There is a lack of conviction in the market, but individual investors may come back if things improve in the second half of the year, independent investment consultant David Darst said Friday.
"The market is taking a nap. Is it going to wake up in a good mood? Is it going to wake up in a bad mood?" Darst said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."
He pointed to four things of note this week: low volume, low volatility, low validation—people not coming into the market—and valuations that are a "touch to the high side."
Darst, former chief investment strategist and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, believes investors are waiting to see how second-quarter profits pan out, in addition to second-quarter gross domestic product. Right now, the Atlanta Federal Reserve is forecasting 0.7 percent second-quarter GDP.
On Friday, U.S. stocks closed lower, failing to hold highs reached earlier in the session. There was little reaction in the market to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's afternoon remarks that a rate hike would be appropriate this year if the economy improves.
Darst said that while there has been some "froth" in biotech, the cloud and social networks, "It has been fought the whole way up by the individual investor, the retail investor."
He noted that since the bottom of the market, there has been $600 billion invested in equity funds and ETFs, and $1.3 trillion has gone into bonds.
He also thinks the market has ignored better news out of Europe and Japan.
"We've got this sort of standoff- glass is half full, glass is half empty right now market," said Darst. "I believe the individual will come in if things start to look better in the second half."
—CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.