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Westonite: 'People Are No Doubt Losing Money'

WESTON, Conn. -- The Dow Jones industrial average had its worst drop since 2008 on Thursday, but hedge fund manager Barbara Halpern, of Weston, thinks "the spiral is going to stop sooner rather than later."

"People learn to hold onto stocks and they will rebound. Perhaps this is a good buying opportunity for those who have money to buy," said Barbara Halpern, a hedge fund administrator from Weston who owns Halpern & Associates, LLC in Wilton. "There's no doubt people are losing money."

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 500 points on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The S&P 500 dropped 60 points and oil fell 6 percent to $87 a barrel. The volatility index -- a measure of investor fear -- rose 25 percent.

Halpern said she believes we are still in a recession and doesn't think the country is recovering in the way people might have expected.

"I think, in general, we've lost confidence in government," said Halpern. "People are first coming to realize the recession is here to stay for a while and things aren't improving."

She has recently seen many businesses close and "generally, things are bleak," Halpern said.

"I think that the real estate market is dead. We're seeing behavior we've never seen before from buyers. Realtors don't know what to make of it," said Halpern.

Laws passed by Congress in the coming months to reduce government spending -- a requirement of the debt-ceiling deal -- will have a big impact on the economy, she said.

"People are very wary until it gets here," said Halpern, referring to the coming legislation.

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