Predictions & Forecasts

US Electoral College to vote as Mercury turns retrograde

(5 December 2016) From the perspective of an outsider, one of the curiosities of American democracy is the Electoral College.   Originating in the Constitution of 1787, the Electoral College was a compromise designed to provide a buffer against direct democracy.  While some of the framers backed full and direct democracy, others were fearful of demagogues and mob rule and hence argued that political elites should have the final say in presidential elections.  The Electoral College was created to appease both sides of this debate as trusted, elite electors were chosen on the basis of the result of each state's popular vote. 

In most elections, this has been a mere formality as the popular vote and the Electoral College vote have only differed on five occasions, including three times in the 19th century before the advent of universal suffrage.  More recently, the Electoral College has come under increased scrutiny as Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the electoral college and the presidency to George W. Bush.  In last month's election, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million votes but has lost the Electoral College to Donald Trump.  This discrepancy between the popular vote and the Electoral College has made the unexpected Trump election win even more difficult to accept for Clinton supporters. 

And this is one more reason perhaps why the US now faces the prospects of recounts in key swing states that went narrowly for Trump.   Read more...


India's Modi gambles on demonetisation

(28 November 2016) Short term pain, long term gain.  That is what India's PM Narendra Modi is hoping for following his bold move to remove 86% of the currency in circulation after his unprecedented 8th of November televised address to the nation.  Modi's courageous announcement to remove all 500 and 1000 rupee notes ($7 and $14 USD) from circulation is intended to rein in corruption, tax avoidance and the outsized role of "black money" in the Indian economy. 

This has created huge disruption verging on economic chaos in India where over 90% of all transactions are conducted in cash.  Economic activity is down for the simple reason that there isn't enough cash to pay for goods and services.  For now, most of the Indian people support Modi's noble effort as the government tries to force more people into the modern banking system.  But how long will the goodwill last?

Modi's demonetisation plan has been plagued with setbacks since its announcement.  ATMs were not adapted beforehand to dispense the new 2000 Rs notes.  There also weren't enough of the new 500 Rs notes to replace the old ones taken out of circulation.  And the government has been changing the rules and exemptions to the new law on an almost daily basis thus creating more confusion and consternation. 

By all accounts, the roll-out of demonetisation has been botched and Modi has been forced to appear on national television to plead for patience.  Read more...


Trumponomics and the US economy: the next four years

(21 November 2016) Donald Trump is bold, if nothing else.  The incoming Trump administration intends to begin its term with a bang by boosting economic growth through a massive $1 Trillion infrastructure program in addition to re-negotiation several trade deals.  Financial markets have welcomed these plans as the stock market has risen alongside the US Dollar since the November 8th election.  Investors are expecting higher growth and more jobs from Trumponomics but it remains to be seen how effective it will be.  While infrastructure spending can raise growth, any interruption in trade could be more problematic as the experience of the 1930s reminds us.  The retreat into protectionism and nationalism not only exacerbated the Depression, but it may also have indirectly led to World War 2.

Whatever the merits of the plan, the planets do not offer support for significantly stronger economic growth over the next four years.  Indeed, there is a heightened risk of recession during this time.  We can see the potential pitfalls in the USA horoscope.  While there are any number of factors we could look at, let's simplify it to just two: dasha periods and transits.  When we analyze national charts, it is best to keep our variables to a minimum.  Economic activity is seen through the 2nd house of wealth and assets, the 2nd house lord, the 11th house of income and gains, and the 11th house lord.  The Ascendant, Sun and Moon may also provide supplementary information depending on whether they are influenced by benefic or malefic transits.    Read more...


Mr. Trump goes to Washington

(14 November 2016) We're now living in a brave new Trumpworld as the transition of power moves into full gear in the White House.  President-elect Donald Trump has begun making his key appointments to his inner circle and is discussing plans for the new administration.  Criticism and opposition to the Trump presidency are persisting as protests and riots have not ceased since election night. 

