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The Morning View: November 17, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for October increased 0.3%, less than expected.  Strength in the month occurred in Non-store retailers and Electronics & Appliances stores.  Meanwhile, Department, Clothing & Accessories, and Sporting Goods stores were weak.  The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, increased 0.1% in October, even lower than expected.  Furthermore, the strong data seen in September was revised lower.  Overall, a weak report indicating people are spending at non-store retailers (online) or on items for home projects (electronics, appliances), while stores where people spent on back to school items pulled back.  The data also suggests some are deciding to stay home, partially due to increasing COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.  This could impact the upcoming holiday shopping season even as positive news on vaccine progress has been released in recent days.  In all, bond yields ticked lower following the report and equity futures are lower overall 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.