March 2024 Market Recap and April Outlook

March 2024 Market Recap and April Outlook

It may only be April, but investors find themselves under the sweltering heat of inflationary pressures. Inflation has been simmering over the past months, and Wednesday’s numbers suggest that the heatwave might intensify. The implications of hot inflation numbers extend far beyond the aisles of grocery stores; they have the potential to sizzle the stock market, sending shockwaves through portfolios and reshaping investment strategies.

The first quarter of the year witnessed a surge in inflation, fueled by a variety of factors ranging from supply chain disruptions to fiscal policies aimed at reviving economies. Central banks around the world have been closely monitoring these developments, yet the hot inflation numbers have persisted, posing a significant challenge to policymakers and investors alike.

So, how might these soaring inflation figures impact the stock market in the second quarter?

Investors are likely to experience increased volatility as inflationary pressures continue to mount. The beginning of April has been an example of this. Historically, periods of high inflation have been associated with greater market turbulence, as uncertainty surrounding future purchasing power erodes investor confidence. Stocks, particularly those in sectors sensitive to inflation such as consumer discretionary and industrials, may experience heightened fluctuations in prices as investors recalibrate their expectations and assess the potential impact on company earnings.

Moreover, rising inflation can exert downward pressure on stock valuations. As inflation erodes the real value of future cash flows, investors may demand higher returns to compensate for the diminished purchasing power of their investments. This could lead to a repricing of equities, particularly those trading at elevated valuations. Risk reward comes into play and investors may be less likely to buy stocks at inflated prices. Companies with pricing power and the ability to pass on increased costs to consumers may fare better than those operating in more competitive markets.

Inflation can also influence the decisions of central banks, with implications for monetary policy and interest rates. The Federal Reserve may adopt a more hawkish stance, signaling potential rate hikes. Remember, the market has priced in perfection which includes multiple rate cuts this year. Higher interest rates can have a cooling effect on economic growth and corporate profitability, as borrowing costs rise and consumer spending declines.

Despite the challenges, inflationary pressures don’t have to cook investors this quarter. As heightened volatility becomes likely, it is important to concentrate on your long-term financial goals during periods of short-term fluctuations. As a reminder, pullbacks and corrections are normal market movements, and we are overdue for both. Diversification in your portfolio can also help to manage risk. A diversified portfolio can help cushion against losses in any single investment or market segment. Your investment process can also have a significant impact on your overall performance. We employ a process that helps us determine what areas in the market are strengthening as well as weakening. We choose our areas accordingly. This allows us to stack the odds in our favor. Engaging a fiduciary advisor can help you make non-biased investment decisions during times of unsettled markets.

In conclusion, the impact of hot inflation numbers looms large over the stock market as we navigate the second quarter of 2024. While inflationary pressures may induce greater volatility and pose challenges to equity valuations, investors can adapt their strategies amid the turmoil. By adopting a disciplined approach, staying focused on long-term goals, and implementing sound investment strategies, investors can navigate the ups and downs of the market and position themselves for long-term success. If you have any questions, please reach out. We are always happy to help! Happy Spring.


Prior to her career in the financial services industry, Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cedarville University.

Ashley decided to make a career change from her ten years within the healthcare industry as a pediatric emergency room nurse to retirement and 401K investment planning. She joined Victory Fiduciary Consulting in 2008 after obtaining her Series 65 professional financial license and went on to earn her AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) professional designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.


Skip to content