We're halfway through the year. Amid pandemic, recession, protests and stock market whiplash, what's next?

We're halfway through the year. Amid pandemic, recession, protests and stock market whiplash, what's next?

While it would be a stretch to view the second quarter as a “glass half-full” scenario, the United States managed to avoid economists’ most dire predictions as the first half of the year comes to a close. However, small business owners and investors alike are facing the second half of 2020 with an uneasy mix of cautious optimism and trepidation. A Southern surge of COVID-19 could erode the gains eked out by the stock market — and force a reprisal of the shutdowns that brought households and businesses to the brink of insolvency. “People were more interested in buying toilet paper and cleaning products than buying bags,” after the pandemic hit, said Sherrill Mosee, founder and CEO of MinkeeBlue, a brand of travel and commuting bags. She told NBC News her sales plunged by 90 percent when COVID-19 struck. “It was crickets around here.” “We do believe the worst is past, but don't have a high degree of confidence predicting the behavior of the COVID-19 virus,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. Although metrics on employment, real estate and consumer confidence look better than expected, the nation is by no means out of the woods yet, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The numbers have been a little bit better than anticipated. That just goes to the fact that businesses reopened sooner than expected,” he said. “It kind of pulled forward some of the job growth and the better numbers. I don’t think I take any solace in ...
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