Goldman: Market expensive; buy these stocks

The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
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In a recent note to clients, Goldman Sachs provided its investment outlook for the rest of the year, reiterating high valuations and tepid gains for U.S. stocks.

"The S&P 500 is expensive on most metrics," the note read, stating that the "price per earnings multiple expansion phase of the current bull market is over."

Since the bull market began in March 2009, the S&P 500 is up 203 percent and trades at 17 times forward earnings, a historical high multiple, according to Goldman Sachs.

Similar to the market, the median stock currently trades at a price earnings multiple of 17 times, placing the valuation in the 96th percentile of history since 1976.

A combination of high valuations and what Goldman calls "flat earnings" is leading the firm to predict anemic returns of 2 percent for the remainder of 2015.

Given a dull outlook for the market, the firm is advising clients to adopt certain investment strategies that could provide excess returns.