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REVIEW, PREVIEW, AND BOTH SHORT- AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
Job growth slowed in November amid fears that economic growth is losing steam. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 for the month while the unemployment rate again held at 3.7 percent, its lowest since 1969, the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payroll growth of 198,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady. Average hourly earnings again rose at a 3.1 percent pace from a year ago. - -Jeff Cox, “November’s Jobs Report Falls short of Expectations,” https://www.cnbc.com, December 7, 2018.
U.S. stocks suffered steep declines after the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive fanned trade war worries and a swoon in oil prices worsened fears about the health of the global economy, “Volatility is back because investors have a lot of questions. Will the trade war escalate? Will the Fed hike rates too far? Will these factors tip the economy into a recession?” says Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer of Cornerstone Wealth Management. – Adam Shell, “Stocks are Plunging. Here’s What You Can Do,” USA Today, December 7, 2018.
President Donald Trump has been consulting with his advisors to see if his trade policies are responsible for the volatility that has hammered markets in recent weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Stocks took their latest downturn after the president declared himself "a Tariff Man" in a tweet Tuesday. The White House has been embroiled in a trade dispute with China, and Trump has pledged to take a hard line in negotiations. The Journal report and a number of tweets from the president suggest that he still blames the Federal Reserve's rate hikes for the market issues. However, stocks have continued to slide this week even amid expectations that the Fed may ease up on its rate-hiking cycle.
It was another hard week for world equities following the so-called positive meetings last weekend in Buenos Aires between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. But ultimately the script followed almost to perfection the storyline laid out by the cosmos as reported in this column last week, which stated, “The DJIA continued higher into the close of the week on hopes of a breakthrough this weekend in the trade dispute between China and the U.S.A., during the G-20 summit taking place in Buenos Aires. The only problem from the cosmic viewpoint is that these optimistic and hopeful themes of Jupiter and Sagittarius begin losing some of their luster now… so what was joyous and happy this past week may start out next week with a more somber assessment of what is real and possible... How will the markets respond? It depends on whether they believe the words and the show, or not. If they believe it, stock indices can soar next week, especially with the “irrational exuberance” of the Sun in Sagittarius square Mars and Neptune. Or, the opposite can happen if the investment community senses that this is not going to work, if it is all too abstract, lacking in details and specifics; in that case the negative side of these aspects manifests as lost trust leading to hysteria and panic.” The week started out great, with the DJIA up over 400 points on the opening. But by the end of the week, the DJIA had lost over 1700 points from Monday’s high. Worse yet, the mood of the investment community is now ensconced in the realization that this is rapidly becoming a bear market, with each rally lower than the last, and prices now on the verge of breaking to new yearly lows. That has already happened in many markets, and the DJIA is not far behind.
The bad news for equities was good news for Gold and Silver. Gold finally closed above $1250 for the first time since July 11, still supporting MMA’s special reports of last August that a long-term cycle low was due, and had probably occurred on August 16 at 1167. Silver also had a good week, closing up nearly 50 cents, but not yet to a new high for this primary cycle. We will issue a special longer-term analysis on Silver in this week’s MMA Cycles Report, coming out Monday night, as it is exhibiting some interesting market timing triggers that indicate something important may be starting within the next 4 months.
The good news for metals, however, did not translate into good news for bitcoin, which fell to another new yearly low around $3200 on Friday. However, this too is following the script outlined over the past several months in our MMA Weekly Bitcoin reports, as well as our webinars during the first half of 2018. This is a market to pay close attention to now, for I think an outstanding opportunity is readying.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
The cosmic emphasis upon Jupiter and Neptune last week was a preview of what to expect for most of 2019, when Jupiter will make its waning square to Neptune three times, starting in mid-January.
This is one of the classical bankruptcy signatures in Financial Astrology, a time when people, as well as counties and companies, are prone to become too careless with monies, spending far more than they can afford. It is a time of over-optimistic hopes and dreams, most of which are not realistic. It is a combination of comedy and tragedy, because on the one hand, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, with the eclipse coming up in Capricorn in early January, portends the resolution to be disciplined and careful in finances. But then, on the other hand, Jupiter square Neptune looks at that shiny new car, that sparkling new piece of jewelry, and suddenly out goes that promised practicality and commitment to build one’s bank account. Out the window it goes for the fulfillment of an urge for immediate gratification. And then the bill comes due and you ask: “What was I thinking?” That’s the problem. You weren’t thinking. You were wishing upon a star, convincing yourself that you deserved this. Instead, you deserved a credit downgrade. I speak as if it is personal, but this is not just an individual problem. It is a problem with many governments that we are likely to see explode next year with Jupiter square Neptune. And that’s just the setup for the Capricorn Stellium that follows in 2020. If Jupiter in Sagittarius was overconfident and positive in 2018-2019, then Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto converging in Capricorn right afterwards can be downright worried and pessimistic, unless it has planned well for this period. After all, in recessions and downturns, great bargains are possible for those who have cash.
The major challenge for Financial Astrologers is to determine whether the 2019 Jupiter/Neptune waning square will be the start of a real financial panic, or if this downturn will suddenly reverse and witness a huge rally and a “bubble” in stock prices. With Jupiter and Neptune, it can either be “irrational exuberance,” to borrow a phrase from former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, or hysteria and panic where people lose all sense of control and faith in their leaders. Right now, it looks more like the latter is happening. But I would not give up on Jupiter in Sagittarius just yet. After all, historically, it is one of the strongest planet-sign combinations correlating to strong rallies in global equities before it is over. Of course, you can have a steep selloff first, after which rallies can look very impressive. But generally speaking, the stock market makes longer-term cycle highs with Jupiter in Sagittarius (November 8, 2018-December 2, 2019), and then the air escapes out of the bubble as Jupiter advances into Capricorn-Aquarius (2020-2021). What went up must come down.