March 5, 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 S&P 500 rose 0.8% to 3,841.94, the Dow added 1.8% to close at 31,496.30 and the Nasdaq lost 2.1% to end at 12,920.15.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, likely boosted by brutal winter storms in the densely populated South in mid-February, though the labor market outlook is improving amid declining new COVID-19 cases.

The hurdles of the Pandemic caused women to abandon the workplace at higher rates than men: More than 2.5 million women left the labor force between February 2020 and January of this year, compared to 1.8 million men.

World food prices rose for a ninth consecutive month in February, hitting their highest level since July 2014, led by jumps in sugar and vegetable oils, the UN food agency said on Thursday.
The Philadelphia Housing Index also was down 2.3% as of Thursday.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures surged 4.9% to $64.26 per barrel on Thursday. Oil prices jumped after OPEC reportedly decided to extend current production cuts throughout April.
The Texas electricity market faces overwhelming struggles as more gas and service bills come due, power industry officials said on Thursday at a hearing related to the state's February blackout, leading one company to bankruptcy.
Wednesday's release of the ISM services price index is an indicator that inflation will rise above 2.5% over the next few months, according to one economist. U.S. manufacturing increased to a three-year high in February amid a surge in new orders, but factories continued to face higher costs for raw materials amid labor shortages at suppliers as the pandemic drags on.
A total of 158.5 million households would receive direct payments under the Senate version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, the White House said on Thursday.

Billions of dollars in mistaken unemployment payments have apparently been paid out throughout the pandemic. This has been due to both scammers as well as some payments going to the wrong people. The process has been plagued with roadblocks and hold ups as other Americans attempt to collect their checks.

Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq down nearly 10% from its February record high, after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Jerome Powell downplayed the effect of recent inflation signs on interest rates.

Wall Street Rebounds at End of Volatile Week

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday showed that, although the employment picture is improving, at least 4.1 million Americans have been out of work for more than six months, accounting for 41.5% of the unemployed population in February. Another 3.5 million have permanently lost their jobs.
An increase of 379,000 jobs in February's employment report was largely due to a 355,000 rebound in leisure and hospitality employees with restrictions lightening on restaurants and bars.
Wall Street's main indexes opened sharply higher on Friday after data showed faster-than-expected jobs growth in February, reinforcing bets on an economic rebound driven by massive fiscal stimulus and vaccination drives.
Wall Street continued to surge in volatile trading on Friday, with the Nasdaq rebounding at the end of a week that saw it extend losses to about 10% from its previous record high. All three main indexes bounced back from losses earlier in the day.
The S&P 500 energy sector index jumped almost 3% to a year high as oil prices soared. Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $2.26 higher at $66.09 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was adding $2.67 to $69.41 per barrel. But the United States Natural Gas Fund was sliding over 2%.
Copper Ends the Week 0.18% Lower at $4.0870 while Silver Ends the Week 4.34% Lower at $25.257. Gold sinks to 9-month low as Fed remarks boost dollar, bond yields.
Consumer stocks and Financial stocks were solidly higher in Friday trading. Technology stocks were also gaining on Friday led by rebounding chipmakers.
Health care stocks were higher Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 0.8% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF also was up 1.2%.
General Electric has been outperforming the market on bets a corporate turnaround and broader economic recovery will boost the manufacturing giant.
Microsoft rallied 2.15%, boosting the S&P 500 more than any other stock, with gains in Alphabet/Google, Apple and Oracle also up.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields hit a new one-year high of 1.626% after non-farm payrolls increased by 379,000 jobs last month.
U.S. Senate began what is expected to be a long debate over a slew of amendments on how the $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill money will be spent.
John McAfee has been indicted on fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges stemming from two cryptocurrency schemes.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.85% to end at 31,496.30 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.95% to 3,841.94. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.55% to 12,920.15.
For the week, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% to 3,841.94, the Dow added 1.8% to close at 31,496.30 and the Nasdaq lost 2.1% to end at 12,920.15.

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Dan Celia On the American Rescue Plan
Nine percent going to Covid relief; the rest basically a Democrat wish list…

Dan Celia, President & CEO of FISM Inc.
FISM founder and financial analyst Dan Celia talks about the American Rescue Plan, and what is actually inside the bill since only 9% of it is dedicated to COVID-19 relief.
Dan Celia talks with Samuel Case of FISM News about the impact of the American Rescue Plan. (WATCH VIDEO)
Trump’s CPAC Speech: Trumpism is Conservatism [Op-Ed]
From the outset he put to rest the rumors that he might branch off and form a new political party.

Samuel Case, FISM News
The energy was electric in and around the Hyatt Hotel in Orlando, Florida hours before Donald Trump took the stage at CPAC. A large crowd of Trump supporters gathered outside in anticipation of the former Commander-in-Chief’s arrival. Inside, conservatives of all stripes waited anxiously for his first speech since leaving office. They came for Trump, and Trump they got.
It was a classic Trump speech through and through – some parts good, some parts bad, all parts Trump. From moments of inspiring patriotic rhetoric to…(READ MORE)
Senate Begins Debate Over $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill
The Republican party stands staunchly opposed to the bloated bill, under the conviction that Democrats are trying to use the pandemic...

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The Senate voted along party lines to take up Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act on Thursday. Democrats were able to push the bill through to debate with a 51-50 margin, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in an evenly split Senate.
This will kick off a marathon session of Congress that will likely proceed into the weekend. Within minutes of the bill being brought to the floor, Senator Ron Johnson (WI-R) objected to the amendment that the bill not be read in full, forcing the full reading of the 628-page document. On Twitter he remarked, “If they’re going to add nearly $2T to the national debt at least we should know…(READ MORE)
A Moment in History: Abraham Lincoln
Exploring the man who many say single-handedly saved the United States of America…

Seth Udinski, FISM News
We explore the man who, many historians say, single-handedly saved the United States of America during its darkest period. He guided the nation through a bloody Civil War and led the nation away from the vile practice of slavery. On March 4, 1861, he began his first term as US president, and 4 years later on the same day, he began his second. He was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. (Watch Video)
Texas Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions
The governor is encouraging citizens to still abide by the “safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year,”…

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that he would be rolling back the states COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to “restore livelihood and normalcy” to Texas citizens. According to the executive order signed by Abbott, he is lifting the mask mandate immediately and allowing all businesses in the state to operate at 100% capacity beginning next week. The Republican governor announced the news to thunderous applause at Montelongo’s Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock, Texas.
Abbott cited the amount of vaccines that have been distributed, the high recovery rate of COVID-19 patients, and the declining number of cases…(READ M0RE)
K.T. McFarland: Biden’s International and Defense Policy Will ‘Be a Disaster’
He’s going to take us away from energy independence...

Samuel Case, FISM News
Former Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland, who worked in the Trump administration, weighs in on Biden’s International and Defense policy. When asked the question outright, she said that it would “be a disaster” and elaborated on what the current President is doing and why it will be counter-productive. (Watch Video)
Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Approved for Distribution
Experts are concerned, however, that some may see this vaccine as inferior, since it only has a 72 percent efficacy rate.

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The Food and Drug Administration approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Saturday, providing one more tool in the US fight against COVID-19. The Johnson and Johnson variant joins Pfizer and Moderna as the third vaccine approved for use in the United States.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine only needs one shot for full inoculation and can be kept for 3 months at normal refrigeration temperatures. This differs from Pfizer which needs to be frozen and the Moderna vaccine which will only last for one month when refrigerated. These differences…(READ MORE)
Conservative United Methodists Seek to Break Away From UMC
They announced their new denomination, named the Global Methodist Church, will be a “new church rooted in Scripture...”

Seth Udinski, FISM News

The United Methodist Church, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world, is moving towards an inevitable split. On Monday, a large group of conservative-minded Methodists confirmed that they plan break off from the larger UMC to form their own denomination. The churches have decided to act regardless of the outcome of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference, which is set to take place in the summer of 2022, after a two-year delay from COVID-19. It is extremely likely that the UMC will officially vote to split…(READ MORE)
297 Kidnapped School Girls Released Safely in Nigeria
Child abduction has grievously become a lucrative industry in the country, particularly in the north where Islamic terrorists…

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
279 Nigerian school girls were released by kidnappers, three days after they had been kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Jangebe. The girls were reunited with their families on Tuesday after receiving medical attention.
On Friday, armed men raided the school in the northern state of Zamfara and forced the girls to leave the school at gunpoint. The girls were then forced to march, many with injuries, through thorns, streams, and thick brush to an unknown location. 15 year old Farida Lawali recounted the traumatizing ordeal, saying, “They started hitting us with guns so that we could move. While they were beating them with guns, some…(READ MORE)
Equality Act Passes in the House of Representatives
The Senate hearing to determine the bill’s legality will be extremely influential in shaping the American landscape moving forward.

Seth Udinski, FISM News

The Equality Act, lauded by the left as a “necessary civil rights action” protecting the LGBTQ community, passed through the House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill, which claims to protect LGBTQ persons from discrimination in a variety of areas, now moves to the Senate. If it passes the Senate, a signature from President Joe Biden would be the final step in making it a law. The Senate has not yet scheduled a hearing to determine if this controversial act will become codified. The legislation passed with a vote of 224-206, with three Republicans crossing party lines…(READ MORE)
Biden Bumps Up Vaccine Timeline to May
Biden also pushed for all teachers, child care workers, and any additional school staff to receive one dose of vaccine by the end of the month…

Samuel Case, FISM News
Coming on the heels of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate being approved for emergency use by the FDA, President Biden announced that the U.S. government will be partnering with J&J and Merck to speed up vaccine production. The Biden administration believes that through this partnership, the U.S. will have enough vaccines for the entire country by the end of May…(READ MORE)
Preach the Gospel, And Always Use Words [OP-ED]
This bill is not at all surprising, considering the president’s recent removal of the transgender military ban…

Seth Udinski, FISM News

How, then, can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? – Romans 10:14
A famous quote in American evangelical Christianity is the exhortation allegedly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words.
We should always be ready to make much of the name of Jesus by how we live. But is this quote an excuse to simply be nice, show kindness, and never open our mouth? Are words ever unnecessary in gospel preaching? Let’s explore this…(READ MORE)
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Tuscola, TX
March 18, 2021
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April 15, 2021
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The FISM (Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries) is the home of the program Financial Issues with Dan Celia. Celia 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.

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