March 17, 2023

"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 dropped 47.66 points, or 0.15%, to close at 31,861.98. The S&P added 55.05 points, or 1.4%, ending at 3,916.64. The Nasdaq rose 491.62 points, or 4.4%, closing at 11,630.51.

Wall Street's main indexes reversed declines on Thursday after a report said some U.S. big banks were in talks with First Republic Bank ( FRC ) for a potential deal, while comments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also boosted investor sentiment.


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp may need to seek temporary guarantees for all uninsured U.S. bank deposits to stem a drain of funds from small and regional U.S. lenders following deposit bailouts for failed bank.


Weekly claims for jobless benefits in the US fell more than expected, suggesting continued labor market strength, although the recent volatility in financial markets may lead to more layoffs in the weeks ahead, according to analysts.


U.S. single-family homebuilding and permits for future construction rebounded in February, offering hope that the housing market was probably stabilizing.


Manufacturing activity in New York contracted further in March amid a steep decline in new orders and shipments while the outlook for business conditions worsened, according to the Fed of New York.


US retail sales fell in February as consumers pulled back on discretionary spending.


U.S. producer prices fell more than economists had expected last month in a sign the Federal Reserve's aggressive response to high inflation is starting to take hold.


Crude oil prices still remain under pressure following a mostly in-line inflation report, which sealed the deal for at least one more interest rate increase.


Friday Recap: Wall St Slides with Fears of Bank Crisis Contagion

U.S. stocks and bond yields fell as investors remained on edge even after big banks attempted a rescue of First Republic Bank. The Dow closed down more than 380 points. Despite Friday’s losses, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained for the week.


Wall Street veered lower on Friday at the close of a tumultuous week, marked by the unfolding crisis in the banking sector and the gathering storm clouds of possible recession.


SVB Financial Group said on Friday it filed for a court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to seek buyers for its assets, days after its former unit Silicon Valley Bank was taken over by U.S. regulators.


U.S. consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months in March, but households expected inflation to subside over the next year and going forward.


Home sales recorded their biggest monthly gain in 11 months in February even as median sales prices edged higher, Re/Max said Friday.


US industrial production unexpectedly held steady in February as manufacturing and utility gains offset a drop in mining output, according to data released Friday by the Fed.


Manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region continued to decline in March as orders and shipments fell to their lowest levels in nearly three years while future expectations deteriorated, according to data released Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.


The Fed will likely raise rates by 25 basis points at its next rate-setting meeting next week, although further signs of financial sector instability could lead to a pause.


WTI crude oil closed at the lowest since December, 2021, on Friday as traders look for a floor for prices after a tumultuous week for the commodity.


Gold rose to the highest in 11 months on Friday as safe-haven buying continues following this week's banking turmoil. Gold was up over 3% at $1,981.40.


Silver was set for the biggest weekly percentage rise of the four precious metals at $22.60 per ounce. Platinum dipped to $977.60, while palladium dropped 2.2% to $1,395.50.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 384.57 points, or 1.19%, to close at 31,861.98; the S&P 500 lost 43.64 points, or 1.1%, ending at 3,916.64; the Nasdaq Composite fell 86.76 points, or 0.74%, closing at 11,630.51.


For the week, the DJIA dropped 47.66 points, or 0.15%, to close at 31,861.98. The S&P added 55.05 points, or 1.4%, ending at 3,916.64. The Nasdaq rose 491.62 points, or 4.4%, closing at 11,630.51.

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Republicans Slam Biden for Bailing Out Wealthy SVB Investors on Taxpayers’ Dime

Lankford questioned why the administration “didn’t have the auction” to sell Silicon Valley Bank to a private sector competitor like PNC Financial before taking such an extreme measure.

Chris Lange, FISM News

Several GOP senators are challenging President Joe Biden’s claim that American taxpayers won’t foot the bill for the bailout of wealthy investors who deposited funds in Silicon Valley Bank, now controlled by federal regulators following its storied collapse on Friday. 


Republicans argued that U.S. banks that pay into the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which will cover depositors’ losses, will pass higher bank fees down to…(READ MORE)


SEE ALSO: On the precipice: How Credit Suisse’s day of drama unfolded

Saudi Arabia Might Be Big Winner in US-China Feud

China, not the United States, was a key figure in brokering a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two long-time rivals.

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

The Middle East has become the latest arena in the wide-reaching geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China, and one nation is using the situation to its own advantage. 


