MMA Comments for the Week Beginning July 11, 2011
Written by Raymond Merriman
Review and Preview
Surprise! Well, what should we expect under powerful Uranus signatures? Expect nothing!
The expectation was for the USA Labor Department to report an increase of 125,000 new jobs for the month of June. Instead it was a disappointing increase of only 18,000. On top of that, unemployment jumped up to 9.2% and wages fell, also disappointing surprises. In the 1960's, there was a popular folk-rock song called "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" Today Americans are lamenting "Where Have All the Jobs Gone?" Or, "Where Have All the Stimulus Monies Gone?" But it is not be a folk-rock tune this time around; its a blues tune, because when you ain't got no job, you ain't got no money, and soon your baby 'a gonna' leave you too!
On Thursday, July 7, Venus formed a waxing square to Uranus. On Saturday, July 9, Uranus turns retrograde. And right in between those two days (Friday, July 8), Venus was in opposition to Pluto. Uranus rules the unexpected, Venus rules money and love, and Pluto tends to negate or devalue whatever it touches. So the markets expected a positive jobs report, but when the numbers came out Friday morning, there weren't any new jobs to speak of. Instead, the most frequently spoken words by analysts after this report were "I am shocked." Shock…. that's another word that belongs to the domain of Uranus.
The jobs report was not what was expected, but the stock markets' reaction to that "shock" was very predictable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened triple digits lower, after having rallied strongly ever since the double bottom primary low of June 23. In fact, that rally really took off on Monday, June 27, one day after the Sun formed a waxing square to Uranus. You might say the rally that began then was unexpected, and the size of it was also a shock. The DJIA went from a low of 11,874 to a high 9 trading days later on Thursday, July 7, at 12,753, testing the three-year high achieved on May 2 at 12,876. Early Friday, after the payroll report, the DJIA was down 150 points, but managed to claw its way back to closing down only 62 points. It wasn't as bad as feared, and that is because equities are in the early stage of a new primary cycle, which is (almost always) bullish.
Commodities followed this same wild roller coaster ride as stocks. Crude Oil bottomed at 89.61 on June 27, one day after the Sun-Uranus square, and one week following the suspicious release of crude from the petroleum stock inventory when Mars squared Neptune, the ruler of Crude Oil. By July 7, the price was up to 99.42, a jump of 10% in 8 trading days. It received helped on July 7 from the trine of Jupiter and Pluto that day. Jupiter is the co-ruler of Crude Oil.
Gold and Silver ended their slide down on July 1 and then they reversed up this week. The only difference is that following the "shocking" employment reports on Friday Gold and Silver kept on rising, whereas equities and Crude Oil closed lower. When there are suddenly no jobs and no money, people get frightened and start searching for something that that is real money in hard times that may be "a coming." But not too worry too much. In typical Uranian fashion, this may be just a lot of noise and a sharp blip on the screen. Saturn is in Libra and has started going direct June 12, so there will likely be more new jobs to show up in July and further on, and there is still a lot of money looking for a home. The only problem is that this money is still not getting into the hands of people who need it the most – the unemployed and underpaid - and that is a recipe for social unrest, fueled by politicians waging class warfare in their quest for more votes. My guess is that both the jobs market and the stock market will recover soon. But will wages?
We are right in the middle of the Venus translation to the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square. Venus entered Cancer last Sunday, July 3, and from July 7 through July 13, it completes the grand square to Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. This would normally imply a reversal in several financial markets, except with Uranus you don't usually get "normal." On top of that, Uranus is stationary, changing from a direct to a retrograde motion on Saturday, July 9. When planets change direction, their dynamics are highlighted for a few days. Thus, we are in Uranian times right now. Nothing goes as expected and the element of surprise – or "shock" - is everywhere. Of course, it is possible that some of these surprises are positive. As for instance, the Thursday ADP jobs report, which revealed that 157,000 new jobs were created. This is what I mean by Uranus and surprises. Thursday's ADP jobs report was extremely positive and then one day later, the Labor Department's jobs report was extremely disappointing. Which one is right? I think ADP.
Nevertheless, we note that the last aspect involving the Venus translation this week will be its waning square to Saturn on Wednesday, July 13. Any market that is declining into a Venus-Saturn aspect is a good candidate for bottoming and then reversing back up.
Longer Term Thoughts
There is hope from the transit of the Sun and Venus as they complete their translations to the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square. In the process of moving through the early degrees of Cancer, they form conjunctions to the USA Venus, Jupiter and Sun through the end of this week, July 15. In the field of astrology, the Sun, Venus, and Jupiter are known as "benefics." So when two of these benefics (Sun and Venus) conjunct all three of the benefics in the natal USA chart, the element of hope is increased. And so it is that during this period that the news reports indicate Congress and the White House are nearing an agreement on the debt ceiling limit. There was a missed opportunity in May, according to principles of Financial Astrology, when transiting Venus was making harmonious aspects to other transiting planets. Venus pertains to agreements and compromises. But now we have another window of opportunity from late June through July 15.
