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The Practical Guide to Practically Everything

by Peter Bernstin and Christopher Ma
(Random House, 1995).

Does astrology affect the stock market? Arch Crawford, called “Wall Street’s best-known astrologer” by Barron’s is convinced it does. In his much read newsletter, Crawford Perspectives, Crawford uses astrology and a variant of financial indicators to forecast favorable times to trade stock, bonds, and gold. Skeptics should note that the newsletter is often among the top market timers in the popular rating services.

Here Crawford explains what astro-investing is all about:

What’s the connection between the planets and the stock market?
Planets affect the market through electro-magnetic fields. The planets stir the sun's surface and the resultant particle flows affect the earths magnetic fields and weather. Nearly 30 years of astronomical research have proven to me beyond any doubt that planetary movements exert an importance on people, just as they do on ocean tides, and that the changes they cause in behavior are reflected in the stock and commodities markets. In the mid-1970’s, I made what I believe is a quantum leap in marketing prediction by correlating numerous planetary cycles with the movements of the Dow from 1897 through 1970. I found that the reliability factor in catching the course of the stock market runs very high.

How did you get interested in astrology?
In the early 1960’s I was struck by a front page article in The Wall Street Journal about David Williams, who had developed a way to predict the direction of the stock market by using the relative position of the planets. That stirred my interest. I was also influenced by John Nelson, who was a radio propagation specialist for the RCA Corporation during the 40’s and 50’s. He showed that the alignment of the plants in relation to the sun helped him time sunspots and solar flares, helping his company reroute radio transmissions efficiently. Later, when Nelson retired, he would call me and tell me that a flare was in progress, for example, and that radio communications across the Atlantic were totally blocked. I would then call a broker and find out that, typically, the stock market was dropping sharply and that gold was rising during the electro-magnetically disturbed period.

Why did you begin to introduce astrology into forecast?
When I was a technical marketing analyst at Merrill Lynch, I started to sense that there was something lacking in traditional econometrics models. I observed, for example, that there is often little relation between news reports about a stock and the price of that stock. Around that time, I became interested in astronomy and began to use sunspot activity and astrology to chart the stock market and commodities market. By using astrology, along with a lot of technical analysis, I have an edge over people who simply rely on numbers.

What factors other than astrology do you consider in making your forecasts?
Astrological events may signify a turning point, but they don’t always indicate in which direction. As a former technical analyst at Merrill Lynch, I also maintain 28 technical marketing indicators, including the volatility of the most active Big Board stocks, the number of new highs and lows, and advances versus declines.

What happens if the astronomical readings and the technical findings don’t agree?
As technical data becomes more available, I would move more heavily on that side. But some types of planetary configurations, such as eclipses or multi-planet alignments, override such considerations.

What’s your advice for the long term?
Stay extremely negative on the long term through 1996. Even those bearish people who believe in a good correction cannot conceive of a long lasting bear market similar to 1972 to 1974 of the period form 1966 to 1982, where the Dow Jones industrials languished under the impenetrable 1000 level. We are afraid of the long term marketing and atmosphere.

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