Bull market will continue but expect a 'flat' year: Analyst Jim Paulsen

  • Earnings will go up but the market will remain essentially flat this year, said Jim Paulsen of The Leuthold Group.
  • Paulsen, long bullish on the market, has recently been predicting more turbulence ahead, including a possible 15 percent correction later this year.
  • Friday marks the ninth anniversary of the stock market's bottom.

Widely followed strategist Jim Paulsen is betting that the bull market will make it to 10 years, but that doesn't mean he's expecting great returns this year.

Friday marks the ninth anniversary of the stock market's bottom.

Paulsen told CNBC that right now it's about "readjusting values" in the market as the economy shows some "nominal life."

"It's a year where earnings are going to grow but they are going to grow into these valuations," the chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group said Monday on "Power Lunch." "Maybe the market is essentially flat this year while earnings go up."

Paulsen, long bullish on the market, has recently been predicting more turbulence ahead, including a possible deeper 15 percent correction later this year.

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Christopher Furlong | Getty Images

Stocks sold off in early February but bounced back a short time later. Then, late last week equities fell on fears of a trade war after President Donald Trump said the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed more than 300 points higher as those fears faded.

Steven Wieting, global chief investment strategist at Citi Private Bank, also thinks the bull market makes it to 10 years.

"The world economy is most likely to be stronger in the next 12 months than the last 12 months. That should be the predominant issue for markets," he told "Power Lunch."

"However, you do have to consider a risk scenario where you have a round of tariffs and retribution around the world and it gets worse and worse and worse," Wieting added.

According to Paulsen, the bull market right now has both old and young characteristics.

Profit margins close to maximum levels, an unemployment rate around 4 percent and high optimism are all signs of an aging bull market, he said.

"Typically when confidence gets to levels we've finally gotten to just in the last year, you're getting close to the end of the economic recovery and the bull market," Paulsen noted.

However, there are other things that still make the recovery look "young."

"We haven't had a major lending or borrowing cycle. We haven't had a major capital spending cycle, major housing cycle," said Paulsen. "There are some things that can still happen now that firms have a mighty increase in profitably that could continue to keep this recovery and the bull market alive."

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