Saut: I need to see THIS before calling a bottom

Despite one of the worst-ever stock-market starts for a year, strategist Jeff Saut said Tuesday we're still a bull market.

"If you could string together four consecutive up days, that historically would break the back of the selling stampede and signal the all clear," Raymond James' chief investment strategist told CNBC's "Worldwide Exchange." "I think that's enough to qualify for a near-term bottom."

An upward bounce Friday could point toward what Saut predicted on CNBC's "Squawk Box" earlier this month. Using a proprietary forecasting model, he said at the time the market would hit its bottom last week, followed by a sharp rally.

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In hindsight, Saut said this year's sell-offs could be negligible. He cited as an example October 1987, when more than 22 percent was taken out of the market in a day.

"If you go back and look at that, in retrospect it was just a blip," Saut said. "I think it is still a bull market."

Saut said he tried to call the bottom on oil multiple times last year and got it wrong each time.

He said Tuesday he's deferring to Raymond James' energy research director Marshall Adkins, who predicts higher prices in the back half of the year.

For now, Saut is telling energy investors to go for an investment grade package of the master limited partnerships for midstream oil and gas companies.

"You can buy a package of those with an aggregate yield of 7.5 percent, and they have real assets and real cash flows, Saut said. "I think longer term you're going to do just fine with those."

He recommends avoiding upstream energy companies, which include raw material extraction and production.