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European Debt Crisis Will 'Hamper' US Recovery: Silva

The U.S. economic recovery "will be hampered" by the continuing European debt crisis, John Silva, chief economist of Wells Fargo told CNBC Wednesday.

"The U.S. economic recovery can continue but probably not at the pace people expected," Silva said.

The crisis, centered in Greece, turned to riots in the streets of Athens Wednesday, threatening the government's ability to enact necessary austerity measures.

Elsewhere in Europe, Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday it is likely to downgrade Portugal's credit rating. This followed the rumor Tuesday that Spain was also in financial straits.

The European Debt Crisis - See Complete Coverage
The European Debt Crisis - See Complete Coverage

David Kotok, chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors, said, "Stay away from Europe as an investor." However, Kotok, a CNBC contributor, also expects the "turmoil" to produce "opportunities in Northern Europe," where he anticipates a "robust recovery."

Another problem for investors, according to Silva, is many pension funds of U.S. companies "rely on sales and earnings from that part of the world."

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Disclosure information was not available for Silva, Kotok or their companies.