope and we can see why Apple's stock price is falling these days.  The transit chart for April 27th, the day the 1st quarter results were released which sent the share price down by 10%, show Mars and Saturn in the 11th house of gains. Since both of these planets are natural malefics, this is bad for a company's prospects.  Mars (14 Scorpio) is very close to Mercury (16 Scorpio) there and highlights the late April period specifically as problematic for the share price.  Also, transiting Mars comes under the near exact 3rd house aspect of Saturn (15 Virgo).   This is the last thing an investor would want to see on the day that quarterly earnings are released since Saturn is a quintessential bearish influence.   Read more...


Dollar extends decline after Fed and BOJ hesitate on rates

(2 May 2016)  Global stock markets were lower last week after the Bank of Japan surprised investors by failing to deliver another round of QE stimulus on Thursday.  Coming just a day after the Fed issued a wishy-washy statement on the prospect for higher rates this year (definitely, maybe!), the stand pat decision by the BOJ raised a red flag that all may not be well in Japan.  Even more worrisome was the growing perception that the BOJ, and by extension, other major central banks, may be rethinking their policy options as the world economy looks as limp as ever. 

If the Fed has been painted into a corner by its fear of raising rates lest it spark a stock market crash, then the BOJ and ECB are looking like they are out of bullets.  Negative interest rates haven't worked in Japan as the Yen has actually risen (the exact opposite of the intended aim) and stocks have declined precipitously.  

Quantitative easing (QE) which mandated buying assets like government and corporate bonds was intended to move money into riskier assets like stocks.  This worked for the past few years but it now appears to be a case of diminishing returns.  Since the ECB's Mario Draghi introduced even more asset buying in March, the German DAX index has been mostly flat.  Maybe central banks are not as omnipotent as they think they are.  And more to the point, more market participants may be realizing that they are limited in terms of what they can do for the economy.  And if they can't resurrect the economy, then that may mean they will be less effective at keeping stock markets afloat.  Read more...


Hillary Clinton widens lead over Bernie Sanders

(25 April 2016) With another win likely win in tomorrow's Pennsylvania Democratic Primary, Hillary Clinton looks poised to win the nomination in the race for the White House. Although socialist challenger Bernie Sanders has staged a surprisingly impressive campaign thus far, most polls show Clinton winning Pennsylvania easily.  Last week, Hillary cruised to a comfortable win in her home state of New York and essentially put the race out of reach. 

Interestingly, national polls still show Sanders in a virtual tie with Ms. Clinton.  But national polls don't count for much as it's all about the delegate count at this point, as her lead in pledged delegates is now over 250 and likely to grow as several pro-Hillary states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut hold their primaries tomorrow.   It's an uphill battle for Sanders supporters who are now wondering if all the grassroots enthusiasm for Bernie may not be enough to translate into more actual delegate support before the end of the primaries in June and before the convention in late July.

My reading of the charts indicates that Hillary Clinton is destined to win both the nomination and the presidency.  The picture is not as clearcut as I would like to see, but on balance, I think Hillary will be the next tenant in the White House.  But how she gets there may include some unexpected twists and turns.   Read more...


Doha talks fail as Mars turns retrograde; oil falls back under $40

(18 April 2016)  Crude oil tumbled below $40 a barrel Monday as OPEC failed to come to an agreement to cut production. The much-anticipated Doha talks were intended to reduce output and thereby boost sagging oil prices.  Interestingly, the collapse of the talks came the same day as Mars turned retrograde.  Mars retrograde stations only occur about once every two years and are often symbolic of times of heightened tension and discord.  Mars is often an aggressive and irascible energy but the periods around its stations (i.e. direction reversal) may be times when it is more potent in that regard.  It may be on reason why it was impossible to get the different parties to compromise and agree to a deal.

Oil is in a nasty bear market these days with no end in sight.  As the world economy struggles, demand is down.  Political pressure for alternative fuels may also be reducing demand and that pressure is only going to increase in the future.  As I noted in a December forecast of oil prices, the current dasha period is very difficult these days.  Using the horoscope of the Brent Crude chart, I suggested that the bear market since 2014 is partially due to an inauspicious Mercury-Saturn dasha period. 

