What happened 

After plunging nearly 7% yesterday, Ford's (F -1.93%) stock rebounded slightly today. There wasn't any company-specific news that was causing Ford's shares to rise, but some investors may be viewing yesterday's sell-off as a potential buying opportunity. 

As a result, the automotive stock was up by 4.2% as of 12:50 p.m. ET. 

So what

Just yesterday, Ford's stock fell hard after UBS analyst Patrick Hummel downgraded the stock to a sell rating, down from his previous neutral rating. The analyst also cut Ford's price target to $10, down from $13. 

Cars in a showroom.

Image source: Getty Images.

That made Ford investors nervous, and the company's latest report on vehicle sales in China didn't help matters much either. Ford said yesterday that vehicle sales in the country were down 11% to 133,000 in the third quarter (which ended on Sept. 30).  

Ford investors processed both of those bits of news yesterday and sent the automaker's share price tumbling. But that pessimism didn't last long and some investors appear to be viewing the recent share price drop as a fresh buying opportunity.

Now what 

While today's gains are good to see for Ford's shareholders, investors shouldn't hold on to them too tightly. More consumer spending data will be released later this week, which could show that spending is slowing down.

Additionally, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned today that global growth will slow in 2023 to 2.7% and that "the worst is yet to come" for some people in 2023. Any significant slowdown in the U.S. economy -- and in economies around the world -- will certainly have an impact on consumers' ability to buy cars. Car prices have already soared amid rising demand, chip shortages, and higher material costs. 

While parts of the automotive industry are getting back to normal, a significant recession could cause more pain for Ford and other automakers.