Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

I hope everyone is staying cool this week, as it has been hot, and I am not just talking about the weather. Major League Baseball came in hot this week with the All-Star game being played at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980, England is literally feeling hot, and Ukraine is feeling the heat with Russia continuing their attacks.

It has been a hot week for Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Home Run Derby on Monday and the All-Star game on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Washington Nationals, Juan Soto, 26, was on fire and hit 19 home runs in the final round against Seattle Mariners’ rookie Julio Rodriguez, 21, who hit 18 home runs. Soto became the second youngest player ever to win the Derby and only the second Washington Nationals player to ever win of all time. It was an exciting and entertaining event to watch. After being canceled in May 2020 due to the pandemic, the Midsummer Classic returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980. The All-Star Game line-ups for the American League (AL) and the National League (NL) are selected by the fans. The NL started off hot with getting 2 runs on the scoreboard in the first inning, but the AL fired back and was victorious over the NL, 3-2. The AL has now won 9 All-Star Games in a row against the NL.

Across the pond, the United Kingdom is experiencing a heatwave. Britain recorded its hottest day ever on Tuesday with temperatures hitting a high of 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit). This extreme heat has caused a number of wildfires around the country, including at a golf course near Birmingham and some fields in west Cornwall. These high temperatures have been particularly disruptive for a country with little infrastructure or conveniences like air-conditioning. Many parts of Europe are also experiencing extreme temperatures, and wildfires have broken out in Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, and Morocco.

Tensions are still heating up in Ukraine, although Ukraine has been able to inflict some significant losses on the Russians with nearly 20 strikes behind Russian lines this month. All this comes as Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska met with U.S. first lady Jill Biden yesterday as part of her high-profile trip to the United States. She spoke privately with Biden regarding her concerns that the war is having on emotional health of Ukrainian children. On Wednesday, she addressed a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. She urged Congress to send more weapons to fight against Russia. The United States has provided approximately $8 billion in military aid since the war began in late February, including about $2.2 billion in the past month.

Temperatures rose in D.C. today, with President Joe Biden testing positive for Covid-19. The White House reported that he is experiencing very mild symptoms and has begun taking Paxlovid and antiviral therapy.

In lighter news, (but still hot) Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck got married at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas last Saturday. Coincidentally, this also happens to be the same chapel where my parents were married on September 2, 1951! Lopez and Affleck who were previously engaged in 2004 reconnected after Lopez and former NY Yankee, Alex Rodriguez split up. So, no more J. Lo now that she changed her name to Jennifer Affleck.

It is the start of earnings week for Wall Street meaning we will start to see how some of the biggest names in the market have done, and what their outlook is for the last half of the year. So far, major banks reported like Bank of America (BAC), stated that their revenue has been driven by healthy consumer demand for loans and saw deposit levels remain at high levels. This is helpful on a fundamental level to understand the position of the average consumer, but what Wall Street will really be eyeing is the outlook from names like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL). Another hot topic is the Federal Reserves’ announcement of how much they will hike interest rates next week. The expectations are for a 0.75% hike, but nothing is guaranteed. Our friends at the European Central Bank (ECB) recently raised interest rates by 0.50%, surpassing investors’ expectations of a 0.25% hike. For the week, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq are all up 5.52%, 4.64%, and 7.19%, respectively, as of today’s close.

There is still time to join our next webinar on “Medicare Essentials” with Carol Chap, M.S., HICAP Community Education and Outreach Coordinator and will take place on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at 1pm. Click here to register and learn more. All of our previous webinars are available to watch on our website. Please share these links with your friends and family if you think they are topics they will find interesting.

Now that we are more than halfway through 2022, we encourage you to schedule an in-person or virtual review with your Wealth Manager. Please call our office at (888) 253-0288 or email

Stay cool,

Rhonda Ducote, AIF®


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