The slowdown in China's economy may cause a lot of handwringing and headaches in the near term, but it's a necessary and positive step over the long run, said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis.
"We all know that the Chinese economy is driven by heavy manufacturing, exports, capital investment in infrastructure and not enough by the consumer," said Lafferty. "To continue to grow at that rate without racking up a significant amount of debt, which they have been doing, they really need a long-term balancing strategy." China's GDP rose 6.9% in 2015, its slowest pace in a quarter of a century.
Similarly, Lafferty also sees the positive side of the current energy sector slump. He said the pain of low oil prices is concentrated in the energy sector and the upside of lower crude costs is widely spread across the economy.
"It's more of a supply issue than a demand issue," said Lafferty. "If we saw demand really falling off then I think it would be a more likely harbinger of recession, but I don't see that."
The collapse in crude has also dragged down the high yield market. Nevertheless, Lafferty does not see the problems in junk bonds as a canary in the coalmine for either the greater fixed income market, or the economy.
"I think what you are seeing in the high yield market outside of energy is actually more worries about what the Federal Reserve is doing, or what they may do, and also around liquidity within the high yield market," said Lafferty. "I think that's creating a premium in spreads which is making the overall high yield market look a little wider. I don't think its foreshadowing global recessionary pressures."
Still, Lafferty sees the market's recent rally as driven by hope, instead of fundamentals. In his view, the global market's recovery has been driven by promises from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of Japan head Haruhiko Kuroda.
"I'll be more convinced we've bottomed when the fundamental data improves, not just promises from the central banks," said Lafferty, adding that he thinks stocks can "claw their way higher" but he does not see them springing ahead at this point.
In the meantime, Lafferty suggested that investors stay diversified and "spread it around because there are no screaming buys out there."