Interestingly, the failure of the Doha talks on Sunday occurred on the very same day as the beginning of the new Ketu dasha period -- April 17, 2016 according to the Krishnamurthi ayanamsha.   Read more...


Mars upsets Trump as Cruz gains ground

(11 April 2016)   After looking like an unstoppable political force for months, the candidacy of GOP front-runner Donald Trump is looking more vulnerable these days   Not only was Trump soundly defeated by Ted Cruz in the recent Wisconsin primary, but the Cruz camp has been doing a much better job of collecting delegate support than Trump.   Primary results notwithstanding, delegate selection is critical in the event of a contested convention.  Most delegates only have to vote for the state winner on the first convention ballot, so on any subsequent ballots they are free to vote for whoever they want.  

Trump still enjoys a big lead in delegates over Ted Cruz but more commentators are now suggesting that it will be more difficult for him to reach the magic number of 1237 needed for a first ballot win at the convention in Cleveland on July 21st.   Some scenarios even have him attaining the 1237 mark by the convention, but still losing the nomination because some delegates may change their mind.  Needless to say, it promises to be a very eventful and chaotic convention.

Trump is now facing an uphill battle as the leadership of the Republican Party is now openly seeking ways to defeat him.  It has even come to the point where all the GOP candidates Trump, Cruz, and Kasich are questioning whether they will endorse the party's nominee after the convention.  This raises the likelihood of a fractured GOP and the possibility of an independent third party run by whoever loses the convention.   Read more...


Yellen takes rate hike off the table: Is the Fed trapped?

(4 April 2016)  Fed Chair Janet Yellen is definitely living up to her reputation as a Keynesian inflation "dove".  After keeping interest rates unchanged at the last Fed meeting in -mid-March, Ms. Yellen last week essentially precluded any early rate hikes as she cited continued global uncertainty, especially in China.  Despite an improving US economy and a domestic inflation rate that is now pushing up against that important 2% threshold, Yellen and the Fed are increasingly reluctant to raise rates lest it cause more global fallout.   The Fed's long-awaited hike in December sparked a big global sell-off in stocks and that may have forced Yellen to re-think her plan to normalize rates.  It seems she is willing to accept a higher rate of US inflation in order to keep the status quo intact.

Despite Yellen's confident reassurances, more commentators now see the Fed as being trapped in its low interest rate policy.  The Fed may want to raise rates to combat rising inflation but it is increasingly beholden to stock markets both in the US and around the world.  Since the Fed emphasizes the link between a buoyant stock market and economic growth, it is reluctant to do anything that would cause stocks to fall.  As a result, the Fed may never be able to normalize rates in the current environment since any attempt to do so could cause a massive global stock market sell-off. 

So is there a downside for the Fed to keep rates near zero indefinitely?  If the current low-growth environment continues, then things could go on as is for a while without too much damage.  Read more...


Germans reject Merkel's refugee policy in state elections

(14 March 2016) German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU party suffered major losses in Sunday's state elections as voters weighed in on the refugee crisis. German voters moved away from Merkel's open-door policy and awarded large gains to the right-wing anti-immigrant AfD party (Alternative for Germany) in three states.  This electoral shift will force the mainstream CDU and SPD parties to seek new and less stable alliances with smaller parties.  Recent polls show that up to 80% of German people now oppose Merkel's policy and most want to stop the influx of refugees from the Middle East.  Merkel has vowed to continue her more liberal approach despite his most strnging rebuke at the ballot box.

We can see how Merkel's horoscope is currently under heavy affliction by Saturn, the planet of loss, frustration and disappointment.  Transiting Saturn sits at 22 degrees of sidereal Scorpio just ahead of its retrograde station on 25th March.  Ms. Merkel's Ascendant is just a couple of degrees away at 20 Scorpio.  The unusually slow velocity of Saturn ahead of its station makes this Saturn transit even more burdensome than would otherwise by the case.  Saturn-to-Ascendant transits are classic indicators of defeats and setbacks of all kinds.  Fortunately, they only happen once every 29 years.   Read more...


