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The market can't make up its mind for one more try, Cashin says

The market is having a hard time deciding if it can nudge it the extra mile as the Dow Jones industrial average hovers below 20,000, Art Cashin said.

The UBS director of floor operations told CNBC on Wednesday the market has essentially paused. He said if there was a more significant pullback, it'd be easier to declare the index is not reaching the milestone anytime soon.

"You haven't pulled back at all," Cashin said on "Squawk Alley." "We're having one of the very narrowest ranges today, and that kind of hints that the market can't make up its mind whether it wants to make one more try."

The market had the potential to reach 20,000 on Tuesday, but investors oddly reacted to oil news, he said.

"I say it shouldn't have taken place because it was not the energy stocks that were boosting the Dow. But when oil pulled back a little bit, we came back from the threat of going through 20,000. When oil came on a little bit, they went back up. So, it was more psychological than an actual correlation," he said.