'Brexit' will have cascading effect in Europe, US will be safe haven: Trader

U.S. stocks closed lower Friday, in part because of concerns over the possibility of Britain exiting the European Union, but if the so-called Brexit does happen the United States will become a safe haven for investors, trader Stephen Guilfoyle said Friday

"There is going to be a cascading effect across Europe," with other countries considering leaving the EU, the managing director of floor operations for Deep Value Execution Services said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"The U.S. is going to be your safe haven — the U.S. currency, the U.S. debt markets, the equity market."

A new poll by London newspaperThe Independent showed 55 percent of British citizens are in favor of leaving the EU. The vote is set to take place June 23.

U.S. stocks fell to session lows on the news, but ultimately ended well off those lows. The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 120 points lower after earlier falling 172 points.

Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage talks to supporters as he campaigns for votes to leave the European Union
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage talks to supporters as he campaigns for votes to leave the European Union

Caution was the theme of the day, with people "scared" and running into gold, Treasurys and the VIX, Guilfoyle noted.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was down but above lows of the year so far, last trading near 1.64 percent, while the two-year yield was near 0.73 percent.

"It's obviously a risk-off atmosphere and people are going to find cover wherever they can," he said.

Jim Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management, has gone from overweight to neutral in equities and instead now favors credit.

He expects more slow growth for the economy and is concerned that companies have lost pricing power.

"Disinflation, not deflation, [is] robbing these companies of the ability to raise prices and their margins are getting squeezed. That's why I'm concerned about money leaving bonds [and going] into the stock market, which are riskier assets," he told "Closing Bell."

While the U.S. stock market isn't doing fantastic, it is not as bad as other markets, said Sarah Hunt, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds, which oversees $4 billion in assets.

In this atmosphere, investors need to be picking individual stocks, she told "Closing Bell."

She specifically likes BP for its "strong" dividend and Home Depot because people are still spending on their houses.

"You still have a lot of people who have a lot of work to do and DIY is becoming more and more something that they're doing as they are looking to sell houses, as the housing market is picking up," she said.

CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Stephen Desaulniers contributed to this report.

Disclosures: Sarah Hunt owns BP and Home Depot through Alpine's funds