Morgan Stanley
  • Thoughts on the Market Podcast
  • Jun 3, 2024

Why an ‘Everything Rally’ Is Still Possible


Welcome to Thoughts on the Market. I’m Serena Tang, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Cross-Asset Strategist. Along with my colleagues bringing you a variety of perspectives, today I’ll discuss why we believe bonds and equities can both rally this year, with the still-elevated correlations between the two assets a boon rather than a bane to investors.

It’s Monday, June 3rd at 10am in New York.

In our mid-year outlook two weeks ago, we expressed our bullish view on both global equities and parts of fixed income space like agency mortgage-backed securities and leveraged loans, on the back of the benign economic backdrop our economists are forecasting for in the second half of 2024.

Now, this may be surprising to some. Received wisdom is that in an environment of rate cuts and falling yields, equities can't perform well because the former usually maps to growth slowdowns. When equities see double-digit upside – which is what we’re projecting for European equities – it’s unusual for bonds to also see strong and positive returns, which is what we’re projecting for German government bonds.

And I want to push back on this received wisdom that we can’t have an ‘everything rally’. When we look at the annual performance of global stocks and 10-year US Treasuries every year going back to 1988, in the 13 times when the Fed cut rates over the course of the year, bond yields were lower and equities were up 43 per cent of the time. And in those periods, stock returns averaged 18 per cent while yields fell over 1 percentage points. ‘Everything rallies’ happen often in this very macro backdrop of benign growth and Fed cuts we’re expecting, And when they do happen, everything indeed rallies – strongly.


Or to frame it another way – our expectations for both global equities and fixed income to see strong total returns this year is the flipside of what markets had experienced in 2022. Now back then, unlike in most other prior cycles, stock-bond return correlations were high because inflation was elevated even as growth was sluggish, meaning that bonds sold off on higher rates expectations, and equities on bad earnings. Today, with our view that global growth can be robust while disinflation continues, the opposite will likely be true; bonds should rally on lower rates expectations, and equities on strong earnings revisions. Stock-bond return correlations are still elevated, but it will should work in an investor’s favor this year.

Lean into it. Good macro, fair fundamentals, pockets of attractive valuations all make for a strong environment for risk assets, a reason for us to get more bullish on European and Japanese equities, but also in fixed income products like leveraged loans and Collateralized Loan Obligations.

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Our Chief Cross-Asset Strategist explains why the high correlation between stocks and bonds could work in investors’ favor throughout the second half of this year.