HOUSTON - It was another rough day on wall street and the streets of Houston.
Halliburton announced it's furloughing 3500 of its North Belt campus employees, and the Dow dropped 1300 points, closing below 20,000 for the first time since 2017.
Bars and restaurants have been forced to stop serving customers in-house, businesses are closing, and the oil industry is contracting.
Analysts say as the COVID-19 continues to spread, this is just the beginning.
Houston appears headed for hard times with the rest of the country. Chief strategist Lance Roberts with RIA Advisors says Halliburton's furloughs are triggered by the price war over oil.
"If oil prices continue to drop, and there's an estimation right now we could get into the teens in terms of oil prices, we're going to see a lot of bankruptcies, we're going to see a lot of layoffs in the energy sector," said Roberts.
President Trump closed the Canadian border today to prevent spread of the virus. Officials say it won't impact trade, but trade is impacted by the coronavirus closing businesses in Asia and Europe.
"We're tied to all these other countries to produce even just basic parts. We can't produce a Ford pickup truck without parts from China," said Roberts.
Lynn Stacy, Managing Director with shipping logistics company OEC Group, says Chinese companies are beginning to manufacture and ship products again, but it will take one to two months to arrive at U.S. ports.
"Which is a good thing for the global economy, now that they're starting to ship again," said Stacy. "But you look at this one to two month lag time, this is where the gap in the supply chain is."
Stacy says OEC is still moving exports, but the lack of Chinese shipments over recent months means fewer containers are available to deliver U.S. exports.
"If you don't see containers coming in, to unload the general cargo, the retail, the consumer goods, we don't have containers to reload to export out of the United States," said Stacy.
President Trump and Congress are moving to provide solutions such as Small Business Administration loans, more unemployment insurance, maybe even $1,000 checks to insulate consumers from missing bills.
But Roberts says it may not be enough.
"We need to get it into the economy. We need people to go to bars and restaurants and buy things, right?" said Roberts.
There is some good news. Amazon, H-E-B, Kroger, and Randalls all say they are hiring right now to keep up with growing customer demand.