The greenback has been looking even greener recently. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the dollar against a basket of other currencies, has risen 7 percent over the past four months, taking the index to a one-year high. That means that each dollar can now buy a greater amount of foreign currency units (and by extension, foreign goods) than it could previously.
And according to Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, the dollar's rally may just be getting started.
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He points out that in 1997, the Dollar Index (also known as the DXY) saw a strong breakout above its trendline, and proceeded to run much higher over the next few years. Wald also says that with the index once again bumping up against a trendline after a long period of stagnation, history may repeat itself.
"If you're a long-term investor in the DXY, I think you do maintain a position based on the possibility that we're at this 1997-like breakout, where we're seeing signs that the long-term primary trend is changing for the better," he said. After a tough 12 years for the index, "we've really spent a lot of the last few years building this big base, and we're seeing behavior very similar to what we saw in the 1990s, which was the last major base."
So while Wald says the index looks overextended in the near-term, he emphasizes that "currently we're on the cusp of what could be a breakout. We haven't broken out yet, but it's something we're watching out for."
Staking a fundamental perspective, Gina Sanchez of Chantico Global throws cold water on such comparisons.
"I think that in comparing now to the 90s, we have to be a bit cautious, because these are two very different scenarios" in terms of the states of global economies, she said.
For Sanchez, the dollar is rallying thanks to weakness in Europe and Japan, which is punishing the euro and the yen. In addition, the U.S. central bank is looking to tighten economic policies, while other central banks are loosening them. That likely means an even greater disparity between U.S. and foreign yields, making it more attractive to hold U.S. dollars.
In fact, given these fundamentals, Sanchez is rather bullish on the dollar herself.
"I think that this could be a longer trend, based on policy responses and economic performance," she said.