Debt ceiling stock sell-off a buy: Strategists
Any hit the stock market takes between now and the Treasury's Thursday debt ceiling deadline would be a buying opportunity, two market strategists told CNBC on Monday—as a third week begins with no agreements to increase the nation's borrowing limit or end the 14-day government shutdown.
Investors expressed their frustrations and concerns about the failure of weekend talks to reach agreement on either front. U.S. stock index futures pointed to about a 100-point loss at the open for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. That would clip less than a quarter off the 434-point, or nearly 3 percent, gain in the Dow on Thursday and Friday.
"I think you're going to see a last-minute deal this week. That's the way it works. You saw the same thing with the fiscal cliff," Raymond James chief investment strategist Jeffrey Saut predicted in a "Squawk Box" interview. "If you get a hit today, tomorrow into Wednesday, I think it's a buy."
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Barry Knapp, head of U.S. equity portfolio strategy at Barclays, also told CNBC Monday: "If you have a couple of days of fighting and it lingers and the market sells off, you should buy that sell-off. There will ultimately be a deal."
The government actually hit its borrowing limit of $16.7 trillion in May but has been juggling its finances to avoid default. On NBC's "Meet the Press," International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned on Sunday that "creative accounting" would not be the solution to the U.S. debt problems.
(Read more: IMF's Lagarde to the US: 'honor your signature')
There's another effect of all this, Knapp said: "It does create enough fog that we've pushed [Fed] tapering at least to December, if not into next year." The Federal Reserve will meet later this month with Wall Street wondering when policymakers will start to taper their $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program.
As for the economy, "assuming they get something done this week, the big hit is to the fourth quarter," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS, told "Squawk Box" Monday. "We could see growth below 1 percent. Already a lot of damage has been done" by the government shutdown and the wrangling over the debt ceiling. "But if it's all done," Behravesh added, "the first quarter and the second quarter could see a bounce back."
Saut said he thinks the underlying economy is better than the numbers report, and that could lead to a 3 percent growth rate or better heading into 2014. "That's what the stock market is pointing towards."