CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, Action Alerts Plus members. As I've been writing in your alerts, this week is all about the data that will confirm or reject the Goldilocks narrative that has been powering the market higher over these last several weeks. This morning, we got the first taste of that data with the November CPI report, and it's pushing back on that market melt-up narrative.
While the data was largely in line with expectations, it did show both headline and core CPI up on a month over month basis. But in our view, what the report lacked was just as important. By that, we mean there was no downside surprise in the data. Core CPI was still up 4% year over year, the same as it was in October. And the rate of improvement in that data has slowed, if not stalled out, in recent months.
That, along with Friday's November employment report that showed stronger job gains and wage growth climbing, gives the Fed enough ammo to deliver a message the market isn't necessarily expecting tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday, we discussed how the market sees four, maybe five, rate cuts in 2024.
And while we are likely to see some rate cuts next year, the data of the last few days suggests that we won't be seeing that many-- again, not the four to five the market is looking for. We'll look for confirmation not only in Fed Chair Powell's comments tomorrow, but also in the Fed's updated dot plot. Given what we're seeing, we will own our market hedging inverse ETFs into that Fed meeting tomorrow afternoon. And our plan continues to be looking for a market pullback so we can put more capital to work at better prices, laying the groundwork for 2024.
And speaking of laying the groundwork for 2024, yesterday, we brought Waste Management up from the bullpen. And we also upped our price targets for the shares of Applied Materials, United Rentals, and Vulcan Materials. The commonality between all four of those moves with the portfolio was the start of dollars flowing for the CHIPS Act. Now, we've been waiting for this, and the spigot is now starting to open.
This, in our view, adds another layer of non-residential construction activity and waste hauling on top of the Biden Infrastructure Act. Other drivers in the wings that we're waiting for include the start of the EV charging network buildout and President Biden's $8.2 billion passenger rail program that was, again, recently announced.
So far in 2023, we've had a great run, wit our shares of United Rentals, Applied Materials, and Vulcan. Those four programs I just mentioned are multiyear in nature and support our longer term outlook for those four holdings. Again, United Rentals, Applied Materials, Vulcan, and newly added Waste Management.
And before we get out of here, folks, one last thing on Waste Management-- this morning, the company announced a 7% dividend increase and refreshed its $1.5 billion stock buyback program. Nice sweeteners to our adding the shares to the portfolio just yesterday. And that will do it for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when JD Durkin, Helene Meisler, and I will be live at 12:00 Eastern Standard Time to review all of 2023 and break down our biggest predictions for 2024.