It will take more than good earnings to push the market higher, says strategist Bob Doll

  • The fly in the ointment is the rising interest rates, says Nuveen Asset Management's Bob Doll.
  • While earnings have been coming in better than expected, yields have been rising in the bond market.
  • "The earnings are a necessary but not sufficient condition for the market to continue to go higher," he says.

For the market to really go higher, it is going to take more than good earnings, strategist Bob Doll told CNBC on Wednesday.

While earnings have been coming in better than expected, yields have been rising in the bond market. The benchmark 10-year Treasury has now passed 2.7 percent.

"The fly in the ointment is the rising interest rates. If we still had the earnings moving up at that pace and interest rates were flat we'd probably have stocks continued up a bunch," said Doll, Nuveen Asset Management's chief equity strategist.

"The earnings are a necessary but not sufficient condition for the market to continue to go higher," he told "Closing Bell."

The stock market has largely ignored the warning signals the bond market has been sending. The S&P 500 rose almost 6 percent in January, but the bond market was selling off.

Yields, which move opposite price, rose on expectations government debt is going to balloon and central banks will cut back further on easy money — a powerful combination signaling a lot more government bonds are coming just as interest rates rise.

However, stocks may finally be paying attention to the fixed-income market.

On Monday, the 10-year Treasury note yield soared to a high of 2.72 percent, the highest level since April 2014. The stock market, in turn, posted its biggest drop of the young year.

After a two-day selloff, stocks ended little changed on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 72.5 points to 26,149.39, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose 0.1 percent.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report.

Disclaimer