Could Wall Street Troubles Be a Win for Some in New Jersey?
Following a steep, early decline and a late day rally, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished more than 500 points down Monday, amid growing concerns about the Chinese economy. The roller coaster ride on Wall Street could continue Tuesday.
So what does this mean for the typical New Jersey investor?
"This is just one more uncertainty in an uncertain world, but it hasn't changed the fundamentals of the U.S. economy which are pretty good for the most part," according to Rutgers University Economist James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Steve Pressman, Monmouth University professor of economics emeritus, and CFO of the Eastern Economic Association, does not see any cause or reason for panic.
"If the U.S. economy continues to grow, even if it continues to grow slowly, the stock market volatility will end," Pressman said.
However, if there is a significant down-turn, it could cause problems for an important financial sector in the Garden State.
"New Jersey is right next to New York, which means lots of jobs are going to be related to, and dependent on what happens on Wall Street, and so if it turns out the market does tumble that will affect New Jersey," Pressman said.
According to the NJ Business & Industry Association, 15 of the state's top 75 employers are finance and insurance firms whose combined employment represents roughly 40 percent of job-holding in finance and insurance.
Financial services rely heavily on information and technology. New Jersey has remained in the forefront of technological advancement by becoming a national leader in developing data centers to support the industry. Of the more than 40 data centers located in the state, more than half are located in Hudson County.
In 2013, almost $20.3 billion in total wages were paid by New Jersey's employers in financial services industries.
Another concern if the financial markets drop significantly is consumer confidence.
"When there's volatility people tend to panic, and consumer spending may be curtailed," he said, "in uncertain and difficult times people will cut back on spending, and when they cut back on spending that affects the economy."
On the flip side, Pressman believes there's a silver lining to the market volatility.
"If it turns out that the market doesn't tumble and it's just up and down, that's actually good for New Jersey because all of the traders that live in New Jersey are going to be making more money," Pressman said. "And the volatility in the market has already reduced the chances that the Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the United States is going to start raising interest rates soon."
The bottom line, according to Hughes, is that "we don't want to overreact to the doom and gloom stemming from the volatility of the stock market."