NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks are being hammered and falling lower on Friday, with the S&P 500 down about 0.6% but off its lows for the session. Despite rallying for several days, stocks are moving lower on continued Greek debt drama -- a situation that is starting to get old for Jim Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal Asset Management.
Lebenthal told the other panelists on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" show that he hopes investors will start to focus on the improving U.S. and recovering global economies.
Jon Najarian, co-founder of Optionmonster.com and Trademonster.com, said it's unfortunate but the Greek financial crisis will likely hinder the market all throughout the summer. He expects for the near term that bond prices will recover as investors move to what are perceived as safer assets.
"We definitely stand on fairly fragile footing," said Dubravko Lakos, head of U.S. equity strategy and global quantitative research at JPMorgan. He said a rate hike by the Federal Reserve could cause a stock market correction of 5% to 10%. According to Fed funds future rates, investors appear to believe there is a 60% to 65% chance of a rate hike in September and fully expect higher interest rates by December.
Equities have traded pretty well, given the sharp rally in bond yields, Lakos added. While earnings expectations are low, he said they could become too low, setting up U.S. companies to do better than expected. He said investors should avoid utility stocks while he prefers the financial, technology, health care and energy sectors.
Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, asked why a 5% to 10% correction would be such a bad thing for investors. In October, stock prices dropped 9.8%, granting investors an amazing opportunity to buy more shares.