Tuesday, April 4, the NASDAQ dropped an astounding 574 points between
the opening bell and 1:00 pm, a loss of 13.6 percent, topping its
previous record drop of 11.35 percent set on “Black Monday,” 1987.
It’s been called the most volatile day in stock market history. Then,
even more amazingly, the NASDAQ regained most of that loss to end
the day down only 1.8 percent.
incredible volatility came after the NASDAQ had been up 26 percent
on the year less than a month before. The day before, Monday, April
3, the NASDAQ had fallen 7.6 percent, so by noon, April 4, many were
predicting the worst.
indexes behaved similarly. The Dow Jones fell 4.5 percent by 1:00
pm, then rallied to close only .5 percent down. Standard and Poor’s
had lost 5.9 percent by mid-day, then recovered all but .7 percent
by day’s end.
months prior to this red-letter day, the tech stocks tracked by the
NASDAQ and the blue chip stocks tracked by the Dow, had shown a new
tendency to go their separate ways. Suddenly they were moving together
again, but scaring millions of people, and causing many to get out
of the markets entirely.
the Great Depression
of the 1930s became a library file of old photos, the battle cry of
canny investors has been, “Buy on the dips.” And after 1:00 pm on
April 4, canny investors bought as frantically as frightened sellers
had dumped stocks before lunch, and the markets recorded their largest
down-and-up point swings ever.
many independent investors who were margined (had borrowed money to
invest) the bounce came too late, because they’d been hit by margin
calls—forced to sell their portfolios to repay their loans. And their
selling added to the downward pressure.
Can this Teach Us about Financial Astrology?
article, I pointed out that whenever the positions of Mars
and Neptune in the U.S. natal birth chart are adversely impacted by
transiting planets, the markets are in danger of plunging. Every panic
since 1857 except one has happened when the U.S. natal Mars in Gemini
square Neptune in Virgo were opposed or squared by transiting planets,
especially Saturn and Mars.
April 4, Pluto in Sagittarius, and Mercury and Venus in Pisces, afflicted
the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune. Also, a conjunction of transiting Saturn,
Jupiter and Mars in Taurus was simultaneously being squared by Uranus
and Neptune in Aquarius, adding to the mood that day.
The Wild Card
Notice on the accompanying chart for April 4 that Pluto (the wild
card for the coming decade) was at 12 degrees Sagittarius, within
a 90-degree square of Mercury, which is conjunct Venus in Pisces.
Mercury and Venus are opposite the U.S. Neptune, and within range
of a square to the U.S. Mars. Taken all together, these transiting
planets are forming a grand cross pattern to the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune.
say that Pluto is the “wild card” because the last time Pluto occupied
this position was in the 1750s, long before modern stock markets existed.
So we have no historic record of how the markets can be expected to
behave with Pluto in this area of the heavens. We’re learning as we
go through the first decade of the current century.
Does the Immediate Future Hold?
because Venus and Mercury move swiftly, we could expect a quick rebound
of stock prices during this time. Pluto’s position is what seems to
account for the record-breaking one-day drop and rebound.
this, we can look into the immediate future with a bit more certainty.
What we look for is the next time the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune will
be hit by harsh angles formed by transiting planets.
Mercury will conjunct the U.S. Mars on May 24, and may bounce the
markets as that aspect tightens to exact. So the week of May 22– 26
is a danger zone for the habitually bullish, and an opportunity for
the shorts (people who make money in falling markets).
can be expected to continue into June, and climax around June 2–11,
when first transiting Mars, and then transiting Venus, move to conjunct
the U.S. Mars.
the main reason for the continuing volatility is the position of Pluto
(change), moving through Sagittarius toward an opposition to the U.S.
Mars (volatility). Whenever other planets come within orb of either
an adverse angle with Pluto and/or the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune, it
looks like we can expect a rollercoaster ride for investors.
astrological software, you can search and find these danger times
for yourself. Just set the transits to show when the planets will
conjunct or square the positions of the U.S. Mars and Neptune.
Few Months Ahead
ahead a few months, the good news is that transiting Uranus and Neptune
will be forming harmonious, 120-degree trines to the U.S. Uranus and
Mars in Gemini. This indicates that we can expect stocks to bounce
back up when the swifter planets afflict the U.S. Mars or Neptune.
just when investors have been thoroughly conditioned to buy on the
dips, Saturn will move into the danger zone in the summer of 2001,
and not release its downward pressure till the autumn of 2002. It
will come exactly conjunct the U.S. Mars on June 28, 2002.
the past, adverse aspects from the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and
Jupiter weren’t so likely to coincide with stock market panics. Rather,
it was Saturn, Mars and Uranus that brought the worst financial panics.
the more distant future, what we can look for is this: With Pluto
slowly tightening its adverse angle to the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune
for the next few years, even the swifter-moving Sun, Mercury and Venus
will add to market volatility when they make adverse angles to the
Pluto’s transformative effects aren’t likely to become completely
obvious until its opposition to the U.S. Mars becomes exact in January,
2004. That year is likely to mark a kind of demarcation between what
stock investing was during the ninteenth and twentieth centuries,
and whatever it is to become in the twenty-first century.