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The Morning View: March 12, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Initial Jobless Claims fell 4,000 to 211,000 in the week ending March 7th, less than forecast.  In addition, the Producer Price Index, which measures the amount of inflation at the producer level, fell 0.6% in February and has increased 1.3% on an annual basis.  The Producer Price Index at the core level, which excludes food and energy, decreased 0.3% in February and has increased 1.4% on an annual basis.  Overall, while concerns of the novel Coronavirus remain and should eventually negatively affect economic data, initial jobless claims have yet to reflect its impact.  Typically, readings below 300k indicate a healthy job market and claims have remained in the low 200k range for a while.  Additionally, there is limited inflation pressure at the producer level, which gives further support for central banks to remain accommodative, as the European Central Bank just announced they will keep rates at very low levels and intend to provide further stimulus and liquidity tools to help deal with impacts of the Coronavirus.  In all, bond yields are little changed this morning and equities are expected to open lower as futures trading was halted following the fluid flow of information.      


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.