Markets had also been anticipating an announcement from China Sunday night. Traders were encouraged by a weekend Wall Street Journal article that said China was looking to add liquidity to banks, including cutting the deposits that banks are required to keep in reserve. But an announcement never materialized. China on Sunday did allow pension funds managed by local governments to invest in its stock market for the first time, but that wasn't the news markets were looking for.
"I've got to imagine they've got to be concerned. I don't think they want to see another 8.5 percent down move tonight," said Schlossberg.
Dan Suzuki, equity analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said he expects the U.S. stock market selloff to be short lived, but he also expects China to make a move. "I think we're going to see that by the time we get to the end of the year, we'll be much higher," he said.
"People had similar fears back in October when the market was down 7 or 8 percent. Within the next month, we were up 10 percent, and we were hitting new highs after that," he said.
Suzuki said he does expect the Chinese government to act. "One of the reasons we sold off today was because there were expectations the government would come in with stimulus. That's one of the reasons why people were talking about for the market having a short-term bounce near the end of the session."
Suzuki said B of A expects China to cut its required reserve ratio. "There's going to be a lot of stimulus coming through," he said.
Read MoreMore selling expected, but strategists say bull alive and well