BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, Housing Starts for May were 1.269 million units, a decrease of 0.9% from the previous month, below expectations. However, this reading follows April’s revised, strong increase of 6.8%. In addition, Building Permits increased by 1.294 million, an increase of 0.3%, above expectations. Housing remains in check and while it is just a small component of GDP, it can give an indication to the underlying strength of the economy. Meanwhile, Mario Draghi indicated today that the European Central Bank does have tools to increase stimulus should inflation remain below their targets. The comments have pushed bond yields lower in Europe, even further below zero in some cases, and the U.S. 10-year note has approached the 2% level. Given these developments, the comments following this week’s Federal Reserve meeting will be even more critical to gauge how they are balancing recent economic data, a firm labor market, low inflation, and actions by other central banks around the world. In all, bond yields are lower this morning 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.