Lee noted that flat markets are rarely followed by another year of zero gains. According to Fundstrat's research, the median gain following a flat year is 11 percent. However, he cautioned that the double-digit change could be down.
The odds of a 10 percent or greater annual move in either direction following a flat year are 5 to 1, he said.
"We're five times more likely to have a double-digit year than to have another year of coal," he said.
Citi Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Tobias Levkovich told "Squawk Box" he found that assessment "statistically somewhat shaky," noting that there are not many periods during which that phenomenon can be observed.
Citi's sentiment measurements is generating a 96 percent probabliity of an up market in 2016, he said.
"We didn't start 2015 with that kind of signal from our sentiment metrics, so that's kind of giving us a lot of comfort," he said.
While it's hard to predict what will happen in 2016 based on 2015 potentially being flat, it is rare for the market to be flat or down two years in a row outside of a recession, said David Bianco, chief equity strategist at Deutsche Bank. The chances of the U.S. entering a recession are highly unlikely, he added.