Predictions & Forecasts

The NYSE turns 226: the outlook for the year ahead

(23 May 2018) The New York Stock Exchange turned 226 last week as the venerable capitalist institution remains the predominant stock market in the world.  The NYSE was founded on May 17, 1792 around 10.10 a.m., although the exact time is a matter of some conjecture.  As we know, the birthday represents a special symbolic significance for the year ahead as the Sun returns to its position at the time of its "birth" or founding.  The resulting Solar Return chart can therefore provide important clues for what will transpire over the subsequent 12 months.  A strong chart where benefics Venus and Jupiter are prominent will often foretell of prosperity.  A more difficult chart where Mars and Saturn are highlighted can represent disappointment and obstacles.

The Solar Return chart for the NYSE this year actually occurred on May 21st, since that was the day that the Sun returned to its natal position at 6 Taurus 25.   Read more...


Stocks gain on US-China trade hopes

(14 May 2018) US stocks started the week on a mildly positive note on hopes for a US-China trade deal.  Fears of a trade war have receded now that Presidents Trump and Xi are negotiating a way to allow American agricultural products into China in exchange for US market access for electronics giant ZTE.  Monday's gain followed on a very bullish performance last week as the Dow gained more than 600 points.  Moderate inflation data and the increasingly real prospect of peace on the Korean peninsula appeared to negate previous worries about rising interest rates and geopolitical disruption in the Middle East.

The gains were broadly in keeping with expectations in last week's market forecast as I thought the Venus and Jupiter influences would likely have the final word.  The rest of this week looks less positive for the markets, however.   Read more...



Stocks volatile ahead of jobs report

(3 May 2018) Stocks are looking a bit shaky this week.  While the Fed graciously left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and Corporate America continued to post impressive Q1 earnings, investors are still not entirely at peace with the world.  Bond yields remain in an up trend as inflation threatens to undermine economic growth and the Trump White House hasn't yet figured out a way to avoid a trade war with China.  So it's no wonder that the Dow is down almost 400 points this week as markets look for their next catalyst.

The down week was less surprising to us since the planets looked a bit tense this week.   As I mentioned in the previous market forecast, the early week Sun-Saturn-Rahu alignment hinted at more downside, as did the entry of Mars into sidereal Capricorn on Wednesday.   Read more...


Wall St. on edge as 10-year bond yield hits 2.99%

(23 April 2018) US stocks held steady today as traders kept a wary eye on the bond market.   The Dow was mostly unchanged in Monday trading at 24,448 while yields on the 10-year Treasury note hit a four-year high at 2.99%.  Many investors are keeping a close watch on whether bond yields will pass the psychologically important 3% threshold.  If yields continue to move above 3%, it will likely entice larger institutions to move money out of riskier stocks and into the relative safety of higher-yielding bonds.   This asset reallocation would be bad news for the stock market. 

Stocks have been gamely rebounding since their low on April 2nd.  The low coincided with the Mars-Saturn conjunction at 15 Sagittarius.  As I have noted previously, this pairing of two malefic planets was likely going to bring some downside.  As the Mars began to separate from Saturn in April, sentiment has improved and we have seen a three-week long rally.    Read more...


Mr Zuckerberg goes to Washington

(8 April 2018) Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg could be in for a rough ride this week when he appears before a congressional committee in Washington, DC.  The Facebook founder and CEO is due to answer questions from bipartisan panels on data privacy and internet security on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The appearance follows the Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal and the concern over Facebook's potentially negligent role in Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.  The wunderkind of social media now may have to admit that the selling of personal user data is an intrinsic part of the Facebook business model.

Certainly, the planetary alignments this week look tense for Zuckerberg.  The main source of stress is the approaching Saturn retrograde station at 15 Sagittarius.  The station takes place on April 17th but it has already slowed considerably and is more or less just sitting on that degree of 15 Sagittarius (in the sidereal zodiac, of course!).  The problem for Zuckerberg is that Saturn forms a 135-degree sesquisquare aspect with his Sun at 0 Taurus.   Read more...


