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Weekly Market Update for March 3, 2023

by Jim Ulland

You probably read Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” somewhere along your academic journey. The market is relatively range bound as it waits for Godot. Godot, in this case, is a resumption of the decline in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The February CPI report will come out in two weeks on March 14th. This will be preceded by the February Jobs Report. Remember, last month the report said that a ton of jobs had been created in January, and the market reacted very negatively. The market feared the Fed would raise rates even more than expected in an attempt to cool the economy and thus inflation. The same fears will be present for the February Jobs Report of next Friday.

The market does not like uncertainty, so it went down for three weeks in a row in February before moving higher this week. At the close today, the S&P500 was up 1.90% for the week and the NASDAQ was up 2.58%. Economic data was mixed. For instance, pending home sales for January were up 8.1% (bad), but year-over-year sales home were down 24.1% (good). Consumer confidence was down, as were durable goods orders. Tech kept announcing layoffs while restaurants kept hiring. This mixed data will continue until a solid trend of declining CPI is established.

US Treasuries are competing with stocks and traditional fixed income for dollars. Normally, investors would try to lock-in current yields as they hover around 6.5-7%. Some of this is happening, and we recommend a higher allocation to our IFI strategy. Yet, US Treasuries of six and twelve months pay over 5% and are exempt from state taxes. That is attractive. Our new IFI-GOV strategy using US Treasuries has seen an in-flow exceeding $20 million since 12/1/22, when it was launched.

The next Fed interest rate announcement will be on March 22. Things will be volatile until the downward CPI trend is established. Buckle up. As you recall in “Waiting for Godot,” Godot never showed up. We hope for the arrival of a Fed interest rate pause by this summer.

Monday the S&P500 was up +0.31%, Tuesday -0.30%, Wednesday -0.47%, Thursday +0.76%, and Friday +6.61%.  Next week, the big news will come on Friday with the February Jobs Report.


The information contained in this commentary is not investment advice for any person. It is presented only for informational purposes to assist in explaining factors that may have had an impact in the past or may have an impact in the future on client portfolios or composites. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the firm on this date and are subject to change. Included information has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing materials are accurate or complete. Investors should contact Ulland Investment Advisors for individualized information prior to deciding to participate in any portfolio or making any investment decision. Ulland Investment Advisors does not provide tax advice. All investors are strongly urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding any potential investment.

Performance quoted is past performance. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. There is always a possibility of loss. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance shown. Differences in performance versus the indices/funds may be attributable, in part, to differences in the asset make-up of the strategy vs. the indices/funds. Performance calculations are based on the reinvestment of dividends and gains unless these amounts were paid out to the client. Performance is subject to revision. See for important strategy disclosures.

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