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Retail data could cement Wall Street's record climb

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US retail: People waiting for weather rebound

If the U.S. stock market continues its record-shattering rise in the days ahead, it will come on the heels of reports that illustrate an economy that is improving. Yet, it's nowhere near the extent to shake up complacency on Wall Street.  

"Equities are trending higher and certainly setting new highs. That's a reflection that things are improving here in the U.S., and the thought is that earnings are going to improve—and that's going to drive equity prices higher," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management. 

Still, strategists are on guard, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

"It's been a very hated market, unable to choice any direction with conviction," said Joseph Tanious, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, who cites low volatility and trading volume as illustrating Wall Street's seemingly joyless ride higher.