Eclipses: times of change and uncertainty

(7 March 2016) Since time immemorial, eclipses have been regarded with dread and fear.  The inexplicable period of daytime darkness brought by the solar eclipse was seen by pre-scientific societies as an evil omen and the harbinger of all manner of disaster and privation.  Similarly, lunar eclipses were also looked upon with suspicion as the comforting glow of the luminous Moon suddenly turned dark and changed to an evil red colour.  While we now live in an enlightened age of computers marked by exponentially expanding scientific knowledge, eclipses remain singular and wondrous celestial phenomena. Even beyond their aesthetic allure, eclipses retain a undeniable mystique.  They link us with our primitive past and recall a time when the heavens were a source of earthly inspiration.  As another solar eclipse is due on Wednesday (with totality in Indonesia), it is a good time to remind ourselves of the astrological legacy of eclipses.

In astrology, eclipses are still hugely important.  Just as the light from the Sun temporarily disappears from view, eclipses are seen as interruptions of the status quo. Instability and change are often stressful and therefore eclipses may be more likely to bring about shifts in our routine, for better or worse.  While traditional eclipse symbolism focuses on the negative impact of change and forced adaptation to new circumstances, evidence suggests that some eclipses bring about positive change.   Read more...


Donald Trump poised to win big on Super Tuesday

(29 February 2016)  On the eve of Super Tuesday, the Donald Trump juggernaut is on the verge of gaining a stranglehold in the race for the GOP nomination.  The outspoken real estate businessman and reality television star already enjoys a big lead in delegates and popular support and looks certain to further cement his dominance before the July convention.  Most analysts expect him to win all but the Texas primary tomorrow and become the inevitable choice of the Republican Party despite fierce opposition from the party establishment.  Trump has become a polarizing figure in this strangest of primary seasons in the 2016 election cycle.  He is clearly the most popular candidate in the field with most polls putting him near 40% support among Republicans.  However, a near-equal number of Republicans strongly disapprove of him as they see him as an unpredictable opportunist who is not really conservative. 

When I first discussed Trump's horoscope back in the summer of 2015, I thought his chart looked strong enough to win some early February primaries but would likely falter after that.  I thought he was unlikely to win the nomination in July and quite unlikely to win the presidency in November.  He has won three our of four of those early February primaries but he is much stronger than I thought he would be.  As I saw it, his horoscope looked more difficult starting in March and that he would encounter more opposition.  Read more...


UK opens door to 'Brexit' from EU with June referendum

(22 February 2016) Should the UK stay or should it go?  After completing a series of difficult negotiations with his European counterparts, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a national referendum will be held on the final EU deal on the 23rd of June.  Cameron successfully won some important concessions for the UK which grants it "special status" within the European Union on a number of contentious issues. 

But will it be enough to mollify the opponents of the EU who point to a frustrating loss of sovereignty over immigration, labour, welfare and many other areas of British life?  The current economic and immigration problems of the EU are obviously making matters worse and raise the possibility that Great Britain could actually vote to leave.

The "Vote Leave" (i.e. Brexit) side got a big boost today as the charismatic Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he will break with his own party and actively campaign for leaving. Despite being a member of the Conservative Party and enjoying a good working relationship with Cameron, Johnson has nonetheless decided to chart a very different course.  Recent polls suggest Cameron's "Stay" side has a 15-point lead of the "Leave" side with about 20 percent undecided.  But analysts have suggested that now Boris Johnson's personal popularity could deliver a strong boost the fortunes of the Leave side.    Read more...


Research in financial astrology: the Mars transit of Scorpio

(15 February 2016) Financial markets remained turbulent last week as Fed Chair Janet Yellen did not backtrack on her plan to hike interest rates further in 2016.  Investors had hoped that the usually dovish Ms. Yellen might have been more reassuring about the reduced likelihood of further hikes given the current sorry state of the global economy.  At the same time, she did suggest that the Fed might consider bringing negative interest rates to the US if circumstances demanded it.  While some investors saw this as an olive branch to the markets, others were scared off with the hint that this latest unproven central bank experiment might actually be put into practice in the US.

