Stock markets are "scratching at the bottom" and presenting buying opportunities that could produce a softer-than-expected Santa Claus rally, Wells Fargo strategist Chris Harvey told CNBC.
After predicting in November that the S&P 500 would have a monster rally to finish 2018 at 2,950, Well's head of equity strategy said Thursday "we're running out of room," and he revised his price target to 2,900 on the heels of this week's market sell-off.
"If you buy today, will you be happy" by the end of 2019, Harvey said on "Fast Money." "We think you will be."
The major indexes had a roller coaster ride Thursday amid worries about the U.S.-China trade war and a potential economic slowdown.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average saw their second negative session in a row. The S&P erased most of its year-to-date gains before closing down 0.15 percent. The Dow plunged nearly 800 points before turning around to finish the day down 79.4 points. The Nasdaq Composite recovered from its losses and climbed 0.4 percent.
Each of the indexes are on pace for their third negative week in the last four.
Despite the sell-off, Harvey is still bullish about a rally before year-end.
"Earlier today, it looked like Christmas was canceled. It looked like Santa Claus got caught in customs and things looked a little dicey," Harvey admitted.
The S&P would have to rise more than 7 percent to meet Harvey's 2,900 price target.
"We still think things [will] go higher. We still think things are good here."