Market Insider

Stocks could rally this week

Stocks could march into record territory in the week ahead—unless the economy starts to look too strong, or then again, too weak.

Friday's April employment report was so so, showing a rebound in job growth to 223,000, but slower wage growth at just a tenth of a percent. That improvement over March's 85,000 jobs allayed some market concerns about a sluggish economy, but wage growth was just weak enough for traders to bet the Fed will hold off from raising interest rates a little longer.

Read MoreFewer jobs, strong dollar put Fed in an awkward corner

"That puts stocks in a hard place, where good news could be bad and bad news could be bad ... I think it's a tight window for Goldilocks, given where earnings are," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Markets. "Goldilocks" is used to describe a market scenario where the data are not too strong to cause overheating, or in this case to encourage a Fed rate hike, or is not so weak as to signal a real economic slowdown.