NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Halfway through 2015, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up almost 3% at 2,120. Expect it to end the year between 2,150 and 2,250, said Paul Christopher, chief international strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Why are stocks going higher in his opinion? Start with the economy and go on from there.
"Leading indicators look good to us six to 12 months out. How about earnings? We think the Street was too pessimistic in the first quarter. Our year-end target for S&P earnings is $128 per share. That's significantly higher than where we are right now," Christopher said. "Also breadth looks good. Twenty-one out of 27 sectors are up over the last year. That sort of breadth you don't find often."
And don't forget the Federal Reserve, which this week repeated its decision to postpone a rate hike despite a strong comeback in jobs and wages.
"You really have to give the Fed some credit here," Christopher said. "They have been very careful and very patient. We think interest rates move very gradually higher, and it won't bother the market going forward."
As to the best way to profit from the blue skies ahead, Christopher said stick to stocks that will most benefit from an economy that is not just recovering, but picking up a nice head of steam.
"That means we like growth over value. We like large-caps over small-caps. And we like those sectors that have the most leverage over the economy," Christopher said. "Think consumer discretionary, think information technology and industrials."
Christopher suggested staying away from industries that tend to have more interest-rate sensitivity such as utilities. However, for those investors in need of yield and are not satisfied with meager Treasury bond payouts, he said real estate investment trusts are a smart choice.
"The housing market is just now starting to come online as a tailwind for the economy. That doesn't usually happen in the middle of a cycle with interest very low and inflation very low. The job market is picking up, and wages are starting to increase," Christopher said. "We think there is a lot of pent-up demand for housing, and not just housing, commercial real estate too."
Finally, Christopher advised investors to keep their money at home, even though a number of foreign markets have performed better so far this year.
"If I had $5 to put in the market, I would put the first $3 in the U.S., the next $2 into Europe and Japan. And let the emerging markets wait for the next round."