Receive Weekly Market Updates via Email


Weekly Market Update for November 17, 2023

by Jim Ulland

The market celebrated the October CPI Report released Tuesday, which was followed the next day by an even more favorable wholesale price report (PPI). It is not quite this simple, but as inflation goes down, interest rates go down. This more favorable environment lifts stock prices and triggers broad purchases of fixed income to lock in the high current yields. For instance, our fixed income strategy (IFI) currently pays a 7%+ current yield. The Fed has raised rates to a 22-year high, allowing these favorable yields to develop. A Bank of America survey showed that investor cash levels are down to the lowest in two years as idle funds are redeployed into these opportunities. By the end of the week, the S&P 500 was up 2.24% and the NASDAQ +2.37%. This was the third week in a row of substantial gains. Thanksgiving came early.

Two weeks ago, the Jobs Report reflected a slowing pace of job growth, a favorable factor for wage inflation. This week, the slowing pace was reflected in unemployment filings, which were higher than expected. Walmart warned of increasing stress on the US consumer. They saw a sharp falloff in sales during the last two weeks of October and commented that prices were coming down. Oil helped to support inflation’s downward trend as the price of crude oil fell 1.8% during the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is used as an indicator for the direction of interest rates, also showed a meaningful decline, reflecting lower inflation and a slightly weaker economy.

The upward trend in interest rates and inflation in 2022 and the first half of 2023 has been a headwind for preferred stock prices and for most common stocks. The headwind is now becoming a tailwind. We expect the tailwind to move stock and fixed income prices higher well into 2024.

The yield on our US Treasury strategy currently is 5.4%, a safe waiting spot for those who want assurance that inflation will continue to fall before investing additional funds in stocks or fixed income.

Generally good Q3 corporate earnings have concluded with Target beating earnings expectations by 40%. On Monday the S&P 500 was -0.08%, Tuesday +1.91%, Wednesday +0.16%, Thursday +0.12%, and Friday +0.13%. The yield on the 6-month Treasury closed at 5.42%. The 10-year Treasury finished down -20bps to 4.44%.

Next week, AI chip maker Nvidia reports on Tuesday. Locally-based Best Buy and Medtronic also report, although neither are in our portfolios. The week will be slow because of the Thanksgiving holiday. No major economic news is expected. The market is open until noon the Friday after Thanksgiving. We will be open until noon, but lightly staffed. Remember, don’t talk politics over the Thanksgiving table… no sense ruining a feast.

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.

This does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy or product for a particular investor. Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risk, charges, and expenses of the strategy carefully before investing. This and other important information can be obtained by contacting Ulland Investment Advisors


Ulland Investment Advisors

4550 IDS Center · Eighty South Eighth Street · Minneapolis MN 55402 · Telephone: 612-312-1400 · Facsimile: 612-204-3464