DECEMBER 8, 2023

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TUNE IN TO FISM.TV on weekdays, 9/8c to watch Financial Issues with our host Shana Burt and catch her live commentary, the latest financial news, market updates, investment tips, and more.

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In The Know: Week Of December 8, 2023

Markets Digesting Jobs Data / Labor Market

ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURE

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.  ~ Proverbs 19:17


This verse echoes what our Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, that what we do for the “least of these,” we really do for God Himself.


God has a tender heart towards those who are in need. It pleases Him greatly to be generous to those in need, and it pleases Him greatly when His people show this same kind of generosity to those in need. He loves it so much that He likens this kind of generosity shown to those who are poor as if it was an act of generosity shown to God Himself. Let us take this verse to heart and take every opportunity to bless those who are in need, knowing that when we do this, it is greatly pleasing to God who has been abundantly generous with us.

 

If you want to study the scriptures and learn more about the truth of the gospel, join our weekly Bible Study every Friday morning at 6:30 Eastern time, 5:30 Central time. Click here to learn how to join.

WEEKLY MARKET RECAP

FOR THE WEEK: US Stocks Trade Higher after Jobs Report


The DJIA gained 2.37 points, or nearly flat, to close at 36,247.87.

The Nasdaq rose 98.94 points, or 0.7%, to close at 14,403.97.

The S&P added 9.74 points, or 0.2%, closing at 4,604.37.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 130.49 points, or 0.36%, to close at 36,247.87; the Nasdaq Composite rose 63.98 points, or 0.45%, ending at 14,403.97; the S&P 500 added 18.78 points, or 0.41%, closing at 4,604.37.


U.S. stocks traded higher toward the end of trading, with the Dow Jones index gaining more than 100 points on Friday, after stronger-than-anticipated jobs and average hourly earnings growth sent government bond yields flying.


Health care stocks rose late Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) both up 0.3%.


Tech stocks rose Friday afternoon, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) adding 0.9% and the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) advancing 1.4%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 0.8%.


Consumer stocks were mixed Friday afternoon, with the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP) falling 0.7% and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) adding 0.5%.

Financial stocks advanced in Friday afternoon trading, with the NYSE Financial Index rising 0.6% and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) up 0.5%.


Energy stocks were higher Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 1.2% and the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) up 1%.


The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index gained 1.4%, and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index fell 0.4%.


Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude was rising 2.8% to $71.29 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude was advancing 2.5% to $75.87 a barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were 0.9% lower at $2.56 per 1 million BTU.


Gold futures fell on Friday, dropping for a second session as the dollar and treasury yields rose after the US added more jobs than expected last month. Gold for February delivery closed down $31.90 to settle at $2,014.50 per ounce, under the record $2,089.70 reached a week ago, but still staying above the US$2,000 mark. Palladium down at $950.50. Silver down at 23.325; Platinum up slightly at 922.40.


NOTABLE MENTIONS

U.S. Federal Reserve officials appear on track to end the year with interest rate hikes as a thing of the past but with a coming challenge over when and how to signal a turn to rate cuts that investors, politicians and the public may demand before the central bank is ready.


U.S. job openings dropped to more than a 2-1/2-year low in October, the strongest sign yet that demand for labor was cooling amid higher interest rates.


UAW's Return To Work Pushes US Jobs Growth Higher but perhaps the most troubling news came from the retail sector, with 38,000 jobs lost — half of them from department stores. The BLS has now reported net job losses in the retail sector in four out of the last five employment reports.


The U.S. services sector picked up in November amid an increase in business activity, although new orders remained flat and a gauge of input inflation dipped as the lagged effects of higher interest rates start to have a greater impact.


U.S. bank chiefs expressed more confidence in the economic outlook for 2024 after consumers and businesses showed surprising strength this year.


The top bosses of JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other major banks warned on Wednesday that capital hikes and other new rules will hurt lending and the economy during a Senate hearing that was otherwise sedate compared with recent years.


The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in October as exports declined, likely positioning trade to be a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter.


In a year marked by rising interest rates and financial strain, Black Friday 2023 witnessed an unexpected surge in consumer spending, reaching a record $9.8 billion — a 7.5% increase from the previous year​​. This spike in personal spending contrasts sharply with the current state of charitable giving, particularly in toy donations for children in need.



US labor market steadily slowing; wholesale inventories revised down. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased moderately last week, suggesting that the labor market was gradually losing momentum as higher borrowing costs curb demand in the broader economy.


Interest rates on the most common type of U.S. home loan fell for a sixth straight week to the lowest in almost four months on the back of a bond market rally that has driven down yields.



Monetary policy in the United States continues to be appropriate, and interest rates will need to remain at current levels in order to "durably" reduce inflation, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.


Wall Street clawed back losses on Friday after jobs data pointing to a resilient labor market fueled optimism about a soft landing for the economy, with a rise in U.S. consumer sentiment also adding to the upbeat mood.


U.S. consumer sentiment perked up much more than expected in December, snapping four straight months of declines, as households saw inflation pressures easing, a development likely to be welcomed by Federal Reserve officials, a survey showed on Friday.


According to AAA, gasoline prices have declined by 18% to $3.20 per gallon this week, compared to a 2023 high of $3.90 per gallon just a few months ago.

At Financial Issues we are always urging you to be good stewards of your resources by “Funding the Light.” There is no better way to do this than by giving to India Partners this holiday season. 

