There are only a few market prognosticators who can look to the stars for sage advice and not come away being giggled at. Art Cashin, UBS venerable trader-in-chief, notes that this weekend will see the biggest full moon of the year from the perspective of the Earth. This so-called 'Supermoon' will exert 42% more tidal force than normal and given the human body is 70% water, one can only imagine the bipolar impacts that this extra-terrestrial 'pressure' will create on the tiny minds of traders. What is more spooky is the fact that there is an unusual astrological configuration, not seen since 9/11, also occurring this weekend and rather worryingly The Times of Israel is noting the call-up of Emergency Israeli Troops in response to the worsening situation in the Sinai. So our minds will be wondering from an out-of-world experience and at the same time developments in the already unstable Middle East crank up one more notch on the Spinal Tap amplifier of sabre-rattling.
Of Telescopes And Worry Beads - A friend sent along the following note:
Biggest Full Moon of the year due this weekend The moon is set to get a lot bigger this weekend - at least from our perspective on Earth.
And the 'Supermoon' - the nickname for a perigee full moon, closer to the Earth than usual - could cause tides to rise around the world as the moon's close 'fly past' exerts 42% more tidal force.
The moon will appear bigger and brighter - sky-watchers promise this 'supermoon' will be 16% brighter than most when it begins on Saturday at 3.35pm GMT, 11.35am EDT.
A few other folks took note of the new Israeli call-up (see below) and thought it might hint military action over the weekend but a bright full moon is not usually conducive to stealth action. Best to wait for the darkness of a new moon.
On a somewhat related note, a few friends who dabble in mundane astrology claim that this weekend will see an unusual configuration that they claim was last seen when 9/11 took place. We may call Arch Crawford to check on that.
Israel Calls Up “Emergency” Troops - Here are details from the Times of Israel:
The IDF has issued emergency call up orders to six reserve battalions in light of new dangers on the Egyptian and Syrian borders. And the Knesset has given the IDF permission to summon a further 16 reserve battalions if necessary, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
An IDF spokesperson said intelligence assessments called for the deployment of more soldiers. An army statement highlighted last August’s infiltration from the Sinai north of Eilat in which eight Israelis were killed, and said the subsequent division of that area into two distinct military zones necessitated additional manpower.
The primary motive is the worsening situation in the Sinai:
“This signifies that the IDF regards the Egyptian and Syrian borders as the potential source of a greater threat than in the past,” the former deputy chief of staff, Dan Harel, said on Wednesday night.
“The army needs a better ‘answer’ than in the past to the threat,” he said, citing Egypt’s deteriorating control over the Sinai, marked by an upsurge in Bedouin smuggling of weapons and other goods. He also spoke of the growing threat of terrorism from Sinai, as exemplified by last August’s infiltration.
The Syrian situation was also highly combustible, Harel said, “and it could explode at any moment… and pose a direct challenge to us.”
Actually, the Bedouins have asked the Egyptian government to send troops into the Sinai to control the growing lawlessness in the area. Ironically, the Egyptians are forbidden to do so by the tenets of their peace treaty with Israel.
At any rate, it’s not a healthy development for a not so stable Mid-East.