In our latest market commentary, our adviser Chis Wheeler assess the key trends from the second quarter of 2024. Overall, it has been a period of steady gains.

Global Markets

The second quarter of 2024 saw steady gains in global stock markets. A stable economic environment, coupled with moderate growth in earnings, helped support company share prices and eased fears around recession risks. The US Federal Reserve maintained its cautious stance on interest rates, neither hiking nor cutting, which reassured investors about economic stability.


Inflation showed signs of stabilizing at lower rates, with the potential for interest rate hikes subsiding and the focus firmly shifting to rate cuts. However, there are still elements within the inflation numbers that remain sticky, notably services.

It is this remaining inflation that has led central banks to delay rate cuts this year, initially expect between March and June, only a couple have moved into the easing cycle. Notably the European Central Bank. The current outlier is the Fed, with the biggest economy in the world, the expectation is now only 1 or 2 cuts this year. Plus, the have the added “complication” of the US elections and not wanting to be seen as trying to boost the economy for one party, especially as they are deemed to be independent (no doubt whatever they do, will be politicized anyway).


Technology and healthcare stocks were standout performers, benefiting from strong earnings and growth outlooks. However, valuations, especially in the Magnificent Seven are looking expensive.


With 50% of the world population due to vote this year (or early next), there is potential for disruption. While this does cause some concern in terms of the impact on investments, markets look through this, they are after all a forward-looking pricing mechanism.

While the UK election looks like a foregone conclusion, the UK is only a small part of the world economy. The USA on the other hand is significant. Donald Trump’s publicity machine is in full swing, with some quite extreme plans. However, the polls are much closer in the USA than in England and it is unlikely that Trump would obtain a big majority and crucially not hold outright power in both The Senate and The House of Representatives (I always think it’s a similar structure to our House of Commons and House of Lords). With Congress split, it will likely curtail his ambitions and provide some stability.


Savings rates have fallen slightly over the last few months, but relatively stable. Money-market funds offering returns of 5% p.a. can be attractive for shorter term needs. Despite these returns, cash and cash-equivalents continued to lag equities and bonds, which offered better performance over the quarter.


  1. Economic Stability: Investors are keeping an eye on economic growth indicators to ensure the stability observed in Q2 continues.
  2. Central Bank Policies: The trajectory of central bank policies remains a crucial factor, with any indications of rate changes likely to influence market sentiment.
  3. Valuations: Many fund managers long-term forward-looking view is that better returns can be made outside of the USA, given the premium charged for USA equities vs he international peers. But when this rotation happens is not clear.

Overall, Q2 2024 was characterized by steady gains and cautious optimism, with markets responding positively to stable economic indicators and corporate earnings. Potential issues remain electoral surprises.