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We are in a 20-year bull market: BMO's Belski

Plunging oil prices, China fears, central banks and geopolitical concerns in the Middle East have staged much of early 2016, driving market volatility. The current market turbulence, however, is a "normal" and "very healthy" correction, said longtime bull, Brian Belski to CNBC on Thursday.

Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, reiterated claims from last November in which he forecast headwinds into the new year. At the time, he told CNBC's "Power Lunch" that with new Fed monetary policy and the 2016 elections, the market could experience a "pretty sizable correction."

Fears of a global recession ignited a global sell-off on Wednesday.

Amid Wednesday's headwinds many analysts made claims that the current climate is of a bear market. However, Belski sustains that this notion is not supported by the analysis. "We are still in a 15- to 20-year bull market," he said.

Belski is not the only one who considers there are no indications of a recession. Jeremy Zirin, UBS Wealth Management Americas' chief equity strategist, said in an interview with "Power Lunch" on Thursday that a U.S. recession is unlikely in 2016.

The strategist argues that the analogy that market conditions and a burst in the energy market reflect those of the 2008 credit bubble hold no value. He considers that bank balance sheets currently have an approximate 5 percent exposure to energy and the loans in this sector.

"If you look at the 2007 and 2009 period, we had a massive credit bubble that was burst," Zirin said. "You had bank balance sheets that were holding housing-related or real estate-related debt [and it] made up over two-thirds of their balance sheet."

Oil experienced a rebound on Thursday with a 6 percent rally, after touching fresh lows on Wednesday. WTI traded at $30.05 during intraday trading, its biggest daily gain since October 2015, when it added 6.34 percent, on Thursday. Brent traded at $29.66 after midday trading.

The rally came as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi made comments that drew speculations of future monetary stimulus by the bank's next meeting, and the EIA reported that commercial crude inventory is up about 4 million barrels, and meanwhile the API reported an inventory of 4.6 million barrels.


Oil and equities have been trading hand in hand on Thursday, as stocks also experienced a rally. The Dow Jones industrial average traded about 170 points higher after gaining over 250 points, during early trading on Thursday.

Steve Auth, Federated Investors' equities chief investment officer, told CNBC that while oil is poised to go lower before it stabilizes, the U.S. is not positioned for a recession, adding that the firm doesn't see systemic risks in the financial system.

"We think there could be as much as 10 to 15 percent downside to these markets," he said. "In the near term, we think that would be a major buying opportunity."

Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.