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Flat end to 2015 actually positive: Strategist

It's hard to imagine breaking even as a positive result in a financial situation, but after the headwinds and negative earnings growth investors have faced this year, one strategist is saying a flat market could actually be a good thing.

"We do expect to end the year pretty much flat," JPMorgan Funds global market strategist, Gabriela Santos told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday. "That would be a positive signal for clients going into the next year, especially if we consider all the worries we've had this year from the dollar, to commodity prices, to China. It would be a good confidence signal to end at least flat to mildly positive."

Looking forward, Santos said stability in oil and the dollar will be key in 2016.

"Two of the major macro factors that have really hanged over us this year has been the strength in the dollar and the fall in oil," she said. "As a result [of stability in oil and the dollar] we expect earnings growth to rebound next year and for returns for stocks to be much better than this year, in the mid- to high single digits for next year."

However, MKM Partners chief market technician Jon Krinsky pointed out that the percent of stocks that have climbed above their 200-day moving average has gone down from 77 percent to about 48 percent.

"The whole story this year has been lagging stocks are going to play catch-up and finally move to the upside. They've been given all year to do it and they haven't," he told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report" on Tuesday. "From our perspective, if they were going to make their move, they've had ample time to do so."

Krinsky added that, historically, it's rare to see instances where indices, sectors and stocks aren't in an uptrend and suddenly begin to rally.

"When you see the structural picture of many stocks in downtrends, it makes it much more difficult for them to rally as opposed to a handful of stocks that could seemingly pull back," Krinsky said.

Santos said it's important to remember that while JPMorgan is upbeat about expecting more stability in 2016, it comes with the caveat that the firm is not predicting double-digit returns.

"So we aren't saying put 100 percent of your money in the U.S. stock market, and that's it. We are saying have a diversified portfolio which will include, we still think make sense, U.S. equities," she added.