BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, Retail Sales fell 0.3% in September, much lower than the 0.3% increase expected. The decrease was driven by building materials and auto sales. The Control Group, which excludes sales for food, autos, building materials and gas stations, was flat in September, also lower than forecasts. Overall, a weaker report than previous months, highlighting restraint in retail spending during the month. Uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations, “Brexit”, and political discord may have impacted spending decisions during the month. However, JP Morgan, one of the largest banks in the U.S., highlighted a strong consumer in yesterday’s earnings report. Given its sizeable impact on GDP, the direction of consumer behavior will need to be monitored closely in the months ahead. In all, bond yields are little changed following the report 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.