CFDs are complex instruments. You can lose your money rapidly due to leverage. Please ensure you understand how this product works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money. CFDs are complex instruments. You can lose your money rapidly due to leverage. Please ensure you understand how this product works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money.

Markets face a tough summer

Stocks have struggled during the first half of 2022, but the second half doesn’t appear to offer much relief from fears about high inflation, slowing growth and falling earnings.

Stocks face a difficult few months

Central banks around the world are raising rates, growth is slowing, and prices are continuing to rise at their strongest pace in decades. Taken together, these problems mean that equity markets face their most gloomy outlook since the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the long-run, earnings and expectations of future earnings, drive stock markets. When earnings forecasts begin to fall, stock prices tend to come down with them. This is what has played out over the past six months in global equity markets – rising inflation and higher interest rates mean that consumers have less money to spend. This then suggests earnings will fall, resulting in a drop for stock prices and valuations.

It does not appear as if this situation is about to change in the near future. The Federal Reserve (Fed) has downgraded its growth forecasts for the coming quarters, and many investors expect even these lowered expectations to be missed, and a recession to occur.

Investors remain pessimistic

The weakness in stock markets over the past half-year has come as a sharp contrast to the post-Covid-19 pandemic bounce. Loose monetary policy and plentiful quantitative easing, plus a rebounding global economy, meant that there was a strong case for stocks to rebound. In this situation, investors were happy to keep putting money to work in equities.

But now much of that flow has dried up. The recent fund manager survey from Bank of America (BoA) showed that pessimism is widespread on both the economy and stocks. Investors expect earnings to weaken and growth to keep slowing, and on current evidence they may well be right.

This scenario is unlikely to end in the kind of ‘v-bottom’ that we saw at the end of 2018 and in March 2020. Inflation is strong and central banks are raising them and intend to go on raising them for the foreseeable future.

Is the bear market finally here?

It is true that the great post-2009 bull market has included a number of big selloffs, not least of course March 2020 that arguably reset the bull market and began a new one. Indeed, history shows that 20% corrections in stocks are a regular occurrence, rather than a rare event.

But the bearish case is now the strongest it has been for over a decade. Central banks are tightening policy not just because they want to move away from ultra-low, ‘emergency’ policy that has prevailed for much of the past ten years and more, but because they are having to scramble to bring inflation back under control.

There is still a chance of a market rebound over the summer – sustained bear markets often see dramatic and drawn-out rallies, but with such a tough outlook for the global economy and for earnings, the broader environment for stocks looks quite gloomy. Ultimately, the market will recover, but it will take a sustained drop in inflation, a revival of earnings forecasts and perhaps even a return to rate cuts by central banks for a more bullish view to emerge in the long term.


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

Seize a share opportunity today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks.

  • Increase your market exposure with leverage
  • Get spreads from just 0.1% on major global shares
  • Trade CFDs straight into order books with direct market access

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
liveprices.javascriptrequired
liveprices.javascriptrequired
liveprices.javascriptrequired

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.