My Writings. My Thoughts.

Tuesday October 27, 2020

// October 27th, 2020 // Comments Off on Tuesday October 27, 2020 // Daily News

S&P 500, Dow slip on earnings worries, stimulus uncertainty

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow fell on Tuesday, dragged down by a string of earnings disappointments and doubts about a coronavirus stimulus package before Election Day, although Nasdaq rose ahead of results from mega-cap technology companies.

Caterpillar Inc fell 2.2% and 3M Co slipped 1% after both the industrial companies reported lower quarterly earnings.

Investor sentiment sagged after the White House said a potential deal on COVID-19 relief could come in “weeks,” casting doubt on whether an accord could be struck with Congress before the Nov. 3 election.

“Stimulus is now pushed back to after the election and the market is digesting that today,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

Sectors sensitive to economic growth took a hit. The S&P 500 banks index and the S&P energy sector shed about 1% each.

The three major U.S. stock indexes fell to near four-week lows on Monday as investors fretted about record number of new coronavirus infections in the United States and some European countries and an elusive fiscal stimulus.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s fear gauge hovered at its highest level in nearly two months on jitters over the outcome of the election.Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in national polls but the race is much tighter in battleground states which determine the election outcome.

At 10:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78.40 points, or 0.28% to 27,606.98, the S&P 500 lost 1.09 points, or 0.03% to 3,399.88 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 63.73 points, or 0.56% to 11,422.67.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as Microsoft Corp firmed 1% in the run-up to its results after the closing bell. Apple Inc,, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook Inc, which together account for about a fifth of the S&P 500’s total value, also report results this week.

Analysts expect the tech sector to post a 0.3% fall in third-quarter earnings from a year earlier, while overall S&P 500 profit is forecast to fall 18.4%, according to Refinitiv data.

Concerns over a rise in U.S. coronavirus cases are weighing on the market although technology sector, in particular, seems to be the least exposed, said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“A focus on big technology companies may move this market to rally despite the problems the virus is creating.”

Insurer American International Group Inc gained 2% after its board named Peter Zaffino as chief executive officer and approved a plan to separate the life and retirement business from the rest of the company.

Semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices Inc fell 3.4% as it agreed to buy Xilinx Inc in a $35 billion all-stock deal. Xilinx shares soared about 10%, while those of Intel fell 3.4%.

Merck & Co Inc gained 0.2% as it raised its full-year earnings forecast. Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co fell about 5% after its quarterly profit took a hit from increased costs to develop a COVID-19 treatment.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.4-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and nearly matched them on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 35 new lows.


Today’s Inspiration

My Normal Mind

Today’s passage in Ephesians is difficult for many of us to understand. What does Paul mean by “the eyes of your heart flooded with light” (v. 18)? I believe he’s referring to the mind, because that’s what needs enlightenment. It’s with our minds that we grasp God’s truths and hold to them.

Too many of us have a hard time being “flooded with light” because we’re distracted with countless other things. Here, Paul prays for us to have what I call a normal mind—a mind that’s open to the Holy Spirit’s work—so we can follow God’s plan and live the abundant lives He has for us.

One way to process the idea of a normal mind is to look at two of Jesus’ friends, Mary and Martha. Most people know the story of these sisters and the time Jesus visited their home in Bethany. Martha scurried around, making certain that everything was situated exactly right, while Mary sat down to listen to Jesus. Luke says Martha “was distracted with much serving” (see Luke 10:40), and she complained to Jesus that she needed her sister’s help.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things”, Jesus told her, and then He commended Mary for having chosen the “good portion.” (see verse 41).

As I thought about that incident, I realized Martha’s problem went deeper than simply being distracted with that night’s preparations. Her mind was probably always jumping around, trying to make everything as perfect as possible. The implication is that even if there had been nothing more to do, Martha wouldn’t have stopped to sit at Jesus’ feet. She was so caught up in busyness that her mind would have searched for something else to do.

The Marthas seem to be in control of our world, don’t they? They’re usually the ones who get things done, and when they’re not ­accomplishing their own goals, they’re often telling others what they should do. In today’s world of multitasking­, the Marthas appear to get the awards and the ac­colades. Busy all the time, they wear their busyness like a badge, as if it makes them more ­important.

Marthas’ busyness can easily distract them from developing a solid relationship with God. They’re the ones who often lack depth of peace and rarely experience contentment. That is, they don’t have what God considers a normal mind; it’s not in the calm condition He would want it to be in. On top of that, people who are excessively busy can’t even sleep when they lie down at night. They’re either going back over the day’s activities or making mental lists of tasks for the next day.

This is not the lifestyle Jesus calls us to. As believers, we are spiritual beings, but we’re also natural, and both parts of us must be cared for. The Bible makes it clear that the mind and the spirit work together. That’s the principle I call “the mind aiding the spirit.” For this to happen, we must learn to pull back from all the distractions around us and let Jesus speak to our soul.

