Stocks fall as Trump crisis deepens; Russia Special Counsel named

(17 May 2017) When it rains, it pours.  The embattled presidency of Donald J. Trump appeared to enter a new and more tumultuous phase yesterday with the revelation that he may have asked FBI chief James Comey to stop his investigation into pro-Russia former cabinet member Michael Flynn.   If proven true, the attempted intervention in the FBI's work could amount to an obstruction of justice.  This would be an impeachable offense under US precedent as president Richard Nixon was forced to resign for a similar intervention during the Watergate cover-up.  And tonight there is word that a Special Counsel has been appointed to Russia inquiry to clear the air.

The possibility that Trump obstructed justice comes after a very difficult week following the firing of James Comey after he asked for more resources for Russia-Trump probe and the controversial sharing of classified intelligence with Russia during an unprecedented visit by Russian officials to the White House.   All this turmoil in DC is finally taking a toll in financial markets as stocks fell sharply today as markets began to factor in the possibility that Trump may be unable to push through his pro-business tax and regulatory reforms.   For the first time, investors (and betting markets) are now seriously assessing the odds that Trump will be impeached.  Of course, the irony is that Wall St. would likely prefer a President Pence anyway.

The worsening political crisis in Washington is in keeping with the troubled planetary alignments in the key horoscopes: 1) Trump's natal chart; 2) the USA national chart; 3) the Nov. 9th PEOTUS chart and 4) the Jan. 20th Inauguration chart.  As I noted more recently last week, Trump was likely to come under increased pressure in the month of May from the transit of Rahu, the North Lunar Node.  In Trump's personal natal horoscope, Rahu (4 Leo) is conjunct his natal Mars (3 Leo) which is, in turn, very close to his Ascendant (6 Leo).  Rahu-Mars alignments tend to reflect times of increased stress and agitation and are often implicated in serious or uncontrolled conflicts.  This is very much the case here as the Trump presidency appears to taking on water like a sinking ship, seemingly too dysfunctional to right itself.  Something has to give, and soon. 

The position of Rahu at 4 Leo also hits the exact 12th house cusp of the PEOTUS chart dated from the moment Trump was declared elected in the early morning hours of November 9th.   The Rahu-12th house connection is a classic textbook indicator of illegal or immoral behavior that produces scandal and embarrassments.  Trump's words and actions are increasingly indefensible even among notoriously partisan Congressional Republicans.   The GOP control of both houses of Congress has protected Trump so far but this week's development has set off alarm bells as Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Trump as more are calling for an independent Russia investigator and for the FBI to disclose Comey's notes. 

Trump's Downward Spiral

So what comes next? I would expect Trump's fortunes to hit a temporary bottom at the end of May when Mars opposes Saturn.  This Mars-Saturn opposition happens once every two years but this one may bring some serious implications for the President since it aligns with most of the key horoscopes.  Trump's natal chart will be activated forcefully as Mars conjoins his Sun while Saturn sits very close to his Moon-Ketu conjunction.  The alignment with his natal chart is closest on May 29th although the days leading up to that date are likely to see increased frustrations and stress as Mars first conjoins Trump's natal Rahu on May 22-23.  The Mars-Saturn opposition similarly activates the Trump Inauguration chart as Mars will align with the Mars-Saturn square.  This is a kind of maximum pain alignment for the Trump presidency as all the malefics will be in a close aspect with each other. 

Hopeful Democrat and other anti-Trump readers may ask if Trump might even resign under this difficult Mars-Saturn opposition.  It's conceivable although I would not predict it.  There is an absence of planetary affliction to the USA chart that really should accompany a presidential resignation.  We saw that Nixon resigned in 1974 under serious transits to the USA chart.   Saturn (=loss) conjoined the Sun (=leaders), Ketu aspected Saturn in the 10th house of government (=change to authority), and Uranus conjoined the unequal 10th house cusp (MC) (=change in government).    Currently, both Saturn and Ketu are aspecting not the Sun or Saturn but rather Mars.  On the other hand, Uranus (2 Aries) is opposite the 10th house cusp (MC) so that may be one reason why the US government is so unstable in 2017. 

