Veteran Wall Streeter Art Cashin told CNBC on Wednesday he's looking cautiously at the market in the near term as stocks enter what he described as historically weak periods. In an interview on "Squawk on the Street," Cashin acknowledged the S & P 500 has been hitting a series of records, including early in Wednesday's session . "But we haven't had that breakout … and one of the reasons I'm worried about that is seasonality. In the year after a presidential election, August is the weakest month. Not because it's down the most, but because it's down the most frequently," said the director of floor operations for UBS Financial Services at the New York Stock Exchange. "In other years, September is the weakest month, so we're going into a two-month period where, seasonally, the market has a little bit of tough sledding." The broad S & P 500 is up more than 18% year to date. In the past month, the equity index is up about 1.8%. "It's great that you're having record new highs," said Cashin, who became a member of the NYSE in 1964. "But I'd like to see it punch through once in a while, show me that you're forcing the shorts to cover and things like that." Instead, the market has been climbing to its fresh records in "baby steps," Cashin said. "You would like to see the amplitude spread out a little bit because what happens quite frequently, when you get a long period of minor change and narrow amplitude, that hints a complacency in which people say, 'Yeah, the economy is good and you can probably buy [stocks] a little bit more.' But no excitement, no verve in there, and that's bothersome to me. We've often seen that as we move toward tops." Cashin also addressed the Senate's passage of a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package a day earlier, saying its potential to provide a real lift for the market hinges on the manner through which it filters into the economy, assuming the House of Representatives eventually approves it and President Joe Biden signs it into law. "It certainly would be helping the materials and construction," Cashin said, pointing to Caterpillar as one example. "I think infrastructure can help out reasonably well but it depends on how they put it out, if they're going to be putting it out with an eyedropper." "We can all remember the infamous shovel-ready projects that we don't know what they were shoveling, but it wasn't anything into the economy," he said.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Veteran Wall Streeter Art Cashin told CNBC on Wednesday he's looking cautiously at the market in the near term as stocks enter what he described as historically weak periods.
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