Why low-growth economy won't stop stocks: Fund pro

M&A investment strategies

Slow and steady wins the race. That lesson from the Aesop fable about "The Tortoise and the Hare" can also apply to the stock market.

That's the way stock picker Oscar Schafer sees it. "I don't think a low-growth economy necessarily means a bad stock market," he told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Greece had a terrible year last year, and the market was up. China has been growing fast, and the market has been terrible," the Rivulet Capital chairman observed in a "Squawk Box" interview.

Making his case, Schafer also said that a rise in price-earnings ratios is not a reason to worry in a low-inflation environment. "Any time when the CPI was less than 3 percent for the last 47 years, multiples have averaged 18 times."

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But David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P 500 Index Committee, disagreed—saying: "The valuations are again creeping up. A P/E at 17 times or a little bit more makes one a bit nervous."

While the market is "long overdue for at least a bump, if not a correction," he told CNBC, "it should not scare off investors."

When the bull run ends at some point, Blitzer predicted, "It's not going to go down 50 percent as it did in 2007 [to] 2009."

Meanwhile, Schafer sees the current clip of mergers and acquisitions as a positive sign for stocks. "There's $1.8 trillion on [companies'] balance sheets. That money is 11 percent of GDP. So companies are looking around for ways to grow in a low- growth economy. By definition, it's very good."

But the emphasis on M&A activity seems to be overblown and may come back to "spook the markets," said Blitzer, who pointed to question marks surrounding whether some recent deals actually get done.

Blitzer cited AT&T's reported interest in buying DirecTV—wondering if U.S. regulators would allow it and whether the scrutiny would cast doubt on the wisdom of allowing Comcast to purchase Time Warner Cable.

In Pfizer's full-court-press to buy British rival AstraZeneca, the American drugmaker faces an uphill slog with U.K. lawmakers and possibly the U.S. taxman, he explained.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and

—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere.