October surprises in the stock market usually mean bad news for the bulls.
At least that’s the popular notion about the month.
After all, October has a solid reputation for being associated with stock market disasters.
History In The Making
There was the October surprise of the historic stock market crash in 1929, of course.
And the back-to-back October massacres of 1978 and 1979, as well as the major crash in 1987.
They all took place in different Octobers, just like the market plunge on Friday the 13th in 1989, the staggering 554-point drop on October 24, 1997, and the acceleration of the last big market crash in 2008.
October Surprises That Aren’t Bad News
But not all Octobers wind up bringing bad news for the stock market.
In fact, some Octobers during the past 60 years have been extremely positive, at least as far as triggering positive trend reversals have been concerned. There have been a dozen times when stock prices were in a bearish sell-off, and the downtrend came to an end during the month of October.
A Trading High and a Solar Eclipse
The first example comes from 1946.
In that year, the Dow Industrial Average hit a trading high on May 29, which was the eve of a powerful solar eclipse. The decline that followed that eclipse pulled stock prices lower by more than 24% over the coming months, until the market found a bottom on October 10.
Three Months with the Bears in Charge
In 1957, Mercury was just entering the sign of Leo at the Full Moon in July when the market top took place. A decline of more than 19% followed, with the sell-off lasting until October 22.
A 14% Market Loss Ends in October
Three years later, a market top at the Full Moon on June 9, 1960 led into a decline of almost 14% before a trend reversal on October 25 defined a trading bottom, with Mercury stationary and about to go retrograde.
Ending the Plunge of 1962
Trading had just gotten underway for the year on January 3, 1962 when Saturn entered Aquarius and the market began a fierce decline. It plunged by more than 26% before a reversal at the Venus retrograde station on October 23 defined a double bottom in the market trend.
Trying in Vain to Break 1000
In January, 1966 the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to trade above the magic 1000 mark on an intra-day basis for two consecutive days, but failed to close at that level both times. Then on February 9 and 10, the Dow again traded above 1000, but also failed to maintain that price level at the close. Instead, the stock market went into an extended decline after its failed excursion – the index lost nearly 26% by the time it found a trading bottom on October 7.
October Ends a 21-Month Bear Market
Venus was just entering Capricorn on January 11, 1973 when the Dow topped off a 13-month rally and closed at 1051.70. That high was followed by a fierce bear market, with the index dropping by more than 44% over the next 21 months.
The bloodbath finally came to an end on October 4, 1974, when the Dow hit an intra-day low of 573.22 and prices began to move back upward. That October low was tested successfully in early December, and by January 1975 a clear rebound was underway.
The Harmonic Convergence Market Top
At the stock market’s opening bell on August 24, 1987, the much-publicized “Harmonic Convergence” was underway, with a cluster of the Sun, Mars, Venus, the Moon and Mercury all within an incredibly tight orb of less than four-and-a-half degrees. This alignment was forming a loose Grand Trine pattern with Jupiter and Neptune, creating an extraordinary planetary signature of peak speculation.
Sure enough, on the following day the Dow surged up to close at the then-incredible level of 2722.42. But the celebration didn’t last long. The stock market began to lose ground, and in spite of trying to define a trading bottom in September, soon broke through support in early October. The culmination came on Monday, October 19, when the Dow gapped down at the open, went into free-fall, and lost 508 points by the closing bell.
This two-month bear market brought the Dow down by more than 36%, but once again October helped define the bottom and end the sell-off (even though it had also brought the historic crash). On October 20 the Dow closed up by more than 100 points, and a slow but steady recovery got underway.
Market Resistance at 3000
There was a Jupiter/Saturn opposition in play on Monday and Tuesday, July 16 and 17, 1990 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tried valiantly to close above the 3000-point psychological barrier.
It closed both days at 2999.75.
That failed attempt at the peak of a tug-of-war between the planetary forces of expansion and contraction triggered a sell-off which lasted for just three months, but which brought the index down by almost 22%. A Mars/Jupiter sextile on October 11 added some positive energy to help trigger a trend reversal to the upside.