Despite a rebound Friday, the Dow finished down more than 1% on the week at 15,973.  Indian stocks fell more sharply as the Sensex ended the week at 22,986.  Indian stocks have now given up all the gains in the post-Modi election rally from May 2014. Not surprisingly, gold also enjoyed a strong gain to $1263 as the Venus-Jupiter aspect tightly activated the 1919 gold horoscope as discussed in last week's post.

In last week's market forecast, I had thought we might have seen more gains on the midweek Venus-Jupiter alignment.    Read more...


Gold rallies amid emerging currency war: is this a new bull market?

(8 February 2016)  Is gold's renewed luster for real?  Gold has been shining brightly of late as one of the few asset classes (along with bonds) that has bucked the down trend in stocks and commodities.  One key reason for gold's recent gains are fears that another recession may be looming which will force the world's central banks to cut interest rates further into negative territory.  Lower interest rates are designed to lower (and debase) national currencies and therefore this enhances the appeal of gold as a storehouse of value. 

Following more easing moves by their central banks in recent months, the Japanese Yen, the Euro and the Chinese Yuan among others have all fallen against the US Dollar.  We may well be entering a more intense phase of a global currency war as desperate central banks race to devalue in order to briefly stimulate economic growth through cheap exports.  Faced with the prospect of holding falling currencies, more investors are opting for gold as a hedge against this uncertainty. Gold soared 5% last week and finished at $1174 an ounce.

But we've seen this movie before.  Gold has been trapped in a four-year long bear market following its all-time record high of $1920 in 2011.   Read more...


Hillary feels the Bern despite narrow win in Iowa

(2 February 2016)  Yesterday's Iowa Caucuses were the opening salvo of the lengthy US primary season as the rubber finally hit the road for the candidates for the Democrats and GOP after almost a full year of campaigning.  Conservative Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump for the Republicans while the heavily-favoured Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton barely edged out the maverick socialist Senator Bernie Sanders by the narrowest of margins. 

While Iowa is not seen as a bellwether for future primaries or the eventual nomination due to its unrepresentative demographics, it can nonetheless raise campaign profiles and give a boost for fundraising.  This is surely going to be the case for Bernie Sanders who has come out of nowhere from the extreme left wing of the party to challenge Ms. Clinton, the heir-apparent to Barack Obama as the next nominee for the Democrats in the November Presidential election.  Sanders can claim a moral victory in Iowa as he only lost to Clinton by 0.2%. 

But can Bernie Sanders really beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination?  It seems unlikely according to most political analysts given Hillary's strengths in minority communities and in the South.  Although she is widely expected to lose the upcoming New Hampshire primary on February 9th which is next door to Sanders' home state of Vermont, Clinton should do much better in Nevada on February 20th and especially in South Carolina on February 23rd.  Read more...


Bank of Japan enters twilight zone of negative interest rates

(1 February 2016) The Bank of Japan surprised financial markets last Friday by cutting its prime interest rate to -0.1% on interbank loans.   BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's shock move into the twilight zone of negative interest rates is designed to entice reluctant Japanese banks to lend more money and thereby provide a stimulus for the perennially moribund Japanese economy. Stock markets around the world reacted positively to the rate cut, even if its long term consequences are unknown.  Negative rates force money out safe assets like bank accounts and bonds into riskier assets like stocks which have a greater potential return.  However, the negative interest rate policy (NIRP)  is new and rather experimental as the European Central Bank (ECB) was only the first major central bank to move its rate below the 'zero bound' in June 2014.

This move into negative rates seems a bit desperate as central banks are now realizing the limits of the effectiveness of its previous preferred monetary instrument of quantitative easing (QE).  But with the global economy careening towards another recession, central banks may be willing to try anything to boost economic activity, even if it means punishing savers even more and creating unknown systemic risks.  Read more...


Oil tells all: stocks take cue from crude prices

(25 January 2016)  Are we there yet?  Investors are wondering if this January decline might finally be done with or if this is only be a nasty prelude to a more tumultuous financial year in 2016.  My assessment of the planetary influences suggest there is a higher than normal risk of more downside in both the short and medium term. There are several useful charts in this respect but perhaps none is more important these days than the chart for crude oil futures. 

