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Roller coaster: Trading the volatile start to 2016

NYSE Traders on the floor.
Andrew Burton | Getty Images
NYSE Traders on the floor.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell more 2 percent on Monday, the worst opening to a year since 2001 when the market headed south during the burst of the dot-com bubble.

While one day doesn't determine a year, investors do expect it to be a bumpy ride, especially in the first half of 2016.

"Our guess, similar to 2015, is for the U.S. stock market to exhibit another year of considerable volatility while essentially ending flat," wrote Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, in a note to clients Monday.

"The stock market faces several challenges it will likely struggle to navigate in 2016," Paulsen predicts, pointing to factors such as relatively high historic valuations and weak earnings.

With higher-than-usual volatility on the horizon at least for January, are there any places to hide out?

Using Kensho, a quantitative tool used by hedge funds, CNBC Pro ran a study to find the areas of the market that tend to perform best during volatile times.