JPMorgan global market strategist James Liu told "Squawk on the Street" that 2015 could have been much worse for U.S. stocks given the challenges of an earnings recession and uncertainty around global growth and U.S. monetary policy.
Next year, he is expecting roughly 5 to 7 percent growth for equities as U.S. central bank policy continues to diverge with the rest of the world, the drag from low crude prices dissipates, and earnings rebound.
Liu noted that earnings rose in the mid-single digits in 2015 excluding the energy and materials sectors, which were negatively affected by a collapse in crude oil and other commodity prices.
"On top of that you get this rebound effect ... in energy and materials where the weakness was, and it looks like 2016 will be actually a decent year for earnings," he said.
Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies, told "Squawk on the Street" that view was born out by the state of the underlying economy.
"I think the U.S. economy is heading for a better year in 2016 than it had in 2015, and of course in 2015 we pretty much led the pack as far as global growth is concerned. So from a market standpoint I think that makes the U.S. an attractive place to invest," he said.
He cautioned, however, that volatility will likely continue until investors get a better hold on the Fed's pace of future rate hikes. Counter to the prevailing view on the Street that the central bank will raise rates four times in 2016, McCarthy said the Fed will likely hike just twice.