BlackRockVice Chairman Robert Doll says the negativity in the market has reached enough of a fevered pitch to signal a buying opportunity.
We had a double digit move up. We've given it all back, and it's time to be brave and get a little more constructive," he said. Sentiment is so negative "you could cut it with a knife," but that just may be a good sign for stocks. He said investor sentiment is at an extreme low.
"When you get extremes in either direction, it pays to be a contrarian. We have a lot of negativity," he told CNBC in a telephone interview.
The wild card for stocks this year though is the price of oil, which he thinks is closing in on a top. "Because it's on everybody's mind, I think perhaps a necessary condition for a trade up in stocks is some pause or decline in the price of oil," he said.
Doll said he is maintaining his year-end target of 1450 for the S&P 500. "I'll stick with that. It's going to take a nice rally and a nice decline in oil prices," he said.
"You have to be brave to buy stocks in here. It's not all that dissimilar from mid-January and mid-March. I wouldn't be a hero. I don't think we're going straight up," he said.
If he is wrong about a coming decline in oil, he said he will have to change his forecast. Stocks are currently locked into a seesaw trade with oil. When oil rises, stocks fall and vice versa.
He said the decline in gasoline use and miles driven by U.S. drivers, and the reduction in fuel subsidies by foreign governments make it possible oil could decline. "From here we go down, or at least sideways. I don't think we see $180 oil," he said.
The economic impact of super high oil prices will also prevent it from staying high. "Oil had its big run up six or seven weeks ago, and I think we're in a consolidating pattern," he said.
Doll is sticking with the stock groups he's been favoring. "I still think you want to be in broad-based industrial, commodity kind of companies, energy, technology and selected industrial stocks," he said. "You have to continue to be careful about financials and domestic consumer cyclicals."
"There are a lot of negatives that are being talked about and not a lot of positives," he said.
Shares of BlackRock , a publicly traded investment management firm, closed at $169.57 Thursday, up 0.87 percent.