Primaries and Planning

Primaries and Planning

Last week brought us Super Tuesday (the day when the greatest number of US states hold their primary elections) and the State of the Union Address. Super Tuesday saw Former President Trump cemented as the Republican nominee, as Nikki Haley suspended her campaign. With a rematch of 2020 all but official, campaigning for November begun with markets watching for guidance on policy. President Biden forged into the campaign with his State of the Union Address, where he framed his policy goals and attempted to energize his supporters. Key highlights were a bipartisan border compromise, an increase in the corporate minimum tax to 21%, and a 25% “billionaire” tax.

In economic news, driving factors included nonfarm payrolls and Chairman Powell’s semiannual congressional testimony. Powell stated the Fed was likely to reduce interest rates this year (which is in line with market expectations), but indicated the change would be dependent on sustainable progress on inflation. Congressional questions keyed in on the Fed’s explicit target of 2% inflation (a target started in 2012), while the Fed’s second mandate of “full employment” does not have an explicit target metric. The nonfarm payroll report1 came in above expectations at 275k, but saw January numbers revised downward by 124k. The unemployment rate also came in hot at 3.9% (vs 3.7% expected), while hourly earnings2 came in cool at 0.1% (vs expectations of 0.25%).

Weekly Performance






Data Source: Factset®        Performance Period:      3/4/2024    3/8/2024

It appears New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) will live to see another day, although its investors were taken on a wild ride. Wednesday saw the embattled NY lender’s stock plummet 42% before a $1 Billion equity investment to bolster bank capital led to the stock surging back. The infusion came just in time, as the Fed’s Bank Term Funding Program, begun last year after several high-profile bank failures, ended March 11th and would have been unavailable for NYCB to draw upon.

The week ahead will see a full plate of data, with CPI, PPI, and retail sales reporting; all are key indicators of the inflationary pressures on the economy and pieces to help markets better understand the Fed’s outlook. With campaign fever heating up, we will also begin to see a myriad of schemes and plans put forward to try to sway voter favor – be on the lookout for passels of pigs running around with lipstick adorning their faces! Remember that ‘talk is cheap,” and, especially when it comes to your personal planning, prayerfully discerning the path to an honoring legacy must win your vote (and effort). Without focused prayer, in planning and voting, we are simply reacting to the will of our sinful hearts, and Proverbs 19:21 reminds us that “(m)any are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

 Sources: Yahoo Finance,, and JP Morgan Market Insights. Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. of Holbrook, New York, 631.439.4600,(APFS), member FINRASIPC.  Faithward Advisors is not owned or operated by APFS. Faithward Advisors offers Investment Advisory services through Ambassador Advisors, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Dream More, Plan More, Do More is a registered trademark of Faithward Advisors, LLC, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of Faithward Advisors or American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS). They have not been reviewed by either firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors.