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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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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