Whatever opposition there may be to Trump's presidency, the affliction to Mars would seem to point more to some significant military engagement.  Perhaps this will be a diversionary tactic from a besieged Trump presidency to bomb or attack an geopolitical adversary.  It's definitely more likely in the next few months under this double affliction of Saturn and the Ketu.  Alternatively, since Trump is so closely associated with the planet Mars (i.e. it was on the horizon at the time of his birth), we cannot completely dismiss the possibility that the Saturn-Ketu affliction to Mars could somehow translate into the elimination of Mars from the USA, i.e. the removal of the Mars-ruled Trump.

But I do not want to give out false hope to readers who are hopeful for a swift end to the Trump presidency.   If Trump was going to resign this year, then the chart of VP Mike Pence should be very strong as he would take over the Presidency.  As I see it, it isn't that strong.  Pence's chart (N.B. time unknown) looks stronger in mid-2019 just around the same time that the Sun in the USA chart comes under a powerful double affliction by Saturn and Rahu.  2019 is therefore a more likely time when Trump could be impeached or forced to resign.  On the face of it, this makes more sense since it would be after the 2018 November midterm elections which could turn the control of Congress over to the Democrats if current trends continue.  While the current GOP Congress could vote to impeach Trump if the situation got too out of hand, I would think it is quite likely that the powers-that-be will find a way to paper over the cracks and keep Trump in power until the last possible moment.

I should note a second nadir in the Trump chart in the late summer in August/September around the time of the Saturn direct station on August 25th.  This will conjoin his Moon-Ketu conjunction and could coincide with a period of isolation, disappointment and defensiveness.  Trump's Moon is debilitated in Scorpio in the sidereal Vedic zodiac system so it fits very well with a person who takes umbrage at any personal slight.  No wonder his co-writer for The Art of the Deal noticed that in boardroom settings during his real estate career no one dared to challenge his views on anything.   His delusional emotional immaturity is further reflected by the close conjunction of the Moon with Ketu which accentuates changeability and fickleness. 

But I'm less confident that this summer alignment could translate into resignation or impeachment.  It does look bad for him to be sure and some kind of new setback is likely based on his natal chart.  But the PEOTUS chart looks less afflicted so without that confirming evidence, I would not expect a resignation from Trump.  One possible scenario may be that we will still be in the impeachment preliminaries at that time, as Trump plays cat-and-mouse with the Special Prosecutor or some other such defensive scenario. 

I should also note that I was off in my timing for this kind of major Trump setback.  Shortly after the election, I noticed that Trump's chart was heavily afflicted throughout the first months of his presidency and that both Hillary and Bill Clinton's chart were quite strong in March and April.  I assumed that any Clinton gains would be offset by Trump's losses.  That really didn't happen for the Clinton's although Trump's presidency has been beset with controversy from Day 1.  Now I don't know what may be occurring behind the scenes with the Clintons, but so far they have yet to enjoy any obviously positive developments.  That seems more likely to change here in May with this possible impeachable offense for obstruction.  If impeachment talks grows louder in the coming days as I expect, it will boost both the Clintons and the Democrats fortunes as their allegations of election interference will carry more weight.   While any upside for the Clintons may be largely symbolic at this point, it may still help to boost the sagging fortunes of the Democratic Party.  So we will have to see how things play out now. 

Weekly Market Forecast

As mentioned above, US stocks fell sharply Wednesday as markets finally realized that there are consequences to Trump's capricious style of governance.  And yet for all the political media hype, the Dow is only 3% below its all-time high.  Indian stocks have continued to rally higher as investors anticipate more domestic reforms.  The Sensex  has  moved steadily higher since my last post as it closed Wednesday at 30,658.  As expected, I thought we were likely to see some downside last week although that was only the case in US and Europe.  I expected some gains this week on the Venus-Jupiter alignment although they appear to have manifested in the first half of the week already. 

More broadly, I had cautioned about late May as a time when stock markets were likely to decline given the Mars-Saturn opposition and then also the larger alignment with Rahu, the North Lunar Node.   While we could see some brief upside tomorrow or Friday in the US on the Venus-Jupiter opposition, I would think the down trend will continue at least through next week.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.