MWM Weekly Update

The Week of March 7, 2022

MWM Weekly Update

The Week of March 7, 2022

Greetings Everyone,
When President John F. Kennedy gave his inaugural address as the 35th President of the United States January 20, 1961, it inspired children and adults to see the importance of civic action and public service. Who remembers his historic words, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”? He challenged every American to contribute in some way to the public good.

This week I am moved to share JFK’s famous words as we are watching the people of Ukraine suffer under the attacks the Russian army from the north. We pray for their survival in this horrible war. We begin to ask ourselves what can we do? When asking this of our co-workers, ideas were shared by Erin Wheatcraft and Laurie Macielinski as well as clients who have sons working in Ukraine and Poland helping the refugees.

The JFK quote we remember was followed by addressing the new President’s international audience: “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

The speech was given during the Cold War (March 12, 1947 – December 26, 1991, 44 years, and 9 months) ending with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. There was no large-scale fighting but the two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union supported major regional proxy wars. If you study history, you can understand why the Ukraine is so important to President Putin who wants to regain the power and prestige of the former Soviet Union.

There are no words to describe the tragedies that people are suffering in Ukraine. I was moved to find a way to support the refugee effort. Jack and Martine Meland shared their sons Marc and Eric’s work they are doing in Ukraine and in Poland aiding refugees.

They offered this when I asked how we could help:
Contribute to the Josiah Venture Ukraine Crisis Fund. Currently funds are being used to bus humanitarian supplies into Ukraine, then return to Poland with 50+ refugees per trip. At this point they only have one bus in operation and wishing they could have as many as 50, the need is so great. Click here make a donation to Josiah Venture Ukraine Crisis Fund.

A local 15 year old is collecting coats to ship to refugees in Ukraine. Our office is pitching in with donations. Coats, sweatshirts, fleece, light jackets can be dropped off at our office through March 20th if you would like to participate.

Here are some other agencies making great progress
in helping refugees fleeing Ukraine:
United Help Ukraine
Razom for Ukraine
Revived Soldiers Ukraine
Medical Teams International
World Central Kitchen
Save the Children Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

Thank you - Дякую

Please share your stories with us too. I believe that we can all take a lesson from President John F. Kennedy and ask ourselves what can we do for others?

Judith McGee, L.H.D., CFP®, ChFC®
Executive Vice President and Senior Lead Advisor

In the Markets

  • Wall Street was hit hard last week as traders moved from stocks to bonds and gold. Each of the major benchmark indexes lost value, with the Global Dow dropping more than 4.0% and the Nasdaq declining nearly 3.0%. The Russian escalation of the war in Ukraine eclipsed strong economic data at home, including a solid jobs report. The crisis in Ukraine has boosted commodities, particularly crude oil prices, which rose more than 25.0% last week. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he would support a 25-basis point interest rate increase in March as inflation has continued to soar.
  • Stocks closed mixed last Monday as investors considered more sanctions against Russia, which responded by putting its nuclear forces on high alert. The large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, while the Nasdaq (0.4%) and the Russell 2000 (0.4%) added value. The Global Dow dipped 0.6%. Ten-year Treasury yields fell 15 basis points to 1.83%. The dollar inched higher, while domestic crude oil prices jumped nearly 5.0%, reaching $95.91 per barrel. Gold prices also rose, climbing to $1,910.50 per ounce. The Russian central bank raised interest rates to 20.0% as the ruble plunged following additional sanctions imposed by Western countries. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada pledged to exclude certain large Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging network. Talks between representatives of Russia and Ukraine ended with no deal on a potential cease-fire as the conflict intensified throughout the day.
  • Domestic crude oil prices vaulted past $105.00 per barrel last Tuesday, sending domestic and global stocks tumbling. Ten-year Treasury yields slid to 1.70%, marking their worst four-day drop since last December. Investors could view surging oil prices, rising inflation, and the intensifying Russia-Ukraine crisis as threats to economic growth. That, coupled with the prospect of higher interest rates, may be moving investors away from stocks. By the close of trading last Tuesday, each of the major benchmark indexes declined, with the Global Dow (-2.0%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.9%) falling the furthest, followed by the Dow (-1.8%), the Nasdaq (-1.6%), and the S&P 500 (-1.5%). The dollar and gold prices traded higher. Among the market sectors, financials and materials were hit the hardest, while energy rose 1.0%.
  • Crude oil prices, Treasury yields, and stocks climbed higher last Wednesday. The Russell 2000 jumped 2.5%, the S&P 500 rose 1.9%, the Dow gained 1.8%, and the Nasdaq added 1.6%. The Global Dow increased 1.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields advanced nearly 16 basis points to 1.87%. Domestic crude oil prices climbed nearly 8.0% to $111.51 per barrel, while the dollar and gold prices retreated. Commodity markets around the globe rose to multi-year highs last Wednesday. In addition to rising oil prices, aluminum jumped to an all-time high and wheat climbed to its highest price since 2008.
  • Last Thursday, stocks erased most of the gains from the previous day. A decline in tech shares dragged down the equity market, with the Nasdaq falling 1.6% and the Russell 2000 dropping 1.3%. Ten-year Treasury yields slid to 1.84%. The dollar and gold advanced, while crude oil prices retreated to $108.36 per barrel. With prices increasing at the fastest rate since 1982, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee that the central bank should have cut stimulus sooner in an attempt to slow burgeoning inflation.
  • Despite a strong labor report, stocks continued to slide last Friday. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow dropped nearly 2.0%, the Nasdaq fell 1.7%, the S&P 500 lost 0.8%, and the Dow slipped 0.5%. Crude oil prices jumped nearly $8.00 to $115.37 per barrel. The dollar and gold prices rose, while 10-year Treasury yields fell 12 basis points to 1.72%.


The economic impact of the Eastern European conflict will continue to be felt here and globally. Not only are traders paying close attention to the economic outlook resulting from the war, but they must also keep an eye on the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, particularly in light of the latest developments in Ukraine.

Source: Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

Markets & Office Closures

Monday, May 30, 2022 -
Memorial Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, July 4, 2022 -
Independence Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, September 5, 2022 -
Labor Day - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Monday, November 21 through Friday, November 25, 2022 -
Thanksgiving Week - Mercer Advisors office closed entire week. Markets closed on November 24.

Monday, December 26, 2022 -
Christmas Day (observation) - Mercer Advisors office and Markets closed.

Friday, December 30, 2022 -
New Year's Eve (observation) - Mercer Advisors office closed.

Articles & Education

Capital Markets Update and Outlook: January 2023

Although the one-two punch of rising interest rates and inflationary pressure set the global capital markets on shaky footing through much of 2022, the U.S. economy kept motoring ahead. How are financial conditions shaping up in the new year?

Maximize Tax Benefits with a Qualified Charitable Distribution

The qualified charitable distribution has become popular with some IRA holders as a way of donating to charities while saving money on taxes.
Investment Term of the Week

Thought of the Week

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