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.”

MMA Current Announcements

ONE MORE WEEK FOR THE SPECIAL OFFER! The writing of the third edition of The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing, Volume 1: Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes is moving right along. This is the most comprehensive book ever published on the cycles of the stock market (DJIA, S&P and Nikkei), with analysis going back to the British stock market of the 17th century. A lot has happened since this book was first written in 1997, twenty years ago, including the long-term cycle low of March 2009 in the recent “Great Recession.” All longer-term cycles have been updated, as well as intermediate and shorter-term cycles and their phases. This is a must-have book if you are a serious investor, trader, or student of cycles, which is one of the most important tools used in market timing. There is nothing else like this book available today in the literature of cycles. The expected release date is still August, and we are now offering a pre-publication special rate of $95.00 (plus postage) to those who pre-order it before June 30 (end of this next week. After that, the cost will be $125. There is a further discount for those also ordering the MP4 recording of the June 3 webinar on the Mid-Year Outlook for Financial Markets and “The Great Reset of 2017-2020. The new material on long-and intermediate-term cycles in the U.S. and Japanese stock markets is worth the cost of the book alone. For more information, visit For a direct link to pre-order this book, go to and check it out. You can also pre-order now by e-mail to or calling 1-800-662-3349, or 248-626-3034. “The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing: Cycles and Patterns in the Index” is literally the ultimate book on the analysis of the stock market. We are especially impressed with various waves of long-term cycles for more than 200 years, which we have never seen.”  - T. Kaburagi, Toshi Nippou Ltd (Japan’s major commodity newspaper).


The monthly edition of the MMA Cycles Report was issued last week. If you subscribe to this report and did not receive it, let us know at once. In addition to Gold and Silver, the monthly MMA Cycles Report covers the outlook for U.S. stocks (DJIA and S&P futures) for both investors and traders, T-Notes, the Euro, soybeans, and crude oil. It also covers MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks. The monthly MMA Japan Cycles report also came out last week, and covers the Nikkei, JGB Bonds, and the Dollar-Yen. The MMA European Cycles Report was released week too, covering the German DAX, Swiss SMI, and Netherlands AEX. If you are not a subscriber to any of these MMA Cycles Report, consider taking out a subscription NOW. For further information on all, go to This is an excellent way to get the MMA overview on financial markets, and at an important time leading up to the Sun/Mars conjunction!


The monthly edition of the MMA International Cycles Report (ICR) will be released this week to all of its subscribers. 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.


I have an article on the 18-year stock market cycle in this quarter’s issue of Traders World magazine (issue #66) A free promo copy is available at for our readers.


The MP4 downloadable recording of the MMA Mid-Year 2017 Financial Markets Webinar, conducted on June 3 is available, and includes the 66 power point slides and graphs used in the webinar. The live presentation, limited to 100 persons, sold out again. It was another good presentation, lasting a little over 2 hours, with an interesting Q and A at the end. The subject of this webinar was an overview of where we stand in “The Great Reset” described in the Forecast 2017 Book. It also included a very in-depth look at the USA stock market, focused on the three main cycles that will be coming due between now and November (we narrow it down in the webinar), as a result of the latest research to be released in the new version of the Stock Market Timing book, “Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes.” The webinar included an update on the outlook for the precious metals, US Dollar, Euro currency, crude oil, soybeans and T-Notes. It discussed in detail 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 of this MP4 recording and power point slides is $45.00. For further information go to or call 1-248-626-3034, 1-800-662-3349, or email Ask about a discount if you also pre-order the Stock Market Timing Book, Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes, due out in August. See first announcement above.


MMA’S weekly and daily subscription reports continue to be very hot this year in almost every market - especially in stock indices and Gold. If you are an active short-term trader, or even if you are an investor who likes to keep up with our current thoughts on financial markets, you will be interested in MMA’s Weekly or Daily Market reports. There is nothing else available like these reports for traders. The weekly reports give an in-depth analysis of the DJIA, S&P and NASDAQ futures, Euro currency (cash and futures), Dollar/Yen cash and Yen futures, Euro/Yen cash, T-Notes, Soybeans, Gold and Silver, and Crude Oil, and now, the British Pound! The daily reports cover all stock indices listed above, as well as futures in the Euro Currency, Japanese Yen, T-Notes, Gold and Silver, plus GLD and SLV (the Gold and Silver ETF’s. Both reports provide trading strategies and recommendations for position traders and shorter-term aggressive traders. Subscription to the daily report also includes the weekly report. For further information, or to subscribe, go to or call our offices at 1-248-626-3034, for more information.


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