As we have seen, the stock market is currently being driven by oil prices.  If oil falls, stocks also fall soon after.  One reason for this close correlation is that oil prices have fallen so far that many oil companies are in financial trouble.  Most have laid off workers, and some are on the verge of insolvency.  In particular, some US-based companies borrowed heavily for capital-intensive shale fracking operations.  As these companies go under, they will no longer be able to repay their debt and hence the banks that loaned them money will also be in trouble.  The financial contagion will thereby be released upon a vulnerable economy.   As the world's pre-eminent commodity, crude oil prices are also seen as a proxy for the state of the global economy.  The falling prices in the oil market are signaling that the economy is slowing as China and other emerging markets cut their consumption levels amid rising debt.  Read more...


The China Syndrome: the world's economic engine stalls

(18 January 2016) Financial markets continue to look shaky as the 'China Syndrome' threatens the global economy.  After many years of impressive economic growth, China is showing more signs that its once-powerful economic engine is sputtering. This is one of the main reasons why crude oil has fallen below $30 a barrel and most stock markets have declined so far in 2016.  As China goes, so goes the global economy.   If China is forced to further devalue its currency to boost its exports and protect jobs, we can expect more trouble for global stock markets this year.

But is China really headed for a "hard landing" whereby their economy contracts sharply or perhaps even enters a full-blown recession?  Previously, I looked at the horoscope of the Shanghai stock exchange and found ample evidence for a significant decline in January.  The main Shanghai Index is has now fallen below 3000, a key technical support level.  Some analysts are now suggesting more downside to perhaps its previous low of 2000.  My assessment of this chart suggests that more downside is very likely this year.  The Saturn retrograde station in March will align closely with the Moon this chart, while the Uranus station (0 Aries) in the summer will square the natal Saturn (0 Capricorn).  Read more...


Can Trump really win?

(15 January 2016) The US Republican held its most recent debate last night with the first primary just two weeks away.  Frontrunner Donald Trump put in another strong performance and showed no signs of losing his hold on his formidable 20-point lead in national polls.  The populist real estate billionaire has enjoyed a huge lead in the polls since July and has continuously defied pundits who have frequently predicted his freewheeling campaign's imminent collapse.  Instead of undermining his popularity, however, his controversial and combative style has actually seen him rise in most polls as his anti-immigrant and anti-free trade message is resonating with many Americans. 

But can Trump maintain his lead now that it actually matters and people go to the polling booth to vote?  There are only two weeks remaining before the Iowa Caucus on February 1st., and then the New Hampshire primary is held the following week on February 9th.  The latest Iowa polls show that Trump in a very tight race with conservative Ted Cruz and while Trump leads his nearest rival by 18 points in New Hampshire.  Read more...


David Bowie 1947-2016

(11 January 2016) The world was saddened today by the passing of one-of-a-kind pop music icon David Bowie.  After a stellar music career that spanned six decades, Bowie succumbed to cancer at the age of 69.  For those us in the West who came of age in the 70s and 80s (and other decades too), the shocking news of his death made today a sad day.  Not only did Bowie sell tens of millions of albums, but he was incredibly influential for other artists as a pioneer of new forms of artistic expression.  His fearlessly independent and creative approach to music allowed him to re-invent his style many times throughout his storied career.

Simply put, David Bowie was born at a very auspicious time.  Bowie's horoscope clearly shows his artistic talents, his fame, and his independent nature.  As we know, each planet in astrology has a specific set of symbolisms and associations.  Artistic pursuits such as music are represented by the planet Venus. Any person who is artistically inclined therefore is likely to have a prominent Venus in their chart.  Read more...


Is 2016 going to be as bad as 2008?

(11 January 2016) Stocks fell sharply around the world last week as China's financial turmoil threatened to undermine the fragile economic recovery.  As China's devaluation of the Yuan sideswiped markets, US stocks had their worst start to the year in history falling 6% as the Dow closed at 16,346.  Indian stocks also slumped 4% as the Sensex fell below the key 25,000 level.  This outcome was in keeping with my stock forecast from last week as I thought the Mars-Mercury square aspect would likely cause some significant damage.  This was not just any old Mars-Mercury square, of course, but a particularly nasty one since Mercury turned retrograde on the very same day the 90 degree angle was exact!  Asian markets have extended their decline on Monday at this time of writing although European stocks are mixed.

