(Raymond Merriman, CTA – The Merriman Market Analyst)
Review and preview
U.S. consumer inflation excluding energy and food accelerated to a new four-decade high in September. The core consumer-price index—which excludes volatile energy and food prices—rose 6.6% in September from a year earlier, the biggest increase since August 1982. The measure increased 6.3% in August. The inflation report likely keeps the Federal Reserve on track to increase interest rates by 0.75 percentage points at its meeting next month. Gwynn Guilford, “Inflation Sits at 8.2% as Core Prices Hit Four-Decade High,” Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2022.
This was the week in which the passive/aggressive Mars square Neptune took place on October 12, followed by the whipsaw-like behavior of Moon in Gemini with the Sun also in an air sign, Libra, on October 13-14. The CPI (inflation) report came out Thursday morning, October 13. Consistent with Mars square Neptune, the DJIA first retreated over 500 points, a new yearly low, along with the S&P and NASDAQ. But then it suddenly reversed – the Gemini Moon whipsaw – and assertively charged up over 800 points. That was the first time in history that the DJIA was down over 500 points and then closed up over 800 according to Bloomberg news services. But the Moon was still in Gemini on Friday, and true to its whipsaw nature, the DJIA was first up nearly 400 points, then closed down nearly 400 points.
As mentioned, new yearly lows were attained on October 13 in the S&P and NASDAQ, too. Not only was Moon square Neptune on October 12, but the Sun and Venus were both in a trine aspect to Saturn on October 12 and 14. In fact, when extended out to October 17-19, Mars will make a grand trine to the Sun/Venus and Saturn, all in air signs. Normally we look for good news under an air grand trine, and maybe that was it with Thursday’s huge 1300-point rally from the yearly low.
Not all world global indices dropped to new yearly lows last week. Besides the U.S., new yearly lows were notched in the Netherlands AEX, London FTSE, and Zurich SMI indices. The worst was in Hong Kong where the Hang Seng fell to its lowest level since October 2011! Many others held above their lows of September 26-October 3 that coincided with the year’s most powerful geocosmic combination of Jupiter at the midpoint, and in a double semi-square to the last passage of the Saturn/Uranus square. That was also the end of the 6 planetary retrograde cycles that had been in effect since September 9-10 through October 2, also corresponding to the Mercury retrograde period. Six retrograde planets at one time indicate uncertainty, with a tendency for premature announcements or claims that need more time to think out clearly. Recall the UK economic decisions and revisions that rocked the world financial system during that period.
Last week, Pluto also turned direct on October 8. Thus, we now have 4 planets retrograde until October 30 when the warrior planet Mars reverses, which will bring it back up to another overabundance period of 5 planets appearing to move backwards through the skies. The skies are not clear during this period. With Mars square Neptune, it’s more like smoke and mirrors.
In other markets, Bitcoin tested the 18,000 level again on October 13, while Ethereum fell to 1192. Both remain above their yearly lows of June, but Bitcoin is getting very close to breaking to new lows. Crude Oil enjoyed a 22.8% rally from its low on September 18 to last Monday’s high of 93.64. before giving back about 50% of those gains into Friday’s low. Gold and Silver also pulled back sharply last week from its nice rallies between late September and October 4. Ten-Year Treasury Notes dropped to 110/02 on the CPI announcement of October 13, their lowest level in over 15 years.
Short-term geocosmics and longer-term thoughts
Those who try to find a compromise with Putin should understand the following. Putin wants to kill us and we want to live. Putin wants to erase Ukraine as a state, as a nation from the world map. And we want to have our state. We want to move it to European family… Please don’t trust Putin. I have five years of experience with him for negotiation. And please don’t be afraid of Putin. Learn from Ukraine. Keep strong. Keep together.” – Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko as quoted by Kayla Bailey, “Former Ukraine President Says Time Is Now to Negotiate with Russia: Don’t Trust Putin but Don’t Be Afraid,” October 14, 2022.