As first reported by the Associated Press, Saudi Arabia, long an ally of convenience with the United States, has shown an ability to improve its standing by allowing both world powers to achieve wins in the…(READ MORE)

DeSantis Joins with 18 Governors in Opposing ESG

ESG is a set of criteria used by investors to evaluate a company based on non-financial factors, such as carbon emissions, environmental impact, and diversity.

Chris Lieberman, FISM News

Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading the charge against the Biden administration’s support for environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investing. On Thursday, the Florida governor unveiled an alliance with 18 other state governors to oppose the president’s ESG agenda.


“At my direction, Florida has led the way in combatting the pernicious effects of the ESG regime by directing our state pension fund managers to reject ESG and instead focus on obtaining the highest return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing the new coalition. “At the time I said we would spearhead an initiative to join with other like-minded states to send an even louder message to the financial industry that the American people have rejected ESG at the ballot box, and ideologues cannot and should not circumnavigate the will of the…(READ MORE)

Democrats Support Palestinians over Israelis according to a New Poll

54% of American support lies with Israelis over Palestinians in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but waning support of Israel in the Democratic Party has been apparent for some time.

Vicky Arias, FISM News

A new Gallup poll released today shows that Democrats have more sympathy for Palestinians than Israelis, as their support of Palestinians has increased sharply over the past year.


The poll summarized the results by explaining that “Americans’ views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have become more polarized as Democrats increasingly commiserate with the Palestinians, while Republicans maintain their solid alignment with…(READ MORE)

Biden Signs Executive Order to Increase Background Checks, Eyes Universal Background Checks

The key components of the order, at least for gun owners and potential gun owners, deal with background checks, which are largely supported by conservatives.

Chris Lange, FISM News

Tuesday, President Joe Biden used his trip to the site of a January mass shooting to announce the signing of an executive order that will enhance background checks and further define terms associated with red-flag laws and the sale of firearms. The order seeks to thread the needle of enacting strict background checks without the need for congressional approval.


“We remember and mourn today, but I am here with you today to act,” Biden told the people gathered in Monterey Park, California, site of a Lunar New Year mass shooting that left 11 people…(READ MORE)

Ukraine Update: Xi, Putin to Meet Next Week; Poland First to Give Ukraine Fighter Jets

“the world is entering a new period of turbulences and reform” and that the “impact of the China-Russia relations go far beyond the bilateral sphere.”

Chris Lange, FISM News

Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Moscow on Monday, where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, both countries announced on Friday. Xi’s two-day visit comes amid accelerating East-West tensions over the war in Ukraine.


Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a briefing on Friday that Xi “will have an in-depth exchange of views with President Putin on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common concern,” per The Associated Press…(READ MORE)


SEE ALSO: Russia warns US to stay away from its air space following downed drone incident

OpenAI Releases GPT-4, the ‘Most Advanced’ AI Language Bot Yet

OpenAI showed GPT-4 performing moderately well in a number of tests designed for humans, including exams such as the Uniform Bar and the SATs.

Ian Patrick, FISM News

The start-up that created the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot which took the internet by storm is providing an upgrade to its AI services.


According to OpenAI, the company which creates the GPT line of AI, the latest release of GPT-4 marks the “most advanced system” to date. The company says GPT-4 will provide “safer and more useful responses” than their previous…(READ MORE)

‘That’s a Lie:’ Republican Senator Confronts Yellen on Claim Biden is ‘Ready to Work with Congress’ on Social Security

“I’m saying that for an empiric observation, when the president says he’s ready to meet, that he’s turned [us] down multiple times,” he added.

Chris Lange, FISM News

Tempers flared during yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing when a Republican Senator called Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s assertion that President Biden was ready to work with Congress on Social Security “a lie.”


Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) pressed Yellen about whether any of the funds from Biden’s proposed tax hikes, which the White House claimed will generate close to $3 trillion, would be used to extend the solvency of the Social Security program, which is anticipated to run out of money by 2037. The Louisiana Republican specifically asked if Biden was aware that “when [Social Security] goes broke in nine years,” there would be a 24% cut in benefits for current…(READ MORE)

DeSantis Receives Presidential Endorsement from Top GOP Congressman

Roy described DeSantis as a “man of conviction,” with a “style of no-nonsense government,” who has “also proven his ability to win...

Samuel Case, FISM News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received a key endorsement for president in 2024, even though Desantis has not yet announced a bid for the White House.


