The stock market has been dropping lately, but is it a preview of a lower market for the rest of this year?

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Some analysts believe financial performance in January sets the tone for the remainder of a given year. Stocks lost ground this January, for the first time in that month since 2010.

But Ken Kamen of Mercadien Asset Management in Hamilton said with strong economic fundamentals out there, this "fear factor" is unfounded.

"People would be better served by keeping a snow shovel in the trunk of their car, to dig them out of this snowstorm," Kamen said, "than they would be keeping a shovel near their portfolios, to dig them out of a bear market."

The Dow dropped more than 300 points Monday after Wall Street got a weak January manufacturing report.

The Institute for Supply Management reported factories cut back sharply on production and new orders plunged last month, as its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3. That still translates to expansion, but it's the lowest reading since last May.

Kamen says investors who are not panicky about stocks should look at this as an opportunity to go bargain hunting and pick up some stocks at reduced prices.