Stock markets have logged gains at mid-year that would be acceptable for a full year. But recent sentiment among investors has been held hostage by interest-rate obsession, with peaks for stocks on days when the data suggests a cut is needed and valleys on days when rates seem destined to stay high. Indeed, the one-month charts for the major indices are roller coaster in nature. Retail investor surveys show a neutral attitude towards stocks. That’s fuel for higher stock prices, but we need a catalyst or two to get investors off the sidelines. To paraphrase William Shakespeare, it seems “neither a buyer nor a seller be” is the quote of the day.