Ultimate Independence

Ultimate Independence

Markets experienced an abbreviated holiday week, where the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq saw gains and the Russell 2000 sold off. Technology led the market throughout the shortened week, with energy coming in second and Healthcare and Consumer Defensive lagging. Fixed income broadly saw a rally, as did gold and oil, while bitcoin strongly sold off. Overall, markets priced in increasing odds of a September rate cut on softer inflation and jobs data.

Some economic data was released this past week, including Construction Spending, JOLTS Job Openings, ADP Employment, and Factory Orders. Construction spending was down 0.1% from May. The JOLTS Job Openings data revealed an increase for May of 8.14 million open positions, beating the forecast of 7.96 million and 7.92 million openings in April. The ADP employment report came Wednesday, with 150,000 jobs added in June, which was down from 157,000 jobs in May. Factory orders data showed a -0.5% decrease in May, lower than the anticipated 0.2% increase and the 0.4% rise from April.

Weekly Performance

Data Source: Factset®        Performance Period:      7/1/2024  to 7/5/2024

Looking at the week ahead, early in the week, we will see the Consumer Credit report and the NFIB optimism index, which gauges the health of small businesses. Wholesale inventories, which measures the total value of inventory items held in the United States, comes on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index, a gauge of inflation, will be released on Thursday. Friday finishes the week with the Producer Price Index, a measure of the change in selling prices received by producers.

As we celebrated our nation’s independence last week, Europe saw a spate of elections in France and the United Kingdom that changed the political status quo. In the United Kingdom, the center-left Labour party won in a landslide – the first for the party in almost two decades. In France, the far-right Nation Party was expected to win the majority needed to govern. As polls closed, however, the left-wing New Popular Front won the most seats, albeit too few needed to actually govern. Although the Right has been rebuked and left elevated, there is still not a majority formed to govern. We will be watching the political jockeying in the days ahead.

As Europe hopes to answer a myriad of issues concerning their nations’ directions through new leadership, we are getting closer to our own elections and determining how best to “deal” with our own issues. 241 years of independence is no small feat, and we should never lose sight of the fact that our system of government, although flawed, remains amongst the best in the world. Political independence is, of course, a bedrock component of having the opportunity to pursue happiness and the financial independence that often accompanies it. The model for ultimate independence, of course, is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “For the freedom of Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Sources: Yahoo Finance,, and JP Morgan Market Insights

 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.