CIO holding Merck, General Mills amid economic slowdown

STORY: Following a relief rally on Wednesday when investors welcomed the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive move to raise rates by 75 basis points - its biggest rate hike since 1994 - by buying shares, two other spates of policy tightening in Britain and Switzerland seemed to have sobered investors into refocusing on the chance that economies could slow as rates rise.

Mahn said Thursday's broad stock market sell-off was likely sparked by the Swiss National Bank, which announced a large interest rate hike and "an indication that they may be looking to sell U.S. stocks off their balance sheet."

Each of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower Thursday, although the defensive consumer staples sector was outperforming the broader market as names like WalMart, General Mills and Hormel Foods were among the few S&P 500 components to advance in the session.