Raymond Merriman's Weekly Preview

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            “In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone” – John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and diplomat (1908-2006) quoted in Arizona Republic, April 2, 2016

 

            Here comes the trickster at his most mischievous expression. Mercury turned retrograde on April 28, and right on cue, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) surprised the financial world by not lowering rates. On that announcement, the Japanese Nikkei stock index fell from a daily high of 17,572 to 16,652, before closing at 16,666 just before beginning its long holiday. The...

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            “Mr. Draghi said the ECB was ready to take fresh action if needed, and that all policy tools were on the table – including deeper interest rate cuts, which he had all but ruled out last month.” – Tom Fairless, “ECB Reopens Door to Further Cuts,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2016.

 

            In the continuing Saturn square Neptune saga of “You cannot believe what you read, hear, or see,” the ECB (European Central Bank) now joins the FRB (Federal Reserve Board) for yet another reversal from their so-called “policy statements” made just a few weeks earlier.  It is...

 

 

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        It was another intriguing week for world financial markets, following the new moon conjunct Uranus of the prior week. The erratic back and forth effects of Uranus continued into early last week, but then as the influence of Uranus began to wane, many world equity markets took off – but not all of them.

        In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 17,962 on Thursday April 14, very close to its previous primary cycle crest of 17,977 on November 3. Breaking that mark will be our official sign that this is a new bull market. However, the fact is that it has now...

 

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  Last week’s market activity was classical Uranus/Pluto symbolism, combined with the ongoing mutable T-square involving Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. In other words, world equity markets were all over the place – up strongly one day, down sharply the next, with successive signs of bullishness followed by bearishness.

 

    The new moon in Aries took place on April 7. It was conjunct Uranus (and square Pluto), although the exact conjunction between the Sun and Uranus in Aries would not occur until Saturday, April 9. Still, it corresponds to world and financial conditions that reflect the...

 

 

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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,...

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            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).

 

BRIEF REVIEW AND PREVIEW

              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.

 

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            “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...