In a bid to outgun the competition, some traders – several thousand of them, actually, have been turning to the stars.
According to MarketPlace, at least 300 traders are currently paying $237 each year to subscribe to financial astrologer Karen Starich’s newsletter, while a couple thousand more subscribe to Arch Crawford’s astrology-based financial forecasts.
Financial astrologers definitely tell it as they see it. For the Fed, that’s not a good thing if you read Starich’s reports.
"They now have Saturn squared to Neptune, which is really bankruptcy," Starich told Marketplace .
Neptune represents money. But when Saturn shows up in a chart, it indicates restriction. So for the Fed, that means the "fiscal cliff is here, and there’s no place to go except to print more money or unravel these financial institutions," Starich says.
Naturally, Wall Street traders are keeping the fact that they’re looking for trade ideas in the stars hush-hush.
Crawford, who got his start on Wall Street as a stock analyst at Merrill Lynch before he turned to the stars, recalls one of his newsletter subscribers asking for his newsletter in "brown paper wrappers," according to Marketplace.
Certain times of the year are definitely worse to trade than others. Crawford warns his subscribers in particular against the dangers of Mercury in retrograde, a time when the planet appears to be going in reverse across the sky.
This happens three times or more a year, and indicates “a month when communications will be screwed up,” Marketplace reports. According to Crawford, traders should never start anything new during that time.
Knight Capital might like to subscribe to Crawford’s newsletter. Knight’s disastrous technical glitch happened when it launched a new software program in August. And yes, you guessed right. Mercury was in retrograde at the time. Crawford notes that most major market glitches have happened while Mercury was in retrograde.
Of course, there are also some days of the week that are famously not a good bet for trades.
Back in 2001, the Journal of Economics and Finance (volume 25, number 2) noted that historically, the day of the week with the best returns is Wednesday. And the day of lowest return is Monday. The highest volatility happens on Fridays.
If that’s the case, traders should buy shares on Monday, and sell on a Wednesday, the Moneycation website notes.
But obviously you still need to watch out for Mercury.