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The Morning View: June, 16 2020

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for May increased 17.7%, much higher than expected and rebounding from last month’s record decrease.  Strength occurred in stores that sell clothing & accessories, sporting goods, and furniture, while food & beverage (grocery) stores showed only a small increase in the month, given spending levels during the pandemic.  The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, increased 11.0% in May, also much higher than expected.  Overall, a strong report highlighting the economic re-opening process and consumers beginning to spend in areas that experienced weakness during the shutdown.  Increasing consumer spending will be key in the months ahead as the higher COVID-19 case levels are balanced with the different phases of re-opening of the economy throughout the country.  In all, following the release of the Retail Sales figures, both bond yields and equity futures are higher this morning 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.