Global economies have stayed resilient amid uncertainty, but headwinds are likely to mount in 2024.
We think the Fed is likely to remain on hold in 2024. High yield and shorter-term investment-grade corporate bonds could offer opportunities.
Equity investors may benefit from casting wider nets in 2024. We see opportunities in Japan, emerging markets, health care, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Summary with Global Investment Specialist Ritu Vohora, CFA®
The economic distortions stemming from the pandemic have produced tectonic shifts in the global investment landscape. Investors have had to navigate conflicting macroeconomic signals and a market narrative that has gyrated almost every few weeks. Many economies have been resilient in 2023, despite aggressive rate hikes and tightening liquidity. This has fueled hopes of a soft landing. However, as we head into 2024, uncertainties remain. Global growth is at risk, as the long and variable lags of monetary policy start to bite. And while inflation is rolling over, there’s a risk it will inflect higher. We remain neutral on stocks and bonds overall. Bond yields have been on a roller coaster ride in 2023. While central banks are likely at the end of their hiking cycles, the baton of volatility will be handed from the short end to the long end of the yield curve—given supply dynamics and an uncertain economic outlook. We think rate cuts will materialize later than markets expect, but the Fed will remain data dependent. A steepening of global yield curves is likely to be a more significant driver for markets than the outlook for short-term rates. Attractive yields provide the opportunity to lock in income in high-quality bonds. Shorter-term investment-grade bonds, high yield bonds, and emerging market debt also offer opportunities. The massive outperformance of the “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks has been a defining feature of equity markets in 2023. 2024 may invite broader equity opportunities and warrants a diversified approach. Delivery on earnings expectations will be key. Alongside generative AI, health care innovation and falling energy productivity are structural areas of opportunity. We also see select opportunities in Japan, emerging markets, and small-caps. Tectonic market shifts will create new opportunities to put cash to work in 2024. It will also demand a greater focus on fundamentals, diversification, and risk management. A fertile ground for active investors.
Investment professionals from the T. Rowe Price Multi-Asset Division present their views on the relative attractiveness of asset classes and subclasses over next six to 18 months.
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