More on the Lunar Cycle

The Economist magazine reported favorably on Bill Meridian’s paper, “The LunarCycle in US Stock Prices,” submitted as part of his research study to fulfill requirements for his Certified Market Technician designation from the Market Technician’s Association. This is the story of that study and its progress.

Lunar Effect on the Stock Market by Bill Meridian

I began the certification process for the Certified Market Technician (CMT) with the Market Technicians Association (MTA). The CMT process consisted of two examinations and a research paper. Long before I began, I cleared the study of the lunar cycle with the founders and the senior members of the MTA.

Actually, they could not refuse for several reasons:

  • First, Arthur Merrill, an honorary lifetime member of the MTA, had conducted an informal study of stock prices at new and full moons.
  • Second, one of the required text books from the MTA by John Murphy states that there is a 28-day cycle in stock prices. He wrote that some people believe that the cycle is linked to the moon.
  • Third, and most importantly, the MTA conferred upon W.D. Gann a posthumous lifetime achievement award. Gann said that planets affect the markets. If the MTA disagreed with this position, why did they give him an award?

The topic was an analysis of the effect of the lunar cycle on US stock prices. I passed the two tests, and then submitted the topic, only to find that it was rejected. When I inquired, the reviewer told me that it was impossible for the planets to affect stock prices. Further inquiries led nowhere, so I complained to the MTA. The proper procedure was for this guy to submit the topic to a review committee, which he had failed to do. The MTA removed him from the position. Finally, the study was completed and submitted.

Not only did the reviewers not believe in planetary effect, they also disbelieved cycles. They erroneously claimed that I said that there was a lunar cycle. My paper was designed to find out whether there was or was not. No claim was made as to the existence of a cycle.

They criticized the study on a number of points. I countered each criticism. They refused to accept the paper. I finally brought the matter to the president of the MTA, who decided that the study was acceptable. This process took one and a-half years to complete.


There were no indications of trend changes in the DJIA around new or full moons from 1915 to 1995. The changes tended to occur between the lunations. This explains why Mr. Merrill did not find highs or lows in his analysis.

The study indicated that there is, on average, an upmove in the DJIA commencing in the days prior to the new moon and ending about six to seven days afterward. The turning points tend to be between the new and full moons, on average. (See article)

The studies reported in the Economist support the findings. The researchers have advanced the analysis of planets and prices at the university level by 20 years…from 1960 to 1980. •••