Art Cashin said today's headline number showing January non-farm payrolls increased by just 113,000 was "awful," but Wall Street saw a brighter side of the labor picture.
Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC's Dominic Chu around midday, "People began reading a little deeper into it. If you looked at the household survey, that seemed to confirm the optimistic numbers out of ADP. If you look at U6, which a lot of people cite because that's disappointed and other workers, it showed a much stronger improvement than the regular unemployment rate."
Another bright side, said Cashin, is the possibility the Federal Reserve will resume more active stimulus of the economy. "There is always a sense in the Wall Street community that if things in fact do begin to go bad the Fed will taper the tapering."
Cashin said that's not happening in the next few weeks, at least, and "the data would really have to be pretty bad because they are very concerned they are getting negative consequences out of QE3 and absolutely no benefit."