Bernstein: Market will ‘live happily ever after’

A combination of earnings and the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy outlook provides investors with a bullish case for stock, the CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors said Friday.

"The secular bull market is still intact," Richard Bernstein told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The Fed just told us they're basically on hold for at least the short term here. The profit cycle looks like it's troughing. That's a nice combination, and I think we live happily ever after."

The central bank kept interest rates unchanged at its Wednesday policymaking meeting, and scaled back on the times it expects to raise rates this year from four to two.


"The best rates of growth are probably behind us, … but on a reported basis, earnings are doing about 15 percent," Bernstein said.

U.S. markets have rallied significantly since hitting their Feb. 11 lows. A gain in the Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday brought the index into positive territory for the first time this year.

In another "Squawk Box" interview, strategist Jim Paulsen said U.S. stocks could go higher in the short term.

"I'm feeling a little better. I'm guessing we might actually break those old highs; maybe go just a little higher than that and create some excitement here," said Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. "I think the deflationary mindset that's been so prevalent for the last 18 months has sort of eased, if not ended, with some of the commodity prices stabilizing and core inflation picking up."