North Korea and political ‘trouble’ won’t derail rally, stocks flying 7% higher into year’s end, says Oppenheimer’s Stoltzfus

Nothing much seems to be rattling one of Wall Street's biggest bulls these days — even as North Korea, drama on Capitol Hill and a second major hurricane in less than two weeks dominate the headlines.

"I remain optimistic," Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "There's always trouble in the world."

The strategist said nuclear threats are not unusual — pointing out that China and Russia have been heavily armed for decades.

"We don't believe we're headed into a period which will see the markets turn chaotic from here to the end of the year," Oppenheimer Asset Management's chief investment strategist said in a note to CNBC. "That said, we don't expect the market to take off in a straight line higher."

But he's predicting the S&P 500 will end the year at 2,650. That's 7 percent higher than current levels. Based on a CNBC survey of 16 strategists, he's the Street's second-biggest bull.

If the Trump administration can deliver a tax cut and a major infrastructure initiative in the next three months, he said, his S&P target could be reached even sooner.

But it won't be a situation where it'll burst through his target, as it did over the summer. On July 31, he revised his original 2,450 year-end forecast higher, made in November 2016.

Rather, Stoltzfus sees stocks "grinding higher," with two laggards potentially leading the way.

"There's probably some value to look at in mid and small caps," Stoltzfus said. "They've been so ignored this year."

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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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