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Here are safety plays for today's market, pros say

With some of the top stocks and small caps pulling back recently, investors looking to make money in this market should look for names that are stable in a rotational correction, investing pro Barry James told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Thursday.

"Large cap would be one area we say you should go and then you should look for companies that are relatively cheap and have had a history of good earnings … [and] solid returns relative to the market," said James, president and CEO of James Advantage Funds.

He would also look for names that are not "overly loved" on Wall Street, are buying back shares and are in the energy, non-cyclical and utility sectors.

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Specifically, James likes Baker Hughes, Kroger and AES.

"They've got a lot of pieces of the puzzle that you can ride through this and hopefully be more stable than with some of the highfliers that a lot of folks have been investing in," he said.

Adam Gault | OJO Images | Getty Images

Mark Tepper, founder and president of Strategic Wealth Partners, is adopting a barbell portfolio structure.

He likes energy stocks, medical equipment companies and utilities. Names on his buy list include Chevron, Southern Co. and Baxter International, despite the fact that BAX just hit a 52-week high.

"Medical equipment stocks have been stuck in a trading range and we're expecting that over the course of the next year, two years, we're expecting it finally to break out of that trading range as sales begin to rev up. So it looks very attractive," Tepper said.

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So what are Tepper and James selling?

"If it's very expensive, earnings aren't very good and it hasn't been going up, that has been one area we're selling," James said. "Also stocks that have gone up too rapidly, we'd be trimming back on those."

While he generally prefers small-cap stocks since they outperform in the long run, James said he may sell some because stability is key right now, and only 3 percent of large-cap stocks are in a bear market.

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Tepper is starting to shift out of the overvalued cyclicals.

"Materials and industrials happen to be the two sectors that we feel are really just beginning to look overvalued," he said.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox

Disclosure: James does not own BHI, KR and AES but he and his company both own shares through mutual funds. BHI, KR and AES are investment banking clients. Tepper does not own CVX, SO and BAX but they are investment banking clients.

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