'Maximum uncertainty' will morph into one of the best buying opportunities of year, Wall Street bull predicts

One of Wall Street's biggest bulls says the market is "at the point of maximum uncertainty" that could morph into one of the best buying opportunities of the year.

"The economy is not slowing the way people fear. That's where the upside comes in," BTIG's Julian Emanuel said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "We do think any weakness is a buying opportunity."

Emanuel, the firm's chief equity and derivatives strategist, turns to the so-called bull-bear dividing line — the 200-day moving average — to build his case.

Following late December's huge sell-off and subsequent rebound, he points out the market has come a long way in seven weeks.

According to Emanuel, the S&P 500 and Dow are right back at the 200-day moving average, and that spells uncertainty.

"Both the bulls and the bears are sort of hesitant, and perhaps a little bit confused as to where markets go," he said.

'You could see weakness'

With the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and the March Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates, Emanuel believes it's logical to see a near-term, sideways pullback that could take out about half of 2019's S&P gains. The index is up 8 percent this year.

"You could see weakness with all these event risks coming over the balance of the quarter," said Emanuel, who also mentioned the threat of a partial government shutdown on Friday as another risk. He spoke before a tentative deal was reached by congressional negotiators late Monday.

He doesn't see a potential setback having lasting implications.

His S&P year-end target is 3,000, a 20 percent jump from 2019's first trading day. He believes financials, energy and health care will be the groups that drive much of the year's gains.

"There is an expectation that at some point, most of these things will resolve themselves favorably," Emanuel said.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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