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The Morning View: December 4, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, the economy added just 245,000 jobs in November, less than the 460k expected.  The Transportation & Warehousing industry was strong, while Retail Trade and Government jobs were weak.  The Unemployment Rate fell to 6.7%, from 6.9% the previous month, as expected.  Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.3% in November, higher than expected, and grew 4.4% on an annual basis.  Average Weekly Hours were 34.8 in November, the same as the previous month.  Overall a weak report, with a significantly lower headline number than expected and the unemployment rate falling just slightly, remaining above pre-pandemic levels.  The improvement in the labor market appears to be moderating amidst increasing COVID-19 levels, giving some support to lawmakers to push ahead with additional fiscal stimulus they are currently contemplating.  In all, bond yields initially fell following the report but have now ticked 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.