There will always be demands on our time and energy, and we can always find plenty to do. But if we want to live with the mind of Christ, the one that should be normal for Christians, it means we must learn to imitate Mary. Despite all the clamor and activities going on around her, she was able to sit, relax, and listen to the voice of the Master. That’s how our mind is supposed to work–it should be calm, quiet and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

If you know that your mind has been behaving abnormally, ask God to forgive you and to help you. He’ll give you the grace you need to trust Him enough to sit at His feet, listen to His voice, and receive His never-ending love for you.

Prayer Starter: Dear God, distractions are constantly coming at me. When I try to pause and focus on You, my mind gravitates to the dozens of things I need to do. I realize that I truly need only one thing—to focus on You. Please help me push away every distraction and noise so I can hear only Your voice that’s always saying, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.” Thank You for Your gift of rest! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday October 2, 2020

// October 2nd, 2020 // Comments Off on Friday October 2, 2020 // Daily News

Trump experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after coronavirus diagnosis

  • President Donald Trump was experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive for the coronavirus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed to reporters Friday morning.
  • The news came hours after the president disclosed over Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive.
  • NBC News earlier reported that Trump spoke to Meadows on Friday morning and is “in good spirits.”

President Donald Trump was experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive for the coronavirus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed to reporters Friday morning.

The news came hours after the president disclosed over Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive.

NBC News earlier reported that Trump spoke to Meadows on Friday morning and is “in good spirits.”

The White House is discussing whether the president will address the nation in some manner about his diagnosis.

Trump, who is 74 years old and overweight, is in categories of people considered at high risk for adverse effects from the disease.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife both tested negative for the virus, the White House announced later Friday. Pence is next in line for the presidency.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a memo early Friday that he expects Trump to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

A White House official told CNBC that some staffers who were in contact with the president on Thursday are working from home on Friday.

“As this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result, and we’ve got the mitigation plan in place for that,” Meadows told reporters Friday.

Trump said in his early morning tweet Friday that he and his wife were beginning their quarantine process after the positive test. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend people who believe they may have been exposed to the virus should quarantine for 14 days.

Trump debated Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in the second debate on Oct. 15, 13 days after he disclosed his diagnosis. The Commission on Presidential Debates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on how Trump’s diagnosis would impact the debates.

The White House physician’s memo came hours after Trump said he would begin the quarantine process after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus. Hicks had traveled with the president to Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland and was seen not wearing a mask. She reportedly showed symptoms Wednesday night and quarantined on Air Force One on the way back from a rally in Minnesota.

Trump’s handling of the coronavirus has been a top issue in the run-up to the 2020 election. In the United States, more than 7.2 million have been infected and more than 207,000 people have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

In a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward, Trump said in mid-March he intentionally played down the virus in order not to “create a panic,” according to CNN, which published audio of the interview. Trump has pushed for schools, businesses and sports leagues to reopen even as cases of the virus rise, and has held campaign events where attendees pack closely together, many without masks.

The Trump administration’s messaging about masks has been inconsistent throughout the pandemic. Officials initially guided Americans not to wear them so they could be reserved for medical professionals, but health officials now advise most people to wear some form of face covering to prevent the spread of the virus.


Today’s Inspiration


Give Yourself a Head Start

Nothing will prepare you to face what you have to deal with at work, at home, in relationships, or in daily life like taking time to connect with God before your busy day begins.

When I first understood that I needed to prepare myself for every day by spending time with God, some of my children complained. They were teenagers at the time, so I told them: “Listen, you’re old enough to put cereal in a bowl and pour milk on it, and you should be glad I go to my study every morning. Trust me—you’ll have a much nicer day if I take this time with God!”

Yesterday morning, I told my daughter, Sandra, I was going to spend my early morning time with the Lord, and she replied, “Are you going to get nice?” We both laughed because we’ve learned that even something as simple as being nice to others can be impossible without that daily preparation in God’s presence and Word. I know many of us feel extremely pressed for time, so just the thought of adding something else to your schedule might make you shudder.

The truth is, the more you have to do, the more you need to spend time with Jesus. I don’t know how you need to adjust your schedule, but I do know that when you trust Him with your time—just like with your finances—He will give it back to you multiplied and better than it was before.

I can tell you from years of experience (both with and without putting God first) that it is absolutely worth it to take a few minutes before things get crazy to invite Him into your day. So, I strongly encourage you to stop trying to fit God into your schedule, make a decision to put Him first, then work the rest of your schedule around Him.

God is in charge of time; He knows how much time you need to accomplish the things you need to do, and He will protect and help you manage it if you’ll be intentional to spend time with Him first. He loves you so much, and He can’t wait to be with you!

Prayer Starter: Father, please show me how to make You first in my time each day. Thank You for the grace, strength and wisdom I need to face today! In Jesus’ name, amen.