Strategist: Market downturn is a 'buying opportunity'

Where the stock bargains are
Where the stock bargains are

The fall in the stock market is an opportunity for investors to add positions to their portfolio, David Lebovitz of J.P. Morgan Asset Management said Friday.

"In the long run, we still think that stocks are headed higher. Yes, corporate profits have hit some headwinds, but we expect those to rebound this year. You really need to focus on those underlying fundamentals and identify them. That's the way you make money in this market," Lebovitz told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

He also said investors can find reasonably valued stocks in the technology, health-care and financial sectors.

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U.S. equities began the year trading sharply lower, with the three major indexes falling into correction territory — down at least 10 percent from their 52-week high.

The weak start has driven investor optimism to its lowest since 2005 and has led to a sharp flight to safety.

However, Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, said in the same interview, "We're expecting a bit of a two-steps-forward, one-step-back market for most of this year. What I find interesting about this volatility is that a lot of the economic conditions remain largely the same."

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He also said economic conditions have been "good but not great," which have led to "very accommodative monetary policy, low interest rates and low inflation."

"That's a pretty constructive backdrop for our stock prices. However, we are definitely seeing some challenges with the fact that quantitative easing and low monetary policy doesn't seem to be working as well, competitive devaluations are not working as well as they once had."

On Friday, U.S. markets held sharply higher in afternoon trade, as oil prices rebounded.