Share your thoughts on our News & Insights section. Complete our survey to help us improve.

Fund sector reviews

US stock market and funds review – a presidential election and AI dominating the 2024 headlines

Artificial intelligence (AI) is entering new sectors and the race for the White House between Trump and Biden is heating up. We look at what’s next for the US stock market.
Looking upwards at a US flag between skyscrapers in New York.jpg

Important information - This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

While we get ever closer to the 2024 UK General Election on 4 July, across the pond the US presidential election is heating up.

Despite Donald Trump’s latest convictions of falsifying business documents in the run up to the 2016 election, he will still be able to run for president.

Following the verdict, that Trump will most likely appeal, his supporters rallied with him. In the 24 hours post the conviction, Trump raised almost $53m of additional campaign funding.

President Biden has had a significantly larger war chest compared to Trump so far this election. However, this inflow of cash will certainly help Trump compete with Biden in the spending department as they try and market themselves to potential voters.

With the first debate coming at the end of June, we're starting to get an idea where the two parties views align and where they're different.

What are the Republicans and Democrats promising?

Both parties have committed to trying to improve and protect domestic manufacturing off the back of the growing rivalry with China. This was a key area in Trump’s first term as president as he implemented tariffs (taxes that act as an additional cost) on specific Chinese goods.

It's expected that he’d go a step further if he regains the White House with a 60% tariff on all Chinese goods entering the country and 10% on products from the rest of the world.

While Biden used subsidies and tax credits, in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS and Science Act, to encourage businesses to stay and use US. However, he isn’t against the idea of tariffs and has suggested implementing a tariff on Chinese steel and aluminium.

Immigration’s the most important issue facing the country today and will be a key focus point in the debates.

Immigration is estimated to have added 3.3 million people to the US population last year. While it’s helped the job market and increased demand for houses, there are concerns the extra spending from more people has fuelled some aspects of inflation.

It’s expected Trump will take a hard approach on immigration, and this could force Biden’s hand to take a tougher stance to please voters.

Climate debate is also heating up.

It’s still a focus for Biden and the Democrats but, Trump has vowed to accelerate the production of fossil fuels and roll back some of Biden’s greener policies.

During Trump’s first term, he applied temporary tax cuts that will expire at the end of 2025. He’s pledged that these tax cuts will continue, although no formal tax plan has been announced yet.

Biden’s taken a different view.

He plans on raising taxes for wealthy individuals (those earning over $400,000) and big corporations. Those earning lower than this won’t face an increase in tax.

Biden v Trump on different policy areas

Policy area



US manufacturing

Mainly subsidies

CHIPS and Science Act

Inflation Reduction act

Potential tariff on Chinese steel and Aluminium

Mainly Tariffs

Chinese goods targeted previously

Potential 60% tariff on all Chinese goods


Hard stance

Hard stance


Increased for wealthy individuals earning over $400,000

Increased corporation tax

Extend previous tax cuts

Potential for further broad tax cuts

Climate action

Remains a focus

Accelerate the use of fossil fuels

Roll back some of Biden’s green policies

The AI trend continues into 2024

At the start of the new year, it was no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) was going to be a key area to watch. AI played a big part in market gains in 2023 and, in the first half 2024 it still as important as ever.

In 2023, the magnificent seven (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla) were the biggest winners of AI.

Nvidia, whose hardware and software underpins most AI applications, has continued to grab all the headlines.

It recently announced another record-beating quarter for revenue, and its valuation has risen significantly since the start of the year.

Going into the second half of 2024, there could be opportunities within other sectors and smaller companies that are undervalued. Remember though, past performance isn’t a guide to the future.

Healthcare is one sector that could really benefit from advancements in AI.

AI can analyse lots of data very quickly and accelerate the drug discovery process – saving costs in bringing new drugs to the market. A key hurdle for many smaller healthcare names.

Other sectors like utilities could benefit too over the long term. AI needs a huge amount of power to run data centres.

The financial sector could also benefit from the amount of customer data held, offering better personalisation and customer service opportunities.

The consumer sector can develop more efficient supply chains and offer quicker resolutions in call centres.

Even law firms have adopted the use of AI – helping prepare for client briefings and the creation of legal documents.

So, it’s not just the technology sector that stands to benefit. The impact that AI can have on the wider US market could still be an undervalued part of the market.

How have the US Wealth Shortlist funds performed?

Investing in these funds isn’t right for everyone. Investors should only invest if the fund’s objectives are aligned with their own, and there’s a specific need for the type of investment being made. Investors should understand the specific risks of a fund before they invest, and make sure any new investment forms part of a diversified portfolio.

This article isn’t advice. Investments and any income they produce will rise and fall in value, meaning you could get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure if an investment is right for you, ask for financial advice.

Remember, 12 months is a short time when looking at performance. Investments should be held as part of a diversified portfolio for the long term – that’s at least five years.

For more details on each fund and its risks, including charges, you can use the links to their factsheets and key investor information below.

Artemis US Smaller Companies

The strongest performer of our Wealth Shortlist US funds over the last year was the Artemis US Smaller companies fund.

The fund rose 28.73%* over the past 12 months, outperforming the IA North American Smaller companies sector average. Performance has been helped with some strong stock selection from fund managers Cormac Weldon and co-manager Olivia Micklem.

The fund had a difficult period in 2021 and 2022 when rising interest rates and inflation hampered the funds ‘growth’ style of investing.

However, since then the managers stock selection has driven a strong period of performance, the managers selection in the industrials sector has been a highlight for the fund.

FTF Royce US Smaller Companies

The weakest performer over the past 12 months was FTF Royce US Smaller Companies, returning 15.38%, marginally behind the IA North American smaller companies sector average and Russell 2000.

We don’t expect all the funds on the wealth shortlist to perform in the same way though.

We think it’s important for investors to build a portfolio filled with managers who have different approaches and investing styles to help generate long-term returns.

Annual percentage growth

31/05/2019 To 31/05/2020

31/05/2020 To 31/05/2021

31/05/2021 To 31/05/2022

31/05/2022 To 31/05/2023

31/05/2023 To 31/05/2024

Artemis US Smaller Companies






FTF Royce US Smaller Companies






IA North American Smaller Companies






Russell 2000






Past performance isn't a guide to future returns.
Source: *Lipper IM, to 31/05/2024.
Latest from Fund sector reviews
Weekly Newsletter
Sign up for Fund insight. Receive expert fund insights direct to your inbox every week, including research, investment articles and in-depth sector reviews.
Written by
Aidan Moyle
Aidan Moyle
Investment Analyst

Aidan joined the Fund Research team in 2022 and is responsible for analysing funds and investment trusts in the US and Global Sectors. He has a keen interest in macroeconomics and in particular US monetary policies and the impact it can have on clients' investments.

Our content review process
The aim of Hargreaves Lansdown's financial content review process is to ensure accuracy, clarity, and comprehensiveness of all published materials
Article history
Published: 24th June 2024