NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks are starting off the week on a positive note, with the S&P 500 up 0.4% late in the session Monday.
Stocks have been stuck in a trading range all year, and now that range is getting even tighter, Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report." Brown believes investors are going through "mass indecision" ahead of a possible Federal Reserve rate hike in September.
Equities were moving based on earnings, but not that earnings are over, the focus is back to macro events, according to Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. This includes oil prices, China and more previously, Greece, he added. He still thinks stocks will stay rangebound, but he likes the health care and financial sectors.
Brown pointed out that the housing sector is breaking out, with the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) - Get iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF Report and the SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB) - Get SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF Report hitting new highs. "That's a very positive sign for stocks overall," he said.
Right now, it's just the "summer doldrums" that are responsible for the sluggish stock action, explained Stephen Weiss, founder and managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners. There's no catalyst to get investors to come in from vacation to buy stocks, he added.
Earnings, with the exception of the energy sector, were good, he said, adding that investors need to be selective. Weiss sees U.S. stocks rallying 6% to 8% by the end of the year.
At least for the next few weeks, the focus will be on the Fed and whether it will hike interest rates, said Jim Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal Asset Management.
Lebenthal said the slowdown in China will likely weigh on U.S. earnings. Nonetheless, he said he thinks the U.S. economy can get through both a slowdown in China and a rate hike.
Weiss isn't that concerned with a slowdown in China, he noted, saying it mostly weighs on the industrial sector and only a select group of stocks. Investors shouldn't be too worried for now, he added.
Dubravko Lakos, head of U.S. equity strategy and global quantitative research at J.P. Morgan, says he's maintaining the firm's year-end price target of 2,250 for the S&P 500.
His top sectors include financial, health care and housing. Overall, earnings growth should be better-than-expected, and should help to drive stocks higher, Lakos predicted.
Oil prices will likely remain under pressure, he added, noting that the Fed seems likely to hike in September and China remains a risk to U.S. stocks, which could see a short-term correction.
Weiss echoed Lakos' view, saying the commodity is not investible.
Production remains too high, and that will keep prices low, Weiss said. And while the Fed may very well hike in September, the fall in commodity prices will keep inflation low and make it difficult for the Fed to continue raising rates going forward.
The drop in oil prices isn't forecasting a global recession, according to Lebenthal. Instead, he believes the commodity remains oversupplied.
Low oil prices aren't a bad thing, Brown suggested. He pointed out that oil prices in the 1990s were very low, which helped pave the way to a very prosperous U.S. economy.
Lebenthal didn't like the call, saying too much of the bullishness is predicated on Tesla creating an Uber-like business. There's no indication the company will take that route, so too much of this call is based on hope, he said.
Tesla's valuation is too high, Weiss said, for a company that continues to miss earnings estimates.
Brown argued that most of Tesla's earnings misses come as a result of not being able to meet the intense demand for its vehicles. He also pointed out that Morgan Stanley's Jonas been very good at predicting Tesla's success, noting that he liked the stock when it was $30.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.