Tom Lee: No recession—it just feels like it

We're not headed into recession: Tom Lee
We're not headed into recession: Tom Lee

Long-time stock market bull Tom Lee said Thursday the U.S. won't go into recession over the new year financial turmoil.

But he argued: "Corrections and bear markets have the same feel, which is buying doesn't feel right. Selling feels good."

Lee, co-founder of boutique equity research firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" he understands why investors are "really leery and cautious," but he's keeping the faith.

"The market have been terrible. But that doesn't mean this is how markets are going to behave two [or] three months from now," he said. "There are lots of reasons to expect markets to start to perform better."

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Ahead of Thursday's trading, the stock market was poised for a weekly loss, picking up in February where last month left off. Wall Street logged its worst January since 2009.

"[But] one of the messages from earnings this season has been, companies don't see the same type of destruction that markets are feeling," Lee said, though he conceded that "investors are doubting what companies are saying."

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