Some liberal commentators are now openly discussing the chances that Trump may not even finish his four-year term due to impeachment for criminal activities.  Trump has 75 law suits outstanding against him including the Trump University trial which is slated to begin November 28th.  Other observers are painting a more hopeful future as Trump's infrastructure  spending plans could well kick-start the sluggish American economy.  While media outlets are assuming an air of normalcy regarding the transition, uncertainty and trepidation are still very much in focus.

In my previous post after the Trump election win, I noted some puzzling alignments in the weeks ahead that suggested there may not be a simple path to the Trump inauguration on January 20th.  I outlined several anomalous alignments that not only reflected problems in Trump's chart at key moments such as the Electoral College vote on Dec 19th, but that Hillary Clinton's chart appeared to be more positive around those same key dates or at least they suggested some kind changes afoot.  If politics is a zero-sum game, then that could indicate some more strange twists and turns in this election before Trump is elected president.   Read more...


Will Trump be inaugurated?

(10 November 2016)  President Donald Trump -- the sound of it seems better suited to a dystopian science fiction novel than to our current reality.  No wonder protests have erupted throughout the US as angry and frustrated Hillary Clinton supporters take to the streets to voice their opposition to the new order.  As the second part of my postmortem penance, I am offering up some additional thoughts on the election and what may happen between now and the Inauguration on January 20th.  As I see it, there are some unanswered questions that relate to the election from the astrological perspective that are worth pondering.


1. If Trump is going to sail through this transition period without major incident, how do we then understand the strange planetary alignment that occurs the day before the Electoral College vote on December 19th?

The sensible response would be that the Mercury retrograde station conjunct Pluto will not pertain to the the Electoral College vote.  It is just a coincidence that it happens on December 18-20 around the same time.  (Thanks to Patrick Watson for pointing out to me the coincident timing of this conjunction with the EC vote.)  The key is that this very unstable alignment occurs exactly opposite the Sun of the USA at 22 sidereal Gemini.  Pluto has been in opposition aspect throughout 2016 and likely reflects the undermining of the political and cultural status quo by Donald Trump.  In yesterday's post, I thought this was more easily explained by the simple change in government from Obama to Trump.   Read more...


Trump wins in US election shocker: post-mortem

(9 November 2016)  Well, I wasn't expecting that.  After a long and divisive campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump has scored a stunning upset in yesterday's US election and is now the president-elect of the United States.  The billionaire real estate mogul's improbable anti-establishment candidacy harnessed white working-class discontent over the disproportionate impacts of globalization and a remote and resented urban elite.  While the margin of victory was small in the Electoral College -- Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote  -- the incoming Trump administration will wield considerable power given that both the House and the Senate are also controlled by the Republicans.   As I predicted yesterday, stock markets did decline sharply on news of the Trump win, although they recovered some ground after his generous victory speech.  We will see where markets go next.

Mea culpa.  I was dead wrong in my prediction of a Clinton win.  How did I miss it?  In hindsight, there were a few "sources of error".  In the USA horoscope, I had noted how tense and afflicted the Sun was at 22 Gemini from the Pluto opposition aspect and the Saturn quincunx (150 degree angle) at the time of the election.  Since the Sun symbolizes government and authority, I thought this might mean that government institutions would be under pressure and I suggested it could be the result of a very close and/or contested election result.  Trump had spoken often of the rigged election and if Hillary had won, he certainly would have challenged the results.   Read more...


Stock markets anticipate a Hillary win but post-election looks uncertain

(8 November 2016) Stock markets rose sharply on Monday after the FBI's exoneration of Hillary Clinton boosted her chances in today's election.   After suffering losses all last week on growing fears of a Trump presidency, the Dow gained more than 2% to 18,259.  Indian stocks have enjoyed a much smaller rebound early this week after last week's declines as the BSE-Sensex is still well below 28,000.  This down-then-up pattern closely adhered to my expectations in last week's market forecast as I thought the midweek entry of Mars into sidereal Capricorn would turn sentiment negative but that Monday's entry of Venus into Sagittarius would likely coincide with a recovery.  This has more or less come to pass.

