May 22, 2022
In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. For decades, this special day was established to be observed on May 30. (1) Originally called Decoration Day, this day of remembrance for all soldiers that died during the Civil War – a war that claimed 620,000 dead – more than any conflict in the US history. Since then, it has expanded to other wars and has been observed by visiting cemeteries and memorials. According to the US flag code, flags should be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then afterwards raised to the top of the pole. Each year on Memorial Day a moment of silence is observed at 3:00pm local time. (2) This is a day not only of remembrance but gratitude as well.
March 21, 2022
According to the latest report from the United Nations, of the 10 million Ukrainians that have fled their homes, 3.4 million are now refugees. (1) Among the growing human toll caused by war, investors are faced with inflation-fueled price hikes for everything – gas, energy bills, groceries, etc.. Uncertainty of possible retaliation from Russia, such as cyber-attacks and nuclear threats, along with supply-chain issues, and a new strain Covid-19 are weighing on investors minds.
So, what happened last week? Major US stock indices notched their best week since November 2020. (2) The S&P 500 ended Friday with a game of 6.2%; the DJIA rose 5.5%; and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite climbed 8.2%. (3)
May 5, 2022
Every year we accumulate data from various sources, measuring not only economic freedom but all the liberties we as Americans and others in representative democracies often take for granted. As Bob Dylan used to sing “times are a-changin” and we can measure both the qualitative as well as the quantitative effects in our daily lives. We believe freer countries grow more sustainably, as opposed to those that have debt-driven or state-mandated growth. We also believe free nations recover faster from recessions and depressions. We see a positive correlation between economic growth with freedom including secure rights such as property rights. Looking at the U.S. from over 200 years ago, our nation accounted for less than 1% of the world’s total GDP, while today our GDP is 23% of the world’s total, if not higher.
World Freedom and Markets
1stQ 2022 :: Rotations
The first quarter of 2022 was “head-spinning” according to the Wall Street Journal. Major stock indices suffered their worst performance in two years. Other secondary indices realized extreme moves in both directions. Investors and portfolio managers faced domestic and global challenges not experienced in decades. For the quarter, the DJIA dropped 4.6% although, for March this benchmark index gained 2.39%. The NASDAQ Composite lost 9.1% for the quarter but rallied 3.4% in March. In similar fashion, the S&P500 fell 4.9% for the quarter while having a positive 3.6% gain for March
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