Stocks plunge 7% as Mercury retrograde ends

(9 March 2020)  When it rains, it pours.  Global stock markets finished deep in the red Monday after oil prices fell a shocking 25% on a sudden price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.  The price shock hit an already vulnerable market that is reeling from the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic.  In its worst day since 2008, the US stock market finished down 7% and it has now fallen 19% from a record high recorded just two short weeks ago. 

For those of us who follow financial astrology, this decline was not unexpected.  As it always the case in such big moves, there were several factors occurring together to signal such a steep sell-off.  First, the Mercury retrograde period was coming to an end.  (It actually ends tonight at 11.48 pm EDT).  Mercury turned retrograde back on February 16, just a few days before the start of this sharp correction. While Mercury retrograde periods are somewhat bearish by nature,  there are many retrograde periods where stocks actually rise.

What matters more are the alignments that Mercury makes with other planets on the days surrounding its retrograde and direct stations, as well as those in between during its three-week backward journey through the sky.  When retrograde Mercury aligns with benefic planets like Venus or Jupiter, stocks are more likely to rise.  But when Mercury aligns with malefic planets like Mars and Saturn, declines become much more likely.  Today, Mercury (4Aq11) was stationing almost exactly 30 degrees away from Saturn (4Cp57).  As a rule, all angular divisors of the 360 degree circle (in this case, 30) are said to resonate more strongly and are more likely to produce tangible effects.



Moreover, when Mercury aligns with Saturn as it did at the end of last week and the beginning of this week, the downside risk is significantly elevated since Mercury's velocity is much lower than normal.  The slower the relative planetary velocity, the more powerful the planetary effects, for good or ill. 

Another layer of the current decline is that Saturn was also much more negative than normal.  As the Great Malefic, Saturn alignments are usually bearish, but this one was more damaging because Saturn was conjunct its planetary node at 4 degrees of sidereal Capricorn. 

Another piece of the puzzle was provided by today's Full Moon opposite Neptune and the Sun.   Full Moon's are somewhat associated with increased volatility and stock market declines, especially when other co-factors are negative.  That was definitely the case here given the Mercury-Saturn alignment.  The other thing to remember about Full Moons is that the sometimes mark changes in trends.  So if stocks have been falling in the days leading up to the Full Moon, then they are more likely to reverse higher shortly after the Full Moon. 




At the same time, we can see there are some positive alignments in play.  Venus is conjunct Uranus and aligned with Chiron and the Lunar Nodes at 10-11 degrees of their respective signs. That is usually bullish, although we have yet to see any manifestations of it.  Moreover, Jupiter (27 Sagittarius) is approaching its conjunction with Pluto (0 Capricorn) over the next couple of weeks and is loosely aligned with Neptune and the Sun in the coming days.  This also increases the probability of gains this week. 

Today's bearish influences crowded out these otherwise bullish influences although it is unclear how long that will continue.  As these key factors undergo changes in their condition, the overall planetary equation shifts as well.  Mercury will return to its normal direction motion around midnight tonight, so that could lessen its negative influence.  That said, Mercury will still be in very close alignment to Saturn for the rest of the week, so we cannot rule out further volatility.  And yet this essential change in Mercury should translate in some obvious way.  I would think it increases the likelihood of some upside tomorrow, Wednesday and perhaps beyond, especially with the Full Moon now behind us. 

And tonight there is word that the Trump White House is planning to announce a package of economic relief measures tomorrow which could well spark some upside.  Given the gradually improving planetary alignments here, I would think the odds favour a positive reception to these initiatives. 

For more details, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, as well as currencies, gold and oil.







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