Review and preview
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday enacted its second consecutive 0.75 percentage point interest rate increase as it seeks to tamp down runaway inflation without creating a recession. Powell said he does not think the economy is in recession, though growth was negative in the first quarter and was expected to be barely positive in the second quarter. “Think about what a recession is. It’s a broad-based decline across many industries that’s sustained more than a couple of months. This doesn’t seem like that now,” he said. “The real reason is the labor market has been such a strong signal of economic strength that it makes you question the GDP data.” – Jeff Cox, “Fed Hikes Interest Rates by 0.75 Percentage Point for Second Consecutive Time to Fight Inflation, www.cnbc.com, July 27, 2022.
The U.S. economy shrank in the spring for the second consecutive quarter, meeting the criteria for a so-called technical recession. Gross domestic shrank by 0.9% on an annualized basis in the three-month period from April through June. Refinitiv economists expected the report to show the economy had expanded by 0.5%. – Megan Henney, “US Economy Enters Technical Recession After Growth Tumbles 0.9% in the Second Quarter,” www.foxbusiness.com, July 28, 2022.
Two skyscraper-size asteroids are zooming toward Earth this weekend, with one making its closest approach on Friday (July 29) and the second whizzing by on Saturday (July 30). – Brandon Specktor, “Two skyscraper-size asteroids are barreling toward Earth this weekend,” www.livesceince.com, July 28, 2022.
Interest rates rise sharply again, GDP falls into negative territory for the second consecutive quarter, two asteroids are barreling towards Earth this weekend, and the stock market loves it! It sounds like Jupiter rising. Actually, Jupiter is peaking. That is, the Big Guy (no, not President Biden, but the king of the gods) turned retrograde in Aries on Thursday, and this weekend (July 30), he will be trined by the Sun. When a planet turns retrograde or is in opposition to the Sun, it can be said that it’s cosmic strength is peaking. In layman’s terms, that means the themes and areas of life that planet rules are highlighted. With Jupiter, it is optimism and euphoria. Suddenly the narrative has changed from the anxiety about the economy entering a recession to the belief that it is instead about to exit a recession. The Fed’s aggressive rate hiking is a sign it is no longer behind the curve with inflation, but now in front of it. Like Jupiter itself, the market is forward-looking and hopeful about the future.
What isn’t seen by the layman is that Mars, the aggressor, is waiting in the wings next week with Uranus and the Moon’s North Node in Taurus, and ready to take the lead, just as soon as Jupiter starts to sleep off its drunkenness. But does that mean a reversal or an acceleration of this new bullish trend? With Uranus, Master of Disruption, you never know until you are there. With the Sun in Leo, it’s all like a game and the party guys are winning. Hence, the celebratory mood that the worst is behind us. But as with all things Jupiterian, the market can get ahead of itself and over-estimate the reality of the situation.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, the stock markets of Japan, India, and Australia enjoyed a stellar week, with each soaring to new monthly highs. In the case of India, the rally was a 3-month high. However, it was not so euphoric in China and Hong Kong. The latter fell to its lowest level in a month, and the Shanghai Composite continues near its lows of the past month.
In Europe, all major indices rallied last week. The most impressive was right here in Amsterdam, where I am currently residing, and where the AEX skyrocketed to its highest level since April 5. The German DAX, Zurich SMI, and London FTSE all made new monthly highs, even as interest rates rose and Russia started cutting off gas supplies to nations in the Eurozone. It’s going to be a very challenging winter in Europe without enough heating oil. But after record-breaking heat recently, it seems no one is looking that far ahead yet. That could start to change even as early as next week because, really, people here are concerned. They are in serious discussions about rationing energy, and I suspect that will be very much highlighted as Mars (heat) comes into a square aspect to Saturn (rationing) on August 7.
In the Americas, stock markets were also robust and euphoric last week, typical of Jupiter in Aries reaching its retrograde station point. The Bovespa of Brazil, DJIA, and S&P all made new monthly highs. The NASDAQ rallied to its highest level in over two months.
As impressive and bullish as stock indices were last week, Gold and Silver were more exciting. After falling to a new multi-month low of 1678.40 the prior week, July 21 (and right into our buy zone of 1675 +/- 7), Gold went parabolic on the Fed’s interest rate hike, reaching 1784.50 on Friday, July 29. Silver was also spectacular, rising above $20.00 for the first time since July 1, after bottoming at 18.02 mid-month.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Crude Oil also enjoyed nice rallies last week. After dropping to a low of 90.56 on July 14, Crude Oil roared back above 100, to a new multi week high of 101.88, on Friday, July 29. Jupiter also co-rules Crude Oil. The cryptos rallied to their highest mark since mid-June.
All in all, it was a good week for many markets, just the way Jupiter likes to throw a summer party.
Short-term geocosmics and longer-term thoughts
Although partisan polarization is wider and deeper than it was a generation ago, the center hasn’t vanished. There is still an appetite for common-sense responses to widely recognized problems… Accordingly, a large majority of Democrats have coalesced with a sizable minority of Republicans to promote the common defense and general welfare. When ideology yields to reality, progress is the result.
–William Galston, “Surprise: A Divided Congress Is Making Bipartisan Progress,” Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2022.
