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After shooting in Canada, traders assess market

No matter how tragic events may be, professional traders are sometimes compelled to view events through the lens of the financial markets. And sudden, unexpected events such as the shooting Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada's capital, often trigger weakness.

Specifically, a gunman shot and killed a Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial; the gunman then entered Parliament, where numerous shots rang out, police and witnesses said.

Speaking about the impact of these events, on CNBC's "Power Lunch," Robert Pavlik of Banyan Partners noted the markets turned negative after the news broke. "The market was already on edge and the news added worry and concern," he said.

Read MoreGunman on the Loose: Several shootings rock Canadian capital

On "Street Signs" John Stoltzfus of Oppenheimer said he didn't find the decline a cause for concern. "A selloff is a natural reaction from the market given the tragic events."

Jim Iuorio of TJM Institutional Services, and a CNBC contributor, said due to the volatility in the market, "even independent of what's happening in Canada, this is a good time to get a little defensive. I'd look at utilities, consumer staples or health care. Stocks that pay a dividend. And I'd stay away from high fliers."

The Associated Press contributed to this report