NASDAQ leads stocks lower on Facebook fallout

(27 March 2018) Stocks fell hard again today as technology companies were sold on renewed privacy concerns following the Facebook data debacle.   The Nasdaq led the broader markets lower falling 3% to 7008 while the Dow slipped back under 24,000.  The decline comes a day after a sharp rally following the announcement of US-China trade talks.  But it seems that last year's unstoppable Trump rally has been replaced with a new and more volatile market in 2018 that is more sensitive to bad news. 

It seems likely that stocks will revisit their early February lows fairly soon.  Last Friday's decline more or less matched the low on the Dow, while other indexes remained slightly above their Feb 9th bottom.  But can the stock market resume its upward climb once this correction is over?  It's difficult to say definitively using astrology alone since estimating the magnitude of price moves is quite speculative.     Read more...


Facebook data scandal hits stocks

(20 March 2018) Yesterday was not a good day for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  As news spread of the Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal, Facebook shares lost 7% and took the rest of the US market down with it.  Facebook was down another 3% today amid growing calls for a formal investigation of Facebook's data sharing practices.  Neither Zuckerberg nor any other top official have yet to address the matter as the company finds itself in hot water again.  Recently, Facebook has come under fire for its role in Russia's interference in the 2016 US election. 

Just how significant is this controversy for Facebook?  Could this be a sign that the social media behemoth has peaked and is now facing the prospect of a slow decline?  Certainly, the key horoscopes for Facebook do reflect its current troubles.  The incorporation chart from 2004 is under heavy affliction by -- you guessed it -- the approaching Mars-Saturn conjunction in sidereal Sagittarius.  Read more...


Will Trump fire Mueller?

(19 March 2018) Just when you thought the chaos in the White House couldn't get any worse, it does.  After the weekend firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the subsequent tweetstorm against Robert Mueller, President Trump is quickly running out of options.  The recent firings of more moderate voices in the administration have only increased the stakes as Trump is left to its own unpredictable gut instincts. 

The Trump presidency now faces its greatest challenge as the Mueller investigation has begun to look into his corporation's financial dealings with Russian oligarchs.  Moreover, we have now learned that Trump's campaign advisors used data illegally obtained from Facebook users through the shadowy data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica.  Trump's repeated denials of collusion with Russia seem more desperate than ever and recall the words of Shakespeare: "methinks he doth protest too much."   Read more...


Trump's tariff talk puts markets on edge

(6 March 2018) The stock market suffered another body blow late last week after President Trump suddenly announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.   The tariffs came a surprise to US trading partners who quickly threatened retaliation on US imports to their countries.  The prospect of a looming trade war has put investors on edge in recent days as economic growth would likely decline and inflation would rise as a result of these protectionist moves.   The tariffs appear to be a fait accompli now that Trump's leading economic advisor Gary Cohn resigned from the White House today.  Cohn had been a staunch free trade advocate and steadying influence on the unpredictable Trump.

It seems that the recent correction in the market may not be over yet.  After early February's decline, buyers had re-entered the market on hopes that interest rates were stabilizing and that inflation was less of a pressing problem.  However, the news of the Cohn departure have caused a sharp reversal in stock futures.  Could this be a signal of another move lower in the stock market in the short term?    Read more...


Florida school shooting sparks outrage and protest

(20 February 2018) Another senseless mass shooting, another call for change to America's gun laws.  The tragic story runs for a few days as the requisite "thoughts and prayers" are extended the grieving friends and family and then the national conversation moves on to something else.  How many times have we seen this movie before?  I've lost count.  But this time feels different.  Since the shooting at the Parkland, Florida high school on February 14th that killed 17 people, we have seen a growing sense of outrage against US gun laws and the GOP politicians who are financially beholden to their NRA paymasters. 

National protests are now being organized primarily by high school kids for the month of March to bring about change.   The largest march will be the March 24th "March For Our Lives" in Washington, DC.   The question is whether this protest movement will have any success or will the sense of outrage fade away without changing much of anything like so many times in the past.  Read more...


