Expect More Declines, But Long-Term Outlook Remains Strong
The worst may not be over, but that doesn't mean investors should panic.
After the biggest selloff in over five years, market strategists and traders said stocks could continue to decline in the coming days. But many remained optimistic about the market's longer-term prospects.
"It's not that big of a deal," Mike Driscoll, head of listed trading at Bear Stearns, said on CNBC after the market closed. "Three percent? We've done much worse than this."
Driscoll said interest rates remain low and the economy has become used to high oil prices. "When you put it all into the pot, things still look OK," he said.
Still, some market pros urged caution for now.
"Don't buy (tomorrow)," said Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer. "The time-tested rule of thumb, if there is shocking disequilibrium in any given market...it follows through and there is every indication that it will follow through tomorrow. Don't be tempted in by lower prices."
Tom McManus, senior U.S. sector strategist at Banc of America Securites recommended that investors pare down their stock holdings. "We suggest people should pull back a little bit and take some profits off the table," McManus said.
However, McManus said he thinks there will be opportunities that present themselves to investors in the next few days. "The average stock is quite expensive but there are some values in the market," he said. "The larger cap companies will come come out of this correction with much better leadership than they have recently."
Top bond investor Bill Gross said the selloff in stocks and subsequent flight to quality in the bond markets does not portend a recession.
"It's been overdue, it doesn't mean that the economy is in bad shape or even that we're going into recession, it does mean that risk assets have been at risk and when you begin to tighten credit availability, and that is, I think, the key," said Gross.
"We can talk about China and their equity market and lots of other things, but the real reason that is behind this, the fundamental reason is that credit availability is beginning to be squeezed," added Gross.
David Sowerby, chief market analyst at Loomis Sayles, told CNBC.com earlier today he believes stocks are on their way to a "modified correction" of about 5% rather than an outright correction of 8%.
"This is a hiccup, well, maybe a slightly louder than normal burp," he said.