How long will the Trump rally last?

(25 April 2017) Most global markets were strongly higher this week after the win by pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French election.  The narrow defeat of anti-EU right wing populist Marine Le Pen allowed investors to breath a sigh of relief as the status quo carried the day.  Many stock markets are now at or near new all-time highs.  Much of this bull market can be explained by the deliberate attempt by the Fed to increase asset prices (read: stocks) through its zero interest rate policy and later its experimental QE program after the 2008 financial crisis.  But the most recent upward leg in the markets have been as a result of the election of Donald Trump and his pro-business agenda.  Since the November 8th election, US stocks have risen almost 15%, with similar gains posted in Europe and some emerging markets such as India. But how long can this Trump rally last?

There is no single chart that can answer this question simply or unequivocally.  One difficulty lies in translating planetary positions with market moves of a specific size.  Even if we can isolate a future bearish planetary alignment, for example, it is unclear if it will produce sufficient downside that would negate the rally (i.e. -15%).   A bearish alignment involving  Saturn or Mars may only coincide with a minor 5% pullback rather than a full-blown 10-20% correction.   Therefore, even when we get some garden variety bearish planetary patterns, the Trump rally is likely strong enough to withstand some downside without seriously underlying its upward momentum. 

With today's rise, the Dow is again approaching its all-time high set March 1st just above 21,000.  Are we looking at an historic rally that could last for months or even years in the way that, say, President Reagan presided over the beginning of the longest and most powerful bull market in history from 1982 to 2000?   That seems unlikely for several reasons, not the least of which is astrological.  Let's look at the horoscope for the birth of the Trump rally and see how things could play out in the weeks and months ahead.

While other interpretations are possible, I would time the birth horoscope of the Trump rally for the open of trading in New York on November 9th.  This is the morning after his shocking victory over Hillary Clinton and after stock futures had reversed higher after suffering severe overnight losses.  US indexes opened sharply higher at the 9:30 open and did not look back.  The US market kept moving higher until March but have traded sideways since then. 

We can see how this Trump rally horoscope may be playing out.  One of the most bullish things about this horoscope is the placement of Jupiter - the planet of optimism - on the MC, or the unequal 10th house cusp.  The MC is one of two power points in the chart along with the Ascendant to it can act as a conduit for whatever energies are resonating on that point.  It is also placed in the whole sign 11th house which symbolizes gains. 

Stocks rose as Jupiter moved forward towards its station at 29 Virgo on February 9th.  Two things to note here.  29 Virgo is almost exactly on the equal 11th house cusp (27 Virgo) so that is an obvious indication for gains as long as Jupiter is near that point.  But the other thing to note is that stocks continued to rise after Jupiter began to retrograde away from its station.  Why?  One reason is that Jupiter was still very close to that point by the all-time high in stocks on March 1st, at 28 Virgo.  It was still therefore conjunct with this very bullish point in the chart.  Also, it was closely aligned with Mars and Uranus at 28 Pisces just a couple days before on February 27-28.  Close alignments of planets can often indicate highs or lows depending on the nature of the planets involved. 

A skeptic might raise the question why didn't the market stumble when Saturn had transited over this Ascendant at 27 Scorpio in late December and early January.  Saturn is a bearish foil for Jupiter and when it is prominent there can be a rise in pessimism and caution.  It's a good question.  We should note that the market was a bit listless for much of December and into January during the approach of Saturn to this Ascendant.  The Dow was essentially flat from mid-December to early February.  True, this is not quite what we might have expected from nasty, old Saturn but it is important to remember that the horoscope needs to be seen holistically with many factors included in the analysis.  Jupiter was still very strong in late December and January as it was exactly conjunct its 11th house cusp at 27 Virgo and thereby aligned exactly with Uranus at 27 Pisces.  The Jupiter-Uranus pairing are almost invariably bullish and the presence of this aspect likely offset most of the negativity present in Saturn's crossing of the Ascendant. 

So what lies ahead?  As we head into May, we can see that Jupiter is retrograding back towards its natal position and the MC at 18-19 Virgo.  As it happens, Jupiter will station at 19 Virgo in early June. That's bullish no matter how you slice it.  However, Saturn will be backing up towards the Ascendant and could introduce some negativity into the mix.  This could suggest a replay of December's sideways market perhaps, especially since Mars will also aspect the Ascendant in late May.  This could heighten the negative effect of Saturn's proximity to the Ascendant.

But the bigger concern is the effect of the Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu.  Rahu (North Node) closely aligns with transiting Saturn as we move further into June and beyond.  Rahu will aspect natal Venus exactly in June and then gradually aspect the Ascendant by October. These successive Nodal influences distinguishes the chart from its interplay of Jupiter-Saturn that may have produce a flat trend in December.   As I see it, this Saturn-Rahu alignment through the summer should bring about some significant declines in stocks.  It is a bearish pairing in any event and the fact that it aligns with the Ascendant of the Trump rally horoscope is even more reason to expect some significant problems in the market. 

The other difference between this summer and the December-January period is that Saturn is due to station direct exactly on the Ascendant at 27 Scorpio in August.  Previously, it was moving forward at its normal velocity and hence it had less power to do damage.  The conjunction around the Saturn station lasts much longer and will likely reflect rising pessimism and declines in the market.

We should see some temporary downside as early as next week (May 1-5) when Mars (15 Taurus) squares the Ketu-Moon-Neptune conjunction.  However, this does not seem unequivocally negative since Venus will be in aspect with bullish Jupiter and Mercury will return to direct motion while conjunct Uranus and hence align closely with both Mercury and Venus in the Trump rally chart. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have generally moved higher over the past five sessions.  I thought we might have seen more downside late last week and into this week.  I did think this week's Mercury-Uranus conjunction was likely going to translate into gains at some point this week.  It seems the upside has come earlier than I expected.  This is one of the difficulties in interpreting alignments around planetary stations when the alignments are close for several days.  Mercury is due to station direct on May 3rd next week and therefore it has entered an unusually long-lasting conjunction with Uranus and 120 degree angle with Saturn. 

This week could easily see more upside on this Mercury-Uranus conjunction.  However, the late week Moon-Mars conjunction looks bearish and could produce some nervous selling.  Next week could see some further upside in the early going.  But as I have noted, the Mercury station on Wednesday the 3rd could indicate a shift in the mood. 

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.