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Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker on Monday said an interest-rate hike should be on the table at the U.S. central bank's next meeting, in March. "I still am supportive of three rate hikes this year, of course with a major caveat depending on how the economy evolves and policy, fiscal policy evolves," Harker told reporters after a speech on regulatory policy for fintech firms. "I think March should be considered as a potential for another 25-basis point increase." – Reuters News, “Fed’s Harker Says March ‘Should Be Considered’ For Next Rate Hike,” February 7, 2017
The above announcement gives us yet another clue regarding the importance of the upcoming February 22-April 21 time band that we have highlighted as containing the most significant gathering of geocosmic signatures this year. If Harker is right, and the Fed does announce its second rate hike of the year in mid-March, it will likely cause a sharp price movement in nearly every financial market.
Last week’s market climate was very bullish for equities, as expected. All major U.S. stock indices soared to new all-time highs, a trend that actually began on Friday of the prior week, February 3. As stated in last week’s column, “The stock market ended the week (of February 3) strong, and it now heads into Jupiter turning stationary retrograde on February 6, followed by the Sun trine Jupiter on February 11 (a weekend). In normal times, this would suggest rising equity prices, forming a top of some importance during this period.” It was normal enough, as the DJIA exploded to 20,298 by Friday, February 10, a new-time high that was accompanied by new all-time highs in both the NASDAQ and S&P futures.
In Europe, a new multi-year high formed in the Netherlands AEX, and a new yearly high formed in the German DAX. However, neither the Zurich SMI nor London FTSE made a new yearly high, for a possible case of intermarket bearish divergence.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the Japanese Nikkei rallied, but not above its early year high on January 5. The Australian All Ords actually fell to a new 6-week low. The Indian Nifty, China’s Shanghai, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices all made multi-week highs, but not yearly highs. Only Russia’s MICEX index matched the USA’s performance of making a new all-time high.
In other markets, Silver was a winner last week, closing at $17.95, its highest mark since early November. Gold tested 1250 during the week, its highest mark since mid-November too, but then pulled back on Thursday-Friday. Still, the metals are performing well, as discussed in detail in our January 29 webinar (MP4 recordings are still available and of great value). Like Gold, T-Notes were strong until Wednesday, and then fell back, perhaps because investors realize the reality of Fed Governor Harker’s statements last Monday – that the Fed could raise its rates in again in March. Higher rates mean lower Treasury prices.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
Another thing to note about Gold is that heliocentric Mercury now ends its trek through Sagittarius, February 1-12. As observed in 75% of historical cases, this time band corresponded with a nice rally in Gold that tops out 4-12 days into the transit. Wednesday high of 1246.60 was right on time, as it happened on the 7th day.
Yet all of these transits - the Jupiter signatures of February 6-11, heliocentric Mercury in Sagittarius (February 1-12) this weekend’s lunar eclipse in Leo – are mild compared to what is coming up February 22-March 6. It begins with the translation of Mars in Aries setting off the cardinal T-square of Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus, February 22-27. When Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus aspect one another, stock prices usually explode one way or the other, and sometimes both ways. It also has correspondence to weird conditions in nature. On a collective psychological level, it can coincide with major disputes, war or terrorist threats. One is advised to play it safe, and not risk dangerous circumstances, if at all possible.
This is a weird time because during this same period – February 26 and March 1 – there is a solar eclipse in Pisces with the Sun conjunct Neptune. Whereas Mars represents heat, fire, anger, and possible confrontations initiated by overly aggressive entities, Pisces and Neptune signify passivity, withdrawal, wet and flooding conditions, and the wish for peace. The symbolism is that of an aggressor and an innocent, passive, victim. There could be an error, or a miscalculation, that results in harm or danger to others.
It doesn’t end on March 1. On March 2, the second of three passages of the Jupiter/Uranus opposition take place, followed by Venus retrograde on March 4. As stated in last week’s column, “The second passage of Jupiter/Uranus opposition (chaos) occurs March 2 and then Venus turns retrograde on March 4. Jupiter in opposition to Uranus is the strongest aspect we have uncovered in terms of a correspondence to primary or greater cycles in US stocks, within 12 trading days. Venus retrograde is nearly as strong, certainly one of the top five geocosmic correlations to primary or greater cycles, also within 12 trading days. These two signatures occur very close in time to one another, and within the week of the Solar Eclipse conjunct Neptune (February 26-March 1), which is yet another Level 1 signature. If we have chaos and confusion now, one can only imagine what might occur then.” This remarkable geocosmic period begins its orb of influence in less than two weeks. I don’t know how much better we can prepare investors/readers for this cosmic peak of energy. And there will be a secondary reaction April 5-21, when both Venus and Saturn change directions, and are in exact square to one another at 27° Pisces/Sagittarius, with Saturn in Sagittarius also being on the Galactic Center. More on this later.
LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS AND MUNDANE ASTROLOGY
“If the enemy makes a mistake, our roaring missiles will hit their targets,” Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, colander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, said during air defense drills, the state-owned Fars News Agency reported. Iran also warned that of attacked, its missiles would target the U.S. 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, American installations in the Indian Ocean, and Tel Aviv. “These points are all within the range of Iran’s missile systems, and they will be razed to the ground if the enemy makes a mistake…” – Iran Warns U.S. Against Hostile Actions; China Tests Missiles,” Oren Dorell, USA Today, February 7, 2017.
In a recent conversation, former Defense secretary Robert Gates ticked off four areas most likely to produce the first national security crisis for a new administration: confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf, a showdown with North Korea over its nuclear program, a clash with China in the South China Sea, or an encounter with Russia in the Baltic Sea… As Team Trump begins just the third full week in office, confrontation with Iran has clearly moved to the top of that list…” –
Gerald F. Seib, “Iran Moves Atop Trump’s Confrontation List,” Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2017.
“We made too many wrong mistakes.” – Yogi Berra
Valentine’s Day is coming up this week (February 14), but I don’t think Iran will be getting a Valentine’s Day card from President Trump, or vice-versa. They might send one another a missile, but it won’t be a missile of love or endearment.
In a theme discussed last week, tensions between the USA and Iran are escalating, just as we forecasted was likely to start shortly after the January 20 USA Presidential inauguration, based on the charts of the Inauguration day, Donald Trump, the USA, and Iran. In each of these charts 20-25° of mutable signs is highlighted, and that is exactly where the Mars/Saturn square took place one day before inauguration. Both the USA and Iran have their natal Mars there too, which rules a nation’s military or plans for a military confrontation. Donald Trump’s Sun/Moon opposition is there (he was born under a lunar eclipse), and nearby is the Sun of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.
Based these geocosmic signatures, one should not take the recent rhetoric between Iran and the USA’s President Trump and his administration as idle threats. These are serious aspects, and this could quickly become serious business. With these cosmic conditions alone, Trump could easily become a “war president,” as discussed at length on this year’s Forecast 2017 Book. This does not mean there has to be war, for no one can “predict” with absolute accuracy (unless one is a prophet, and we are not). It does, however, mean that the possibilities are higher than usual based on our understanding of these cosmic principles involving Mars and Saturn, which are classical aspects historically ascribed to war-like themes by ancient astrologers.
What is the antidote, the way out? Simply, to not be the one to start a war. Exercise restraint, avoid disputes and arguments as much as possible, and seek resolutions (not escalation of tempers) that are not based on anger or revenge. Mars doesn’t have to wage war, aggression, or a “fight to win.” It can also represent new avenues of thought that create excitement and pioneering efforts in science and thought.