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Trump jokes Dow 30K will be the next big milestone. Here’s how long it could take

The market barely had a chance to catch its breath this week, with the Dow hitting a new milestone of 25,000 and other indices setting new highs.

However, chatter on Wall Street (and in the White House) has quickly turned to the next target. "I guess our new number is 30,000," President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday, after lauding the blue-chip index's run-up to its 25,000 level.

At least one Wall Street analyst thinks the president could be proven correct sooner that some think.

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, is also expecting the Dow to set its next significant round-numbered milestone, perhaps this year.

"I think we can get there [but] it's not going to be a straight line," Zaccarelli told CNBC's "Trading Nation" this week.

"There's going to be plenty of pullbacks along the way, but I think in the next year or two you could see that big run-up that we've all been waiting for, as investors start to feel a little bit more enthusiastic about this rally," he added.

Currently at roughly 105 months in length, this bull market is the second longest in history, behind the 113-month stretch from 1990 to 2000. While criticisms abound over how stretched valuations remain in this bull market, Zaccarelli said equities still have some room to run before reaching the peak seen during 1990-2000.

"Looking forward, it may be 18 to 18.5 forward earnings for this year on the S&P 500," he said.

"If you look at the previous bull market that we're looking to eclipse, the one that happened in the 1990s, the PE [price/earnings] ratio at that point got into the mid-20s, so I think we have a long way to go from here in terms of valuation if this rally really has legs," the investor added.

Recent markets highs owe their records to the staggering run-up over the past 12 months. It took the Dow just 35 calendar days after breaking 24,000 before it breached 25,000. The move from 20,000 to 25,000 took the Dow just under 12 months.

That was last year, though. Most investors do not expect the degree of strength that fueled gains in 2017 to repeat this year.

"I think it would be quite a stretch for us to get there by the end of the year, although it's not impossible," added Zaccarelli.

For the Dow to reach 30,000 by the end of the year, it would need to add another 19 percent from current levels. Instead, Zaccarelli expects the index to hit that marker in 2019.

Even so, this bull market could still have the capacity to surprise.

"Frankly, last year was surprisingly strong. This year might surprise many of us, as well," added Zaccarelli.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

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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