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Art Cashin: 'I'm a little surprised' at the uninhibited market rally

The market has been behaving in an abnormal way as it rallies toward record highs, trading expert Art Cashin told CNBC on Monday.

"I'm a little surprised that the equity rally has the legs that it had," Cashin, UBS director of floor operations at NYSE, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," adding that with weeks to go before the inauguration, markets still have time to shift.

"When we had that big rally last Wednesday, the VIX behaved in a very unusual manner, and the few times that it has behaved like that before, we've had a pullback of some significance within three days," Cashin said. "[We] didn't even come close, [stocks] just kept rallying."

On Dec. 7 the VIX hit a low of 11.33, its lowest level since August, indicating that sentiment among investors had reached levels of "extreme greed" and complacency, according to a report by BTIG strategist Katie Stockton.

That has typically led, as Cashin said, to a market slowdown and some sell-off. Instead, stocks continued to rally toward record highs.

Cashin said that not all of the stock indexes that have topped records should be grouped together, though, citing one specific index that may not be as affected by certain Trump policies.

"I think the one you've got to take as odd man out is the Russell [2000], because they're all small- to medium-sized companies that don't have as much international exposure," Cashin said. "And if the president-elect picks a trade war or comes close to it, it'll be the big multinationals that suffer the most."