January 22, 2021
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, 
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." 
Galatians 5:1
Market Recap

For the week, the DJIA closed slightly higher at 30,996.98, the Nasdaq climbed to 13,543.06, and the S&P rose to 3,841.47. 

The numbers: The construction industry’s outlook worsened to start the New Year, according to research from a trade group released Wednesday.
The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index dropped three points to a reading of 83 in January, the trade group said Wednesday. It was the second consecutive month that the index has dropped, though the reading still remains strong. Index readings over 50 are a sign of improving confidence.
Existing home sales are seen rebounding 0.4% to 6.720 mln in December after dropping -2.5% to 6.690 mln in November. Sales were a 14-year high of 6.850 mln in October. Most of the housing numbers have posted solid gains through year-end. The median sales price is expected to mark a new all-time high of $314,000 from $310,800 in November and a $313,100 current all-time high in October. Very low inventories have helped boost prices, while the usual winter pull-back for this NSA measure has been obliterated by the coronavirus.
The numbers: The number of Americans who applied for jobless benefits fell in the last full week of Donald Trump’s presidency. Initial jobless claims fell through the states declined by 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 900,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 16.
U.S. Markit PMI preview: preliminary January PMIs are expected to remain firm in expansionary territory. The December manufacturing PMI rose to 57.1, the highest since September 2014. The employment component improved to 52.2 from the prior 51.7 in November and was a 5th straight month in expansion. The final December services PMI slipped to 54.8 versus the 58.4 in November, though was a fifth month in expansion. The employment component dropped to 53.4 versus 57.8, though nevertheless a sixth month of expansion. Also, the composite index dipped to 55.3 versus the 58.6 in November, though also a sixth month above 50.
Eurozone flash PMI readings declined as lockdowns are strengthened and/or extended. The last minute Brexit deal may have helped to prevent a worse number for the manufacturing sector at least, and the decline in the Eurozone manufacturing reading to 54.7 from 55.2 was actually less pronounced than feared and the number still points to a solid pace of expansion. Services meanwhile clearly are suffering. The Eurozone services PMI dropped back to 45.0 from 46.4, driven largely by a sharp deterioration in the French reading, which fell to 46.5 from 49.1. The German index held up better than feared and dipped only slightly - to 46.8 from 47.0. The overall composite for the Eurozone came in at 47.5, down from 49.1 at the end of last year and supporting expectations for a technical recession over the Q4 and Q1 period.


Dow Falls While Tech Stocks End the Week With Big Gains. Stocks ended mixed on Friday, with the S&P 500 falling shy of its Thursday record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 179 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1% to a new high. Tech stocks were big winners this week, with the Nasdaq up 4.2% since last Friday’s close.
In step with equities, oil prices dropped 1.4% as investors fretted over a coronavirus resurgence in Asia. Dollar strengthens; crude oil slides amid demand pessimism. Investors likely reacted on Thursday to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s warning that new strains of Covid-19 could make vaccines less effective. Moderna Inc. stocks also fell.
The Asian indexes dropped more than 1% amid an increase in Covid-19 cases in Beijing with the government urging against travel for February’s Lunar New Year holiday. European stocks followed suit with a 0.6% drop.
U.S. stocks wobbled Friday but managed to post weekly gains, lifted by shares that rallied on strong quarterly reports. The three main U.S. indexes closed higher for the week, with the Nasdaq up over 4%. The Dow and S&P 500 made gains for the week, rising 0.6% and 1.9%, respectively, since last Friday’s close.
For the week, the DJIA closed slightly higher at 30,996.98, the Nasdaq climbed to 13,543.06, and the S&P rose to 3,841.47. 

