With stocks up for the seventh consecutive week, Bob Doll, BlackRock chief equity strategist, sees no reason to expect a plunge.

Doll expects hiring levels to increase soon, as fourth-quarter earnings beat consensus expectations for the eighth consecutive quarter and corporate debt stays low and profits high. New hiring, he says, will also boost consumer confidence.

Doll hopes that Congress will focus on “job creation in the short term and on deficit reduction in the long term,” and if progress is made on both fronts, he expects investors to be even more optimistic.

Although the European Central Bank responded to some recently higher inflation readings by suggesting interest rate hikes, Doll says these are unlikely to come soon.

Temma Ehrenfeld writes for Financial Planning.

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