A Trading Top at a Jupiter Station
The market rallied strongly during the first half of 1998, but when Jupiter went retrograde on July 17 the action topped out with the Dow closing at 9337.97. That prompted a slid of more than 17% before the the market hit a bottom on October 8 and began its recovery.
Uranus, Terrorists and a Moving Average
After a pull-back into the Spring Equinox in 2001, the Dow had rebounded robustly into mid-May. On May 30, however, with a Uranus retrograde station in play, the index dropped below its 25-day moving average, triggering an extended price decline that brought the Dow down more than 16% by early September.
Then, with the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center, the markets plunged even further, bringing the net loss to almost 29% since the high in May. It took some time for confidence to resume, but by October 10 the Dow was trading above its 25-day moving average once again, paving the way for an advance that was to last through the end of the year.
Another Top at the Spring Equinox
In 2002 the Dow Jones Industrial Average once again hit a high at the Spring Equinox, but trended lower after that. As I noted at the time in the FinancialCyclesWeekly newsletter, “The market rally that had been in play for the past month came to a screeching halt last week, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 virtually unchanged for the week as they barely managed to stay in positive territory and with the NASDAQ dropping by more than 3% for the week.”
The Doiw had dropped by nearly 33% when that year’s October Surprise kicked in to bring an end to the bear market on October 10, as Venus and Saturn made back-to-back retrograde stations.
A Mars/Jupiter Square in October
In 2011 an intense rally during the opening months of the year took the Dow to a new high of 12876.00 on May 2, on the eve of the New Moon. Five months later, the Dow was down more than 19% to hit a low of 10404.49 at the Hades station and Mars/Jupiter square on October 4. By early February, 2012, the Dow was trading well above the high it had set the previous May.
October Surprises – Good and Bad
The bottom line here is that October has often been a pivotal month. The October surprises come from the big market shifts that can occur, but those shifts can be either bullish or bearish.
As astro-traders, we can look for big opportunities in October. As we’ve often seen in studying the markets, big trend changes can sometimes accompany major planetary alignments. When those alignments take place in October, we need to pay very close attention!
I noted that “the Full Moon degree is also in an eighth-harmonic alignment with the Zeus/Poseidon midpoint. This suggests that this particular Full Moon is a time in which the public is compelled to make clear mental commitments. It’s a time for taking a stand, for expressing leadership through decisive declarations.”
But I wasn’t thinking then about what we would be seeing in Grand Central Station last night:
The choke-hold “I can’t breathe” protesters filled the terminal, in a strong public declaration of their objections to this week’s refusal by a New York grand jury to indite a NYPD police officer after the strangling death of 43-year-old Eric Garner on Staten Island.
Garner, an asthmatic and the father of six kids, was suspected of selling illegal cigarettes. Hew was tackled by five police officers, with one of them pinning him down in a “choke hold” despite Garner’s repeated pleas of “I can’t breathe”.
A cell-phone video of the killing recorded Garner saying “I can’t breathe” eight times. He died in an area hospital after the cops who had piled on him finally relented.
Is This An “I Can’t Breathe” Full Moon?
But what about the Full Moon?
The 90-degree dial for the event does more than underscore the “decisive declaration” theme. (You’ll find the conventional horoscope wheel here.)
At the time of the Full Moon, Mercury was square Chiron, and the two planets show up as a conjunction on the 90-degree dial, suggesting the potential for a health crisis related to breathing and respiration.
The tight opposition of Saturn and Admetos (the two astrological bodies most strongly associated with constriction, boundaries, and limits) at the time of the Full Moon shows up as a definitive “I Can’t Breathe” signature in the chart, indicated by the red arrow pointer.
That Saturn/Admetos combination triggers three important midpoint structures in the Full Moon chart.
