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The Morning View: April 15, 2021

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for March increased 9.8%, much higher than expected. Sporting Goods & Hobby stores, and Motor Vehicle & Parts dealers were all up more than 15% in the month, while Food & Beverage (grocery) stores were relatively flat. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, increased 6.9% in March, which was a bit lower than expected.  Meanwhile, Initial Jobless Claims were 576,000 for the week ending April 10th, a substantial decrease from the over 700k the previous week and a larger drop than expected.  Overall, a strong rebound in retail sales from the negative readings the previous month; however, the increase follows fiscal stimulus that was recently released.  The decrease in initial claims is welcomed, as the labor market continues to heal.  Individuals working and feeling confident to spend money on a persistent basis moving forward will be closely watched in the months ahead, given the focus by the Federal Reserve on labor markets and inflationary pressures.   In all, bond yields ticked lower following the data and equity futures are higher 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.