Oil is putting a cap on equity growth: Bob Doll

Oil prices just need to stabilize, not rise, for stocks to do better, said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management on Monday.

"We need stability in the whole deflation story, and oil is the prototype for that for risk assets to do well," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "Flat oil prices would be good for the equity market; a further downward trend is more of a yellow flag."

Doll's play on oil prices is going long airlines and short energy companies.

Gina Martin Adams, Wells Fargo Securities institutional equity strategist, said that it will be difficult for stocks to rise without the support of oil.

"Oil doesn't have to rise, but it has to stop falling," she said on the same interview. "And that's because of the impact on the earnings stream."

Adams said that much of the optimism towards stocks is related to the earnings outlook, "because the Fed is increasing rates, which should constrain valuations from going much further."

She is looking for quality earnings next year. "We want quality companies that can survive a rising cost of debt going into 2016. It's not just earnings, but also a balance sheet story," she said.

Adams is overweight technology and consumer discretionary in 2016.