NEW YORK (CNNfn) - With the U.S. stock market staging a solid recovery Tuesday, investors might ask themselves if Monday's 554-point plunge was the big drop so many anticipated.
The answer is yes, if you ask Marshall Acuff, veteran portfolio strategist at Smith Barney. "It feels uncomfortable. It is uneasy. We're not used to this situation in the market," Acuff told CNNfn's In The Game. "But, after all, this is the much-awaited correction that many people have been looking for in recent years."
Acuff went on to characterize the decline as a "meaningful correction in the context of a long-term bull market. The underlying fundamentals do not point toward a bear market at this time." (WAV 311K) or (AIFF 311K)
Like a lot of strategists, Acuff forecast a recovery -- albeit a rocky one -- even before traders arrived for work Tuesday. By mid-morning, the rebound was in full force, pulling the Dow Jones industrial average and broader market indexes off their lows as investors scrambled to pick up bargains in the wake of a 13 percent decline over the last few weeks.
"I wouldn't run in and load up the boat," he cautioned. "But the reality is that in the correction we saw fine quality companies thrown out with others. Traditionally, when we get a market correction of this magnitude it's the best opportunity to buy the best companies at your price and not at the market's price."