Why You’re Better Off Ignoring the 2024 Election When Investing

All copyrighted images used with permission of the respective copyright holders.

The 2024 Election: A Look at the Potential Market Impacts

The 2024 presidential election is drawing near, and investors across the globe are closely watching, as the outcome could significantly impact the U.S. economy and financial markets. With both Donald Trump and Joe Biden seeking re-election, the race promises to be tight and potentially unpredictable. While many factors influence market performance, the political landscape exerts a powerful force, shaping policy decisions and investor sentiment. Analysts are already speculating about the potential ramifications of a Trump or Biden victory, particularly in a landslide scenario, where one party controls both the White House and Congress. Let’s examine the potential scenarios and their likely implications for the markets.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Trump victory could mean more tariffs, potentially disrupting trade and fueling inflation. This could hurt the consumer discretionary, industrials, and information technology sectors, according to UBS. While lower taxes and increased budget deficits could stimulate economic growth, this comes with the risk of higher interest rates due to inflation. Fossil-fuel energy and financial services are expected to benefit from decreased regulation.
  • A Biden re-election without Congress control would likely lead to a continuation of the current status quo, with increased regulation (despite recent Supreme Court limitations on executive power) and higher taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Renewables and energy efficiency sectors within the industrials, materials, and utilities categories are expected to see benefits.
  • A landslide for either party is considered a major market disruption. A Biden landslide could enable him to enact policies that have been stalled due to political gridlock, with increased chances for tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, as well as boosting the prospects for clean energy companies.
  • A Trump landslide is deemed the most unsettling scenario for the markets as it could result in sweeping policy changes that radically alter the U.S. business landscape. The potential for economic and social instability could create significant market volatility.

Trump’s Potential: More Tariffs & Economic Uncertainty

A return to a Donald Trump presidency would likely bring about a continuation of his signature “America First” policies, which have had a mixed impact on the economy. The most significant potential consequence is the reintroduction of tariffs on goods imported from China and other countries. While these tariffs might offer some short-term protection for domestic industries, they can also lead to increased prices for consumers and businesses, potentially hindering economic growth and fueling inflationary pressures.

The consumer discretionary sector might suffer as higher prices for imported goods diminish consumer purchasing power. Industries reliant on global supply chains could also experience disruptions. The technology sector, with its significant reliance on global trade, could face substantial challenges as a result of new tariffs.

However, a Trump win could also mean reduced regulation across many sectors, potentially unleashing economic activity. Sectors like fossil-fuel energy, which have faced tightening regulations under Biden, may experience a revival. The financial services sector could see a relaxation of regulations, potentially leading to a boost in lending and economic activity.

Biden’s Potential: More Regulation and Clean Energy Focus

A Joe Biden re-election, especially if unaccompanied by congressional control, would likely lead to a continuation of the current policy agenda. This could involve a renewed focus on environmental regulations, further tightening restrictions on industries like fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources. Companies invested in clean energy and energy efficiency are likely to benefit from this shift, according to UBS.

Increased regulation across various sectors is also anticipated, potentially impacting industries like healthcare and finance, although the recent Supreme Court decision limiting executive regulatory powers may temper some of these expectations. Tax increases for wealthy individuals and corporations are also a possibility, with the aim of addressing wealth inequality and funding social programs.

Landslide Scenarios: Market Volatility and Policy Shifts

A landslide victory for either party, either a Democratic sweep or a Republican one, presents a unique and potentially disruptive scenario for the markets. The significant policy changes that usually come with such victories could lead to increased uncertainty and volatility.

A Biden landslide would give him the mandate to execute his ambitious policy plans, including a green energy transition and increased social spending. While this could stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the long term, it might also cause volatility in the short term.

A Trump landslide is considered the most unpredictable and potentially unsettling scenario for financial markets. It might unleash a range of changes to trade policies, immigration, and social programs, creating a high level of uncertainty about the future of U.S. business. This could lead to significant market volatility and even economic instability.

Key Takeaways: Markets are Already Priced for a Close Race

While the specific direction and intensity of the market’s reaction to any particular outcome remain uncertain, analysts emphasize that the markets are already pricing in a close election. However, significant shifts in favor of either party, especially a landslide scenario, could create significant market volatility in the short term, as sudden and unexpected changes in policy can disrupt investor confidence and investment decisions.

As Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist for Ameriprise Financial, notes, the markets are likely to rebound quickly after the initial shock of the election. He points to historical precedents showing that markets tend to quickly refocus on interest rates and corporate profits after the election cycle ends, putting election-related volatility into perspective.

Conclusion: The 2024 Election is a Crucial Moment for Investors

The 2024 election is not only a defining moment for the direction of U.S. policy but also for the performance of financial markets. While the exact impact of the election results remains uncertain, investors are advised to assess their investment strategies to navigate potential volatility and prepare for the possibilities. The election provides an opportunity to re-evaluate risk, diversify investments, and monitor market movements closely. The 2024 election promises to be a pivotal moment for the U.S. economy and its financial markets, and investors must be prepared for the potential changes it will bring.

Article Reference

William Edwards
William Edwards
William Edwards is a business journalist with a keen understanding of market trends and economic factors. His articles cover a wide range of business topics, from startups to global markets. William's in-depth analysis and clear writing provide valuable insights for business professionals.