The stock market moved higher in volatile trading on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% and signaled six additional hikes later this year, as the central bank looks to ease concerns about surging inflation and the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Stocks initially pared back gains following the Fed’s announcement—with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at one point giving up a 500-point gain—before rebounding.
The Dow rose 1.4%, nearly 500 points, on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 gained 2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 3.5%.
The central bank raised interest rates, by a quarter percentage point, for the first time since 2018, while Fed officials also predicted six additional rate hikes in 2022 (up from a previous forecast of three increases this year).
Markets initially got a boost Wednesday morning from hopes of a possible ceasefire agreement in the Russia-Ukraine war, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying in an address on Tuesday that a deal was beginning to “sound more realistic,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed “hope” for an agreement.
The heavy fighting in Ukraine has weighed on markets since last month, and while Ukrainian forces have held off attacks on several major cities, the country continues to call for more aid from the West, with Zelensky addressing the U.S. Congress on Wednesday morning.
Oil prices, which have jumped in recent weeks due to the conflict between two major exporters, at one point surged to a multi-year high of $130 per barrel before moderating somewhat and now sitting at just below $100 per barrel.
“The main focus for Wednesday (by far) will be the Fed . . . although investors will also be watching for any updates out of the Russia-Ukraine peace talks,” though “more time” will be required for an agreement, says Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli. Stocks are falling after the Federal Reserve’s statement was “more hawkish than anticipated” due to an “accelerated pace of tightening” forecast for this year and next, he says.
Investor sentiment has grown increasingly bearish this month, with expectations for global economic growth plunging to their lowest level since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, according to a recent Bank of America fund manager survey. Over half of those surveyed now predict that stocks will fall into a bear market this year and the U.S. economy will be plagued by stagflation—meaning high inflation and slow economic growth.
Saints had options at wide receiver in Mel Kiper’s latest two-round mock
The Saints add two offensive players with their first three picks.
Another day, another mock draft. This time it’s ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.’s recent two-round mock draft (Insider required) that has the New Orleans Saints address their top three positions of need with their first three picks.
A run of receivers in the first fifteen picks, including Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson (8th overall to the Atlanta Falcons), USC’s Drake London (10th overall to the New York Jets), and Ohio State WR Chris Olave (15th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles), left the Saints without a bunch of options at the 16th pick. Tackles Ikem Ekwonu out of NC State (5th to the Giants), Alabama’s Evan Neal (9th to the Seattle Seahawks), and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross (13th to the Houston Texans) left the Saints without many options there either. Quarterback Malik Willis out of Liberty was also off the board, landing in the NFC South to the rival Carolina Panthers 6th overall.
This left some of the top prospects on the board as LB Nakobe Dean out of Georgia, LT Trevor Penning out of Iowa, DT Jordan Davis from Georgia, Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett, and Alabama WR Jameson Williams, all of whom fit with the Saints needs.
In Kiper’s mock, the Saints passed on Kenny Pickett and instead opted to replace Terron Armstead on the left side of the offensive line by selecting Trevor Penning:
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Speaking of the Saints, I have a hard time believing the trade with the Eagles was to take a quarterback. Why wouldn’t they try to move up higher? (Unless there’s another move to come.) It’s possible they think they are NFC contenders this season and could be put over the edge with two more starters. With that in mind, here’s a tackle who could replace Terron Armstead on the left side. Penning is a nasty, physical blocker who is ready to play immediately.
In the two picks immediately following the Saints’ selection at 16, the pair of Georgia defensive players – Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis – were picked, leaving the Saints with yet another opportunity to draft Kenny Pickett if the team so desired.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Even if Michael Thomas comes back healthy, the Saints should address wide receiver with one of their two first-round picks. Williams would have been in the discussion to be the No. 1 wideout in this class, but he tore his ACL in the national title game in January and could miss a little time in 2022. He could be a superstar once he’s healthy; he has explosive speed and was uncoverable for the Crimson Tide last season. ACL injuries aren’t even close to career-ending anymore, so I don’t see this as a risky pick. Williams is worth it.