The positive news reports are based on compromises both parties appear willing to make. The Democrats seem ready to agree to major spending cuts for domestic and entitlement programs. The Republicans appear willing to agree on a cut in defense spending and a boost in tax revenues through closing several loopholes that have been used by businesses and wealthy individuals as a means of reducing their taxes. According to Friday's Wall Street Journal, "The… deal could tether entitlement program changes to a broad tax overhaul that would end tax breaks to generate the revenue Democrats want in exchange for lowering individual and corporate rates, which Republicans want."
If this is true, then what is the hold up? It probably has to with the constantly shifting stance on also raising taxes. Last week's Wall Street Journal reported, "Even the dispute over taxes seems manageable. Democrats aren't trying to raise tax rates… they are trying to raise revenues by going after tax advantages enjoyed by… the oil and gas industry, and a broad array of other tax reductions." But then this week's report once again finds the President including more than $1 trillion in tax increases in his proposals, causing a potential regression in these discussions.
The idea of overhauling the tax code and increasing revenues by closing loopholes instead of raising individual or corporate taxes seems like a very positive way to handle the waning side of the Saturn-Pluto cycle. This is the part of the cycle when governments typically increase their debt load via massive spending increases that cannot be afforded, and then they try to make it up by raising taxes and borrowing monies (sales of Treasury notes and bonds). The combination of higher taxes, higher spending, and higher borrowing needs, leads to more numerous and deeper economic recessions. Stock markets also experience more frequent bear markets, while commodities like Gold and Silver tend to appreciate. This phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle was in effect 1966-1982, and is back 2001-2020. But what if you did raise revenues to reduce the debt by eliminating the tax loopholes and tax deferments as they presently exist, instead of raising tax rates, while at the same time you were able to agree on spending reductions? It seems too sensible a plan for the two parties to agree upon. But the Venus aspects of compromise to the USA chart are present now through July 15, and the willingness of the two parties to work this out in the next week offers great hope to not just Americans, but to the entire world. If the USA defaults on August 2, as Mercury turns retrograde, the entire dynamic will change and the consequences could be painful for the remainder of this decade. This will become America's "Lost Decade."
There is one part of Friday's Wall Street article that is of concern to this process however. The article states, "Mr. Obama told lawmakers Thursday he wouldn't sign any agreement that does not extend the debt ceiling through the 2012 election." Why not? Is there a reason why the U.S. electorate should not have a vote in this matter if the two parties can't come to an agreement over tax cuts, tax hikes, and spending cuts? What does this say about the government's trust in the intelligence of the people it serves? Is it better to allow the debt ceiling limit to be violated and enter into a default than to pass a one-year measure, if necessary to avoid default, and then put the issue to the vote to the American people in next year's election? This is the problem with politics today. This is the issue with Pluto in Capricorn. Do I try to pass measures that truly benefit the country, give people the opportunity to express their positions on issues of importance to all, or do I arrange matters so that they enhance my chance of re-election? Probably both.
The problem for President Obama that I see is this: if he is re-elected (and at this point I think he will be) and the debt ceiling becomes a crisis in 2013 again, he will then face the prospect of impeachment. Why? Because the Uranus-Pluto square will form a grand square to the USA Sun/Saturn square at 11-14 of cardinal signs. The Sun is the President (leader) of the nation, and Saturn is the structure of its government. If the debt isn't brought under control by then, the entire government is vulnerable to upheaval. In my opinion, given today's signatures and those of 2012-2015, it is best if an agreement on the debt (taxes and spending) can be forged right now. If not, the second best thing for President Obama would be to let the people decide via their vote in November 2012, rather than carry it over unresolved into his next term without giving people the opportunity to express their choice on the matter via the ballot box.
Pluto is in Capricorn. Pluto was in Capricorn in 1776. The USA is soon to have its first Pluto return. Pluto relates to taxes and debt. The country was founded on protests involving these very issues. It's back. Have you noticed that both parties are continually quoting the Founding Fathers to support their positions? There is a cosmic reason for this. It's cyclical.
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Last October I did an internet presentation for traders of the ICE exchange (Intercontinental Exchange) on the future of the U.S. Dollar, as well as the U.S. stock market. A video recording of that presentation is available for free viewing athttp://www.youtube.com/raymondmerriman. The thoughts expressed at that time contain many of the ideas I have about the long-term outlook even today. Please feel free to share it with your friends and associates.
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August 13, 2011: San Francisco, CA. Financial Market Timing seminar, featuring Raymond Merriman and other market timers. It is on. Details to be announced shortly at www.tsaasf.org. Immediately afterwards will be a special meeting with MMA subscribers who are present.
January 6-7, 2012: Zurich Switzerland. Forecast 2012 Symposia sponsored by AstroData. Details to be announced shortly at www.mma-europe.ch.
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September 20-27, 2012: The first annual "MMA International Cycles Summit on World Economy, Politics, and Financial Markets." Location will be in Lake Bled, Slovenia, one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Details will be announced soon. It's on!
Disclaimer and statement of purpose:
The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language.
This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author's understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycle's analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world.
It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand these psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.
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