While the major U.S. markets have rallied recently, buoyed by France and Germany's pledge to help resolve the euro zone's debt crisis and rescue its struggling financials, strategists disagree about the market uplift's sustainability.
Richard Ross, global technical strategist for Auerbach Grayson, said this rally was sustainable in the short term, although his outlook for the intermediate and long-term trends is bearish.
"I think in a market condition like this, the best offense is a good defense," Ross told CNBC. "We want to stick with those utilities. I know it's not sexy, but this is the best performing index in the entire world — up 8 percent year to date, not to mention your 4 percent dividend."
Ross recommended getting long the dollar. If his forecast turns out to be wrong, Ross suggested that Wal-Mart Stores "could be a nice buy."
"Given the magnitude of recent declines, if I’m wrong about the intermediate and longer-term trend being down, you can just about buy anything, which is our favorite kind of market here on Wall Street," he said. "But the reality is I think once this euphoria settles down, we get through this Columbus Day cheer, we’re looking at lower levels here."
Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, was more optimistic about the market rally's continuation.
"We like consumer staples and health care, both in terms of their global prospects, but as well cheap valuations along with kind of a pro-cyclical stance with energy and technology," Luschini told CNBC.
He added that investors should stick to large-cap, high-quality stocks and ones that yield dividends, which would "provide a nice cash flow" if the market experiences turbulence.
He cited economic data indicating that the U.S. is in a slow-growth environment and should avoid a recession as evidence for his recommendation to go long on equities.
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