'Sell everything' or brace for a 'February rally'?

It's been a grim start to the year as far as equity markets are concerned, but one strategist has told CNBC that it's only a "nasty market correction" rather than the beginning of a bear market.

It might not be time to buy quite yet, but Bob Parker, a senior advisor for investment strategy and research at Credit Suisse told CNBC Tuesday that investors should be poised for a rally in February, after equities find a base later this month.

"Over the last 10 days we have had, as I call it, a confluence of many negative factors in markets, therefore the major correction we've had isn't that surprising," Parker said.

"The key question is, is this a correction or the start of a major bear market? My argument is it's very similar replay to what we had last August and September. This is a major nasty correction, (but) we're now a large way through that correction," he added.


A bear market is defined as a market condition where prices fall and negative sentiment causes the drop to become self-sustaining.

Parker's optimistic outlook isn't shared by RBS' analyst Andrew Roberts who has warned that "danger is lurking" for every investor now that downside risks are starting to materialize.

"We posited a negative outcome in the year ahead, risks for which were very high, and massively underpriced," Roberts said in a note from January 8.

RBS' outlook for 2016 included bearishness on both China and commodities, a "sell" call on emerging market majors outside of India and Eastern Europe, and an expectation of "currency wars," and a widening global output gap, he explained. Currency wars are where countries try to aggressively debase their currencies in the hope of boosting exports.


"What we are now seeing is those risks now playing out. That is the problem. It is not lost on me when something goes from a forecast, to an actual outcome," he said.

His advice? "Sell (almost) everything."

Roberts maintained his downside call for equities, which expects a 10 to 20 percent drop in stock prices.

"We suspect 2016 will be characterized by more focus on how the exiting occurs of positions in the three main asset classes that benefited from QE (quantitative easing)" he said, referencing emerging markets, credit and equities.

"In a crowded hall, exit doors are small. Risks are high," Roberts added.