HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- The stock market fell yet again on Friday as investors continue to worry about the coronavirus and how it will hurt the economy.

Experts say Wall Street finished its worst week on Friday since the 2008 crash.

However, even with the drop, experts say it’s not time to panic.

“We get very few calls, but many investors are very nervous, they don't know what to do. They don't know if they should sell, they should buy,” said Joel Johnson, managing partner at Johnson Brunetti.

He said most investors should stay the course.

“For the most part, investors, if they have a financial plan, they should stick with it, if they're financial plan is, I hope the financial market is going to keep going up, that's a problem,” Brunetti said.

Quinnipiac University Professor Zachary Cohle agrees, saying “You shouldn't rip your money of the stock market, but definitely look at it a little further.”

The stock market saw multiple days with 1,000 point drops this week, creating panic.

Johnson said the stock market was due for a correction more than 11 years since the last recession. The coronavirus may just be the thing that causes it.

“It's like, you know, a human being can't inhale all the time. Sooner or later they have to exhale,” Johnson said.

Cohle said it's still too early to tell what kind of impact the coronavirus will have on the economy here in Connecticut.

“The overall shape of the economy, it's too quick to say really what is causing this downturn,” Cohle said.

Connecticut Business and Industry CEO Joe Brennan also said it's too early. Businesses are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

“The underlying economy, structure has been very very strong, so I think we'll bounce back from it, but the biggest issue is nobody knows the gravity of this,” Brennan said.

While it may be too early to put any numbers on the impact, China is a major supplier and market for companies in Connecticut. So many businesses are already feeling some effects.

“Sometimes we couldn’t get something from one supplier, we had to go to another supplier, so you have to do a lot of shucking and jiving,” said Harlan Stone, CEO of HMTX Industries.

Norwalk-based HMTX Industries had to shut down its China flooring plants for roughly two weeks because of the coronavirus.

Operations are almost back to normal, but Stone said he’s worried other countries aren't prepared as the virus spreads.

“The rest of the world has to face the kind of early emergency and it’s scary,” Stone said.

Connecticut's economy, like much of the U.S., relies a lot on China. The country is the sixth largest export market.

“A lot of the things that we consume are at least someone based in China,” Cohle said.

Connecticut companies exports $428 million in 2009, a figure that grew to just over $1 billion in 2015. According to the U.S. China Business Council, after a drop, it rebounded to $906 million in 2018.

So with the coronavirus threatening markets and supply chains, some Connecticut companies are already preparing for a hit.

“I've heard about some companies don't think they're going to hit their first quarter numbers,” Brennan said.

A range of industries in Connecticut would feel the effect of a virus-related downturn.

“Any type of agricultural business is going to be hurt and any type of manufacturing that we see within Connecticut is absolutely going to see some type of friction,” Cohle said.

Aerospace manufacturers exports $262 million to China in 2018, followed by navigational and measurement instruments at $136 million, and electrical equipment at $40 million.

However, Connecticut companies also sell services, led by education.

The travel and management and advisory industries also rely heavily on China.

Brennan says companies are already imposing travel restrictions to Europe as well as Asia.

“I mean, it's so important for people's perceptions of the economy,” Brennan said.

Stone says the key to a quick recovery is communication between businesses and government officials.

“That has a lot do with our cooperation with the local government in the town, in the city where we work,” Stone said.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.