Chicago: 312-580-0900 | Suburban: 847-831-8831 | Family Office: 312-338-7788 | Financial Planning: 312-440-5028 | Benefits: 847-831-8831

Kuby’s Commentary

Chips and Dips

Feb 26, 2024

Last Week: Insatiable Demand

We could call it another serving of chips and dips, with Nvidia providing the tasty chips and dips coming from continued Fed policy concerns.

The markets were closed on Monday and treaded water on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, the major indices set record highs after Nvidia reported blowout quarterly earnings results and strong guidance after Wednesday’s closing bell. “Insatiable demand” for the company’s artificial intelligence chips lifted the stock more than 16%, leading the company to briefly surpass a $2 trillion valuation, with all the companies that look or smell like Nvidia joining the party. The dips came from the minutes from the last FOMC meeting, in which officials confirmed their “patience” in lowering interest rates. The chips were tasty enough to overpower the dips, and the S&P 500 advanced 1.6%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.4%, although the Russell 2000 declined 0.7%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also set a record high, finally eclipsing its level from 32 years ago. The bond market was steady, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury finishing three basis points lower at 4.26%, while gold rallied, and the dollar drifted modestly lower. All the industry sectors finished in the green, with the tech stocks again on top of the leaderboard.

In addition to Nvidia, the corporate earnings picture continued to improve, with the S&P 500 now on track to show 4% growth for the quarter.

This Week: Winning-est Winner

The economic calendar includes data on new home sales, durable orders, and construction prices. The release of the core PCE core number on Thursday, February 29, will be in focus, as it is considered the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge and could influence the timing and slope of 2024’s much-needed interest rate cuts. The consensus estimates call for a year-over-year increase in the core PCE of 2.6%, which is fairly moderate although not at the 2% target that the Fed has established (for reasons that escape us). We believe that the reported inflation statistics are overstating actual economic trends due to the significant weighting of home prices that various inflation indices include; this impact seems illogical given multiple financial press reports of declining rents in many metropolitan markets. However, until the Fed rhetoric begins to spotlight the disproportionate effect of rising home prices (primarily driven by lack of inventory of single-family homes) on inflation indices, markets will not reflect this economic reality.

It’s the ninth inning for quarterly earnings reports for major corporations, with Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW), Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), and eBay Inc (EBAY) releasing results.

Amazon will replace Walgreens Boots Alliance on Monday in the Dow Jones Industrial Index. The Index was created in 1896 by Charles Dow and originally consisted of 12 companies: American Cotton Oil, American Sugar, American Tobacco, Chicago Gas, Distilling & Cattle Feeding, General Electric, Laclede Gas, National Lead, North American, Tennessee Coal and Iron, U.S. Leather, and U.S. Rubber.

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born 100 years ago on March 2. One can only wonder what marvelous political cartoons Seuss would be penning if he were still alive today.

On the Chicago sports scene, the end of the Justin Fields era appears imminent. We still stand with Justin, but apparently, the ‘powers that be’ feel otherwise. The University of Chicago Maroons basketball team finished the season with a 5-game losing streak and 1-game over 500, almost an exact replay of the 1980-81 campaign with North Star Team member Eric Kuby running the point. In the sage words of Dr. Seuss:

“There are points to be scored. 

There are games to be won. 

And the magical things you can do with that ball

Will make you the winning-est winner of all.”

You can’t win every day in sports and the financial markets, but you can still be a winner.

The stocks mentioned above may be holdings in our mutual funds. For more information, please visit

The information provided in this commentary is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase any security, product, or brokerage service. The information is not intended to be used as the basis for investment decisions, nor should the information be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of any investor. This commentary is presented to illustrate examples of the securities that North Star Investment Management Corporation and/or its affiliates (“North Star”) may have bought for client accounts and the diversity of markets in which North Star Investments may invest, and may not be representative of current or future investments. You should not assume that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable or will be equal to any corresponding performance levels that might be indicated. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments in securities involve risks including the possible loss of the principal invested. North Star and others associated with it, including employees, may have positions in and effect transactions in securities of companies mentioned or indirectly referenced in this commentary. North Star may buy, sell or hold these securities in proprietary or client accounts. North Star will not be providing regular updates or advising you of any changes in the views expressed herein. Investors should consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation and needs before investing in any security. Tax considerations, commissions, fees and other costs should be carefully evaluated with one’s investment and/or tax advisors. Information provided is obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but North Star cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information. This material may not be reproduced, distributed or transmitted to any other person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of North Star. A copy of North Star Investment Management Corporation’s Form ADV Brochure, Privacy Notice and Business Continuity Plan summary can be obtained by calling 312-580-0900.

Sign up to receive a weekly email with Kuby’s Commentary.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Recent Kuby’s Commentaries
    Kuby’s Commentary & Quarterly Update Archives