Watch Art Cashin: 'Cavalry rescue' saves stocks

Cashin says: Housing to the rescue

Art Cashin said today's surprisingly strong January home sales number was a 'cavalry rescue' for the stock market.

Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC's Bob Pisani around midday that when the sales number was released "we were rolling over. It looked like it was going to get very dangerous," with the S&P 500 stock index threatening to go below a key support level.

"Viewers should keep an eye on the S&P, 1838, 1836, that's kind of important support to hold on to. And secondarily, we're having a resistance battle at 1851 to 1853. That's where the game is."

The S&P was trading around 1843 with just over an hour remaining in the session.