For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
There is nothing greater in this universe than to be fully and eternally loved by God. In Christ, believers possess this greatest of all treasures.
Notice Paul’s confidence and assurance in this passage. There is literally nothing, seen or unseen, natural or supernatural, that can separate God’s beloved and blood-bought people from Himself. Christians have every reason to humbly thank God, every day, for showing us His salvific love, for we do not deserve it. Believer, remember this, more than just a nice phrase to get you through hard times, but as a lifeline for your soul: You are eternally loved by God, who rescued you and holds onto you for eternity. Thanks be to God!
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WEEKLY MARKET RECAP
FOR THE WEEK: S&P 500 Edges Past 5,000 Mark After Revised Inflation Data
The DJIA gained 17.27 points, or 0.04%, to close at 38,671.69.
The Nasdaq rose 361.71 points, or 2.3%, ending at 15,990.66.
The S&P added 68 points, or 1.4%, closing at 5,026.61.
The Dow Jones Industrial Averagelost 54.64 points, or 0.14%, to close at 38,671.69; the Nasdaq Composite gained 196.95 points, or 1.25%, ending at 15,990.66; the S&P 500 rose 28.70 points, or 0.57%, closing at 5,026.61.
US equity indexes were mixed after midday on Friday as the S&P 500 traded in record territory and the Nasdaq Composite jumped after as the Bureau of Labor Statistics revisions to the consumer price index reinforced disinflationary trends.
Health care stocks were mixed late Friday afternoon with the NYSE Health Care Index adding 0.3% and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) shedding 0.1%.
Tech stocks rose late Friday afternoon with the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) gaining 1.3% and the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) adding 2.3%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 1.8%.
Financial stocks rose late Friday, with the NYSE Financial Index and the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) each adding about 0.2%.
Consumer stocks were mixed Friday, with the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP) dropping 1% and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY) rising 0.6%.
Energy stocks were lower Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 0.8% and the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) dropping 1.2%.
The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index posted a 1% decline, and the Dow Jones US Utilities index was flat.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up at $76.51 a barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract advanced to $81.91 a barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures tumbled to $1.85 per million BTU.
Gold closed lower for a second day on Friday despite a weaker dollar as treasury yields rose. Gold for April delivery closed down $9.20 to settle at $2,038.70 per ounce. Palladium futures fell to $865 per ounce and platinum was down at $881. Prices of both metals were heading for a second weekly dip. Silver futures were up slightly at $22.67.
Big gains in megacap stocks such as Nvidia pushed the benchmark S&P 500 above the 5,000 mark for a second day on Friday, after modest revisions to 2023 inflation figures supported assumptions that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.
Bitcoin rose 5% on Friday to one-month highs, powered by what analysts said was a flurry of buying ahead of April's halving event and as recent outflows from exchange-traded funds slowed.
With inflation now below the level that caused the Fed to call it "elevated" in the first place, a turn in the policy statement could come as soon as the Fed's March 19-20 meeting and open the door to rate cuts beginning after that.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday said she is concerned about looming commercial real estate stresses on banks and property owners, but believes the situation is manageable with assistance from bank regulators.
The Biden administration finalized regulations severely tightening restrictions on fine particulate matter that the manufacturing and energy sectors are legally allowed to emit, an action that industry said would have devastating economic consequences.
Overall borrowing levels in the U.S. rose modestly during the final three months of last year as more types of borrowing ran into trouble, especially on the auto front, even as overall difficulties remained below levels seen before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly more than expected last week, pointing to underlying labor market strength despite a recent surge in announced layoffs, mostly in the technology industry.
It’s Broken, But: Left and Right Agree on Border Crisis, Can’t Agree on Response
It’s a rare moment indeed when the overwhelming majority of the nation agrees on something, and rarer still when that tidal wave of sentiment leads to precisely no meaningful response from the federal government.
Such has been the case of late along the southern border, where each day record numbers of people seek entry, by means legal and illegal, while criminals smuggle illicit drugs and other humans in, quite literally, by the truckload as a matter of routine.
It’s the sort of moment that, in less charged times, would have been met with a swarm of action by suddenly cooperative Republicans and Democrats.
Amid Tensions in Middle East, Christians Confronted with How to Respond to Muslims
Islam is on pace to replace Christianity as the world’s dominant religion within a decade.
In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel, the U.S. has seen a shocking rise in antisemitism and an explosion of protests against the war.
American bases in the Middle East have been targeted by Iranian proxies with nearly 200 attacks, including one last month that claimed the lives of three U.S. service members, prompting retaliatory strikes by the U.S.
Evangelical Christians and faith leaders have expressed overwhelming support for Israel, largely viewing the conflict as a spiritual battle between Judaism and Islam. But as the war stretches toward its fifth month, Christians are increasingly confronted with how to respond to Muslims.
Big Abortion: Biden's DOJ Tries to Hide Evidence of Infanticide at a Late-Term Abortion Facility
Monday, in a shockingly disturbing turn of events, the Biden administration ordered the destruction of five aborted babies on who were possibly victims of infanticide.
LifeNews wrote that the five fully-formed infants were first found by pro-life advocates in 2021, alongside 115 other first-trimester aborted babies. The bodies were obtained from a truck driver who was collecting medical waste boxes from a late-term abortion facility in Washington, D.C.
The DOJ recently set out to destroy the bodies, which would erase potential evidence that the facility violated the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The bodies were scheduled to be destroyed on February 9, 2024.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is once again reaffirming his commitment to obliterating Hamas.
The terrorist group issued yet another sort of counter-proposal for an end to the current conflict. Hamas requested a four-and-a-half month ceasefire during which it would release all of the remaining Israeli hostages, alive and dead. In exchange, Hamas requests that Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip and agree to end the war.
In response, Netanyahu said these proposals were “delusional,” and reiterated the importance of “total victory” over Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also agreed that the counterproposal didn’t have considerable negotiating power.
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