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Strategist Jeff Saut: I'd expect 2018 to almost repeat 2017's record stock rally

  • Strategist Jeff Saut said he expects the stock market to grind even higher in the new year.
  • "People are still way underinvested," he said.
  • "Earnings are starting to come in better than expected. And with the tax reform, and especially the corporate tax cuts, I think earnings are going to continue to surprise on the upside," he added.

Closely followed strategist Jeff Saut told CNBC on Wednesday that he expects the stock market to grind even higher in the new year.

"I would expect 2018 to be an almost repeat of 2017," said Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James. "People are still way underinvested. Earnings are starting to come in better than expected. And with the tax reform, and especially the corporate tax cuts, I think earnings are going to continue to surprise on the upside."

"The professional investors are all in for the most part," Saut added in an interview with "Squawk on the Street." "But the individual investor is not all in."

Stocks inched higher Wednesday, and 2017 will likely go down as a bullish year for the major averages. The Dow is up more than 25 percent year to date, as of Tuesday's close; the S&P 500 is more than 19 percent higher, while the Nasdaq is up more than 28 percent.

President Donald Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill into law last week, which included reducing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Saut, who said his top sector picks are technology and financials, has been bullish on stocks this year. In late September, he said that the current bull market likely has about six to eight years left to run.

"We're in the second leg of a secular bull market," Saut reiterated on Wednesday. "The second leg is always the longest and strongest. And it's when earnings start to come in better than expected."

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