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Cashin: Why 'everybody is on alert'

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 12:55 PM ET
Cashin: Dow continues to be most volatile
Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 | 10:15 AM ET
Art Cashin, UBS, breaks down China's influence on Dow volatility and the strain China is putting on the money system.

UBS' Art Cashin has no shortage of things to worry about.

Gold prices keep increasing. Chinese credit markets remain in jeopardy. And of course, Wall Street has had a rocky week as recent changes to the Dow Jones industrial average made it more volatile, Cashin told CNBC.

"It certainly has the warning signal flag flying," Cashin said on "Squawk on the Street."

Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, said the Chinese equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book revealed that credit transmission there may be broken. Worse-than-expected manufacturing data in China also contributed to jitters on Wall Street.

(Read more: Chinese data's ripple effect on markets)


"Everybody is on alert," Cashin said.

Major indexes suffered big declines Thursday, with the Dow dropping 162 points by noon. Concerns about China might make up "70 percent" of the factors rippling across U.S. markets, Cashin said.

(Read more: Cashin: Why the Dow is 'overleveraged')

Cashin advised investors to monitor global warnings signs into next Wednesday.

"This is not a one-day event," he said. "You're going to have to wait for a couple days and see what develops in the markets."

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street."

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