WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — It’s a bad day for Texas.
Oil prices are in free fall, along with the stock market.
The Senate returned to the Capitol this week — without Senator Ted Cruz. He said Sunday that he’ll self-quarantine at his home in Texas after shaking hands with a coronavirus patient at a recent conservative political action conference in Washington.
Meanwhile, Wall Street traders might be wishing they were quarantined.
The Dow Jones plunged Monday morning — forcing the market to halt trading for 15 minutes.
Then, there’s oil prices.
“Last I checked oil was trading at about $30 a barrel, which is pretty low,” says Clark Packard with R Street Institute. “And so consumers may benefit but oil producers are really going to struggle.”
Clark says he blames uncertainty over the future of the coronavirus and the government response.
“If the government appears to be sort of flailing, then that causes markets to overreact and people to get sort of freaked out.”
President Donald Trump blamed the DOW’s drop on Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Russia would not agree to reduce oil production to prop up prices and the Saudis retaliated by dumping oil onto the market to cripple Russia’s oil industry.
Back in Texas, the state’s non-quarantined senator, John Cornyn, notes that a Texas air base is hosting a quarantine center for hundreds of people who might have been exposed to the disease on a cruise ship. More than 100 additional passengers are expected in the next few days.
But Texas has been spared a major outbreak of the virus — so far.