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Squawk on the Street

Citi Strategist: Investors Should Go On "Offense"

Does the market have you scared? "The fear is interesting," says Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup's chief U.S. equity strategist. He joined "Squawk on the Street" to talk about "worried" investors -- and what they ought to do now.

Appearing at Citigroup's Small and Mid-Cap Conference in Las Vegas, Levkovich told CNBC's Mark Haines of a client survey that revealed a "lot of caution out there." He stated that some 45% of respondents at the conference said they were "worried" about the chances of a recession this year, and believe the Russell 2000 index will stay relatively flat.

Exacerbating these fears is the evaporating "thin hope" that the Federal Reserve will cut rates -- but Levkovich says the anxiety "provides opportunities for investors." Taking a note from his hockey-playing days, the strategist declares that "offense is the best defense," and takes an aggressive tack: He pointed CNBC's Erin Burnett to "beaten up" tech stocks and consumer discretionary subsegments like retail, which he praises as "very attractive" due to its valuation.