(Read more: How S&P 500 will lose 90 points: Strategist)
What Belski and others believe must now happen is for the market to rise higher on fundamentals apart from sharp cost-cutting and the low-interest-rate and low-inflation-environment resulting from the Federal Reserve's historically easy-money policy.
The low rates also have helped fuel company borrowing that has been used to repurchase more than $1 trillion in stock during the four-year surge.
Margins are getting increasingly stretched, though, and Belski argues that companies will have to start putting cash to work and expand their businesses to get further appreciation.
The market also will require more than the current tepid pace of economic growth.
(Read more: 'Hindenburg Omen' hovering over Wall Street again)
"Whether or not the market is correctly anticipating stronger economic growth remains to be seen," Belski said in a note. "Nonetheless, stronger economic growth is exactly what we believe will be required to keep EPS and market momentum intact."
Belski has a 1,650 full-year target on the S&P 500, which is lower than the current level but one he said represents a more realistic pricing of the market.
For 2013, the index has rallied more than 18 percent, well ahead of earnings. In fact, second-quarter earnings would have been flat had it not been for a gigantic leap in financials.
The stock index's price-to-earnings ratio is a gaudy 18.4 percent over the last 12 months, according to Capital IQ.
(Read more: Breaking down the Wall St.-Main St. disconnect)
Looked at more realistically, the S&P 500's gains this year should be more like 11 percent, said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff.
"At least in the U.S.A, profit margins and P/E multiples likely need a fresh catalyst for further expansion," Rosenberg said. "To be polite, this is a market that is fully priced and then some."
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him on Twitter