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Strategist: Subprime Meltdown Could Hurt Markets

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A meltdown of the subprime mortgage market could have a dramatic effect on Wall Street, one investment strategist says.

“To the extent that those homebuyers cannot get access to credit, we’ll see a deterioration in home turnover which will further translate into economic impact,” Vadim Zlotnikov, chief investment strategist of Sanford C. Bernstein, told Erin Burnett and Mark Haines on “Squawk On The Street.”

The current impact seems to be a modest repricing of risk in the markets, he says, but it could continue over the next few months and hurt the housing sector.

And while other investment experts remain confident the market will end up higher at the end of the year, Zlotnikov says it’s “unknowable and unresearchable.”

“If the subprime does have a real impact on housing and we see further weakness in the dollar, I do believe the market will be lower at the year end than it is today,” he said.

The best move, Zlotnikov says, is to look at companies that have the ability to cut costs, such as those in healthcare, as well as businesses that are recession-proof, including distributors and environmental services firms.