But the negatives outweigh right now, including outflows from big ETFs, like the S&P 500 SPDR and the PowerShares QQQ, as well as widening corporate bond spreads suggesting danger still lurks.
"I think there's other significant issues out there other than oil, like break downs in key indexes here," said Kosar.
"When you see trends that originated in '09 which is really when this last move started — '09 after the '08 debacle. When you see those trends being broken and one, two, OK, you're a little bit skeptical, but the power of this and the significance of this is it's happening overseas," Kosar said. The break from an uptrend could be signaling a steeper decline. The Dow transports and the Russell 2000 fell below their March 2009 uptrend lines last week, following the path of the Dow industrials the week before.
He said a similar break in trend lines occurred in international indexes including Japan's Nikkei 225, the Hong Kong Hang Seng and the U.K. FTSE.
"There's indication of weakness that extends beyond oil. Certainly oil is part of that global deflation issue that people are talking about. All of the commodities prices are down. It speaks to global slowdown. Everyone is focusing on oil because it's the shiny object, but there's other things going on out there," he said.
Besides being tugged at by China and oil, the stock market is about to be put to the test by fourth-quarter earnings season. Reports began to roll out last week, and so far three-quarters of about 40 S&P 500 companies have beaten estimates. Earnings are expected to fall 4.4 percent for the S&P 500 companies, and revenues are expected to be down 3.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.
Read MoreWill earnings turn the tide for stocks?
The earnings season could be a catalyst — either way. "The possibility here is that you could have an environment where corporates suggest things aren't getting worse ... the market has traded on this concept that things are getting worse," Adams said. If companies make their numbers and reaffirm guidance that would boost confidence in the market, she said.
But a negative to watch for is companies that are cutting expenses and have no revenue growth. "Ex-energy revenue growth and ex-energy capital spending — I think these are two keys to durability of this expansion in earnings as well as economic growth," said Adams. She said companies outside the energy field did not change their capex plans going into 2016, and it will be important to see if that remains the case.
Richard Bernstein, CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors, said he has expected the combination of a Fed rate hike and profit "recession" to create volatility, and it has. The central bank raised interest rates last month for the first time in nine years, and the market expects at most just two more rate hikes this year. The Fed however, has forecast four increases.
"Everything else is a sideshow distracting investors. You'd be surprised how much the U.S. market can shrug off, so long as the backdrop within the U.S. is stable," he wrote in an email.
"However, despite what the Fed would like everyone to believe about 'still being accommodative,' stock market movements are based on their incremental moves and not on the absolute level of accommodation. So, their shift toward tightening (admittedly a mild shift) has put the market in a bind because there is negative earnings growth," he added.
Bernstein said the only time the Fed started a tightening cycle during a profits recession was 1981/1982 when the central bank tightened due to double-digit inflation. "China makes for great headlines, but the Fed versus profits is more important if you ask me," he wrote.
But analysts say there are still opportunities. RBC's Jonathan Golub said buying stocks following spikes in the VIX, the CBOE volatility index, has been a positive strategy in the past 25 years, and it worked in October 2014 and in August 2015.
"Our work shows that each 5-10 percent move in the VIX corresponds with a 1 percent move in the S&P 500 in the opposite direction. A move back to more normal levels of volatility represents 7-9 percent upside for stocks," wrote Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets.