March 26, 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 was up 1.4% to 33,072.88 and the S&P 500 gained 1.6% to close at 3,974.54, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.6%, closing at 13,138.73.

S&P Global Economics now sees the risk of recession at 10% to 15% for the next 12 months, compared with 20% to 25% in January, as it increased its GDP growth outlook to 6.5% in 2021 and 3.1% in 2022, from 4.2% and 3%, respectively, in its December outlook.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said U.S. banks look healthy enough to be allowed to pay dividends and repurchase stock, reflecting growing confidence in a recovery.
Durable goods new orders fell by 1.1% in February but is likely to rebound in March. Durable goods shipments fell by 3.5% and were down 1.2% outside of transportation.
March Markit Flash Manufacturing and Services Measures were up in February, following stronger regional manufacturing sector readings from NY, Richmond, and Phila Federal Reserve banks.
The Kansas City Fed monthly manufacturing index rose to a reading of 26 in March from a 24 print in February.
TSA said it screened 1.54 million air travelers Sunday, the highest single day since March 13, 2020 and the 11th consecutive day exceeding 1 million per day.
Existing Home Sales fell by 6.6% in February to a 6.22 million annual rate compared with a 2.8% decline expected and following a 6.66 million rate in January, but a record low level of inventories helped keep the median sales price elevated.
California's two U.S. senators are urging President Biden to set a firm date to phase-out gas-powered passenger vehicles.
Two senior U.S. Senate Democrats urged President Biden's administration on Tuesday to make a full diplomatic push to stop the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
According to Biden advisers, infrastructure, job spending push could hit $4 trillion. The Biden administration plans to release its discretionary funding request for 2022 next week, with a full budget proposal to be announced later this spring.
U.S. Senate confirms Marty Walsh, son of Irish immigrants, as next labor secretary in a win for unions.
Volvo and Ford Motor Co. have both indicated that a shortage of semiconductors would have a substantial impact on production in the second quarter. GM also extended their production cuts.
Intel to spend $20 billion on U.S. chip plants as CEO challenges Asia dominance.
Microsoft is in talks to buy Discord Inc, a messaging platform for gamers, for more than $10 billion.
Canada recommends AstraZeneca vaccine despite U.S. criticism of trial data.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday that inflation risk remains low. Powell also said, “We have the tools to deal with that” it if becomes a problem.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's monthly non-manufacturing index surged to 38.6 in March from 3.9 in the previous month, indicating widespread expansion in the sector.
The Federal Reserve will establish a new panel to assess and address risks to financial stability from climate change.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell to a nine-month low in February. Expensive lumber and rising mortgage rates could cool the housing market this year.
Coal India Ltd, the world's largest coal miner, could venture into solar wafer manufacturing and is eyeing further mine closures.
Demand for U.S. Treasuries tested this week as $183 billion of notes are auctioned.
Robinhood has submitted plans to regulators for a U.S. initial public offering, the company disclosed on Tuesday.
Initial jobless claims fell more than expected last week, with filings coming in at the smallest amount since the nationwide shutdown that took place a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was extended on Thursday until the end of May, giving small businesses more time to apply and the government more time to process requests.


Weekly Recap: Wall Street rallies on strong recovery hopes

Today on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 453.4 points, or 1.39%, to 33,072.88, the S&P 500 gained 65.02 points, or 1.66%, to 3,974.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 161.05 points, or 1.24%, to 13,138.73.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, dropped 1.0% last month amid a broad decline in purchases of goods, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That followed a 3.4% rebound in January.
Personal income tumbled 7.1% after surging 10.1% in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending would decrease 0.7% in February and income would decline 7.3%.
When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending decreased 1.2% last month after jumping 3.0% in January.
2.5% increase in the goods trade deficit to $86.7 billion in February, the second highest on record, was reported by the Commerce Department in another report on Friday.
Income last month was depressed by a 27.4% plunge in government transfers. Wages were also flat. The saving rate fell to a still-high 13.6% from 19.8% in January, with economists expecting some of the cash from the latest stimulus checks will be saved.
The Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for March was revised up to 84.9 in the final estimate from 83 in the preliminary reading, keeping it above the 76.8 print in February. The university said the improvement in March was due to passage of the newest stimulus package and a faster-than-expected rollout of vaccines.
State-level data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate fell in 23 states in February, rose in 4 states and held steady in the rest. 
Basically, the pace of labor-market improvement has stalled so far this year, with unemployment ticking down only slightly and job gains slowing.
Non-farm payrolls increased in 11 states in February, compared with declines in only 3 states, with payrolls in the rest of the states virtually unchanged.
The New York Fed revised down its first-quarter GDP growth estimate to 6.05% from 6.26% a week ago, the St. Louis Fed revised down its estimate to 11.04% from 11.55%, and the Atlanta Fed revised down its estimate to 4.7% from 5.4% earlier in the week.
The New York Fed revised down its estimate for second-quarter GDP to 0.7% from the 1.17% rate that it reported last week.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve's monthly composite services index rose to a reading of 22 in March from 1 in February, suggesting significant expansion. The Institute for Supply Management's services index will be released April 5.
Gold closed higher on Friday despite a rising U.S. dollar rose again and higher bond yields. Gold for June delivery settled up US$7.40 to US$1,734.70 in Comex trade. Copper for March delivery lost 4.50 cents per pound, or 1.09% to $4.0785 this week. Silver for March delivery lost $1.2000 per troy ounce, or 4.56% to $25.092 this week.
Large funds increased positions in corn futures for the week ended March 23, according to data released Friday. U.S. wheat futures fell to hit a three-month low on Friday, as favorable weather across major producing regions pushed the grain towards weekly losses of nearly 3%.