 

Each holiday season, our late founder, Dan Celia, would sit down with his grandchildren and have them pick out an item from the India Partners catalog that would bless an individual or family halfway around the world. Would you consider making this a part of your Christmas tradition this year?

 

This week we are highlighting the gift of “Slum Schools Education.” Through this initiative, India Partners provides access to life-changing education for children as young as six years old who otherwise couldn’t go to school. Alongside providing children with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to gain employment later in life, India Partners also teaches them about Jesus. With a one-time gift of $28, you can give a child the key that can break the cycle of poverty and the key to salvation.

 

Click the banner below and make an eternal impact by giving to India Partners today.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)

Ford has been one of the most famous and beloved companies in American history since its founding in 1903. For a time, it was a favorite of our founder Dan Celia, and he had it on the Financial Issues buy list for several years. Though many today would consider it a blue-chip stock, Dan removed it from the Financial Issues list and asked his partners to sell the company in 2015, and since then it has not come back on our list. Why? Ford is not biblically responsible.


Ford woefully fails to screen clean due to one glaring infraction: propagation of the LGBTQ agenda. In the last few years, Ford joined the Business Coalition for Equality Act, which seeks to equate sexual orientation preferences with religious freedom in terms of legal protections. Ford also infamously promoted its “very gay Raptor,” a pride-flag-colored F-150 that sought to “redefine toughness,” in the company’s own words. Additionally, the company sponsors gay pride parades and LGBTQ community centers across the United States.


Ford is not the only company that is using investor dollars to fund things that go directly against a biblical worldview. This is why we urge you to become a partner and defund the darkness by ensuring that your money does not go toward these unholy agendas. FISM partners have a curated list of stock options of companies that are staying out of the culture wars and also have a positive fiscal outlook. Make sure your faith and finances align by becoming an FISM partner today.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Send in your family Christmas pictures!


FISM partners are more than just investors, you are all part of the FISM family. As part of a tradition that Dan started years ago, we would love to include a picture of you and/or your family on the FISM Christmas tree. As we reflect on the most important gift this season, we also give thanks for the blessing of all of you.


Please send your individual/family picture to Trinity Cardinal at tcardinal@fism.tv by Tuesday, December 12th alongside a note of how many years you have been a partner. Then, be on the lookout throughout December for your picture on our tree during the live broadcast.

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FISM NEWS is a conservative news source that approaches each story from a biblical worldview. Watch FISM News weekdays at 5pm ET 4pm CT on fism.tv/watch.

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FEATURED STORIES

Wray Pushes for Surveillance As Fears Mount Over Terror Threats on U.S. Soil


The most recent appearance of FBI Director Christopher Wray before the Senate proved a telling account of the dangers the nation faces from foreign enemies and the numerous ways federal authorities are struggling to curtail a litany of threats.

 

Republicans and Democrats are split on protecting the nation from terror attacks. The right wants to keep as many people out of the country as possible while the Biden-run FBI believes surveilling foreign and domestic individuals is the best path to security.

 

Read More

Disney Pulled from State’s Investment List Over “Far-Left” Activism


South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis wrote in a statement that “Disney has abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities to its investors and customers by joining far-left activists in boycotting legal, taxpaying, employment-creating corporations to further Disney’s political agenda.”

 

The Walt Disney Company recently admitted that its relentless promotion of woke ideology hurt its bottom line, alienating a swath of the population in the process. Disney acknowledged “risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer interests” in a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Read More

“It’s Got to be Fair for Everybody”: Tuberville Ends Blockade Resulting in 425 Military Promotions


Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) lifted his 10-month hold on military promotions on Tuesday, effectively ending his blockade.

 

The Republican senator started blocking military nominations earlier this year because he deemed the Pentagon’s decision to reimburse travel expenses for abortion seekers, illegal.

 

Following the announcement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly confirmed the promotions of more than 425 senior military officials who had been on hold since February.


Read More

Harvard, MIT, and Penn Leaders Take Criticism for Testimony


The presidents of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania are taking criticism for their soft stance on antisemitism.

 

The school leaders failed to say in a House hearing that calling for the genocide of Jews would violate their universities’ codes of conduct. They’ve been widely panned since Tuesday by alumni, business leaders, and politicians, among them Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.

 

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla wrote on social media that it was “one of the most despicable moments in the history of U.S. academia.”


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The FISM (Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries) is the home of the program Financial Issues which focuses on financial headlines, investing, politics and encourages people to be thoughtful stewards of the money God has entrusted to them. Financial Issues is a live call-in radio and TV program heard and watched internationally.


Confidentiality:This message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain information that is confidential in nature. Any distribution, copying or disclosure of this material by any individual or entity other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries immediately and delete this message.


Disclaimer: The information and data provided in this communication is meant for informational purposes only. It is the option of an individual and should not be regarded as an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation of any security, or as an offer to provide financial planning or investment advice. You should consult with your Financial Planner, Adviser and your Tax Account to make sure of the suitability for you of any investment you make. Understand that ALL investments contain risk of loss of principal and that should always be considered before investing. The user bears the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information obtained from Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Daniel J. Celia, or Shana Burt of Exodus Financial Services and GA Repple. Although the information provided is obtained or compiled from sources believed to be reliable, Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Daniel J. Celia and Shana Burt of Exodus Financial Services and GA Repple do not guarantee the reliability, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or data made available to the recipient of this message for any particular purpose.

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