Strategists tell us that the Ukrainian economy is small — certainly smaller than Russia and roughly 70 percent of the size of Greece. But unlike Greece, commodities play an important role in their economy and thus the global economy. Commodities represent some 30 percent of Ukranian GDP, which includes food products such as corn, wheat, chemicals and timber. But natural gas is by far the most important for both Ukraine as well as Europe. Fifteen percent of the gas supply for Europe runs through Ukraine — any disruption here would clearly impact the ongoing recovery in Europe. And any disruption there will impact the recovery in other parts of the world.
Any military intervention by Russia will stir up political tensions around the world and we know that when investors begin to get nervous, it is always easier to hit the "sell" button first and ask questions later.
(Read more: Contained or contagion: How to play Ukraine)
If you continue to believe in the U.S. recovery, then any swift pullback will provide an opportunity both ways — get short on the way down , lay out your supports and then cover to go long as the market finds support.
—By Kenny Polcari
Kenny Polcari is director of NYSE floor operations at O'Neil Securities and a CNBC contributor, often appearing on "Power Lunch." Follow Kenny on Twitter
@kennypolcari and visit him at kennypolcari.com.
Disclosure: The market commentary is the opinion of the author and is based on decades of industry and market experience; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to these opinions. This commentary is not nor is it intended to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgment. The comments noted herein should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any financial product, or an official statement or endorsement of O'Neil Securities or its affiliates.