The ICE dollar index was up 0.245 to 92.77, near a four-month high, while the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was up 3 basis points to 1.664%, according to Action Economics.
The dollar rose to a nine-month high against the Japanese yen of 109.44 yen, reflecting investor expectations of robust U.S. economic growth as the nation accelerates its vaccine rollout. Overall, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.123%, with the euro up 0.28% to $1.1797.
U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs this week, with the total count rising for an eighth month and a second quarter in a row as higher oil prices prompt drillers back to the wellpad. In the first quarter of 2021, the total rig count is up for a second quarter in a row for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2018.
U.S. crude rose 3.89% to $60.84 per barrel and Brent was at $64.45, up 4.04% on the day.
Health care stocks made narrow gains Friday afternoon, overcoming earlier declines. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index also gained 0.9%.
Investors looking for ways to protect themselves from a potential market downturn and rising inflation have been warming to utilities, sometimes seen as bond substitutes, as attractive alternatives. Utilities tend to do better in a downturn because they pay dividends and offer stability.
Financial stocks advanced Friday afternoon, led by big banks, after the Federal Reserve said it will lift COVID-19 restrictions on payouts for most institutions by the second half of 2021.
After a seesaw week, the S&P 500 and Dow rose in a broad-based advance on Friday with technology, healthcare and financial stocks providing the biggest lift. The Nasdaq also ended higher, lifted by less popular tech shares, as the composite index posted its second weekly decline in a row.
Many of the tech giants lost ground, including Tesla, Apple, Amazon, and Google, but Microsoft and Facebook came through higher.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.4% to 33,072.88 and the S&P 500 gained 1.6% to close at 3,974.54, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.6%, closing at 13,138.73.

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Israeli-American Company Producing Oral COVID Vaccine
Oral medicines typically produce fewer side effects than their injected counterparts…

Samuel Case, FISM News
Oramed Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli-American company, is about to launch Phase 1 clinical trials for the very first oral COVID-19 vaccine. Oramed’s CEO Nadav Kidron explained to the Jerusalem Post what an orally administered coronavirus vaccine could mean in the battle against the pandemic.
“An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home . . . While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the case that a COVID-19 vaccine may be recommended annually like the standard flu shot.”
Kidron explained that the vaccine focuses on three structural proteins within the virus. This differs…(READ MORE)
Letlow Wins Late Husband’s House Seat in Louisiana Special Election
Congresswoman-elect Julia Letlow joins a record-breaking number of Republican women serving in the House of Representatives

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Dr. Julia Letlow won a special election this weekend in Louisiana, making history as the first Republican woman elected to Congress in her state. Letlow, mother to a 3-year-old and 1-year-old, fills the seat of her late husband, Luke Letlow, who died in December from complications of COVID-19.
Before the loss of her husband, Letlow spent much of her academic and professional career focused on grief and loss. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on grief after her 17- year-old brother was killed in a car accident. Although Letlow does not come from a political background, she has expressed that prior to her husband’s death, she considered and spoke to her husband about the possibility of seeking public office…(READ MORE)
California Proposes Severe Anti-Conservative Bill Against Law Enforcement
…it could prevent any conservative-minded individuals from serving in the police force and could remove officers deemed “dangerous”

Seth Udinski, FISM News
The California State Assembly recently proposed a bill that could severely chastise law enforcement officers for displaying views deemed “racist,” “homophobic,” or “hateful.” The California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform (CLEAR) Act is set to be discussed and put to a vote on April 6. The Act is meant to protect extremists and fanatics from serving in law enforcement, based on rumors that certain Washington, D.C. police officers supported and even participated in the Capitol riot on January 6.
According to the bill, a candidate can be denied or removed based on any past or present participation in “hate speech.” The bill describes “hate speech” as follows…(READ MORE)
COVID Advisor Slavitt: U.S. Inoculation Prioritized, but ‘Must Return to Global Leadership’
Under President Trump, the U.S. was poised to leave the WHO…

