Quarterly report: A look into what shaped the quarter Q3'23

Every quarter, we dive into what moves the market.

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Sticky inflation is endemic within the US market at this point. Despite that, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is pushing as hard as ever for it to go down to its targeted 2%.

Q3’23 showed progress with June’s CPI (published in July ’23) showing the lowest point since April ’21 with 2.97%. That, however, is still too close for comfort as the number seems to bounce back in August, with 3.67%.

As it stands, the market is in jitters of what is to come, with mixed signals seems to be coming from the Fed’s mouthpieces, and as they went for a rate hike pause in September ’23 while signaling for more.

The stock market is in jitters as the 10-year treasury rate reached a peak last seen in 2007, thus raising concerns over the investments in the stock market as a whole.


Unions on the move:


A number of unions have been making waves of strikes in different industries throughout the quarter, starting with Hollywood writers, followed by the actors, and the flame seems to ignite the most recent (and arguably one of the most prominent) one which the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

It started of with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) going for picket lines as earlier this year, causing many productions to call the curtains, and affecting investments in major production companies alike.

The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) then followed suit, putting more pressure on the entertainment industry.

A little gear shift, the UAW then decided to join the picket lines, targeting three major manufacturers, General Motors (GM), Ford Motors, and Stellantis (owns brands like Jeep, Fiat, Chrysler, and more).


The ups and downs in finance sector


The finance sector has been seeing a lot of ups and downs over the past quarter. On one hand, many major banks are seeing a rise in profits, or at least are exhibiting some signs of good financial standings.

Along the line, however, there are causes for concerns emerging as credit rating drops and a few downgrades are going on here and there.

Ultimately, the sector will have to deal with the question of how inflation and higher interest rates are playing out for them. As far as we are concerned, the answer is — and you may not like it — depends.


A bit of updates on the tech sector


The tech industry seemed to be at the forefront of change. This, however, calls for concern as security issues played out into trade wars between the US and China, each reducing access to another, especially when it touches high-performance semiconductors.

On a national level, the prominence of a few tech giants is perhaps too massive that it prompted the Nasdaq-100 index to have its tech dominance rebalanced, reflecting a desire to adapt to evolving market dynamics.

Meanwhile, tech giants like Google (owned by Alphabet), Amazon, and Microsoft experienced their own rollercoasters. Google exceeded market expectations, Amazon made strategic moves in acquisitions.

However, the quarter also witnessed challenges in terms of the general movements of the market. Venture capitals are tightening while many tech giants have lost a remarkable sum off their market capitalization.

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