'Less bad' European markets will outperform US: Bob Doll

Despite improving fundamentals in the U.S., the rally in equities may slow, but the improving European market presents a good place to find short-term value, two top market strategists told CNBC on Tuesday.

Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management, told "Squawk Box" that he would "certainly" have his money in equities right now and "I think for the near-term, Europe, given the news, 'less bad' is probably going to be more of a rally than the U.S."

(Read more: Are things really improving in the euro zone?)

He predicted that U.S. markets in the country are likely to move sideways in the near future but another catalyst will be needed down the road to move U.S. markets higher.

"In my view, the next move up requires stronger revenue and earnings growth. I think we'll get it, but the jury is out and it's not a done deal," he said, noting that in the first half of the year, these metrics have been "pretty sluggish."

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"The P/E move, which has been pretty significant, is largely in the rear-view mirror. Fundamentals will now matter," Doll added.

Rebecca Patterson, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust, said that in this market, good news appears to be discounted. She hopes that after elections in September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will back off on fiscal austerity "just a touch" while the ECB could stand to continue easy monetary policy if inflation remains under its target rate.

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"If we got those sort of catalysts on top of improving growth, I think Europe could keep leading," Patterson said. "From a valuation metric, whether you're looking at the discount to the U.S. or just versus itself, there's still value in Europe."

"If Europe can continue to get less bad and there is more export demand, that can help a lot of U.S. companies," she added. "In 12-18 months, I think we can see equity markets go higher still."

Patterson said that her firm is overweight both U.S. and European equities, while they remain underweight in emerging markets.

— By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter@ToscanoPaul