(7 September 2022)
Following their August decline, stocks have traded mostly higher so
far this week following the Labor Day holiday in the US. Markets
rebounded on Wednesday as plunging oil prices took the pressure off
bond yields as borrowing costs fell. The stock market needs lower
yields if it is to have any hope of mounting a sustained recovery, a
difficult task to be sure in this inflationary environment.
Of course, lower yields aren’t always good news, especially if they are
falling because markets are worried about a recession. That could well
be the case here as slowing data out of China due to Covid lockdowns
are forcing traders to re-evaluate their economic projections. As long
as China’s zero-Covid policy continues to randomly lockdown major
cities for the foreseeable future, it will become harder for the world
to avoid recession.
But it is unclear how long the rebound in stocks can last since Mercury
is due to turn retrograde just before midnight Friday, September 9.
Mercury retrograde has a deserved reputation as a bearish influence on
the collective sentiment that drives the ups and downs of the stock
market. As the planet that governs trading and commerce, Mercury’s
condition in the sky is one of the key determinants to stock market
movements. When Mercury is well-placed by sign and aspect, markets are
likely to rise, at least for the short term. But if Mercury is
associated with malefic planets like Saturn or is retrograde, it becomes
that much harder for markets to rise, especially around the 2-4 day
window around its retrograde and direct stations when it is reversing
Of course, it is important to keep the influence Mercury retrograde in
perspective. While it is an important influence, there are other
planets placements can also sometimes limit or offset its affliction.
And not all Mercury retrograde stations are created equal. If Mercury
is in hard aspect with malefics, then its retrograde and direct stations
are likely to be very bearish indeed. But if Mercury turns retrograde
while in alignment with, say, Jupiter, then positive outcomes become
The Mercury retrograde station this Saturday looks fairly benign as
these things go. First off, the fact that it stations over the weekend
while markets are closed means its negative impact will be mitigated.
We could see some bearish fallout to end the week, but this does not
look overly strong. Monday will therefore be the first trading day with
Mercury retrograde and the aspects that day actually don’t look that
bad. And its close opposition with Jupiter is somewhat bullish.
While some bearishness must be assumed by virtue of Mercury’s apparent
backward motion, there are no other strongly bearish influences upon
Mercury to start the week. Other planets are more bearish, however,
such as the Sun-Saturn alignment and the Mars-Uranus alignment.
Moreover, the Mars square aspect to Venus is another bearish influence
to be reckoned with, although it will be still three degrees from exact
on Monday. Overall, the start of next week is more likely to bring
some downside even if retrograde Mercury is only part of the reason for
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