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The objective of the sequester was to build an arbitrary cliff so fearsome that the Congress would never steer us over it. Well as we know, they did, with us in the back seat. What is fascinating though, at least during our descent from the cliff, is the unintended consequences of sequester; as invariably happens when government tries to be clever.

We are beneficiaries of the wealthiest nation in the world. But no matter how intentional we try to be, we still take for granted the countless common conveniences that were unimaginable or wildly extravagant not so many years ago. And despite our boundless resources, education systems, capital, enabling technologies, and the conveniences that make them all work for us, seems we are able to find precious little time to pursue our highest and our best purposes.

The stock market has been on a tear this week, making new highs while defying negative trending economic news and continued impasse in Washington on vital fiscal policies. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% yesterday to close at a record 1,593.37. It reversed this morning on news that retail sales for March came in well below expectations and that the weakness was broad based.

Stocks for the week are down between 1.8% and 2.2% according to the S&P 500 and the Broad US Market respectively. Most of the decline comes today on the disappointing news that US employers added only 88,000 jobs in March, the slowest pace in nine months. Economists were expecting an increase of 200,000 workers.

Why do we Christians call today Good Friday? On this day the “Light of the World” was extinguished. Jesus Christ hung on a cross for six torturous hours and died at the ninth hour or about 3:00. His followers hid themselves in fear of instant death at the hands of crowds that had been whipped up against them by the rulers of the day.

One of the most challenging issues we face as investors is the temptation to change, or worse, abandon our carefully reasoned investment plans for perceived threats or opportunities. In these instances we wonder whether we should apply the brakes or step on the accelerator. It seems only as a last resort do we consider sticking with our carefully laid-out investment plan, ignoring the temptations of the day.

The topic of new stock highs continues to dominate conversations these days. Some argue the economy simply doesn't support the market while others are convinced that the concurrent improvement in stocks and economic indicators portends better times ahead. The S&P 500 (pictured below) is now up 9.1% for the year, having increased 2.7% for the month so far. The index is just a few points away from its all-time highs. Once crossed it will join the company of other indexes exploring new heights like the Dow Jones Industrials and the Wilshire 5000.

Today's jobs report is lifting stocks to new heights. The Dow Jones Industrial Index crossed its historic high on March 5th and is now 200 points, or 1.4% beyond its high last reached in October of 2007. The total US Stock market as measured by the Vanguard Total Market Index is 2.3% above its October record and crossed that mark on February 8th. The S&P 500 has just under 2% to go before it makes a new high.

Perhaps you know the saying, 'if March comes in like a lion, it will go out as a lamb.' As the Washington tragedy continues with its latest act entitled 'Sequestration', the audience seems increasingly disinterested by the day. Stocks are up and life goes on as usual.

In one week less a day sequestration is set to go into effect and neither President Obama nor Congress seem willing or able to avert it. Left unchanged the policy mandates $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board government spending cuts to begin March 1st.