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The Morning View: August 18, 2020

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Housing Starts were 1,496,000 in July; an increase of 22.6%, much higher than expected and driven partly by an increase in the number of single-family homes. In addition, Building Permits were 1,495,000 in July, up 18.8%, also much higher than expected. In addition, this morning Home Depot reported strong second quarter 2020 results with earnings and revenues exceeding estimates and same store sales up 23.4% in the quarter. Overall, these figures and results highlight a strong housing market at present, driven by a low interest rate environment, individuals deciding to move their families away from city centers to the suburbs amidst the pandemic, and homeowners deciding to spend stimulus proceeds on home projects. While housing is still only 4% of overall GDP, its strength is welcomed as it affects other industries within the economy. In all, bond yields are slightly higher and equity futures are also higher 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.