Ian Patrick, FISM News
At a White House Press Briefing, Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response Andy Slavitt said that the U.S. is the priority for the inoculation campaign but another priority exists in returning “to global leadership.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, also on the panel, noted that the U.S. could consider sharing vaccine candidates with other nations after dealing with its own.
During the Q&A session of the briefing, the members were asked about vaccine hoarding in the U.S. and if the government had a plan for distribution beyond national borders. Slavitt acknowledged the threat of vaccine hoarding and said that President Biden was putting the U.S. first, but he also mentioned its place in the worldwide…(READ MORE)
Boulder Shooter Had Known History of Violence and Mental Illness
…the gunman’s brother says the shooting wasn’t “a political statement, it’s mental illness.”

Samuel Case, FISM News
Immediately after the Boulder Colorado shooting, left-wing voices flocked to Twitter to condemn gun violence from white men. The only problem is the shooter wasn’t white or even born in the United States; he’s a 21-year old Muslim, Syrian immigrant with a history of violence and who his brother described as mentally ill. The New York Times reports he was known to the FBI due to his connections to another person under investigation by the Bureau.
The Daily Beast shared details from his now deleted Facebook account, where the gunmen described himself as “born in Syria in 1999 came to the USA in 2002.” The shooter experienced irrational fear of surveillance and “Islamophobia.” He said in one post “Yeah if these racist Islamophobic people would stop hacking my phone and let me have a normal life…(READ MORE)
Senior Trump Adviser Teases Trump-backed Social Media Platform
Both Twitter and Facebook have said that they are reviewing their policies in regards to censorship…

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Jason Miller, senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, told Fox News on Sunday that Trump may launch his own social media platform within 2-3 months.
Trump has been banned from both Twitter and Facebook, which he used as a means of communicating to the public throughout his presidency, since the January 6th Capitol riots. The move by Trump would be a direct attack against the overreach of major big tech companies. Facebook, Twitter, and the like have been quick to censor platforms of those who don’t fall within the framework of their ideologies, typically conservatives.
Miller commented that the Trump-backed platform will be the “hottest ticket in social media” and…(READ MORE)
New COVID-19 Data Says 1-in-6 U.S. Adults Are Fully Inoculated
Slavitt also reports that 70% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one vaccine shot…

Ian Patrick, FISM News
In a press briefing on Wednesday, the White House COVID-19 Response Team and other health officials lauded the American inoculation effort, while still pushing year-long safety measures in order to “turn the corner” on protection against the deadly virus. The participating members were Andy Slavitt, the White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response; Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Slavitt started the briefing with new data on the U.S. inoculation campaign. According to this data, 84 million Americans…(READ MORE)
Wheaton College Changes Language of Plaque Honoring Martyred Graduate Jim Elliot
…it is curious that the college has chosen to change the language now in the midst of a secular cultural movement towards revisionist history 

Seth Udinski, FISM News

A peculiar development in the evangelical community broke last week, as the prominent Christian institution, Wheaton College, announced it would change the language of a plaque honoring the famed 20th century martyr Jim Elliot. Elliot graduated from Wheaton in 1949 and entered the mission field soon after. He ministered to the Waorani tribe in Ecuador and was murdered in 1956 by tribal leaders.
In describing the events surrounding Elliot’s martyrdom, the plaque reads: “For generations all strangers were killed by these savage Indians.” Wheaton president Philip Ryken ordered the wording be updated in a way that the institution believes to be less “dehumanizing.” Ryken said…(READ MORE)
Biden Under Scrutiny for Border Crisis
…more media outlets are expressing frustration about being denied access to the developing story

Michael Cardinal, FISM News
The Biden Administration is under uncharacteristic scrutiny by the mainstream media. Even fundamentally left-leaning news outlets are expressing criticism for the lack of transparency regarding the crisis at the US southern border.
Photographs that were leaked this weekend from inside one of the Texas border detention centers, which show hundreds of migrants in over-crowded “pods,” have created backlash regarding the conditions at the border and the restricted media access from the Biden administration.
The New York times reported, “The children are being held in facilities, managed by the…(READ MORE)
Democrats Aim to Nuke the Filibuster, McConnell Warns of “Scorched-Earth Senate”
Biden has also voiced support for the talking filibuster as a way to change the process.