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Governments, Markets, and Logic?
This will be exceedingly difficult since the economic conditions are likely to worsen…

Dan Celia | 01-22-2021
The discrepancy between the stock market and the real economy continues to play out with U.S. stocks at record highs. Global earnings per share are flat from 2008 levels. Stocks Globally (now including the U.S.) are not only separated from the performance of the economy, they are separated from the profits and performance of the companies they represent. The question is how long can this last?
This should be concerning. Is it some sort of illogical, inexplicable, and irrational new normal? Yes. How long can it last? I think the question is not how long it could last, but rather what will happen and what our economy will look like when or if it does end. It will likely be the worst, ugliest market pullback that we have ever seen if we do not begin to see real (like we’ve had in the last three years) economic growth across a broad spectrum of sectors — a growth that would appear to be sustainable and that would include fiscal policies coming out of global governments — and these would need to be policies that make sense, are prudent, and sustainable. These policies would have to be policies that will incentivize corporations and small businesses to want to borrow money to grow, to hire people, and to become profitable. These government fiscal policies cannot create a thriving economy; they can only create the environment in which a thriving economy can, in fact, thrive.
This will be exceedingly difficult since the economic conditions are likely to worsen and Central Banks around the globe have fewer and fewer options. In my opinion, we will begin to see a heightened concern about this towards the beginning of the third-quarter. I would choose to begin to get concerned now, assuming the governments do not have the will or the ability to create the kinds of fiscal policies that will be needed.
Biden Will Begin A Regime Change Hours After Inauguration
Celia discusses these and other global and economic headlines…

Dan Celia, 01.20.2021
PHILADELPHIA—Nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia discusses what he expects to see as the Oval Office changes hands.
“The markets finished in positive territory on Tuesday. Many of you are wondering what's going to happen. Where's our economy going? What is going to happen to the markets. What is the progressive left really going to do? Are they really going to do all these things we've been hearing about for so long? Everywhere that a Marxist regime takes over and comes into play, things happen very quickly.

“Let me just give you a preview of…(READ/WATCH HERE)
WATCH: President Trump Gives Farewell Address to America, Offers Prayer for Biden's Success
And the president also focused on faith again…

CBN News | 01-19-2021
President Trump spoke to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, issuing a farewell address on YouTube in which he began by wishing the Biden administration well.
"This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous," President Trump said.
He mentioned prayer again a few minutes later in his address, highlighting the achievements of his own administration. "With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone…(READ MORE)
U.S. Pushes China to Allow WHO Investigation to Interview First-Hand Persons
The team of independent experts are trying to determine the origins of the new Coronavirus…

Ian Patrick, FISM News
The United States called on China to allow an expert team from the World Health Organization to interview “care givers, former patients and lab workers” in the central city of Wuhan, and ensure its access to medical data and samples. (Watch Video)
Trump Authorized Declassifying Russia Probe Documents Before Leaving Office
Trump promptly asked the FBI to declassify the documents “to the maximum extent possible”

Ian Patrick, FISM News

On January 19th, during his last official day in office, President Trump gave the Department of Justice authorization to declassify documents concerning the 2016 Russia probe. There is no decision yet as to when the documents will be released to the public. (READ MORE)
Biden Seeks to Reverse Course with Sweeping Policy Changes
The actions took aim to erase Trump’s legacy.

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The harsh winds that swept across the steps of the Capitol during one of the windiest inauguration ceremonies on record, were indicative of the winds of change soon to follow in the Oval Office.
President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day in office that were directly aimed at reversing course on much of the agenda that Donald Trump accomplished over his four years in office…(READ MORE)
National Guard Crammed in Parking Garage, TX Governor Calls Troops Home
Regardless, the treatment of the troops drew outrage from both sides of the aisle.

Samuel Case, FISM News

Last night, National Guard troops stationed in Washington D.C. for Biden’s inauguration were met with the troubling news that they would no longer be allowed to enter the Capitol Complex. The news came abruptly, forcing thousands of troops to find lodging in a parking garage with no amenities and only two bathrooms. It was only until after midnight they were brought back inside. It has been reported that Donald Trump is offering the Trump Hotel in D.C. as a resting place for the troops.
A guardsman told Politico the troops felt…(READ MORE)
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