Art Cashin: The January jobs report hampers an already concerned stock market

  • The wage number in January's jobs report was unhelpful to an already worried stock market, Art Cashin says.
  • Before the report, Cashin says the market was concerned about rising interest rates and "FAANG" stocks Alphabet and Apple.
  • Wall Street is also focusing on a secret GOP memo, he says.

January's stronger-than-expected jobs report was unhelpful to an already worried stock market, closely followed trader Art Cashin told CNBC on Friday.

Wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession in the Labor Department's Friday report, sending interest rates higher and thus impeding stocks.

Cashin, UBS director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, said Friday's wage number "certainly spooked" traders.

Before the report, Cashin said the market was concerned about rising interest rates and "FAANG" stocks Alphabet and Apple, whose shares were lower in early trading Friday. (The term FAANG refers to Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet.)

And then there's politics, Cashin said on "Squawk on the Street." "There is some concern that if the Republican memo is released, it could have greater consequences."

Cashin was referring to reports that the White House could approve the release of the GOP memo alleging FBI bias against President Donald Trump in its Russia investigation. The FBI has said it has "grave concerns" about the memo's release.

The White House declassified the memo Friday, and it was expected to be released by the House intelligence committee.

Cashin said there was speculation on the Street on Thursday that the release of the memo could cause the head of the FBI, Chris Wray, to resign.

The Dow was down more than 300 points on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declining as well. As of Thursday's close, the Dow and S&P were on track for their worst week since 2016, while the Nasdaq was on pace for its worst week since June.

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