Everyone conveniently ignores that a majority of Crimeans backed Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.– Casey Michel, “Putin’s Annexation May Cost Him Crimea,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2022.
Part of the cause of the economic and financial pain the world is presently experiencing has to do with the disruption in supplies as indicated by the Saturn/Uranus squares of 2021-2022. These supply chain issues have been exasperated by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which caused huge price spikes in Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and grains this past year.
Now we are entering a period where Mars, the god of war, will be highlighted through the first quarter of 2023, and especially between now and the end of November, when it will be stationary turning retrograde at 23-25° Gemini, square to Neptune at 23° Pisces. The first square of Mars and Neptune in these degrees happened last week, and there are major issues arising in the world that speak to this aspect.
As discussed last week, these degrees are important because these same two planets are also highlighted in the charts of Iran and the U.S. in the same degrees of mutable signs, which means they are touching off a grand mutable square between these two nations. Iran is undergoing a level of protests not seen in many years that threatens the authority of its leadership. The U.S. is also experiencing a great strain in its relationship with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations that just decided to cut their production of oil, to which President Biden has threatened retaliation. He sees this as a betrayal of trust (Neptune afflicted) and a nod in favor of their relationship with Russia.
Mars/Neptune squares can coincide with times when world leaders (and everyone else) make poor judgements. It can illuminate a period when trust issues arise between current allies that may threaten their relationship. But it doesn’t end with the U.S., Iran, and OPEC, for 23° Gemini (where Mars is now posited) is also conjunct the natal Sun of Chinese leader Xi Jinping (June 15, 1953, time unknown), the most important ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is a possibility that closeness and trust will start to unravel between President Putin and Xi, after they recently entered into a very highly publicized commitment to support one another. The thing is that even trust has its limits. It’s not unconditional, and when one party violates the principles of good behavior expected of the other in such a partnership, the solidarity of the relationship is vulnerable to dissolving. The agreement between the Iranian leadership and its citizens is dissolving. The agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is dissolving. And the relationship between Russia and China may also be unraveling, all because the expectations inherent in trust are being violated in the eyes of one of the parties, if not both.
As far as the U.S. is concerned, the next month will be a challenging time to cope with this type of cosmic conflict (Mars square Neptune, Mars turning retrograde) because the mid-term elections are approaching in three weeks. This is not usually a time when the nation exhibits the type of unity needed on the world stage to deal with these issues. The fact that the world will also be in the midst of eclipses won’t help (solar eclipse on October 25, lunar eclipse on November 8, the day of the election). And we haven’t even mentioned that former President Donald Trump’s Sun is also at 22° 55’ of Gemini, opposite his natal Moon at 21° Sagittarius. He is not going to be invisible between now and the election, and in fact, he is being subpoenaed to testify before the January 6 Senate committee regarding his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. That too promises to be a very Mars/Neptune type of experience where the lines between truth and fantasy collide.
It is hard to imagine the global stock indices performing well during this time. But as stated earlier, Mars/Neptune is often a time of misjudgments. The lunar and geocosmic landscape doesn’t look that promising for equities next week. The Sun and Venus trine Mars on Monday and Tuesday, which appears favorable, but the Moon in Cancer and Leo is not so favorable. This is followed by the Sun and Venus forming a waning square to Pluto on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Saturn ending its retrograde motion on Saturday, October 23. Then the eclipse season starts, and in the middle of that, Mars turns retrograde on October 30 through January 12, a time when the aggressor tends to be the loser.
Traders need to continue being extra cautious right through the election and even a couple of days afterwards, for these are not easy waters to navigate, whether we are talking about financial markets or world leadership. The most volatile time ahead seems to be November 5-11, election week. This is a time for upsets, and I would expect the polls to “misjudge” results again. As the economist John Kenneth Galbraith once stated: “Economic forecasting was created to make astrology look respectable.” I think that is about right, and it also pertains to election forecasting by the media and polling agencies