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The bull market has legs: Oppenheimer's Stoltzfus

This year could have more upside than previously expected, with stocks rallying about 17 percent by the end of 2016, according to John Stoltzfus, chief market strategist at Oppenheimer.

"I think we have a pretty good chance of it from where we are sitting today," Stoltzfus said Friday on CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."

The modest gain in oil and positive economic data have helped run off bearish sentiment, he noted. Key economic indicators, such as the core personal consumption expenditures price index, which excludes food and energy, showed a 1.7 percent rise in the 12 months through January, the largest since July 2014.

Gross domestic product also increased at a 1.0 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 0.7 percent pace, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its second GDP estimate.

Despite these gains, when it comes to the U.S. economy, you need to be like Larry David's character in the television show "Curb Your Enthusiasm," because the market may be good, but it's not great, added Stoltzfus.

"I don't think [the market] remains unchallenged. It's very natural for it to be challenged. We've got some really serious overhangs including the Fed at the beginning of a normalization cycle. You've also got China in the process of a longer-term devaluation cycle," he said.

Still, Stoltzfus sees the market environment getting better faster than getting worse.

"Last year the S&P 500 was positive when you considered the dividend, and to have a down year after so many up years that we've had — 2012, 2013, 2014 — you can't have stocks just go up in a straight line. It wouldn't be healthy."

— Reuters contributed to this article.