Watch Art Cashin: Alibaba IPO lifting stocks

Cashin says: The Alibaba effect?
Cashin says: The Alibaba effect?   

UBS' Art Cashin said Thursday stocks are getting a lift from the Federal Reserve's dovish stance, and from Alibaba's IPO, scheduled for Friday.

The S&P 500, Dow Industrial Average and Dow Transports are at record highs, adding to gains across the globe a day after the Federal Reserve stood pat and said it would not raise the federal funds rate until the economy showed further signs of strength.

Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, also pointed to Alibaba's high-profile IPO as another reason stocks may be climbing.

On Monday stocks sold off, especially Chinese and Internet content names, amid speculation investors were repositioning themselves before the end of the week to make room in their portfolios for Alibaba. It takes three days for a trade to clear, so if traders sold on Monday, the money should have hit their account Thursday.

Read MoreCashin: Investors 'pruning portfolios' ahead of Alibaba IPO

"Now they've [traders] got to recommit," Cashin said. "You don't want it [money] lying fallow, and they put it back into stocks, and I think that's helping us out here."

Alibaba is seeking to raise as much as $25 billion, which would easily make it the world's biggest IPO. Shares are expected to price between $66 and $68, but many market watchers expect a big first-day pop.

Read MoreAlibaba's first day: Why it's likely to steal the show and keep it

"We will find out if this is an Alibaba effect tomorrow because then they'll really know what their allocations are," Cashin said.

—By CNBC's Kristen Scholer