Market Recap: August 2023

September 01, 2023
August 2023 Market Recap

Market commentary

  • The strong consumer and robust jobs market are supporting the economy, but cracks may be appearing in the unemployment rate and consumer confidence reading.
  • Unemployment ticked up to 3.8%, indicating a softer — but not cratering — jobs market.
  • Inflation increased slightly month-over-month, but continues to show progress relative to the high levels seen a year ago.


Select economic and market data

Statistic (monthly unless noted)



U.S. GDP (quarterly) 2.1% 2.0%
Consumer Confidence 106.1 114.0
Consumer Price Index Y/Y 3.2% 3.0%
Core PCE (x food & energy) 4.2% 4.1%
ISM Manufacturing Index 47.6 46.4
Unemployment Rate 3.8% 3.5%
2-Year Treasury Yield 4.87% 4.88%
10-Year Treasury Yield 4.11% 3.96%



  • Equities were weaker in August, with the S&P 500 & Nasdaq suffering their first down month since February.
  • Ten of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 were negative in the month, with Energy the lone bright spot.
  • International indices underperformed as European business activity contracted and China’s slowdown continues.
Aug 2023 Equities Indices graph


Fixed income

  • The Fed’s annual trip to Jackson Hole resulted in relatively benign talking points, with Powell acknowledging the balancing act between over-tightening and containing inflation.
  • Yields moved higher in August with the 10-year treasury hitting a 15-year intra-month high of 4.36% before settling at 4.11%.
Aug 2023 Fixed Income indices graph


Strategic outlook

  • Above-average volatility is likely given elevated inflation and heightened central bank involvement.
  • Some caution is warranted on equities in the near-term; currently favoring small-cap and mid-cap domestic stocks longer-term.
  • Incrementally extending duration in the fixed income portfolio as the intermediate part of the curve is becoming more attractive.
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