Confusion: How to trade the      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ market

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Surveys show investors have no idea what's going to happen with the stock market next.

That's with good reason as this particular economic mix of slow growth, full employment, low rates and zero inflation has never existed before.

Here's how to trade the unknown.

Birinyi Associates polls "the Web's most prominent investment bloggers" every week and asks them about their outlook for the S&P 500 for the next 30 days. Monday's results showed a perfect spit of opinion: 33.33 percent were bulls, 33.33 percent were bears and 33.33 percent were neutral. (Hat tip to @hmeisler for flagging this.)

In other words ... nobody has a clue.

Other surveys point to the same confusion. The American Association of Individual Investors asks its audience to predict where the stock market will be six months from now. About 38 percent of them are bullish, 37 percent are in the neutral camp and 24 percent are bearish.

Gina Francolla, CNBC's data guru, set out to provide some clarity to investors by searching for which stocks perform during these current economic conditions. She used the quantitative tool from Kensho.

What she found is that trying to find a period of GDP between 2 and 4 percent, while unemployment is below 6 percent, CPI growth is less than 2 percent and interest rates are below 5 percent is impossible. We've never had that kind of economic makeup before.

The money play:

model portfolios
  • halftime
  • squawk box

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