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Art Cashin: The stock market is like someone stumbling 'in a dark room' 

Key Points
  • Art Cashin says investors have "had enough" of last week's market action, which saw the biggest weekly declines for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq since March.
  • The heaviest selling of the week was on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • "What they're doing this week is like a man in a dark room. Just reaching out to find out which way it can walk and not stumble," Cashin says.
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Markets trying not to stumble after last week, says Art Cashin

The stock market is blindly trying to build gains after a devastating performance last week, closely followed trader Art Cashin said Monday.

Cashin said investors have "had enough" of last week's "shocking" market action, which saw the biggest weekly declines for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq since March.

The heaviest selling of the week was on Wednesday and Thursday, when the Dow plummeted nearly 1,400 points, or more than 5.2 percent, in the two sessions.

Despite a strong rebound on Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 fell more than 4 percent for the week. The Nasdaq dropped nearly 3.75 percent for the week.

"What they're doing this week is like a man in a dark room. Just reaching out to find out which way it can walk and not stumble," Cashin, director of UBS' floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, said on "Squawk on the Street. "

Last week's decline was fueled by concern the Federal Reserve might raise rates more than forecast. The central bank has already hiked rates three times this year, and one more is expected in December.

Stocks were slightly in the red at midday Monday, with tech stocks like Apple and Netflix bringing the Nasdaq lower. Cashin expects the technology sector to continue to be an underperformer.

He also said "a lot wild cards" could impact the market this week.

CEOs pulling out next week's Saudi investment conference could have an impact on stocks, Cashin said, but as of right now there are minimal signs in the financial or oil markets.

U.S.-China trade tensions also remain a concern, Cashin said. Most recently, the U.S. levied duties on $200 billion worth of goods from China, prompting Beijing to put tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Cashin began his career in 1959 at Thomson McKinnon. In 1964, at age 23, he became a member of the NYSE and a partner in P.R. Herzig & Co.