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Cashin: Why stocks are 'sensitive' to Ukraine

Art Cashin said the stock market isn't reacting so negatively to "the TV pictures of troops on the ground" in Ukraine.

Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC's Bob Pisani around midday that instead "they'll be sensitive to what's happening to the currencies and what's happening to the banks. The Ukraine has had to put a withdrawal limit on their banks because money was beginning to hemorrhage out. The (Russian) ruble went into near-collapse and they've had to raise interest rates over there. So this thing has possible contagion built all over it. That's why the markets are sensitive."

Cashin predicts that sensitivity will be with us for awhile. "This is a very complicated situation which will not have an easy or quick resolution, certainly not diplomatically and I think no one wants to go militarily."

Meanwhile, he advises viewers to watch the 1838 to 1841 band on the S&P 500. "They break (below) from there and there could be collateral damage."

—By CNBC's Alex Crippen. Follow him on Twitter @alexcrippen.

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