Patti Domm is CNBC executive news editor, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy. Prior to joining CNBC in 1999 as senior news editor, Domm was the equities editor for the Americas at Reuters. She was also Wall Street editor at Reuters, reporting on mergers, acquisitions and the Street. She also edited three CNBC books on personal investing. Domm serves on the board of the Financial Womens Association of New York.
"I think job growth...is right around the corner, and I think that will be the confirming sign for this rally," BlackRock vice chairman Bob Doll told CNBC.
The market has rallied despite a chorus of naysayers who think the 70 percent bounce off the March 2009 low is overdone.
Markets could catch a tail wind from end of quarter portfolio adjustments, even as investors turn focus to February existing home sales and the FHFA home price index due Tuesday.
The Democrats' health care reform package could bring a dose of bad medicine for stocks if it passes this weekend, at least in the immediate term.
The quadruple witching expiration of futures and options should give stocks a lift into Friday, while markets tune in to a handful of economic data, including jobless claims and CPI.
Low volume may not be as bearish as it seems. Trading desks have been bemoaning the lack of volume lately, as stocks still drift quietly higher, adding to the market's 60-plus percent move since last March. "There seems like there's no true conviction," said one trader, voicing a widespread concern.
Fed's pledge to maintain low rates may support stocks for now, but analysts say market psychology may eventually be swayed by the growing rhetoric between China and the U.S. on Beijing's currency policy.
The Federal Reserve is unlikely to make any changes to its easy money policy for now, and that could be a positive for stocks.
Stocks may have a hard time finding traction ahead of the Fed's Tuesday meeting, but the trend for the market is clearly higher, strategists say.
Markets will hinge Friday on two key pieces of data tied to the consumer - retail sales for February and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment report.
Names on the move ahead of the open.
As stocks attempt to hold the bounce, the Street will get another look at some of the factors the Fed is eyeing.
Check out the companies making headlines after the bell Thursday: Freeport-McMoRan, Splunk, GameStop & more.
The Dow went up 2 percent in the last 45 minutes Thursday. THAT is ridiculous.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Senior Producer - Breaking News
Dominic Chu is a markets reporter for CNBC.
Evelyn Cheng is a markets writer for CNBC.
Sara Eisen is a correspondent for CNBC, focusing on currencies and the global consumer.