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The Morning View: May 19, 2020

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Housing Starts were 891 thousand in April, falling 30.2% from the previous month slightly worse than expected.  In addition, Building Permits were 1.074 million in April, falling 20.8% from the previous month, but a bit better than expected.  Overall, these data points reflect the difficulties in the housing market from the COVID-19 pandemic.  New homes, without current residents, are easier for people to tour and see in person, as compared to existing homes where people prefer not to have non-family members entering the house.  Additionally, a high unemployment rate makes it more difficult for people to find funds and collateral to buy homes.  Low interest rates coupled with a smooth re-opening process, should ease these affects. While housing remains a small part of GDP, the jobs and activities surrounding the housing market feed into other parts of the economy.  In all, bond yields are higher this morning and equity futures are mixed 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.