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The Alfred E. Neuman market: Stocks blast through wall of worry

Last week, I noted that the best thing about the Dow Jones Industrial Average passing 17,000 was that it occurred on a day when the U.S. jobs report showed significant growth.

This would be a big help to the stock market, since the headlines would begin linking job growth with a strong market.

That's exactly what happened in the media. The Friday lead headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer screamed—in ultra-bold letters—"Jobs Soar in June; Dow Jumps." The Associated Press, which wrote the story for many smaller papers around the country, led with "Economy showing signs of vigor" and prominently noted the "Roaring Stock Market."

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 11, 2014
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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 11, 2014

Naturally, there are plenty calling for a correction, as they have for the last two years. Jeff Saut at Raymond James said "this feels more like a crescendo to me rather than the start of a new leg to the upside" and that stocks could be vulnerable to a 10-12 percent pullback in the next few months.

Morgan Stanley is getting more cautious as we approach their 12-month price target of 2,050 on the S&P 500 (we're at roughly 1,985 now).

Really, guys? This is hardly a tough call, since we are in a seasonally weak period.

Still, money keeps coming into stocks. June inflows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) topped $25 billion, according to ETF.com. That's strong. And most of it, about 70 percent, is into stock funds, not bond funds. Last year saw record ETF inflows of roughly $188 billion and we have a good chance of beating that this year.

In the last month, the argument that the Federal Reserve is behind the curve has moved from fringe thinking to downright fashionable. Yet Potomac Research's Greg Valliere, quoting former Fed Vice Chair Don Kohn this morning, notes that the Fed has made the strategic choice of "preferring to be too late than too early with rate increases." That, he notes, will keep them waiting for as long as possible.

There has been lots of talk about buying into inflation-beating investments like commodities and real estate recently, but the returns have been mixed. With the S&P 500 up 3.2 percent since June, the main commodity ETF is up 1.4 percent, the main REIT ETF, the Vanguard REIT ETF is flat, the Agribusiness ETF is up 0.8 percent, gold is up 5.5 percent.

--By CNBC's Bob Pisani

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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