Feeling frazzled? Pros are happy to hear it

On Monday, it was unclear whether the better bet was buy or sell after stocks traded mixed, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq advancing, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell after earnings from Dow component IBM disappointed.

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Although commentary from Big Blue generated caution, market pro Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" that there were reasons to get ready to buy. Largely, his research shows that sentiment is shifting for the worse; and, though it's counterintuitive, he says that's bullish.

That is, Johnson believes the increased negative sentiment is actually a contrarian indicator.

Traders gather at the post that trades IBM on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 20, 2014.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders gather at the post that trades IBM on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 20, 2014.

"In September the market was 4 percent overvalued, and there was a lot of optimism in the market," he said. In turn, stocks sold off.

"But now (my research shows) the market is 4.5 percent undervalued. That should be good news. And pessimism is swelling. That should be good, too."

Johnson added that over the course of the next week or two, he'll be looking for sentiment to grow even worse. If and when it happens, he says, "investors will have it all; low valuation for the market and widespread pessimism. To me that will signal we're moving to the upside."

Art Hogan of Wunderlich Securities shares the outlook. He's also looking for stocks to rally in the weeks ahead. "Transports are showing a better picture," he added, referring to a belief that transportation stocks are often leading indicators.

And he added, "I'd also watch the Russell 2000. It led the selloff, and I think it will lead the rebound."

All told, both Hogan and Johnson are seeing signals that suggest to them the next big move should be higher. Although both pros conceded the market is still facing some headwinds in the near-term, they both think it's time to, at least, think about putting money to work. "Drag your feet while adding to positions at current levels," Johnson said. "That's how I'd do it."