As the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines bring a renewed sense of hope for millions of people, financial experts said there's still a lot of damage control to be done.
Marketing professors at Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow said the pandemic has led to an unhealthy U.S. economy and told News On 6 the future of the market is dependent upon the status of the virus.
"We have an economy with a lot of uncertainty," said Jon Shapiro, professor of marketing for Northeastern State University at Broken Arrow.
Shapiro said unemployment, homelessness, divorce rates and substance abuse have skyrocketed, and therefore a large number of people are unable to make a positive contribution to the economy.
One trend the states are seeing, he said, is income inequality. Shapiro said the top 10% of the population is doing alright, but entrepreneurs like mom-and-pop shops are struggling.
He said fear is leading to impulsive shopping—stocking up on items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer and causing shortages nationwide. Dr. Ron Petty said things will change once people start to feel safe.
"How do we still socialize, have contact with each other, be safe and support businesses? The economy is not going to change until we solve the health issue," said Petty, professor of marketing for Northeastern State University at Broken Arrow.
Petty used the restaurant industry as an example and said many places aren’t just appealing because of the food, rather many go for the experience. He said business might pick up once people can safely indulge in eating out in a way that’s comfortable for them again.
The travel industry has already seen big changes. Shapiro said business travel took a big hit during the pandemic, but said many people are ready to get out again.
Petty said there is a supply chain distribution issue that's effecting the health care industry.
"We can manufacture PPE. We can manufacture ventilators," said Petty. "You can't manufacture nurses, doctors, health care workers."
Shapiro said companies that meet those challenges will do well. He said the growing emergence of biotechnology is a noticeable market trend.
"It's going to be cat and mouse against us and these diseases and we need to put more intellectual capital towards that," Shapiro said.
Shapiro said many people don’t feel safe and there is a lot of food insecurity.
He said some worry that if enough people get sick there won’t be enough reliable access to food and medication.
Stock price evaluations have risen this year and experts predict that trend to continue.
Shapiro said when it comes to investments, everything has a risk but there's also a risk in not doing anything.
"Very often when there's such a buzz and everyone is doing it sometimes that can be a red flag," Shapiro said.
Shapiro said other market trends relate to artificial intelligence, decentralized energy, education and technology, dualism, and climate change.
Experts predict as more people get vaccinated for COVID-19, the market might improve in the second and third quarter of next year.
Both Shapiro and Petty said one of the biggest threats to the economy is social media and misinformation. They said a strong economy needs good leaders both on the local level and in government.