On CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show, Joseph Terranova, senior managing partner at Virtus Investment Partners, said he's not looking to do too much ahead of the meeting -- and many other investors are likely doing the same. It will be interesting to hear what Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's views will be on commodities and emerging markets.
Investors remain focused on the macro environment, which is the big picture view of China, Europe and the potential rate hike, according to Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. Because of a fuzzy macro outlook, the CBOE Volatility Index I:VIX remains elevated, near $25, and deservedly so.
Investors looking to take advantage of the volatility can buy stocks. They can then look to sell options against those positions, because the options will have elevated prices due to the higher volatility, Najarian explained.
Oil volatility will likely remain high, too, he added.
That's exactly why Stephanie Link, portfolio manager at TIAA-CREF, is focused more on individual companies than on the macro environment. Many companies are doing fine, and in particular, airlines and consumer-discretionary stocks stood out as winners, she said.
Andrew Berkly, head of institution portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer Asset Management, said investors should expect the strong U.S. dollar and an higher interest-rate environment to continue. In regards to specific stocks, he likes Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report, Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report, Valero (VLO) - Get Report and HollyFrontier (HFC) - Get Report .
Link said she likes Amazon, because its margins are improving and the company is showing that it can more properly balance its spending and profitability.
Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, said the stock market is "rapidly reaching a resolution point," with the Fed's decision just days away. If the Fed can raise rates, but put a dovish spin on it during its press conference, it could fuel a relief rally.
Until stocks move meaningfully higher, however, they appear to be trapped in a downtrend, Brown said.
The conversation turned to Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report after an article appeared in Barron's slamming the company. The reporter wrote the stock could have as much as 50% more downside. Shares are already down almost 50% from their 52-week highs and are down 40% so far this year.
Alibaba said the reporter used "factual inaccuracies" to draw "misleading" conclusions.
The company's earnings are growing slower than expected, and investors are worried about the Chinese economy. Alibaba also faces a large shareholder lockup expiration later this month.
Although Brown acknowledged that Barron's is a reputable publication, he took issue with its bear case on Alibaba. Brown recently took a long position in the stock, and argued that comparing it to eBay (EBAY) - Get Report wasn't fair. Its growth is faster, and it's in a different market, he said.
He also said the U.S. has a large bricks-and-mortar presence, which isn't the case in China. For years, the focus was on building infrastructure, not stores. As a result, much of the country's affluent spenders -- who total close to or more than the entire U.S. population -- do most of their shopping online or on mobile devices. That's big for online retailers.
As for the share lockup expiration, Brown said it will be a good test for management, which has already pledged that more than 80% of the stock won't be sold following the lockup.
In order for growth-oriented portfolio managers to find Alibaba attractive, its margins and monetization rates need to stop slowing by so much, and until the portfolio managers have confidence, the stock could be stuck, Link said.