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The Morning View: October 16, 2020

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for September increased 1.9%, more than double what was expected. Strength occurred in Clothing & Accessories stores as well as Sporting Goods, Book, and Hobby stores. Meanwhile, Electronics & Appliance stores were weak. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, increased 1.4% in September, also much larger than expected. Overall, a strong report in September, following weaker data in months prior. With clothing and book retailers exhibiting strength, individuals likely spent on back to school items in the month as many school systems reopened a bit later than usual given the impact of COVID-19. In addition, the report should give confidence to the prospects of economic growth given consumer spending is a large portion of GDP. In all, bond yields moved higher following the report and equity futures are higher 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.