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I’d be shocked if market moved higher: Darst

Friday's down market day was a "welcome and needed pause," independent investment consultant David Darst said Friday.

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower following a global decline in equities on new rules for trading Chinese stocks as well as renewed concerns over Greece. Investors were also eyeing a big week of earnings ahead.

"I would be shocked if the market were going higher," Darst said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

He noted that the Atlanta Federal Reserve's gross domestic product forecaster, GDPNow, is calling for 0.1 percent of real GDP growth in the first quarter. Jobs, housing and the construction sector are all putting downward pressure on the market, Darst said.

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That said, Morgan Stanley believes the U.S. economy will pick up in the second half, with inflation going up and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates at the end of the year, he said.

However, he wouldn't buy U.S. equities just yet. "Let it come into you a little bit further."

Instead, he would wait for oil to make a "convincing bottom," which he doesn't think it has done yet. Once it hits that final bottom, he would buy.

For now, Darst likes Europe and Japan. He also said investors should sell their real estate investment trusts because of the expected interest rate hike later this year and buy master limited partnerships instead.

Meanwhile, widely followed investor Dennis Gartman called Friday's market action a "very disturbing circumstance" and dramatically cut back his positions.

"I'm a trader at this point, not an investor," the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter said, noting that he wants to get "as close to neutral as I can."

As for oil, Gartman thinks U.S. crude has seen as much of a rally as it's going to get.

"Given this rally, I think I'd rather be short of crude oil up here," he said. "We haven't curtailed enough production. The number of rigs out there, obviously, has fallen but we're still producing a lot of crude and that's not going to fall off any time soon."

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