The markets are counting heavily on a Clinton win and I think that is very likely going to happen. A Brexit-type Trump surprise win would likely tank stocks at least 5% in a single day. And yet, I do think that stocks have a growing downside risk here in November and December as Saturn (21 Scorpio) aligns with Pluto (21 Sagittarius) among other factors. 

This decline could be the result of purely economic factors but as I noted in yesterday's post on the election, there is a special risk of political uncertainty after Election Day.  Given he has already said the system is rigged and he may not accept the result, a market decline could also be due to a refusal by Trump to concede.   Read more...


Election Update: FBI exonerates Clinton as post-election uncertainty looms

(7 November 2016) Another day, another strange twist in the US election.  On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing in her emails with the release of another bombshell letter to Congress.  Two weeks ago, Comey had taken the unprecedented step of publicly notifying Congress that her email case would be re-opened given new evidence in the case. That has all come to naught apparently as we have returned to the status quo ante, albeit after the infliction of some political damage.  While Mrs. Clinton has suffered a 3 point decline in the polls after the first FBI letter, she retains a small 3-4 point advantage as the country goes to vote tomorrow.

Poor James Comey.  The embattled FBI Director has made a total hash of this but it's hard not to feel sympathy for him given his difficult planets.  Over the past few weeks, Comey has been undergoing a Nodal return as Rahu (North Node) is conjunct its natal position in Leo.  This happens once every 18 years and often marks an unstable time for most people although it should be said it is not always bad. 

In Comey's chart, however, his Rahu is with Pluto (=power) so that ups the stakes somewhat.  Also transiting Neptune was opposite his Rahu (i.e. conjunct Ketu) so that is another planetary burden on his nodal return that would tilt it towards significant difficulties.  He has been widely criticized from both sides of the political aisle for his recent actions.  But who knows what reasons he had to do what he did.  Read more...


Sun and Jupiter under pressure: FBI tightens US presidential race

(31 October 2016) The US election race has descended into chaos since the bombshell news Friday that the FBI has re-opened its investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails.  Suddenly, her steady 5-10 point lead has shrunk to 2-5 points and polls have yet to fully reflect the impact of this latest revelation.  It's unclear how much of an impact it could have on the race, although it seems certain to further narrow Clinton's lead.  That means that the election could be very close indeed. 

Unfortunately, this only heightens my fears in last week's post that the post-election period could be mired in controversy.  In last week's post on Donald Trump and his possible refusal to concede, I suggested that the planets on Election Day looked tense and conflicted.  The horoscope of the USA had several alignments which were reminiscent of the contested 2000 election which ultimately saw George W. Bush prevail over Al Gore after the latter's challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court. 

The twist in this election is that we may well be seeing some of those telling planetary afflictions already playing out before the election has actually happened.  Two of the key alignments involved afflictions to the Sun (authority, government, leaders) and Jupiter (law, tradition, moral actions).  In 2000, the Sun was afflicted by Rahu (North Lunar Node) by conjunction which symbolizes disruptions in the normal affairs of government.    Read more...


Will Trump concede if he loses the election?

(25 October 2016) With just two weeks left in the race for the US presidency, polls are showing Hillary Clinton with a steady, if somewhat less than comfortable lead.  Last week's third and final debate was contentious but appeared to change little.  While the debate performances were fairly evenly matched, Donald Trump undermined his cause by insisting he would not necessarily accept the result of the election on November 8th. 

Ever since Trump has fallen behind in the polls, he has claimed the election is rigged against him and has railed against the media, the Washington elite and anybody else who disagrees with him.  He has since waffled back and forth on this question but there remains some possibility that he may not concede if he loses.  In a worse case scenario, he could even take the matter to the courts and somehow disrupt the transition of power that normally takes between the November election and Inauguration Day on January 20th when the next president is sworn in. 

Will Trump concede if he loses?   Astrology notwithstanding, life teaches us that betting on the status quo -- that things will probably continue as they are -- is usually the wisest choice.  Despite his bluster, the sensible view is that Trump will probably give in to pressure from his campaign and from what is left of the GOP and not legally contest the election results.  And yet the planetary alignments on Election Day and on Inauguration Day seem more active than they otherwise should be in a normal election cycle.  Read more...


