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The Morning View: April 30, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

In this morning’s data, Personal Spending fell by 7.5% in March, falling more than expected.  Personal Income fell by 2.0% in March, falling slightly more than expected.  In addition, there were 3.8 million jobless claims for the week ending 4/25/2020, lower than the previous week, but still extremely elevated.  Overall, consumers were impacted in March, both in terms of slowing spending and less income, given the government-imposed shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.  There have been over 30 million jobless claims filed since March 20th, highlighting the extreme pressure on the labor market, which is feeding into difficult conditions for consumers.  This was also reflected in yesterday’s first reading on GDP growth in the first quarter 2020 of -4.8%, ending the most recent expansionary period.  The current quarter will likely show even slower growth, given the impacts of the shutdown began toward in the middle of March.  However, breakthroughs on COVID-19 treatments and work on a vaccine are continuing and certain parts of the country are starting to slowly re-open.  In all, both bond yields and equity futures are lower heading 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.