BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 164,000 jobs in July, in line with forecasts. The Professional Services and Healthcare sectors were strong, while Retail was weak and Manufacturing was only slightly higher than the previous month. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% and Average Hourly Earnings increased 0.3% for July and has increased 3.2% on an annual basis, slightly above estimates. Overall, a report that suggests stability in the labor market with job increases continuing, the unemployment rate remaining below 4%, and wages growing a bit more than expected. As trade negotiations with China escalate and the Federal Reserve contemplates an easing bias toward monetary policy, the labor market and consumer spending will be important measures of how the economy is holding up in the late stages of the cycle. In all, following yesterday’s selloff and today’s jobs announcement, bond yields are little changed to slightly higher this morning and equity futures are lower 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.