(2 November 2022)
US stocks sold off on Wednesday after comments by Fed Chair Jerome
Powell effectively took the prospect of a Fed “pause” off the table for
the foreseeable future. While the market had already priced in the 75
basis point hike, Powell’s remarks reiterated his commitment to the 2%
inflation target, even if it means a significantly higher terminal
interest rate.While stocks have rebounded fairly strongly off their mid-October
lows, it remains to be seen if the low is in and the rally can
continue. As I noted last week, there is some reason to be skeptical
about the current rally given the approach of next Tuesday’s lunar
eclipse and the array of aspects involving the planet Saturn. But will
these upcoming Saturn alignments with Venus, Mercury and the Sun produce
just a brief pullback or could it open the door to a deeper decline?
An additional perspective on this question can be seen in the
horoscope of the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s chart can offers clues
about the general condition of financial markets as transit afflictions
by Saturn or Rahu and Ketu tend to coincide with periods of instability
while harmonious aspects of Jupiter can indicate relative calm.
In my September post about the Fed’s chart, I suggested that the
approach of the Saturn station at 24 Capricorn was likely to mark a time
of some difficulty for the Fed since it conjoins the 8th house cusp at
25 Capricorn. According to the principles of Vedic astrology, the 8th
house is regarded as the most malefic house in the chart. Due to its
retrograde cycle, Saturn has been within one degree of this sensitive
cuspal point for more than two months.
In addition, I noted that Mars would conjoin the 12th house cusp at
25 Taurus in the Fed chart in the final week of September. If the 8th
house is the worst house, the 12th house is the second worst and having
another malefic planet like Mars on the 12th cusp would likely reflect
more problems for the Fed. And indeed, stocks did drift lower in late
September following the Fed’s FOMC decision to raise rates on Sep 21.
What we should note here is that this double-barreled affliction of
Saturn and Mars to the 8th and 12th house cusps will actually set up
again in late November. With Saturn now resuming its forward motion
after its Oct 23 station, it will tightly conjoin the equal 8th house
cusp in the second half of November. And since Mars turned retrograde
on Oct 30, it is also due to return to the 12th house cusp in late
November, with Nov 28 as a possible date of its maximum influence. Of
course, we should be aware that even if the planets re-create a previous
pattern, we can’t necessarily assume identical outcomes. In that
sense, one doesn’t step into the same planetary ‘river’ twice.
One additional caveat here is that the afflictions to the Fed chart
is a more inferential piece of evidence that may not directly reflect
market moves. An affliction to the Fed horoscope could therefore
represent some other aspect of Fed policy which markets have already
anticipated and discounted. Perhaps there could be data that shows
growth slowing while inflation remains stubbornly high. This is a worse
case scenario for the Fed as it will be forced to make a hard choice
about tipping the economy into recession as a direct result of its
policies. And yet one would think that the market would welcome any
chance of a pivot towards ending the current cycle of rate hikes.
Nonetheless, theses late November alignments do suggest some reason for
caution about financial markets.
These updates are posted each week, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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