Samuel Case, FISM News

As Democrats increasingly voice their support for ending the Senate Filibuster, Republican leaders including Donald Trump speak out over ending the 60 votes required to move a bill to the floor. Nuking the filibuster would end a long standing check on the ruling party in the Senate.
Senate Democrats including Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey both of Massachusetts are claiming that the filibuster is a holdover from the days of slavery in the United States and should be done away with. However, even the left-leaning Washington Post says Ed Markey’s claim that “the filibuster was created so that slave owners could hold power over our government” is historically inaccurate. Ironically, Elizabeth Warren has also been known to make use of filibuster…(READ MORE)
U.S. Health Institute Disputes AstraZeneca’s Efficacy Report
Some of the data suggested that the efficacy was even as low as 69-74% efficient…

Ian Patrick, FISM News
AstraZeneca has received public ire in the past few weeks after reports of deaths began to surface from people who had received the company’s vaccine. Blood clots forming in Austrian patients from one specific batch caused multiple countries to pause or suspend use of the British company’s vaccine until further trial data showed that it could be trusted again.
FISM News reported that the European Medicines Agency announced their altogether positive review on AstraZeneca’s vaccine, saying it was “safe and effective.” After this news, multiple European countries resumed use of the shot…(READ MORE)
NFL Will Hold 2021 Draft In-Person in Cleveland, Ohio
Now, their city will host the first major event of the 2021 season.

Seth Udinski, FISM News

The National Football League announced Monday that the 2021 NFL draft will take place live in Cleveland, Ohio from April 29 to May 1. The NFL held a virtual draft in 2020 due to the COVID -19 pandemic, but with most of the league’s players and coaches receiving the COVID shot, league officials feel it is safe to return to a semi-personal draft format.
The league is heavily encouraging players, coaches, and team officials to get the COVID -19 shot prior to the event. NFL officials have invited one vaccinated representative from each of the 32 franchises to have a front row seat for the draft. In addition to these team representatives, several high-profile draft prospects…(READ MORE)
Democrats Seize Gun Control Narrative After Shootings
…Biden is considering “executive action” to accomplish some of his gun control priorities.

Samuel Case, FISM News
Following the deadly shootings in Georgia and Colorado, President Biden and other Democrats are seizing the opportunity to push gun control policy.
Biden, in particular, is looking to reinstitute an assault weapons ban and end what he calls the “Charleston loophole” – referring to a provision that allows for a gun purchase to go through if the FBI background check takes longer than three days. The House recently passed legislation giving federal officials 10 days to complete background checks.
The President expressed his sympathies to the victims’ families and laid a out vision for gun control in an address…(READ MORE)
Biden Pegs Kamala Harris to Oversee Border Crisis
In previous remarks, Harris has compared ICE to the KKK, suggested taxpayers fund healthcare for illegal immigrants…

Michael Cardinal, FISM News

In the midst of a mounting border crisis, Biden announced that he was putting Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of immigration at the southern border. “I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” the president told reporters at the White House.
As confident as Biden may be in his vice president to handle the rising tides of immigrants crossing the US southern border, many conservatives see this appointment as very concerning. Harris’s track record and progressive rhetoric concerning immigration have been definitive and radically liberal.
Vice President Kamala Harris received backlash on Tuesday for laughing when asked by a reporter if she had plans to visit…(READ MORE)
75% of Americans Support Voter ID Requirements: Rasmussen
The Senate will soon be considering the H.R. 1 bill, called the “For the People Act” by those who support it, which aims to change most of the voting process. The sweeping bill will change almost every aspect of American voting including the minimization of required voter identification, which has been a hot-button topic between liberals and conservatives.
To gather what regular Americans think about Voter ID, Rasmussen released a poll they gathered in March of 2021 from 1,000 likely voters. When asked if voters should “be required to show photo identification…before being allowed to vote,” 75% said they believe that some form of ID such as a driver’s license…(READ MORE)
The New-Age Sexual Revolution Is Old-Fashioned Self-Idolatry [OP ED]
How do we bring the light of the gospel into such darkness?

Seth Udinski, FISM News

“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:4-5
The sexual revolution has overtaken American society on all levels. In the last generation, we’ve seen the legalization of homosexual marriage, a universal acceptance and celebration of bisexuality and transgenderism, and now even legalized polygamy. The rallying cry of the culture is, “Be who you want to be. Be your true self. You get to decide!” Proponents of the sexual revolution are hailed as heroes, while those who hold to the traditional truths of human sexuality are called bigoted, judgmental, and cruel.
The sexual revolution is a black mark on American culture. Absolute truth, which is necessary for a civilized and thriving society, is slain in the street…(READ MORE)
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