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The Morning View: September 16, 2020

Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales for August increased 0.6%, less than expected.  Strength occurred in food service & drinking places as well as clothing businesses, while stores for sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument & books were weak.  Non-store retailers (online shopping) were flat from the previous month.   The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials, and gas stations, decreased -0.1% in August, also less than estimates.  Overall, a relatively weak report in August, when we normally see an increase in spending for back to school items.  However, the large increases in Retail Sales in previous months as well as the fading effects of the fiscal stimulus programs impacted this period.  With an economy continuing to slowly reopen and an accommodative Federal Reserve, consumers spending will be watched closely in the months ahead given it is close to 70% of GDP.  In all, bond yields ticked lower following the report and equity futures are higher heading 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.