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Power Play: Will Europe lead the global recovery?

Berlin
Olaf Protze | LightRocket | Getty Images
Berlin

U.S. equity markets pulled back Thursday afternoon on mixed corporate earnings, concerns about the outlook for interest rates and anticipation on the government's monthly jobs report due out tomorrow morning.

Across the Atlantic, European equities were mixed on a fresh round of corporate earnings and the Bank of England's decision to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged.

So should investors place their bets on the U.S. or European markets right now?

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Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday he remains fairly optimistic about the U.S. stock market.

"I continue to think we are in a secular bull market that has years left to run," said Saut. "If that is true there will be plenty of opportunities to invest in good companies."

But Saut warns to keep one hand on the emergency brake at all times.

"When the weight of the evidence, and my models, are telling me to continue in a cautionary manner, I am not about to go contrary to them."

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Wells Fargo Investment Institute head global market strategist Paul Christopher believes the Eurozone will lead the global recovery.

"An economic recovery has taken hold in Europe and appears to be gaining," said Christopher. "Healthy balance sheets, European Central Bank bond buying and improving credit demand are all sparking regional bank lending."

If this trend continues, Christopher said European stocks with strong dividend yields deserve greater attention. "European dividend yields have been higher than those for many U.S. sectors, such as utilities and energy."

As for bonds, Christopher recommends keeping Eurozone sovereign debt holdings below target allocations because they are "unattractively priced" and "directionless."

Overall, Christopher is cautiously confident in the region, with earnings to grow eight percent for 2016.

"European companies have benefited from the lower euro, lower oil prices and the ECB's continued monetary easing. Companies should be in a good position to improve margins," said Christopher. "But although the situation looks promising, the region continues to face a number of risks."

CNBC's Power Lunch producer Jennet Chin contributed to this article