It's been a brutal October for the S&P 500 so far, with major benchmarks sinking into correction territory during a month of wild swings.
Yet the current sell-off is exactly what the market needed to get comfortable with slower, lower growth, said Jeffrey Mills, co-chief investment strategist and managing director at PNC Financial Services.
"I do think it's a bit of a reality check," Mills said on CNBC's "Futures Now" on Thursday. "We're moving from an environment where we were investing with a safety net and that safety net is being taken away. The central bank is slowly starting to increase interest rates so I think investors recalibrating to that reality probably makes a great deal of sense."
While Mills expected the bull market to grind on, there are some market forces that suggest stocks will not rebound immediately from this correction.
"We broke through the 200-day [moving average] pretty clearly, and we have had this defensive sector rotation which we really didn't see in January," Mills said, referring to the broader market. "So gold has rallied, staples are doing better...so for me I think we live here a little bit longer," he added.