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Gabelli CIO's 10 reasons to buy stocks next year

Gabelli Funds' Howard Ward said Monday he's still bullish on stocks for a variety of reasons, including what he views as an under-ownership of equities given the bull market cycle.

Households and institutions are about 40 percent invested in stocks, Gabelli's CIO for Growth Equities told CNBC. "In previous market peaks, those numbers have been north of 50 percent. And when those previous market peaks occurred, the 10-year Treasury [yield] was 6 percent or higher," he added, compared with about 2.18 percent in early trading Monday.

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"The hurdle rate for stocks to outperform bonds is very, very low if your bond yield is roughly 2 percent and cash is about zero," Ward said on "Squawk Box." During the interview, he outlined his Top 10 reasons to own stocks next year, based on his own projections:

  1. The U.S. economy is looking up because consumer spending will be stimulated by lower gas prices and rising employment levels.
  2. While QE has ended in the U.S., monetary policy remains extremely accommodative.
  3. Global equity markets should benefit from the injection of additional liquidity, he said, stemming from new stimulus measures in Japan and Europe.
  4. China's consumer-driven economy bodes well for containing oil and industrial commodity prices for a period of years.
  5. Stocks remain under-owned.
  6. Stocks remain attractively priced relative to bonds.
  7. Companies continue to reward shareholders with share buybacks and dividend increases.
  8. The market will continue to enjoy Washington gridlock.
  9. Mergers and acquisitions will continue to be driven by rising confidence.
  10. Estimated investment returns continue to favor stocks.

While Ward remained positive on stocks, many of his recently bullish peers have expressed caution, including Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, who told CNBC earlier this month that he's going underweight U.S. stocks for 2015.

Some other longtime bulls—Wharton's Jeremy Siegel and Fundstrat's Thomas Lee—have been a bit more cautious lately, but they're still bullish on stocks.

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—CNBC's Melody Hahm contributed to this report.

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