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“The bottom line is that the greatest risk to the US stock market (and hence all world equity markets) right now is the political risk. I think we will know if that risk is real or not in the next 100 days, based on the transit of Mars to President Trump’s natal chart this month, and the Solar Eclipse conjunct Mars of August 21 +/- one month.” Last week’s MMA Weekly Column for the Week Beginning May 15.
It was another dramatic week for financial markets. After the S&P and NASDAQ posted new all-time highs on Tuesday, May 16 – unaccompanied by the Dow Jones Industrial Average – all U.S. stock indices suffered a severe decline on Wednesday. Reports surfaced that recently fired FBI director James Comey had written a memo “… that Mr. Trump has asked him to back off the investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn,” according to the Wall Street Journal (“Stocks, Dollar Sink on Washington Turmoil,” May 18, 2017). It was a shot heard around the world, and led to one of the most severe selloffs in stocks this year. The DJIA fell 372 points on Wednesday, May 17, and were down another 50 points in early trading the next day, before finding support and reversing right back up into Friday’s close.
Without the DJIA making a new all-time high, last week was a case of intermarket bearish divergence in the U.S. equity markets. But does that matter so early in a primary cycle? Maybe not, but the same signal was present in Europe, where the German DAX and London FTSE made new all-time highs and the Zurich SMI made a new yearly high – before plummeting into Thursday and then starting a recovery. The Netherlands AEX, on the other hand, could not exceed its multi-year high of the week before, on May 9.
The pattern was similar in Asia and the Pacific Rim. India’s Nifty Index soared to a new all-time early last week, and the Japanese Nikkei rallied to 19,998, its highest mark since December. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong reached 25,413 on May 16, its highest mark since August 2015. But then each fell hard into Thursday, along with the Australian ASX index, before starting to recover into Friday.
The turmoil in Washington (and elsewhere) was favorable to precious metals, treasuries, currencies, and crude oil. Gold jolted up to 1265 and Silver to 17.03 on Wednesday-Thursday, May 17-18, after posting primary cycle lows of 1214 and 16.06 the prior week, right in line with our special reports issued during that time. Crude oil closed back above $50/barrel after falling to a low of 43.76 two weeks ago. The Euro currency soared to 1.1211, its highest mark since the USA election in November, also in line with our call for the high in the USA Dollar for January 2017 (low in Euro), based on the 16-year USA presidential election cycle, especially consistent when a Republican wins the electoral vote for the White House. The Ten-Year Treasury Notes rallied to 126/23, its highest mark also since November, despite the Fed’s insistence it will raise its short-term rates two more times this year. With transiting Neptune making a T-square to the Fed’s Mercury/Saturn opposition, one may begin to wonder if they will actually do that or not. Neptune tends to be more “dovish” than assertive, and in such a hard aspect, one’s words may count for very little, or one’s actions may serve to conceal what one is really doing. There is more than meets the eye here, and typical of Neptune, the FED is being rather quiet and invisible right now, apparently content to let the Trump drama capture media headlines.
All in all, it was a very turbulent week, but one that reflected the cosmic drama present in the transits to President Trump’s natal chart. As stated in last week’s column, “This may actually be a prelude to more aggressive and bold actions coming up from the White House in the next couple of weeks as transiting Mars (aggression, assertiveness, start new things, disputes, warlike) nears Mr. Trump’s natal Sun/Uranus conjunction, and opposition to his natal lunar eclipse Moon. Lord help anyone who crosses his path these next two weeks (May 14-27).” And here he is, embarking upon his first foreign mission overseas. The press will likely have a field day with him out of the country. Maybe he will get inspired with many new and brilliant ideas with all that Mars energy, meeting all those new people in new lands. That is very possible with Mars. Something new, exciting, and very original may transpire. Maybe he will decide not to return.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
You are going to read and hear a lot about “witch-hunts,” “leaks,” and “anonymous sources” who do not wish to be identified for their printed comments. You will also hear about how Donald Trump is a “victim” of a biased media and political forces, bent on getting him impeached. All of these terms in quotation marks are associated with Neptune. All of these terms were used to describe the period under the Saturn/Neptune waning square, which was in effect November 2015 through September 2016, but can have an orb of influence lasting as long as nine months afterwards (i.e. through June 2017). The point is that the negative tone of the 2016 election season – designed to ruin the reputation of one’s opponents – hasn’t ended.
When the dark side of Neptune (rumors, misdirection, scandals where credible evidence is sorely lacking) looms heavy in the atmosphere, combined with a transiting Mars that falls on the President’s natal Sun/Uranus in Gemini (chaos), opposite his natal Moon, and also on the USA’s natal Mars and square its natal Neptune (May 15-27), it promises a period of even more chaos and unpredictable behavior by and towards him. The witch-hunts, as the president calls these allegations without sources, are not likely to end, nor will the hysteria that accompanies them. They could even escalate further. If so, last week’s mini-market panic is just a preview of what could happen on a more prolonged basis in the very near future as the Sun-Mars conjunction continues to approach on July 26, combined with the solar eclipse on August 21, conjunct Mr., Trump’s natal Mars and Ascendant.
In the study of Financial Astrology (and astrology in general), no single aspect or combination of cosmic signatures is solely negative. Every dynamic has a solution and the potential for a positive outcome, depending on an individual’s understanding of these dynamics and willingness to make choices that either defuse or escalate the tension, and/or advance the common goal that benefits all concerned.
The “higher” side of Neptune requires transcendence of the hysteria, which is accomplished only by finding a peaceful place within, which then allows for imaginative thoughts and intuition to reveal resolutions to obstructions in one’s path. But there is a natural conflict when both Mars and Neptune are involved at the same time, for Mars wants action immediately, and Neptune wants to patiently wait for the situation and its resolution to reveal itself, without a time limit. If one acts impulsively under this Mars/Neptune combination, it usually results in errors and poor judgement that lead to greater misunderstandings and even embarrassment. If one is patient and waits for the right moment or answer to come, it will. It may come in the form of others making decisions that solve the problem, or at least make it clear what one must do –and then can do, with knowing.
This is going to be an interesting next four months, in which I believe financial markets (especially equity markets) will reflect what is going in the life of USA President Donald Trump. Therefore, the risk to financial markets will continue to be political in nature. The economy on its own is fine, with Jupiter and Saturn in sextile through most of 2017. The political realm is not, for it reflects the transits to the charts of our world leaders, and in the case of Mr. Trump, the transits are anything but stable. The financial markets are apt to give increasingly more weight to the political instability and the risk that it poses.