(11 January 2023) While rising consumer prices remain a major concern for most of us, recent data suggests that inflation in the US and elsewhere may be easing. After hitting a high of 9% in the summer, inflation has trended lower ever since, with November’s report showing a 7.1% increase. Tomorrow’s CPI report for December is also expected to extend the downtrend as consensus estimates are now 6.5% for this report. Stocks have been rising this week in anticipation a lower print, possibly to a level well below expectations.
As it happens, tomorrow’s report will closely coincide with the direct station of Mars, as the red planet completes its retrograde cycle that began on October 30. Normally, direct planetary stations are bullish influences, although this favourability may be somewhat diminished since Mars is a natural malefic planet. And we should also note that stocks have been bullish this week as bullish Jupiter (8 Pisces) has transited over the midpoint of Neptune (29 Aquarius) and Chiron (18 Pisces). Other transits by faster-moving planets such as the Sun have highlighted this auspicious Jupiter influence as stocks have been in rebound mode since their Christmas low.
While I am uncertain exactly how tomorrow will unfold, I do think there is rising downside risk in the period following this Mars direct station. The main problem is that Mercury (16 Sagittarius), the planet of trading and commerce, will be closely aspected by Mars (14 Taurus) over the next several days. This is a full-strength, 8th house/210 degree aspect of Mars that is is likely to produce difficult outcomes related to Mercury’s portfolio. Since Mercury symbolizes everything from computers, transportation and commerce, we should be on the alert for setbacks and frustrations in these areas. Today’s massive airline computer outage in the US may be an early manifestation of this negative Mars-Mercury energy. Rahu’s 120-degree aspect to Mercury no doubt also played a part in today’s airline chaos.
Of special note is that this aspect will last much longer than usual due to both planets relatively slow speeds. Not only is Mars moving more slowly near the time of its direct station, but Mercury is also slower than normal as it approaches its own direct station on Wednesday, January 18. While tomorrow’s Mars-Mercury aspect will be quite close — just two degrees — the aspect will tighten further next week as Mercury stations at 14 Sagittarius. Since the slower-moving Mars will still be transiting 14 Taurus, the aspect will be almost exact.
So even if we have a lower than expected inflation number tomorrow and the market rallies, it will soon become more vulnerable to declines as Mercury comes under the full aspect of Mars.
For more details, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Sunday. In addition to reviewing the key planetary and technical influences on US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, I also provide an astrological analysis of potential upcoming moves in currencies, gold and oil.
These updates are usually posted midweek. You can be notified of new posts by following me on Twitter.
Photo credit: Stephano Tilli