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Debt downgrade: Could we see a relief rally?

A trader rubs his face while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 7, 2008 in New York City.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace's Jeff Horwich is with us live, with that. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF HORWICH: Good morning, Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: So the markets were down, what, three percent on average. Are we in full-on freak-out mode?

HORWICH: Full-on freak-out is kind of a subjective term, but I'm going to say yes, at least a modest freak-out for the moment. There was a big plunge right off the bat -- and some of that may have been automated or sell-orders people put in overnight, that kind of thing. Markets made this brave little encouraging attempt to say hello, it's not so bad, but at the moment we are down, all the major industries, around three percent. I think few investors were surprised by this news, but they clearly are not happy about it.

CHIOTAKIS: It's not just the downgrade -- people are talking seriously about another recession -- should we brace ourselves for the 'worst is yet to come' scenario?

JEFF HORWICH: In times like these, stock market wise, anyway, it's important to remember the stock market is kind of its own planet. It's affected by this real world we all live in, but it also has a logic of its own -- in which bad times turn quickly into bargains. I just talked with stock analyst Hilary Kramer who told me to expect a very good day on Wall Street.

HILARY KRAMER: Traders on the street were all expecting that we're going into rally mode really soon. Stocks were cheap historically -- not very cheap, modestly cheap -- two weeks ago, before we went into this downturn.

HORWICH: Kramer not bullish on housing, though, we should say, because of the effect on mortgage rates from the S&P downgrade.

CHIOTAKIS: All right, Marketplace's Jeff Howrich, joining us this morning. Jeff, thanks.

HORWICH: You're welcome.

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