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Why the next market milestone could come this week

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

As the S&P 500 hits another record on Monday, it is rising ever closer to the banner 2,000 level. And with few worries on investors' horizons, many traders are expecting the market to reach that millennial milestone this week.

Thursday and Friday both brought good news to U.S. investors. On Thursday, the European Central Bank announced a raft of stimulative measures, satisfying investors like David Tepper, who worried about the consequences of ECB inaction. And on Friday, the employment report showed that 217,000 jobs were created in May according to the nonfarm payrolls metric, showing that job growth continues.

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On Monday morning, stocks continued their now-routine practice of setting all-time highs. And currently, the S&P is trading just about 2 percentage points from 2,000.

Surveying the jobs report and the ECB, trader Anthony Grisanti concludes that "with this kind of positive news from both sides of the pond, and the fact that there are very few headlines in sight for the market this week, I see more records being set and a market that is poised to reach 2,000."

Yet for others, the lack of critical data releases this week means that the S&P is set to tread water.

"The technicals are reaching overbought conditions after this 5 percent rally," said Rich Ilczyszyn of IITrader. "I believe we go a bit sideway, and will need a new catalyst to break all-time highs. My institutional clients are booking profits and hedging downside risk here."

And some traders have become downright bearish.

"I feel the 50-day moving average test of 1881 (a 3 percent retracement) is happening before the S&P 500 '2000' balloons are dropped from the ceiling," wrote Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial. "What's the catalyst? Great trillion-dollar question, but this quiet week of data will not bring us a 2.5 percent further melt-up to 2000."

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For the slightly more long-term oriented, like Jim Paulsen of Wells Capital Management, S&P 2,000 provides an important opportunity to reflect on the gains we've seen thus far.

"Throughout this year, our best guess has been to expect the S&P 500 to reach as high as the 2000ish level sometime this year, but for the stock market to also experience a correction at some point, perhaps ending the year about where it began," Paulsen wrote in a Friday note.

"Since the stock market is closing in on the 2000ish level, it's time to consider whether it will simply continue higher throughout this year, or if in the second half, the stock market finally struggles with a more difficult environment?"

And while Paulsen concludes that the market does not yet have "significant downside risk," he does warn that the S&P 500 is due "to suffer a correction yet this year commencing from levels not much higher than we are at today."

So while party planners might want to get those "S&P 2,000" balloons ready, perhaps hitting that market milestone should not be taken as a sign that the back half of the year will go as smoothly as the first half.

—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg.

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