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Top investor Malik: Don't bet on a recession

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Saira Malik, head of global active equity portfolio management for TIAA-CREF, believes the U.S. is not at risk of a recession. Instead, she's using the pullback in the market this year to get long a group of stocks she thinks will outperform in the months ahead.

"We aren't worried about a recession at the present time as we believe developed markets can continue to demonstrate low single-digit positive GDP growth," Malik told CNBC Pro.

Her investment thesis is based on cyclical stocks taking over from momentum names as the leaders in 2016. In her own words, the investor explains why she's making these names her top picks for the "Squawk Box " Platinum Portfolio.