“It’s time for Ron DeSantis to be President of the United States,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), policy chairman for the House Freedom Caucus, said in a press release on…(READ MORE)


SEE ALSO: Trump continues to attack DeSantis, admits he is his ‘most serious challenger’ and US Involvement in Ukraine Emerging as Key Issue in 2024 Election

The Science is Far from Settled on Gender Affirming Care According to Major Medical Journal

…both social and political and medical treatments are often provided under the influence of prevailing ideology rather than evidence-based practice.

Lauren Dempsey, FISM News

MS in Biomedicine and Law, RN

An article published last week by The British Medical Journal (BMJ) highlighted the controversial and inconsistent treatment services for individuals — primarily children — with gender dysphoria and the political and social climate surrounding gender-affirming care that has left “little room for constructive dialogue.”


Dr. Kamran Abbasi, editor-in-chief of BMJ, wrote that while “aggressively argued views are nothing new in science and medicine,” the lack of constructive conversations around gender dysphoria treatment is leaving patients to suffer the…(READ HERE)


SEE ALSO: Biden hints at future nationwide ‘gender-affirming’ law in interview

Comer Reveals Breakthroughs in Biden Family Business Probe: ‘Biden Was in on the Game’

“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports...”

Chris Lange, FISM News

The walls appear to be closing in on the Biden family with news that Republicans have made several breakthroughs in their probe into alleged foreign influence peddling which they claim has brought the investigation “very close” to the president.


House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) dropped information about several new developments in the investigation into alleged Biden family corruption this week with a series of media interviews and a written…(READ MORE)


SEE ALSO: House Oversight subpoenas bank records of three Hunter Biden associates with CCP connections

Border Patrol Chief Admits US Doesn’t Have Operational Control of Border

“4.7 million encounters, 1.3 million gotaways, [and] we don’t know … where they are,” Green asserted.

Vicky Arias, FISM News

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data released for the month of February revealed that over 120,000 migrants were encountered at southern Ports of Entry (POE) into the United States, as total border encounters increased by several thousand migrants.


February saw a 2% increase over January in total CBP encounters, with 212,266 total encounters in February compared to 208,511 total encounters in…(READ MORE)


SEE ALSO: Dems bail on DHS border crisis field hearing

GOP Officials Blast Biden for Wasting $130k Per Day to Store Unused Parts of Border Wall

“The Department of Defense should not be incurring these daily charges but should be using these funds to bolster national security,” the letter reads.

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Republican members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee have accused the Biden administration of wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars each week to store materials for a border wall the administration is committed to not building.


A group of 14 GOP senators, led by Armed Forces Committee ranking member Roger Wicker (R.-Miss.), wrote to the Department of Defense to inquire as to why some $130,000 per day were being used to store border-wall panels at more than a dozen facilities across…(READ MORE)

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Eric Garcetti confirmed as India ambassador after sexual misconduct scandal as mayor. Former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to India in July 2021, 614 days later, he was confirmed by the Senate in a 52-42 vote to be the first ambassador to India since Biden took office.

Death toll from Colombia coal mine explosion climbs to 21. Ten miners reported missing after an explosion caused by accumulated gas in coal mines in central Colombia have been found dead, raising the death toll to 21, authorities said on Thursday.

Massive collection of seaweed heading toward U.S. shores. However, ocean currents are pushing the blob further west than usual causing some of it to wash up on the shores of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

US must address alarming rise in aviation close calls – officials. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Wednesday the United States cannot wait for the next “catastrophic event” to address an uptick in aviation close calls that has sparked alarm.

US, Mexico aim to find 13,000 migrant workers they say are owed $6.5 million in wages. U.S. and Mexican officials on Tuesday said 13,000 Mexican migrant workers are owed a total of $6.5 million in unpaid wages from U.S. workplaces, and will work to help beneficiaries now living in Mexico claim their pay from U.S. labor authorities.

GOP reps reintroduce bill that would allow Americans to sue China over COVID. Late last week, a pair of Republican congressmen reintroduced a bill that would allow American citizens to sue the Chinese Communist Party over an alleged misinformation campaign related to the outbreak of COVID-19.

San Francisco considers massive $5M reparations for black residents. Other proposals include a guaranteed annual income of at least $97,000, total debt forgiveness, exemptions from all tax burdens, and letting black residents buy homes for one dollar, per the Associated Press.

Safety, FDA approval of abortion pill being challenged in federal court. A federal judge on Wednesday will hear arguments about the safety of the abortion drug, mifepristone, in what could prove to be the most important pro-life litigation since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

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Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, PO Box 270, Exton, PA 19341 /

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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