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The Morning View: August 7, 2020

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

In this morning’s data, the economy added 1,763,000 jobs in July, more than expected.  The Leisure & Hospitality and Retail Trade industries were strong, while the Information Services and Mining & Logging industries were weak.  The Unemployment Rate fell nine tenths to 10.2%, falling more than expected, which is partially attributable to a decrease in the labor force.  Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.2% and has increased 4.8% on an annual basis, again reflecting the nature of the jobs lost during the pandemic as well as a portion of those jobs returning.  Average Weekly Hours at 34.4 in July was unchanged from the previous month.  Overall, a decent report suggesting the labor market is hanging in there and not getting worse amidst the continued choppy economic re-opening process from COVID-19.  Meanwhile, congressional leaders continue to debate the details of another round of fiscal assistance, which will impact the direction of the economy in the near-term heading into the election cycle this fall.  In all, bond yields originally ticked higher following the report, but are now little changed and equity futures are lower 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.