Stock market plunges, crude oil prices fall

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 22:07:29-05

The stock market plunged down nearly 400 points today and crude oil prices fell less than $30 per barrel. 

Local experts weighed in and said the falling prices could be good or bad. 

Today, the MoneyWise team was live on the radio discussing the falling stock market and crude oil prices. 

MoneyWise financial advisor, Garro Ellis, said he understands the potential impact low prices can have on Kern County.

"When the oil businesses aren't making as much money, businesses aren't making as much money -- especially the corporate businesses -- well there's not as much taxes flowing around our county, which is big. You know, if they're not doing that well, our county isn't doing that well," said Ellis. 

However, he said his concern is minimal. Ellis said this down turn is a correction in the market and comes with the territory. 

However, the county assessor, Jon Lifquist, said there is the potential for major concern. He said the county already knows last year at this time the market was better. 

"We just don't know how long this is going to last, that's the difficulty. It doesn't look like it's going to turn around anytime soon," said Lifquist. 

The downfall translates into less tax revenue for the county and as the oil industry suffers, it means other industries can too, including property values. 

Lifquist said he doesn't think people should be afraid, but residents should be aware of what's going on. 

"I think Kern County in general wants to see oil high. It affects our economy, it affects our county, it just affects everybody. We're all rooting for oil, it just doesn't look good right now," said Lifquist. 

Experts agree on one thing -- there's no way to predict the stock market or the price per barrel for crude oil, but turmoil in overseas markets could push it lower.