Investors have long been anticipating election results and a possible interest rate hike, which is why the market is going through a phase of "buying exhaustion," investment strategist Brian Belski said Monday.
With October flat if not slightly negative, the markets have been tightening their range ahead of these politico-economic shifts, according to Belski, BMO Capital Markets' chief investment strategist.
"There's a lot of indecision, there's a lot of nothing going on," Belski told CNBC's "Squawk Box." Worldwide, investors are "sitting on their hands," the strategist said, and the market is seeing more anxiety and emotion than rationale.
"We don't like this type of environment on a near-term basis. It's all about momentum, it's all about emotion, it's not really about fundamentals," Belski said.
He added that he and his colleagues believe fundamentals will likely restore in 2017 or 2018, when the leader of the free world is determined and the economy under him or her is set.
"We think we're ultimately heading back into a fundamental environment … but not right now," he said.
Another contributing factor is investors' general underperformance in 2016. Belski said a majority of investors got the directions wrong in their investments in yield product and with Brexit, causing many to shy away into "neutral" territory.
"We … are probably the most neutral we've been ever in my almost-27-year career on Wall Street," Belski said.