The Morning View: August 15, 2019

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

Announced this morning, Retail Sales increased 0.7% in July, stronger than forecasts. The increase was driven by strength in non-store retailers, gasoline stations, and electronics. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials and gas stations, increased 1.0% in July, also above forecasts. A welcomed strong retail report, indicating the U.S. consumer remains healthy in the current environment. Given consumer spending comprises close to 70% of GDP, this strength should provide some support to the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, markets continue to digest an escalation in the trade rhetoric between the U.S. and China as well as a brief inversion in the 2 to 10 year yield this week. Both of these items underscore difficulties in international markets and give the Federal Reserve even more to contemplate as they navigate their “mid-cycle adjustment” to interest rate policy. In all, following the retail sales report, bond yields ticked higher and equity futures are also 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.

About

Argent Financial Group

Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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