On September 30, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace. Although the agreement was to give into Hitler’s hands only the Sudetenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived, it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia’s coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power. Without those resources, the Czech nation was left vulnerable to complete German domination. “Nazis Take Czechoslovakia,” www.history.com.
The Jupiter/Saturn cycle highlighted in the Forecast 2022 Book and webinars is unfolding as forecasted in terms of the collective psychology (not to mention most financial markets too). That is, the path of moderation and balance is beginning to overtake the forces of extremism (right and left) and conspiracy theories that have dominated the political and social narrative in the 21st century. And it is beginning to show up as these two planets enter the first 1/8 phase of their cycle (semi-square) since their synodic cycle began December 21, 2020. In astrology, Jupiter and Uranus are the planets of extremism; Saturn is the planet of resistance and contraction. When Jupiter and Saturn come together, as they did December 21, 2020, the path forward is only likely to succeed if policies not too big and not too small, not too rushed and not too slow, are followed. This is the path of moderation and will be a guideline to success during the 10-year waxing phase between these two planets. Extremism and division, so pronounced during 2021 with Saturn square Uranus, is beginning to give way more and more to the principles of balance and unity.
In terms of market and geopolitical forces, this also augurs well for the dawn of a new day. No, extremism is not dead, for Saturn and Uranus have another bout of their waning square September 21-28, and that too will be exaggerated because Jupiter will be at their midpoint, semi-square to each. But the greater cycle to watch is that of Jupiter separating from Saturn, which will be the case for the remainder of this decade.
In the first 1-3 years following the conjunction, there is usually a military crisis in the world and an economic/market drawdown, or contraction. The economic and market lows usually coincide within three months of the single passage of the waxing semi-square between these two planets, and within one month of a three-passage series. This time it will be in a 3-passage series. The first pass took place on July 21, 2022. The second will be on September 21, and the third will be March 21, 2023. Usually, the low point is between the first and second passes, and then both the equity markets and economies of the world begin to expand over the next 2-5 years. It is possible the market low just occurred with the primary cycle trough of June 17, one calendar month before the aspect series began. However, we cannot yet rule out another test within one month of September 21. In the last instance of this aspect, the U.S. markets bottomed within a week of the first passage in October 2002. That was the low following the break of the dot com bubble under the Saturn/Uranus waxing phase of 1999-2000, as well as the Jupiter/Saturn injunction of May 28, 2000. The European markets bottomed in the same month as the second passage of the semi-square, which was in March 2003 as the war with Iraq broke out.
So, here we are again, at the same 1/8 phase of the Jupiter/Saturn cycle. Given that this time we seem to be moving more towards the center again, which is the path of moderation in which the Jupiter/Saturn is most likely to experience success, there is a renewed hope for the future of humankind in my opinion.
Shorter-term, however, we are about to enter one of the most unstable and potentially dangerous cosmic times of the year, August-November. It starts this week, with the rare conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the Moon’s North Node in the money sign of Taurus. Each of these planets are also square to Saturn. Whereas last week Jupiter reigned supreme and all was well in the financial markets of planet Earth, the pendulum may shift to the more aggressive and resistance themes of Mars, Uranus, and Saturn through the first two weeks of August. At the same time, transiting Mars will also conjunct the NYSE Mercury and Sun, and square its natal Pluto, August 8-16. This is a consistent signature for a sharp (but possibly short) drop in equity markets. The good news is that many world equity markets appear to have started a new longer-term bullish cycle, so the downside may be limited. That is, the cycles’ picture is very bullish. The geocosmic picture is very intense and possibly violent. Which brings me to the next subject.
These gecosmic signatures can surprise in their intensity of both rising and/or falling prices and are often caused by major disruptions from nature or human-induced threats to security. Regarding the latter, it seems as if Russian President Putin (a Libran, ruled by Venus) is following the very playbook of Nazism in the late 1930’s that he claims to be fighting against in Ukraine today. The manipulation – withholding and suppression – of energy for certain countries (like Germany) he has entered into an agreement with but at the same time he resents, seems like a mad experiment to see how much suffering he can inflict and how much suffering others can take before expiring. This is the potential horrific side of Mars/Uranus/Saturn (there is more, but let’s not go there yet). And yet, once again leaders in Europe and even Germany may be willing to appease him, sacrifice their ally, Ukraine, just as France and England sacrificed their ally, Czechoslovakia, to Hitler (a Taurus, also ruled by Venus) for his promise to stop the war and end his conquest of other nations. In other words, they tried to appease him, and made a deal that he immediately broke. He lied, took control of Czechoslovakia, and then continued his quest of invading other nations despite his promise that he would be satisfied and his mission to “save the Germans” in Czechoslovakia who “wanted to be rescued,” would be accomplished. As amazing as the replay of this historical theme is today, just as amazing is that the 84-year orbital cycle of Uranus is in the same part of the heavens (mid-Taurus sign) as it was then.
Which brings me to my final quote for those week, one I am sure everyone is aware of: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
With Jupiter in the early stages of its waxing phase to Saturn, I see reason to be hopeful that today’s leaders know their history. I am sure Volodymyr Zelenskyy does. Hopefully, the leaders of Germany, France, England, the United States, and other nations do, too.