Britain's upcoming referendum on whether to quit the European Union has created considerable market volatility. According to one Wall Street firm, however, investors who panic and sell if the Brexit wins will do so at their own peril.
"If there is an exit vote, you know we want our clients in here stepping in to buy U.S. large-cap stocks," Scott Wren, Wells Fargo Investment Institute's senior global equity strategist, said recently on CNBC's "Futures Now." "After we get finished with the noise and the volatility, after a few weeks of that, you know people will have wished they bought stocks."
Britain will hold a referendum June 23 on whether to leave or remain in the 28-member European Union. British advocates of leaving believe the country is being held back by the political and economic union.
Wells Fargo hasn't issued any official odds on the likelihood of a Brexit. But other firms, such as Morgan Stanley, put the probability just below 50 percent.
"I think that whatever outcome this vote is, it is in no way, shape or form going to change the trajectory of the domestic economy in particular or the international economy over the next 12 to 18 months," he said.
Wren, who is one of Wall Street's biggest bulls, expects the S&P 500Index to end the year between 2,190 and 2,290. That represents as much as a 9 percent gain from current levels.
He makes the case that the U.S. is the best safe haven play for retail investors, as volatility ramps up in connection with the Brexit vote. Just last week, the CBOE Volatility Index, a popular gauge of market fear known as the VIX, surged to its highest level since February.
"I've argued over the past five years that the U.S. stock market has largely been a safe haven and I continue to believe that," Wren said. Investors "need to be stepping in there. They need to be assertive. They need to stay invested and they don't want to panic on this thing."
Within the large cap sector, Wren singles out consumer discretionary, industrials, technology and healthcare as the the most profitable spots for investors right now.