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Following Tuesday's rally, stocks will 'grind higher' into 2018, analyst says

Lauren Thomas

The stock market looks poised to continue higher, Janney Montgomery Scott's Mark Luschini told CNBC on Tuesday.

"I'm willing to commit more money to this market," Luschini said on "Closing Bell ." With economic reports remaining "sturdy ... that's a lot for the market to bite on and build on," he said. "[Stocks] will grind higher over the next 12 to 18 months."

U.S. equities jumped Tuesday as Wall Street digested upbeat consumer confidence data, which hit 125.6 in March, up from 116.1 in February, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index showed.

The Dow Jones (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) industrial average gained 150 points on the day, with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) contributing the most gains. The 30-stock index also ended an eight-day losing streak.

The S&P 500 (INDEX: .SPX) rose slightly, with financials, materials, industrials and energy all rising about 1 percent. The Nasdaq (NASDAQ: NDAQ) composite climbed modestly, with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reaching a fresh all-time high.

Luschini said that the stock market's recent gains have been driven by an economy that didn't necessarily need excessive economic growth — things have been going fairly smoothly, as witnessed by the latest consumer confidence data and Tuesday's comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fisher, he said.

Fischer told CNBC that he sees the central bank raising rates two more times this year — something that seems to be "about right." He said the Fed's current outlook on the U.S. economy hasn't changed very much, even amid President Donald Trump taking office.

"You've got [Fisher] giving soothing tones to the market, a snapback in financials and energy ... the dollar rallying ... all things coming together are why you have a nice rally," a stock broker from Cuttone & Co., Keith Bliss, told "Closing Bell."

Bliss said Tuesday's upward-trending market moves are part of a "larger narrative."

So, what could 2017 and beyond entail for equities? Nobody knows for certain.

But the U.S. is seeing rising wages, inflation and market conditions set up across the board that imply continued positive performance by equities in the coming months, RBC Capital Markets' Marc Harris said on " Closing Bell. "

"The fact of the matter is the Fed has indicated the direction they're heading, and if we get wind on our backs from maybe tax reform, it's going to be in a pretty good position for equity markets," Harris added.

"[People are] completely underestimating the idea that this president, like him or not, he is a dealmaker," Harris said. "He is not going to let many of those things [on his 100-day to-do list] fail."

This equities market, as a result, should be poised to bounce higher on new legislation. Stocks are just "looking for positive news," he said.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.



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