US Markets

Bob Doll: How I'm playing the Fed rate hike

Bob Doll: Markets waiting, waiting, waiting for hike

The market's rise in September ahead of the Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hike and it's fall after central bankers stood pat shows investors are ready for liftoff, strategist Bob Doll said Wednesday.

Expectations the Fed will raise rates in December have risen following a better-than-expected October U.S. jobs report last week. On Wednesday, the CME's FedWatch tool — which measures 30-day Fed fund futures prices — put the odds of a December rate hike at 68 percent.

Doll, Nuveen Asset Management's chief equity strategist, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" he's positioning himself to account for the knock-on effects that come with higher rates, such as a stronger dollar, which negatively impacts companies that drum up much of their sales overseas.

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"All year my focus has been on companies that get most of their earnings from here, and not so much multinational, because [of] slower growth overseas and the rise in the dollar," he said. "I don't think that game has changed, so you have to focus on a lot of domestic companies in my view."

The U.S. consumer is in "pretty good shape," Doll said. He likes credit card companies and said investors have to own an airline.

Rate hike negative for earnings: Mark Grant

Mark Grant, managing director at Hilltop Securities, said he takes a more negative view of the impact of higher rates on markets. The stronger dollar will hit corporate earnings, putting an end to financial engineering and marking the beginning of the end for stock buyback programs, he said.

As the Fed is seeking to raise rates, the European Central Bank is in the thick of a monetary stimulus program that is suppressing the value of the euro.

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"I think the ECB is pushing as hard as they can [to get] the dollar to parity with the euro, and that is not going to be a good thing for equity markets," Grant said.

Now is the time to focus on yield, he said. Grant is in favor of closed-end bond funds, which he said can be bought at a discount. He also likes taxable municipal bonds, which he noted offer yield without exposing investors to the dollar, Europe or China.