Posted by in Raymond Merriman's Weekly Preview on March 18, 2017 . 12 Comments.

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The Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday it would raise short-term interest rates and keep lifting them this year, moving the central bank into a new, more aggressive phase of draining easy money from the financial system as the economy improves. “The simple message is the economy’s doing well,” said Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen following the Fed’s two-day policy meeting. “We have confidence in the robustness of the economy and its resilience to shocks.” Nick Timiraos and Kate Davidson, “Fed Raises Rates, Signals Gradual Increase Ahead,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017.


And on that announcement – that the Fed will increase its short-term Fed Funds rates for the third consecutive time in 15 months – the markets cheered. Almost all markets went up. The DJIA soared over 200 points from its low of Tuesday to its high two days later. Gold was testing its 1194.50 low of March 10 just prior to the announcement on March 15, and then suddenly sprang up nearly $40.00 by the next day. Silver was making a new weekly low at 16.82 on Wednesday before the announcement– thus making a case for intermarket bullish divergence to Gold, which did not take out its previous week’s low. By Thursday, one day later, Silver was up to 17.58. Even Treasuries soared on the news of raising rates. Somehow, the Fed convincingly sold the report as bullish for the economy and people bought the idea that rising rates will not derail the economy, but actually strengthen it.


These kinds of responses, under Venus retrograde, may not prove to be ultimately correct. There are inconsistencies between the Fed’s words and its projections. For instance, the Fed also announced the economy is approaching its 2% inflation target – and again, the market bought the pitch that the Fed will really be able to control inflation at its target. But think about it a second. If the economy is looking so great, why does the Fed forecast only a 2% growth rate this year, and next year, and the year after that? Does that sound like growth?


The Fed also said that in the next two years, the jobless rate won’t increase – it will not go below 4.5% - and inflation won’t rise over 2%. In other words, according to Thursday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page, “Apparently, the Fed thinks the US economy has achieved a glorious equilibrium that will continue indefinitely.” Really? Not according to our understanding of Financial Astrology. All of this love fest, from the market to the Fed, is taking place under Venus retrograde (Venus is love and money). Maybe these projected values (Venus) will change once Venus turns direct (April 15). Maybe they will change up to two-three months later, possibly even next week. With Venus retrograde, one’s opinions, beliefs, and proclamations, made under the retrograde, change almost seamlessly. It is so subtle you don’t even notice until it is too late.


The stock markets around the world rallied on the news of the Fed interest rate hike. The NASDAQ soared to a new all-time high last week. The DJIA and S&P also rallied nicely, but did not confirm the new high breakout in the NASDAQ. Right now, equity indices are looking at a case of intermarket bearish divergence, as the DJIA and S&P remained below their highs of March 1, which was our three-star critical reversal date period of February 27-28, +/- 3 trading days. Similar divergences were noted in Europe and Asia too, where the FTSE and NIFTY made new all-time highs, but other indices in the region did not. Are those making new highs the leaders? Or are they examples of intermarket bearish divergence under Venus retrograde?


Gold and Silver exhibited a similar state of possible misjudgment by investors, related to Venus retrograde. Both Gold and Silver made new cycle highs right on the three-star CRD (geocosmic critical reversal date) of Feb 27-28. They then fell rather sharply into March 10 (Gold) and March 15 (Silver). After the Fed announced its rate hike, both metals began to rally again, but only within a normal corrective retracement zone of a potentially bearish last phase of their primary cycles. If, by the time Venus turns direct, April 15, +/- 1 week, Gold doesn’t exceed 1240, and/or Silver doesn’t exceed 17.90, they will remain vulnerable to a change in sentiment and could easily retest their recent lows. However, as long as last week’s low holds, you cannot rule out that the bull trend is still in force too, especially if they exceed the resistance levels just given. It is typical of Venus retrograde to exhibit conflicting signals and divergences in inter-related markets.


The fact that Fed Chair Janet Yellen made a March rate increase is not a surprise to anyone who reads this column, or our Forecast 2017 Book. This period (February 24-April 21) was highlighted several times as a probable period when rates would rise, according to Financial Astrology studies, even though at the time this was forecasted, market pundits had a very low expectation of a rate hike taking place this early. Such announcements by central banks going into the 6-week period of Venus retrograde are quite common, according to these studies. Not only that, but such announcements at the time Venus turns retrograde will often correspond closely in time to the end of multi-month trends, and the start of counter-trend reversals, in many financial markets. The question is: are those reversals started February 27-March 2 still in effect? If so, this recent rally following the Fed’s announcement of a rate hike last week won’t last. The counter-trend moves started February 27-March 3 may resume into mid-April when Venus turns direct.




When the Fed’s forecasting fails, it imperils the economy and the very idea that free markets make people better off. Reform should aim to make the Fed better at its job, so that markets can do theirs.” Todd G. Buchholtz, “A 21st Century Federal Reserve,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017.


… given the new Republican government’s focus on deregulation and tax reform… it is hard to believe “the US economy has achieved a glorious equilibrium that will continue indefinitely.” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017, Opinion page, “The Fed’s Era of Contentment.”


Oh, lordy. It is the beginning of a new year this weekend – the new zodiac year, beginning with the sign of Aries, the beginning of spring for those who live north of the equator. Spring is in the air. It seemed like winter would never end, but that may become more the case when (and after) Saturn enters Capricorn on the day of this year’s winter solstice, December 21, 2017. That could spell a really long and cold winter season, maybe two years’ worth. But let’s come back from the future into the present….


