Nuveen chief strategist sees two factors driving stocks to records, and beyond

Bob Doll: Here's what's moving markets higher...

Investors are piling into the U.S. stock market, with the in record territory, on hopes for better earnings and because bond yields are so low, Nuveen Asset Management's Bob Doll told CNBC on Tuesday.

"To me, the necessary condition for a better stock market is earnings. And I think this punch to new highs is ... telling us we're going to get better earnings — not great, but good enough," Nuveen's chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager said on "Squawk Box."

The S&P 500 on Monday eclipsed its record high close of May 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped to within 100 points of its May 2015 all-time high close.

Breaking down the earnings argument, Doll made three points.

"One, the bottom of the earnings recession was the first quarter. Number two, because oil is no longer going down and the dollar is not longer going up ... earnings are likely to surprise to the upside in the second quarter," he said.

"And number three, we're probably going to have positive earnings comparisons in the third and fourth quarter. I think that's the reason the market is moving higher."

As for low bond yields making stocks the preferred choice, Doll said: "I can get two-thirds of the stocks in the S&P at a higher yield than the 10-year Treasury and more than a third higher than the 30-year Treasury [yield]."

Doll did say low bond yields — the 10-year Treasury was around 1.47 percent early Tuesday and the 30-year was around 2.2 percent — are the fault of negative interest rates in other parts of the world.

"If we didn't have negative interest rates in various parts of the world, our 10-year Treasury [yield] would not be in the mid-1s [percent]. It would probably be over 2 percent," he said, arguing low rates in the U.S. are not reflective of a weak American economy.

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