Pickett ended up going one pick later to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and fellow RAS-star, Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder, was the first quarterback taken in the second round, 40th overall to the Seattle Seahawks.
When the Saints were on the clock with the 49th pick, they had plenty of options still at quarterback (North Carolina’s Sam Howell, anyone?), and grabbed Ole Miss signal-caller Matt Corral:
49. New Orleans Saints
Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Corral is a tough evaluation. He wants to play like Josh Allen but doesn’t have the size — he’s only 6-foot-2. He was the only player in the country last season with 3,300-plus passing yards and 500-plus rushing yards. Will he be able to consistently make every throw in the NFL? That’s why I think he’s a safer bet on Day 2. He would make a lot of sense in New Orleans, where he could get an evaluation year behind Jameis Winston.
Options available for the Saints at 49 if they passed on Corral included wide receivers like Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, Alabama’s John Metchie III, and Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce; Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III; and a pair of tight ends in UCLA’s Greg Dulcich and Colorado State’s Trey McBride.
That left the Saints with QB Matt Corral, LT Trevor Penning, and WR Jameson Williams from their first three picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Other possible sets include QB Kenny Pickett, WR Jameson Williams, and T Abraham Lucas; DT Jordan Davis, WR Christian Watson, TE Trey McBride; or even LT Trevor Penning, QB Kenny Pickett, and WR Jalen Tolbert.
Which set would you prefer? Would you be happy with Mel Kiper’s mock draft if the board fell that way for New Orleans? Let us know in the comments. Send me presents.
CHARLES ZHANG RECOGNIZED BY FORBES AS #1 ON MICHIGAN’S 2022 BEST IN STATE WEALTH ADVISOR LIST
PORTAGE, Mich., April 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Charles Zhang, CFP® has once again been ranked the #1 advisor in the state of Michigan according to Forbes, who recently released their 2022 Best-In-State Wealth Advisor list. Every year since the inception of Forbes’ Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list, Charles has been the #1 ranked advisor in the state of Michigan.
The annual ranking list spotlights the nation’s top-performing advisors, evaluated based on a methodology developed by SHOOK Research. Advisors are also evaluated based on personal interviews, industry experience and revenue trends, among other criteria.*
Charles was also recently featured on Forbes’ website with an exclusive interview, where he talks about his criteria for taking new clients. One of the most important criteria that he mentions is working with “nice, reasonable people. I always tell new prospects to make sure I like them, and they like me. This is very important.” It’s evident that relationship building has been instrumental to Charles and his firm’s success.
Charles Zhang is the Founder and President of Zhang Financial, a fee-only wealth management group headquartered in southwest Michigan. He, along with his wife and Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Chen-Zhang, have built a firm with $4.7 billion in assets under management.
Another important reason for Zhang Financial’s success, according to Charles, is the fee-only compensation structure that the firm has implemented with all clients. A fee-only advisor is defined as one who is compensated solely from the client. Neither the advisor, or any related party, may receive compensation contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product.
Unlike Charles and Zhang Financial, the overwhelming majority of financial advisors are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer clients into a limited number of financial products. This inherent conflict of interest poses serious threats to the client’s financial well-being.
By eliminating any potential conflicts of interest, Charles Zhang ensures that his clients receive truly objective, unbiased investment advice. Zhang Financial’s investment strategy is built around years of academic research and aims to provide the highest probability of success for their clients. For more information, or to request a consultation, please visit
Florida Gov DeSantis signs 15-week abortion ban | Latest News
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law Thursday as the state joined a growing conservative push to restrict access ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could limit the procedure nationwide.
The new law marks a significant blow to abortion access in the South, where Florida has provided wider access to the procedure than its regional neighbors.
The new law, which takes effect July 1, contains exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow for exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. Under current law, Florida allows abortions up to 24 weeks.
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