For now, we will enter the sign of Aries this weekend for next 30 days (March 20-April 19, 2017). This is about as long as Venus will remain in retrograde (March 4-April 15), during which time it will form a square to Saturn two times (April 5 and April 21).


Here’s the thing about Aries: he/she wants to fly. Aries doesn’t like to take its time. It is impatient and impulsive, often to its detriment. For much of this time, especially April 5-21, Venus will move from Aries to late Pisces, where it will square Saturn. Moving from Aries to Pisces is a downgrade in itself for the natural raw energy associate with Aries. However, the square to Saturn can make the poor Aries absolutely frustrated by the obstacles, blockages, and delays to what it wants to do – and can’t, without resistance, now.


For those of you who thought February 22-March 6 was an exceptional time of powerful geocosmic signatures (it was), keep in mind that it’s not completely over. The next round starts up March 31-April 21, when eleven geocosmic signatures unfold in those 22 days, including Venus turning direct, Saturn turning retrograde, and both making two squares to one another, April 5 and 21. And all of this starts with the second passage of Jupiter square Pluto on March 31 – thus the focus will be upon debt, debt ceilings, deficits, and taxes. These are the kind of conflicts that can frustrate the market, as well as leaders of governments.


These signatures can also highlight frustrations in personal relationships. Here comes Venus retrograde, charging ahead in the fiery “don’t stop-me-now” sign of Aries. And then it retreats back into the dreamy but passive and conflicted romantic love sign of Pisces, which says, “Please don’t stop pursuing me now,  but I think we better break up because I see all the baggage you carry and I can’t handle it but why didn’t you tell me the truth because now I have to do something I don’t want to do and please don’t try to find my new email address and new telephone number, but please don’t stop trying to find me….” It goes like that in government and relationships for the next month. It may go like that with financial markets too, where one day these markets explode upwards, and the next day they begin a complete retreat and reversal. It is so typical of Venus retrograde, especially as Venus is moving backwards from the “come-on strong” sign of Aries to “surrender and retreat” dynamic of Pisces.


It is like the Marx brothers’ routine: “I have my principles. And if you don’t like them, I have others.”

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On another note, I am currently writing a new edition of “The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing Volume 1: Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes.” This is an exciting project, as these tables and studies have not been updated since the second printing in 2005 – twelve years ago! I am astounded at how my thoughts of cycle patterns and structures have evolved since this book was first written 20 years ago in 1997. I am also amazed at how many of these cycles continue to work as described in the original work. But the most exciting part is updating all the tables of the 18- and 4-year cycles, along with the new 6.5-year cycle and all the primary cycles since 2005, as well as adjusting many of the cycle periods to reflect the new data that has unfolded since then. The expected publication date will be by late summer. The pre-publication price for this book is $95, and once it goes to the printer (in about two months), the price will be $125.  You can pre-order now by e-mail to Lisa at or calling 1-800-662-3349, or 248-626-3034. It will available for order online in about two weeks. This is the most complete book ever written on cycles in the stock market. It is a must-have book that will be referred to over and over again for many, many, years.


ONLY FIVE MORE WEEKS TO SIGN UP! We will host our MMA Mid-Year 2017 Financial Markets Webinar on Saturday, June 3, at 3:00 PM, EDT. Participation to the live event will be limited, to 100 people, as always. This will be the second of three webinars we will host this year. The subject of this webinar will be an update on the outlook for the stock market, precious metals, US Dollar, crude oil, soybeans and possibly other markets and other economic and geopolitical matters of interest at this time, including the forthcoming solar eclipse, conjunct Mars on August 21, that will fall on Donald Trump’s natal Mars and Ascendant (and opposite Janet Yellen’s natal Moon). The cost is $45.00. All webinars have sold out in the past, so SIGN UP NOW to make sure you have a place reserved in this special live webinar event. For further information go to or call 1-248-626-3034, 1-800-662-3349, or email


The monthly edition of the MMA International Cycles Report (ICR) was released last week. If you are subscriber to this report and did not receive it, let us know at once. Each issue of ICR contains an in-depth analysis of: the XAU index (Gold and Silver Mining stocks), the U.S. Dollar (DXY), British Pound (GBP), Australian Dollar (AUD), the Australian stock index (ASX), the London FTSE stock index, the Russell 2000 U.S. stock index (RUT), Corn (C) and Wheat (W). The analysis of these markets is written by three of the top graduates of the Merriman Market Timing Academy (MMTA), including Mark Shtayerman (San Diego), Izabella Suleymanova (San Diego), Ulric Aspegren (Sweden), and yours truly, Ray Merriman, on the Australian stock and currency markets. These reports are excellent. If you do not subscribe to this report and would like to, please go to, and select SERVICES or SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES and look up the MMTA International Cycles report.




June 3, 2017: DON’T MISS IT! The MMA Mid-Year 2017 Financial Markets Webinar! The subject of this webinar will be the stock market, precious metals, US Dollar, crude oil, soybeans and possibly other markets and other economic and geopolitical matters of interest at this time, including the forthcoming solar eclipse, conjunct Mars on August 21, that will fall on Donald Trump’s natal Mars and Ascendant (and opposite Janet Yellen’s natal Moon). The cost is $45.00. All webinars have sold out in the past, so register early to make sure you have a place reserved in this special live webinar event. For information or registration, email, go to, or call 1-248-626-3034.


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 cycles’ 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 the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.

No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.


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