Cashin connects dots on strong dollar stock drop

Art Cashin, UBS director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC on Tuesday that stocks were falling sharply in early trading because of an "ugly buffet" of news from Greece getting pounded to weaker U.S. economic data to the strong dollar wreaking havoc on corporate earnings.

The negative strong dollar impact on multinational companies should not come as a surprise, he said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview, but investors had been considering it only a minor nuisance but they're going to find out how important it is.

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"The impact of the dollar on earnings is clearly being felt. And that's casting a pall not only on those that have reported but the anticipation of those yet to report," Cashin said.

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Case in point, Procter & Gamble said the strong dollar was the major factor in the company's disappointing earnings report and challenging forward guidance.

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"We still have problems over in Europe," he added. "They kind of let Greece slide yesterday. The Greek banks [were] down 10 percent in some cases."

The drop in oil prices might not be that much of an economic gift, at least in the near term, Cashin said, with Caterpillar casting blame on collapsing crude for missing earnings estimates by a wide margin in the latest quarter and forecasting trouble in the year ahead.

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