Its contact with the Venus/Mars midpoint suggests a powerful suppression of vital energies. That’s what can happen in an “I can’t breathe” situation.
The connection with the midpoint of Poseidon and the Full Moon repeats the recurring theme of definitive expressions of powerful ideas. Poseidon also has a connection with higher spiritual realms, so this alignment can also indicate an abrupt departure from the physical body.
And perhaps most interesting of all is the triggering of the Zeus/Kronos midpoint. This indicates that the act of suppression and constriction comes from a powerful application of force by people in authority. That’s clearly what happened during the death of Eric Garner.
It’s also what seemed to be brewing as the police arrived to break up the “I Can’t Breathe” rally in Grand Central Terminal last night.
While the tacit condoning of police killings of unarmed people is rapidly becoming a focal point for public outrage, expressed through “I Can’t Breathe” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstrations in many locations, it obviously goes beyond the impact of just one Full Moon.
It’s certainly much more strongly connected with the current series of Uranus/Pluto waxing squares. We’ll get another exact alignment in that series later this month, and yet another one in March.
But even so, the degree to which this Full Moon connects with the current “I Can’t Breathe” outpouring is quite remarkable.
Today is the last Full Moon of 2014, and it packs plenty of power!
The fact is, every Full Moon is an extraordinarily powerful time. It’s the part of the monthly lunar cycle that brings things into sharp focus. It’s the time when we get to see things that we might not notice otherwise.
At the time of the Full Moon we can deal with the results and outcomes of everything that we got started with two weeks ago. That was the time of the last New Moon.
The New Moon is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. The Full Moon is the time of monthly harvest. It can happen emotionally, mentally, and often socially as well.
The Full Moon in New York City
That social power of the current Full Moon is evident in the horoscope for today’s event, set for New York City.
We typically set our financial astrology charts for New York because that location is the center of so much global money power. But examining the chart for the current Full Moon in that location reveals some startling dynamics.
What’s most obvious here, of course, is the fact that the December 6 Full Moon is closely aligned with the Ascendant/Descendant axis in the New York chart.
That means there’s a particularly strong resonance with that location. It also means that we can expect social and interpersonal relationships to be in the spotlight. That’s true during the days just before, during, and after this particular Full Moon.
The Sun/Mercury conjunction in the Full Moon chart emphasizes the importance of clear communications now. The fact that Chiron creates a T-Square pattern with the Sun/Moon opposition suggests that stressful situations are likely to be highlighted. It contributes to an uncomfortable need for healing, painfully evident in the midst of confrontations.
With Uranus near the nadir of the Full Moon horoscope, there are definitely disturbing factors at work.The Uranus/Admetos semi-square is another indication of stressful confrontations, with potentially explosive forces smashing up against severe obstacles.
The midpoint structures in this Full Moon chart are also especially noteworthy.
The Full Moon itself triggers the Neptune/Cupido midpoint in the eighth harmonic.This is indicative of a lack of social harmony, with considerable dissatisfaction among the general populace.
Even more importantly, the Full Moon degree is also in an eighth-harmonic alignment with the Zeus/Poseidon midpoint. This suggests that this particular Full Moon is a time in which the public is compelled to make clear mental commitments. It’s a time for taking a stand, for expressing leadership through decisive declarations.
This is the kind of energy that can make a big impact in the markets, of course. As we approach the trading week just ahead of us we’ll be watching for some extra volatility. In general, it’s extremely important to pay attention to lunar cycles as a key tool in astro-trading.
But the Full Moon this weekend is not just an astro-trading indicator. It’s also a key time to pay attention to decisive social issues. That’s true no matter where we happen to be, but particularly in New York City right now, where the Full Moon energy is especially powerful.
Every day brings its own planetary configurations.The daily horoscope that gets created for all of us brings the potential for celebrations or challenges, depending on how our individual natal charts are impacted by current celestial events.
That’s what draws so many of us to the daily horoscope column in their newspaper or favorite website. We all want to know what makes us special. We want to know what we can do to align ourselves more effectively with today’s planetary weather, so that we can succeed in love, money, career, or other endeavors.
