Jolts to the stock market because of international turmoil could keep the Federal Reserve on the sidelines for longer, even if U.S. economic growth continues to strengthen, BK Asset Management Managing Director Boris Schlossberg told CNBC on Friday.
The crisis in Iraq is not just going to be an overnight event, Schlossberg said in a "Squawk Box" interview before the U.S. military announced an airstrike was carried out on Islamic insurgents there. "We're probably going to have this on our hands for the next couple of weeks."
President Barack Obama on Thursday night authorized airstrikes in Iraq to protect American personnel there. The U.S. also began humanitarian aid airdrops to civilians trapped in the middle of the conflict.
"When you are looking long term ... the Fed is not going to really go back to normal monetary policy until and unless capital assets, equity markets are relatively stable," he said. "If we continue to have relatively decent [economic] growth, but our stock market declines precipitously that's going to keep the Fed much longer on the sidelines."
Meanwhile, the monthlong conflict between Israel and Hamas heated up again Friday, as Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip resumed firing rockets after Egyptian-mediated talks in Cairo failed to extend a 72-hour truce.
There was also a news report Friday quoting a Russian official saying Moscow was seeking to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict, even as it masses troops along the border.
Putting all these moving pieces together, Schlossberg put forth a worst-case-scenario: "Imagine ... we escalate our engagement in the Middle East and Putin uses that as camouflage to invade Ukraine."
"If we have dual headlines like that," he continued, "you'd have another move to the downside. It's not time to buy just yet." The BK Asset Management strategist sees another 3 percent to 4 percent drop in stocks as a possibility.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Wire services contributed to this report.