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The Morning View: December 13, 2019

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for November rose 0.2%, less than expected.  Electronics and motor vehicles strong, while health & personal stores and clothing stores were weak.  The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials and gas stations, rose just 0.1% in November, also below forecasts.  The previous month for both the headline and the control group were revised higher.  Overall, retail sales were weaker than expected in November, but still increasing, suggesting the consumer is hanging in there.  When coupled with weak business investment and manufacturing, the results support the moderate economic growth we are seeing at this point in the cycle.  Meanwhile, with the reports of a phase one trade deal with China and election results in the U.K., a couple of the uncertainties facing investors could be fading.  However, the election in the U.S. is just getting started and that uncertainty will likely remain a focus in the months ahead.  In all, bond yields are little changed following the Retail Sales report and equity futures are 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.