A lot of the timing factors that influence a daily horoscope are pretty bold and hard to overlook – big planetary conjunctions, solar and lunar eclipses, Mercury going retrograde, or an intense Full Moon.
What Makes This Daily Horoscope Different
But there are days, like today, when the key features in a daily horoscope get overlooked by many astrologers. That’s because there’s not quite as much drama involved. This chart shows you what I’m talking about:
What’s interesting about this daily horoscope chart is the fact that includes at least five planets within a span of just 20 degrees of celestial longitude. Again, that’s not something that jumps out in astrology textbooks. But it’s worth paying attention to since it’s a fairly rare phenomenon.
What do I mean by rare? Well, the last time this happened was in January. We’ll get another alignment of this sort in late December. But after that we’ll only get one of them in all of 2015, and one each in 2017 and 2018. We won’t have one at all in 2016, and we didn’t get one in 1975 or 2008, either.
What Does It Mean For You?
So what does all this signify for your daily horoscope?
The answer goes beyond your Sun sign. This planetary cluster actually began on November 21, with the Moon at 15°51′ Scorpio. That means you should examine your own personal natal chart. Focus on everything that’s positioned between 15°51′ Scorpio and 22°37′ Scorpio.
That’s especially important if any of the money planets in your chart are in that degree range. But no matter what your daily horoscope has to say on a good day or a bad day, it always pays to know how to find the money in your horoscope!
When it’s set for New York, the horoscope for this event is loaded with stress. We’re approaching a big Full Moon this weekend, and at the time of the Jupiter/Apollon square the Moon is just rising as it applies to an opposition with Mercury. Note as well the tight alignment of the Uranus/Zeus opposition with the meridian axis in the chart.
Our back-testing of this aspect with the S&P 500 shows it to be extremely bearish– that index has declined about 78% of the time after previous such alignments.
But even though this planetary configuration may help define a major trading top, it doesn’t mean that the Jupiter/Apollon alignment on July 10 will necessarily coincide with the precise date that the market turns.
We may not see the top in the S&P on Thursday or even Friday, since there are other transiting factors at work – you’ll find more details in the current issue of the FinancialCyclesWeekly newsletter. (If you’re not a member getting this newsletter each week in your email inbox, you can get a free copy of this critical issue, which gives the exact dates that we’re watching for potential activating triggers to the Jupiter/Apollon action – just CLICK HERE.)
But here’s the good part.
Even though this can be a very treacherous time in the markets, it’s also a time of very big opportunity (the two usually go together, don’t they?).
As we’ve been approaching this event, I’ve been looking into the specific stocks and industry groups that are most likely to be impacted by the Jupiter/Apollon waning square.
The result is a 23-page report on the “62 Stocks To Watch at the Jupiter-Apollon Alignment“. It not only lists the specific equities to consider trading at this time and highlights many of them with transit charts that show the specific impact of this big planetary alignment; it also provides a lot of detail on just why this big planetary line-up is so important.
There may be something to this Friday the 13th thing after all.
There are some great esoteric traditions behind the notion that it’s an unlucky day, and its connections with the lunar cycle and with masonic history shouldn’t be overlooked.
But for the most part, I’ve been inclined to put very little emphasis on the “unlucky day” notion, since it’s usually based in vague superstition instead of real reverence for arcane lore.
Today, however, I’ve faced an unusual dose of computer challenges and production snags in my office.
Even so, it’s hardly enough to justify making Friday the 13th the scapegoat.
But then again, not every Friday the 13th coincides with a Full Moon, like the one today.
And not every Full Moon ushers in a 13-hour period with the Moon void-of-course, like the one today. That meant we could safely ignore the selling pressure that tried to make itself felt in this morning’s action in stock market trading.
By the end of the day’s activity, of course, the major equities indices had all posted modest gains for the day, breaking the bearish run that had been in play since Monday’s Neptune retrograde station.
