US election latest

Trump won the Republican vote in the Michigan primary, winning 68.1%. Biden won the Democratic vote, with 81.1%.* It’s worth noting that this vote was against other members of each candidate’s party – not against each other. That battle will be decided in November later this year.

Earnings season

450 of the top 500 US companies have now reported their Q4 earnings, and the overall growth rate is coming in close to 8% – with 10% being the expected total for the year.**

Analysts at Fidelity noted ‘After last year’s modest 2.6% decline in earnings, it looks like profits are back on an upwards path. Far from looking like the mature end of the economic, market and earnings cycle, it looks like we are now back safely in mid-cycle as the hoped-for soft landing from the interest rate tightening cycle is unexpectedly achieved’.**

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 finished the month flat to where it started – with an overall gain of 0.10%.*** In an election year, no news is good news – but keep an eye on the Spring Budget on 6th March.

S&P 500

The S&P finished the month up from where it started – rising 3.87% in February.*** You may remember from previous updates, but the S&P 500 has been on a rally for over a year now – and with the Magnificent Seven continuing to post gains (NVIDIA +28%, Meta + 24%, Amazon +12% from 1 to 29 February), we might expect this to continue.***

* CNN, 2024
**Fidelity, 28 February 2024

*** Google Finance, 29 February 2024