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The Morning View: April 15, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for March fell 8.7%, weaker than expected. Weakness occurred in clothing & accessories stores, food & drinking places, and furniture stores, while food & beverage (grocery) stores were strong. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, rose 1.7% in March, likely as individuals “front-loaded” spending on certain items due to self-isolating. Overall, a large fall in headline retail sales for the month, reflecting the negative impact from the government led shutdown of the economy which started in March. The recently passed government stimulus should help, both in terms of checks to individuals and assistance for small businesses. However, these items take time to process and GDP should be impacted, given consumer spending is close to 70% of the economy. In all, both bond yields and equity futures are lower this morning as we head into the market open.

This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward‐looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.