Uncertainty in stock market amid coronavirus outbreak

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With a confirmed case of coronavirus in North Carolina, health isn’t the only concern for some people.

Local businesses and the stock market are feeling the impacts of the outbreak as well.

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Adam Jones, a regional economist with the Swain Center at UNCW, says this could mean a slower than normal tourist season for the Cape Fear.

“I think our biggest concern needs to be how people are viewing their visits to the region this spring and summer,” Jones said.

While southeastern North Carolina remains virus-free, Jones says people are afraid of the unfamiliar.



“They’re scared of being around anybody they don’t know,” he said. “Because you don’t know if that person’s been exposed to the virus or not.”

He says the most worry-some part, the uncertainty of it all.

“Especially when we’re talking about the stock market,” Jones said. “It’s just nobody knows.”

Financial Planner Ross Marino says uncertainty in the stock market is typical, even the current decline in the market.

“It’s not that the decline never happened before, that would be normal,” Marino said. “It’s the catalyst for that decline seems new and that can scare us.”

The catalyst: the virus.

This means it’s just grabbing everyone’s attention.

But, could it get worse? That goes back to the uncertainty.

“If it becomes so real and widespread that it can cause a recession, then yes now you’ve got a bear market and you have issues,” Marino said. “But right now it’s just a catalyst. Can’t say whether it will or won’t be a cause, but it’s certainly nowhere near that point right now.”

Marino says if you’re an investor, don’t panic just yet. The market is down 6% from the beginning of the year, but it’s actually up a little more than 8% in the last 12 months.