Stocks have surged 9 percent from their lows this quarter and are now within spitting distance of record highs. But for those looking for even more gains, one strategist says there are two areas where bulls will continue to rage: the dollar and technology stocks.
"The and the are the only two markets in pure bull mode," Rick Bensignor, chief market strategist at R.F. Lafferty, told CNBC's "Futures Now" last week.
Bensignor looks at what he calls a "cross-asset bull market location model" to measure the strength and weakness in different areas of the market. The model, as he explained, is made up of 10 different markets ranging from U.S. equities to commodities, bonds and emerging markets. It compares each asset's current price to where it was both two months and six months ago.
"Commodities and continue to be troubled spots," Bensignor said. "The dollar has been solid and obviously the Nasdaq is much stronger than the S&P 500, and they've both been in bullish mode for quite some time." The greenback has been on a tear since 2014, surging more than 25 percent since May 2014 as investors await a rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite has been driven by the stellar outperformance in biotech and stocks. "The Nasdaq is very influenced by tech and that obviously affects the S&P 500," he said. "But it's the weighting of the indices and how they actually calculate; the S&P just doesn't show up as well."
In order for the S&P 500 to get in gear, Bensignor said it must remain above the 2,090 level for the next week. "If we were to stay above 2,090 that would kick the S&P 500 into bull market mode, but generally we want to see multiple weeks in a row of that signal showing up in order to enter a trade," he said. "We need longevity in order for these signals to kick in."
Bensignor said the last time the S&P 500 was in "pure" bull market mode was in mid-July, but that was only for a single week. Before that, the index saw a two-week run in May and a three-week run in February. In fall 2014, it lasted six weeks.
"It's still had a phenomenal comeback since Oct. 1," he added. "It's just not there yet."
The S&P closed at 2,099 on Friday.