Happy Independence Day.
In the holiday-shortened week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.35% added about 3.3%, bringing its year-to-date decline to 9.5%, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.45% gained about 4%, and is now down 3.1% for the year. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.52% is nearly 14% higher in the year to date, after taking another 4.6% leg up. What happens next with the market will largely depend on the direction of the virus. If we get the spread back under control or we get a vaccine then likely the markets will continue higher.
The other wild card for the markets is the current unrest. This 4th of July let’s hope our nation can heal its divisions. Perhaps that starts, with remembering the important contributions of all those who made our nation possible. If you have been Prospect Park perhaps you have seen this monument of Marquis de Lafayette (below) at the 9th Street entrance. Perhaps, you have never heard of the man on the left, James Armistead, without whom our victory of Yorktown may not have been possible. Armistead, a slave, who volunteered for service with Lafayette during the siege of Richmond in 1781. Before long, he was performing important espionage service behind enemy lines, masquerading as an escaped slave while he obtained information about the plans and movements of the British. He continued his spying as a servant in Cornwallis’s camp during the Yorktown Campaign and relayed intelligence to Lafayette that helped bring about the American victory at Yorktown. When Lafayette returned to America in 1784, he wrote a special testimonial about Armistead’s service and was instrumental in helping win his win his freedom from slavery from the Virginia assembly in 1787. In tribute to Lafayette, James Armistead adopted the surname Lafayette, which he used for the rest of his life.