×

The Dow at 20,000 isn't really that extreme, expert says

Experts seem to think that the Dow can hit 20,000 within the next year.

It's something that's "really not that extreme of an outcome," said Daniel Skelly, head of equity model portfolio solutions at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He said during an interview on CNBC's "Power Lunch" that the index could hit that level depending on "classic fundamental drivers" like earnings and GDP growth.

Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that as of Wednesday morning, the consensus price target on the index is 20,003.93. That average price target represents an expected gain of 7.94 percent from Tuesday's close of 18,533.05 and a 14.8 percent surge from January's levels.

But 20,000 might be too high of a target for the Dow. It's a number that Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel Private Client Group, said might be "a little aggressive." He told "Closing Bell" that his firm thinks 19,500 is a reasonable target for the index in the next 12 months because economic data seems to be improving, in spite of low and negative interest rates around the world.

The current low-interest-rate environment, however, makes "assets worth more," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group. He said, however, that investors may feel "uncomfortable" with current market levels because "absolute valuations are pretty darn high."

Another reason why investors may not be comfortable with a market that high is the apparent disparity in central bank perceptions of how economies are doing versus economic data.

"The interest rates are telling us one thing about the state of the global economy, but if you look at some of the data here in the equity markets, it seems to be telling us that we're picking up," Caron said.

As for global growth, Skelly said the key driver will be the dollar, which he pointed out is still off its December highs.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, on Dec. 2 hit a 52-week intraday high of 100.51. It traded near 95.64 in midday trading Wednesday.

Having a dollar at current levels helps "alleviate the strain on U.S. exports and earnings as well," Skelly said.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.