The Morning View: March 26, 2020

BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager

In this morning’s data, Initial Jobless Claims rose to 3,283,000 in the week ending March 21st, a post-World War II record.  This was up from a revised 282,000 the previous week and far surpassing the previous high of 695k in October of 1982, as the slowdown from the Coronavirus impacts workers.  It is still unknown how long social distancing and other measures put in place by government officials to slow the spread of the Coronavirus will remain in place.  Meanwhile, the Federal Government has passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill, which includes some additional support for jobless workers.  And, the Federal Reserve has recently cut interest rates and enacted programs from the previous recession to offer additional monetary support.  While we expect the virus and mitigation measures to affect additional data points and the economy in the weeks ahead, the fiscal and monetary stimulus should help offset some of the impact.  In all, bond yields are little changed, and equity futures are lower, but off the lows of the session, as we head 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 resul