Stock markets rebound as inflation worries subside

(15 February 2018) Stock markets are stabilizing this week after last week's turbulence.  Starting with last Friday's powerful rebound off the low of 23,500, we have see five straight days of gains as the Dow has climbed back above 25,000.  And yet markets will have some ways to go yet before they can recapture their highs of January 26th at 26,616.  This could be more difficult now that inflation has re-emerged as a threat to the goldilocks' economy of moderate growth, low interest rates and low inflation. 

Yesterday's CPI number was higher than expected at 2.1% and that pushed yields on the 10-year Treasury to 2.91%.  Higher bond yields are seen as problematic for stocks as they will raise borrowing costs and choke off further growth.  3% may be a key threshold in this respect.  More analysts are now questioning if this could be the end of the nine-year bull market that began after the financial crisis of 2008.   Read more...


Dow plunges record 1175 points

(5 February 2018)  Well, that escalated quickly.  US stocks plunged today as investors began to take the inflation threat seriously.  The Dow fell by more than 1000 points -- a new one-day record -- although on a percentage basis the decline was a more palatable 4%.  Rising inflation pressures are forcing bond yields higher and this is creating problems for financial markets as the easy money, low-rate "goldilocks" environment of the past 9 years may be coming to an end.

As I noted in last week's market forecast, there was a risk that last week's decline could extend into this week since the Mars-Saturn alignment was still quite close.  To be clear, I did not predict this kind of huge decline in this space nor in my newsletter although I thought this week would probably begin on a negative note. In last week's post, I focused on the NASDAQ horoscope to illustrate the possible negative effects of the Mars-Saturn alignment, especially where they highlighted the Ascendant.   Read more...


Stocks wobble as bond yields rise; bitcoin crashes below 10K

(1 February 2018) US stocks are looking a bit shaky this week after a rare two-day decline on Monday and Tuesday.   Investors became skittish as bond yields rose to their highest since 2014.   As the economy continues to improve under Trump, inflation expectations are rising.  This, in turn, is making yields more competitive with stocks as the yield on the 2-year Treasury is now higher than the dividend yield on the S&P 500 for the first time since 2009.  If yields continue to rise, stocks will become more vulnerable to a correction.  Some analysts are suggesting that 3% on the 10-year Treasury could be the make-or-break level to watch.  Currently, it is 2.79%. 

This week's market jitters may be seen through several charts but perhaps most clearly through the NASDAQ horoscope (Feb 8 1971).   While there are several placements that are contributing to this uncertainty, it is likely the transit of Mars through Scorpio that is the triggering factor.   Read more...


The financial outlook for 2018: more Saturn, less Jupiter

(15 January 2018) After a banner year in 2017 which saw US stocks gain more than 20%, the financial outlook for 2018 looks decidedly more difficult.  The stock market is a forward-looking discounting mechanism as investors have bid up stocks in anticipation of higher growth from the pro-business policies of the Trump administration.  Tax cuts and reduced regulation are key reasons why markets are expecting corporate earnings and GDP to enjoy more robust growth in 2018.  While the promised infrastructure program may well give an additional boost to the market, many analysts are suggesting that the outsized gains of 2017 cannot be repeated in 2018.  But just what can investors reasonably expect? 

The astrological indications tend to concur with a view of diminished expectations.  The Trump rally in stocks can be analyzed in various ways but I find the simplest way is to look at the key financial horoscopes.  Read more...


North Korea: the shadow that hangs over 2018

(5 January 2018) With the arrival a New Year, most people look forward to a fresh opportunity to realize their hopes and aspirations as they put the past behind them.   The forward passage of time is one of the sources of human resilience as the inherent optimism of our species is born anew. And yet, this year the specter of conflict with North Korea hangs over the world. 

The war of words between the two bellicose leaders of the US and North Korea that began last year has continued into 2018.  Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have both boasted about the nuclear buttons while strategic analysts have put the odds of military action near 50%.  And with military action comes the very real risk that nuclear weapons could be used by both sides.  Read more...





 


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