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Stocks 'No Bargain Basement Giveaway': Goldman's O'Neill

The strength in the U.S. stock market is "a little bit surprising," considering equities at these levels are not cheap, Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told CNBC on Thursday.

"From a valuation perspective, clearly the U.S. is no bargain basement giveaway anymore," he said during a "Squawk Box" interview, in which he also addressed Europe and Japan's aggressive bond-buying.

(Read More: Stock Market Hits All-Time High, Now What?)

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 ended at record highs Wednesday, despite evidence in the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting that showed the strongest dissent yet over the central bank's monthly purchases of $85 billion worth of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

Since that mid-March Fed meeting, though, the government has released a report showing jobs growth much lower than expected last month.

(Read More: Jobless Claims Back on Track; Inflation Eases Off)

If the economy starts to stall, O'Neill said, market participants may believe that Fed policymakers won't take their foot off the quantitative-easing pedal after all. But he's not necessarily persuaded by the weakening-economy scenario.

"Before the data for March, it looked to me the U.S. economy was accelerating in line with what we've been thinking," O'Neill said. "I think it's quite hard to read aspects of that. [But] I'm not convinced the economy has slowed again."

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC

Market Insider with Patti Domm