U.S. stock markets are sliding Tuesday on a stronger dollar and disappointing announcements from McDonald's and 3M. Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services, told CNBC why the markets are especially "vulnerable" now.
"We're in a kind of ambiguous pattern now that could break out either way," Cashin said.
"We're at the end of certain 'cocktail napkin' formations and we're waiting for resolutions. It concerns me, because if it gets weak, and it's appreciably weak, it could start to change the charts around."
Cashin addressed concerns about a strengthening US dollar:
"The resistance in the DXY [US dollar index] is probably 76 to 76 and 1/4. You can sense the tension in the air: A lot of people who've got the dollar carry trade on...know if this thing should suddenly break out, they could get trapped very badly."
Cashin reiterated his fear that a "geopolitical move" in one of the world's flashpoints could shake the markets, producing a "ridiculous move" in stock values.
For Cashin's take on two types of 'gold bugs,' watch the full interview.
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Disclosure information was not available for Cashin or his company.