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What to do about market turmoil in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of daily American life.
Posted at 4:43 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 17:22:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of daily American life.

But beyond the dangerous health risks, the financial markets have been in turmoil, suffering their worst losses since the 1987 crash - and that includes the Great Recession that began during the collapse of the housing market in 2008.

Jamie Cox, with the Harris Financial Group, stopped by the CBS-6 studio Thursday, after the major market indexes closed down nearly 10% for the day, bringing the market into bear market territory, off more than 27% from their mid-February highs.

While markets rallied Friday in the wake of a deal between Congress and the Trump Administration for economic relief to those impacted by the pandemic, as well as President's Trump's declaration of a national state of emergency, Cox says there will be more bumpy days ahead because where the “end is, no one knows.”

"People are afraid. And when people are afraid, they just sell," said Cox. "That's happening across the markets. Bonds, stocks, gold, every asset class is having a really rough time. Except for one. US Treasuries."

"People are seeking the safest haven they can find. And US Treasuries- in the 2008 financial crisis, they proved to be rock solid. So that's what everybody is running to."

And Cox says the circumstances today could not be more different from the 2008 crisis, namely, that the underlying economy is strong.

"Three weeks ago, people would never have believed this would happen. The economy was in a really good spot," he said. "What you are looking at however, is a period of time where you're going to see certain industries really struggle. Hospitality, transportation, and that's going to last, unfortunately, for a couple of months until this resolves itself."