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Kuby’s Commentary

Chips and the Chairman

Aug 28, 2023

TINA Years Are Through

Nvidia Inc (NVDA) had terrific earnings, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks in Jackson Hole were unremarkable, and the market yawned. Semiconductor and other AI stocks rallied early in the week, but sold off following Nvidia’s record results, following the classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” playbook. On Friday in the mountains of Wyoming, Chairman Powell reaffirmed a data-dependent approach and said that policymakers at upcoming meetings would “proceed carefully” while assessing incoming economic data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury reached its highest level since 2007 on Monday but retreated to finish the week unchanged. The top stock market indices were mixed with the S&P 500 gaining 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite closing 2.3% higher. Still, the Russell 2000 was down 0.3%, declining issues outnumbered advancing issues, and only the Technology and Consumer Goods sectors finished in the green.


The dollar and gold strengthened modestly, while crude oil pulled back from its recent rally, declining almost 2%. Short-term interest rates continued to inch higher, with 3-month T-bills approaching 5.5%, which certainly provides a compelling alternative to equities as the TINA (There Is No Alternative) years have become a pleasant memory for stock market investors.


It could be another quiet summer week in the financial markets; there will be a scattering of earnings reports, then the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, which is the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), on Thursday, and finally on Friday the August jobs report will be in focus. Weaker economic news seems like good news lately, so a weaker-than-forecast jobs number would likely buoy equity markets. We would note that the July jobs report was a slight miss relative to consensus estimates and included downward revisions to May and June jobs reports. (“The gain in nonfarm payrolls for July came in below expectations at 187,000, and both May and June’s count were revised lower by approximately 25,000 jobs.” – Kuby’s Commentary, August 7, 2023). The expectation for August job creation is modest at 168,000, so any number below that level would likely suggest a significant slowing in the U.S. economy. At North Star, we believe that policymakers have been oversteering the economy for many years, resulting in increased instability and volatility, quite contrary to their actual mandate.


On the Chicago Sports Scene, the Cubs are hot but trail the equally hot Milwaukee Brewers by four games. On the South Side, the White Sox are talking about leaving the Guaranteed Rate Field in 2028 when their lease expires. The Sox play in the weakest division in the Major Leagues but are 16 games out of first place.

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

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