Raymond Merriman's Weekly Preview

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         Nonfarm payrolls increased by 215,000 in March, providing a positive sign for an economy that otherwise has been slowing lately. The jobs growth came as the headline unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent, the first month-over-month increase since May 2015. The level of unemployed Americans considered part of the workforce rose to 7.97 million, from 7.82 million in February. A separate measure of unemployment that includes those not looking for work as well as those working part-time for economic reasons also rose one-tenth to 9.8 percent.” Jeff Cox, CNBC.com, April 1,...



            Most of the world stock markets posted multi-month highs between March 14-21, and then pulled back into late last week.

            Crude Oil followed stocks, rallying to 41.90 on Tuesday, March 22, a gain of 60% since the decade-long low of 26.05 on February 11. This was their highest mark since December 4, and a sign that the long-term cycle lows expected under the squares of Saturn/Neptune and Jupiter/Saturn may be in, as discussed in this year’s Forecast 2016 Book, as well as at the recent MMA Investment Retreat in Italy last September. The low was ideally due between November...

Please note that this is an abbreviated weekly column, as I am ending a one-week vacation this weekend (Bahamas).



              Spring has sprung! And it is starting out on a positive note with many global stock indices rallying to new cycle highs following their primary cycle lows of January 20 and February 11. This week, the good news was the announcement by the Federal Reserve Board to do nothing. That is, in typical mutable fashion, the Fed decided not to raise their short–term interest rates, after announcing three months ago they intended to raise rates four times in 2016. That projection is...

Please note that I am taking a one-week vacation starting Sunday, March 13. There may not be a column next week. It depends on whether I will have internet capability on the remote island I will be visiting, and if I feel up to writing a column while on vacation.




            “Just weeks after Wall Street was preparing for the impending apocalypse comes talk that now would be a good time to raise interest rates… There's virtually no chance of that happening — literally zero, according to the CME's FedTracker tool. However, a small but growing chorus on the Street believes the Fed is...



            “The economy added a better-than-expected 242,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent. Economists were expecting 190,000 new positions and no change in the jobless figure. Despite the strong headline number, the closely watched average hourly wages actually declined for the month, falling 3 cents and equating to a 2.2 percent annualized jump, down from 2.5 percent in January. Fed policymakers are looking at wages for evidence of inflation.”- Jeff Cox, “Job Creation Jumps in February, Obama Celebrates,” CNBC, March 4, 2016.

            The employment...



            World stock indices continued their rally last week following the lows of February 11, within three trading days of our last February 8 critical reversal date. Several equity markets made new monthly highs, like the DJIA, which soared to 16,796 on Friday, well above the prior highs of 16,511 on February 1 and 18. The S&P March futures did the same, rising to a high of 1968.75 on Friday, well above the February 1 high of 1940. However, the NASDAQ futures did not take out their highs of early February, and all three indices sold off to close near the lows of the day on Friday, for a case of intermarket...



            World stock indices were mostly up last week, following their multi-month lows (or re-tests of multi-month lows) the prior week of February 11-12. Most started the week explosively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, was up over 1000 points from its low of February 11 to its high in the first three trading days of last week. The Japanese Nikkei closed up over 1000 points from its yearly low of the previous week. The German DAX was up over 10% from its low of the prior week to its high of last week. Yet all of these strong rallies are but corrections, so far, in an ongoing bearish trend....

Note: Financial markets will be closed in the USA on Monday, February 15, in observance of President’s Day.



            The bear is alive and out of hibernation now. However, this is an election year in the USA, so equity traders must continue to expect sharp rallies followed by worrisome downturns.

          Last week was more of a worrisome downturn. World stock markets continued to be extremely volatile, with several indices falling to new yearly lows before Friday’s nice recovery in the USA. Yet, that was not enough to alleviate the worries - not with the geocosmic environment that is ahead.