Despite anticipating quarterly earnings growth to drop and weakness in the major indices, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers President and Chief Investment Officer Bob Doll said he expects an equity markets rally in the second half of the year.

Doll admitted the stock market appears trapped because a stronger economy will likely lead to an increase in interest rates, which could "have a compressing affect on" P/E ratios. Further, he added, soft economic data causes fear about corporate profitsÂ’ strength.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.