So in this case, Friday the 13th wasn’t so much about bad luck as it was about a contrary trend in the trading action.
In that sense, it amplified the power of the current Mercury retrograde period, which is time in which we can appropriately reverse our normal expectations in many situations.
And we’ve also got some heliomagnetic turbulence on the Sun, adding to the general uncertainty in scrambling communications and upsetting balances.
Again, that’s not something with a specific relationship to Friday the 13th, but at least it’s interesting to see the space telescope pictures of the solar activity:
I always enjoy the opportunity to chat with Michael Yorba when he invites me to be a guest on his Traders Network radio show– we discuss the upcoming prospects for stock market trading, and he does a really great job of asking questions that bring the planetary connections with market movements into an understandable perspective.
But during our time on the air together just before the closing bell on Wall Street yesterday, the conversation was not only lively– it took us into a lot of interrelated topics that ultimately provided a great overview of the big-picture situation in the markets today.
As Michael put it during the interview, “A lot of people are yawning at the markets now, but I’m not so sure that this is one of those yawning moments. It could be the start of something big.”
We touched on the impact of Mercury and Neptune on current conditions in stock market trading, on crude oil and precious metals, on the geopolitical troubles that have been brewing (and which have been described so incisively by our friend and colleague Jim Cummins in his articles for FinancialCyclesWeekly.com), on the prospects for increasing market volatility as we look at the VIX during the coming weeks, and a whole lot more.
In fact, we actually ran out of time during the interview, and Michael had to sign off with an unanswered question still dangling– about today’s potent combination of Friday the 13th and the Full Moon.
I’ll be putting up a new blog post on that subject within the next couple of hours, so be sure to check back then (or Subscribe To This Blog to get email notifications whenever a new post is added).
In the meantime, here’s the recording of yesterday’s interview on the Traders Network show:
The big Cardinal Grand Cross hit its peak on April 22-23, giving us a real focal point in the Stock Market Collision Course we’ve been experiencing during the past few months.
But even though that powerful planetary alignment is behind us now, it’s still making its influence felt, thanks to some assistance from other planets.
Right now, for example, transiting Venus is forming alignments with Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter, reactivating the energy of the Cardinal Grand Cross from last month. Although Venus alignments with these three planets are not rare events by any stretch of the imagination, the combination of all these trigger points in rapid-fire sequence is really an unusual occurrence
As I’ve noted before in previous blog posts and elsewhere, this Venus translation of the Cardinal Grand Cross has the potential for signaling a trading top in the equities markets. Based on the trading chart on this page, showing the intra-day price action for the S&P throughout the trading day today, we may already be seeing the first phase of just such a trading top.
What seems more likely at this point, however, is a strong bounce upward from the trading lows established today, with a push toward higher prices in equities as we move into the Mars direct station on May 19, with consequences that may be more unpredictable than expected as we head for a big leg downward after that.
Either way, I think it’s appropriate to emphasize the incredible insights that we benefit from as astro-traders, getting glimpses of future astrological patterns, market dynamics, and geopoliitcal events beofe they had an opportunity to make their full influence felt.
I got a great view of the Full Moon earlier this evening when I went out on the terrace overlooking the Manatee River.
Looking at the Moon is always a calming, almost hypnotic experience for me. I connect first at a visceral level, and then after a few minutes the more cerebral stuff kicks in– thoughts about rhythms and cycles, amazement at the physical and emotional impact of the gravitational pull, and a little pondering about the potential effect on the markets.
That added intensity, plus some additional planetary factors at work, suggests that we could see an important response in the markets during the next couple of days, most likely in the form of price consolidation.
We’ll have to wait and see how things actually play out in the markets, of course, and respond accordingly in ways that are congruent with our overall astro-trading strategies.
But for now, at least, I’m just going to enjoy looking at the Full Moon one more time tonight.
Astro-Trading & Financial Astrology Insights from Tim Bost