To be sure, the New Year is off to a shaky start.   Is the six-year long bull market in stocks finally over?  One now reads more gloomy forecasts in the media that suggest that 2016 might even be a repeat of 2008 when the world economy came to brink of collapse.  My previous research on this subject suggests the odds are very high that most stock markets will decline significantly in 2016 and we could well see the end to this bull market in the US and Europe.  Read more...


Global markets decline after China's plunge stops trading

(4 January 2016) 2016 has started off on the wrong foot as global stocks declined sharply Monday following a plunge in the Chinese market that triggered circuit breakers and an early closing of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.  The decline is pretty much what I expected given the very difficult planetary alignment this week.  As I briefly mentioned in last week's market forecast and elaborated more fully in my subscriber newsletter, the Mars-Mercury square aspect was more likely to correlate with declines here because it was in effect for an unusually long time due to the approach of Mercury's retrograde station on Tuesday, January 5th.  

The retrograde station is the day in which Mercury stops its normal forward motion and then begins to reverse its direction in the sky from our perspective on Earth.  The Mercury retrograde cycle occurs every three months and lasts for about 20 days.   While its retrograde cycle is traditionally associated with miscommunication and failed plans, I have found the days around its stations to be more specifically relevant to the financial markets.  Read more...


New Year's Chart 2016: the year ahead

(1 January 2016) January 1st marks the beginning of a new year.  The celebrations and sense of renewal are a kind of collective rebirth for humanity as we forge ahead into the future.  This rebirth implies a fresh starting point which can be analyzed according to the principles of astrology.   From this first moment, we can cast a horoscope -- a map of the planets -- so that we may peer forward in time and look into the future.  Although the midnight chart is not based on any astronomical measurements, I have found it nonetheless can often be useful for getting a general sense of trends for the year ahead.

In last year's annual horoscope analysis, I suggested that the dominant Moon-Mars-Jupiter alignment might represent an acceptable or honorable use of military force.  This may well have reflected the growing global effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria that occurred in the second half of 2015.  The horrific actions of this terrorist organization have united most nations against it including past rivals such as Putin's Russia, Obama's America, as well as Muslim countries such as Turkey and the Gulf states.  Read more...



Hillary Clinton announces her campaign for President

(12 April 2015)  Hillary Clinton finally ended the pseudo-suspense today and announced her candidacy for the nomination for the Democratic Party in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Ms. Clinton made the announcement via a Youtube video that was released shortly after 3 p.m.  The exact timing of the announcement is important for astrological reasons since the timing of the launch of the campaign marks the official beginning of her endeavour to become President. 

In my experience, the horoscopes of these launches reveal important information about the nature of the candidacy as well as providing clues about the eventual success or failure of the campaign.  Clearly, Ms. Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner at this point as no serious challenger has yet stepped forward.  She also stands a decent chance of winning against any Republican candidate according to recent polls.  So what does this campaign launch chart tell us about her chances?  Read more...


Andreas Lubitz and the tragedy of Germanwings 9525

(29 March 2015)  In the end, Andreas Lubitz got what he wanted.  The 27-year old Germanwings pilot had told a former girlfriend that he wanted to make a spectacular gesture so that 'everyone would know his name'.  The world has recoiled in shock and horror on learning that Lubitz deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps killing himself and all the other 149 people on board on March 24.  It has now emerged that young pilot had hidden his history of clinical depression from his employer in order to keep his job.

There is some uncertainty about the the birth date of Andreas Lubitz.   Some sources report he was born on 18 December 1987 while others say he was born on 28 December, in the town of Montabaur, Germany.  I prefer the chart for 18 December for reasons I outline below.  As an additional obstacle, his birth time is unknown so a full analysis of his horoscope is impossible. However, even his birth date chart reveal some major planetary stresses for the present time.   Read more...






 
 


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