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Weekly Market Update for September 1, 2023

by Jim Ulland

Big Tech continues to be the main driver of the market’s upward movement. Here is the performance of some of those “Big Dogs” so far this year: Apple up 45%, Amazon up 63%, Google up 54%, Meta up 146%, Microsoft up 37%, Nvidia up a remarkable 233%, and the QQQ, an index of the largest 100 growth stocks (mostly Tech), up 42%.

Besides Tech, the market continues to be influenced by the thinking that bad news is good. This view suggests that if the economy slows, the Fed will not need to raise interest rates again. The week’s economic data supported this view. Today, the Jobs Report for August showed an increase in the unemployment rate from 3.5% to 3.8%. Job growth has slowed to below 200,000 new jobs per month for the third month in a row. Slower job growth takes pressure off wage increases, a key inflation component.

Manufacturing also continued to contract for the ninth straight month. Both new orders and average hourly earnings were down. There is weakness in China’s economy too, which will reduce demand for US goods and lower pressure on prices.

Our fixed income strategies, led by Intelligent Fixed Income (IFI), are benefiting from the market’s assessment that the Fed has ended its series of interest rate increases. We think now is the time to lock in today’s favorable rates which range from 6-8%. These rates can be locked in on an almost permanent basis since preferred stock does not have a maturity like bonds. The only way the high income from preferreds would stop would be for the issuing company to redeem the shares at par or for the issuer to fail. We recommend IFI to generate higher income when CDs, Treasuries, and bonds come to maturity.

During this final week of August, the S&P 500 was up +2.50%. The Nasdaq was up 3.25%. On Monday the S&P 500 was up by +0.63%, Tuesday +1.45%, Wednesday +0.38%, Thursday -0.16%, and Friday +0.18%. The 10-yr Treasury was down -6 bps to 4.18%, whereas the 6-month Treasury closed the week at 5.50%.

Next week is shortened by the Labor Day holiday on Monday. We will be closed. The coming week looks relatively quiet as families adjust from a summer schedule to one focused on school. That said, surprises are a way of life today. As a boutique firm, we can respond quickly to changing conditions. Yet, we would just as soon have a couple of weeks of calm and let the leaves change color in peace.

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