Mars-Pluto promises fireworks at third presidential debate

(17 October 2016) The US presidential race is approaching a fever pitch now with just three weeks left to go.  Without risk of understatement, it has been the most bizarre contest in living memory, no doubt because of the presence of one Donald J. Trump.  Both candidates have been subject to character attacks in an attempt to undermine their credibility.   The Russian-hacked emails via Wikileaks have tried to make Hillary Clinton look corrupt and untrustworthy while the media has been full of a conspicuously steady stream of women who have accused of Trump of sexual misconduct and sexual assault.  October surprises, indeed!  One wonders how much nastier this already ugly race could get before November 8th.  Hillary Clinton is holding a lead in most polls by 5-8 points while political betting markets now put her chances of winning at 85% or better.

We're now in the home stretch as the third and final presidential debate takes place on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas.  Final debates are not usually decisive but anything is possible in this race given the unpredictable nature of Donald Trump.  Thus far, the race is going more or less as expected.  I previously predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the first debate and would go on to open up a lead in early October.  This has basically come to pass.  I still think she will win but I don't know by how much. 

Parenthetically, the margin of victory could actually be very important going forward in terms of the governability of the USA for the next four years.  As Trump spouts his sour grapes "rigged election" claims in the event he loses, he is fostering greater frustration with the US political system as a whole.  Read more...


America's love-hate relationship with Donald Trump

(11 October 2016) Donald Trump's campaign for the US president suffered a potentially fatal blow last week after an embarrassing tape surfaced where he made lewd and denigrating comments about women.  Already trailing in the polls, the revelation led to many GOP leaders to distance themselves from the New York real estate mogul.  Yesterday, House Leader Paul Ryan effectively threw in the towel on Trump's controversial Presidential campaign as he advised his House and Senate members to focus on re-election in their individual races rather than support Trump's efforts for the top job. 

This withdrawal of formal GOP support may well spell the end of Trump's chances.  Polls taken after the release of the tape now show Trump down by 11 points, a near-insurmountable deficit with only four weeks left in the race.  Monday's second debate is unlikely to move the polls much as Hillary Clinton largely held her own in the face of Trump's often over-the-top accusations. 

Hillary Clinton's lead is now widening.  This is more or less what I had predicted in previous posts given the changing influences in the horoscopes of both Hillary and Bill Clinton.  Since we don't really what time Hillary was born, I focused on Bill Clinton's chart for clues about her ups and downs.   I could see that Mercury conjoined Jupiter right on the Bill's Ascendant at the time of the second debate and that this would very likely help Hillary.  Well, it not only helped her debate performance, but it also reflected the huge gain from the Trump tape which was released just three days before the debate.   Mercury and Jupiter are both benefic planets and their conjunction near an important personal chart point like the Ascendant, Sun or Moon almost always coincides with "good news".  Read more...


Deutsche Bank: the canary in a coal mine?

(4 October 2016) Is Deutsche Bank the canary in the coal mine? Frightened investors are pondering this question as the venerable German bank is looking more fragile these days as its share price plumbed historic new lows last week.  Deutsche Bank profits have been squeezed by the ECB's misadventure into negative interest rates as well as suffering huge losses through its misguided derivatives trading.  The recent $14 Billion fine by the US Department of Justice for fraudulent practices has only compounded matters as analysts assess the probability of Deutsche Bank collapse.   A bank failure of this magnitude could start a chain reaction not unlike the Bear Stearns bankruptcy in March 2008 or worse, Lehman Brothers in September of that year.  It was the contagion effect from the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy which led to biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

No matter how difficult things may get for the over-leveraged and under-capitalized Deutsche Bank, some observers are counting on a bailout from the German government to avoid any worst-case Lehman-type scenarios.  And yet, the Merkel government is apparently loathe to throw money at the problem since it has taken a hard line against similar bailouts in other EU countries such as Italy.  Therefore, there remains significant risk that Deutsche Bank share price could fall further before any last-ditch rescue could even be attempted.  Read more...


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...





 


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