Around the World: A Look at U.S. Stocks, China's Pullback and Greece

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After rallying toward record highs on Thursday, the S&P 500 declined slightly on Friday. With so much action going on, the CNBC "Fast Money Halftime" traders opted to take an investment view around the world, starting with the U.S., touching on Greece, and finally checking out China. 

Seven out of the 10 S&P 500 sectors are in positive territory for the week, according to Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management. The broader market continues to rally, led higher by small-cap stocks, which is a good sign. 

While that may be a bullish sign, Jim Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal Asset Management, said, "I'm not sure" the S&P 500 is going to break out to new highs. The market is rallying after a recent pullback, which makes the gains less impressive. Instead, investors should look to take profits in overvalued stocks and plan to buy low-valuation stocks. 

The market still looks rangebound with plenty of obstacles in the way, said Stephanie Link, managing director and equity portfolio manager for the TIAA- CREF organization. She reminded investors about Greece, future economic data and earnings as some of these hurdles.

Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup, said he doesn't have very high earnings hopes for the first half of 2015, but sees earnings improving in the second half. He's looking for stocks to tack on an additional gain of 4% to 5% by year's end and has a 12-month projection for gains of 10% to 12%. 

He's a buyer of insurance and technology companies, real-estate investment trusts, and makers of household and personal goods.  

U.S. stocks aren't the only equity class that's lower on the day, as German equities declined, as well, pointed out Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. 

Greece will have an emergency meeting on Monday with its negotiators, but should a real problem emerge, Najarian said European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will likely amp up the stimulus needed to offset any investor concerns. 

Greece isn't just a one-off event, Lebenthal added. Depending on how the situation plays out, it could give a blueprint to other struggling European Union countries, as well, which could be an issue in the future.

Almost one thing is certain: Both negotiating sides will push it to the brink, Levkovich said. Investors seem much more at ease now, though, than they did about a possible Greek exit in 2010 and 2012. Maybe it won't get as messy as everyone seems to think.

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