USB's Cashin: Market Conditions 'Reminiscent' of Lead Up to 1987 Crash

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has climbed nearly 45 percent since hitting a March 9 low. The S&P 500 (S&P) is up nearly 53 percent. And the NASDAQ (NASDAQ) has soared a whopping 61 percent since the March bottom.


But that rally has some analysts shaking their heads. Art Cashin, a CNBC regular who also makes frequent appearances on CBS and NBC news programs to offer insight on the financial markets, was skeptical on Sept. 11. He told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” he got some of his money out of the market and got burnt, but is still scratching his head over the rally.


“Away from that, I’m still somewhat skeptical about this,” Cashin said. “I’ve been wrong, got out too early, certainly. I took some money off the table as I told you, about a week and a half, two weeks ago. Didn’t take it all off, um, may take some more off if they keep going.”


However, Cashin, the director of floor operations for UBS Financial Services and a long-time veteran of the New York Stock Exchange, also said the current market is very much like the stock rally that led up to the Oct. 19, 1987 “Black Monday” crash.


“There’s just some eerie things about this. It’s reminiscent, believe it or not, of spring and summer of ’87, when nobody believed the rally and it kept going up, despite skepticism,” Cashin said. “People shorting into it – it ate them alive until it suddenly turned. And the two topics that year were the dollar and Iran.”


The Dow took a 23-percent swan dive that day and Cashin explained this current rally is similar because the stock values have nothing to do with the underlying fundamentals.


“I think the skepticism really started to kick in late July and everybody was starting to worry about it because these prices have nothing to with the underlying fundamentals, you know?” Cashin said. “This is a kind of wish list rally, so we’ll see what happens.”


“Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen attempted to rationalize the current rally and said it was possible the markets were trying to forecast the long-term “underlying fundamentals” and that the financial markets are predicting recovery.


“Yeah – the underlying fundamentals, but we always have to point out that it’s hard to know exactly what the underlying fundamentals are gonna to be in nine months from now and maybe in a mystical way, people dispute whether the market is mystical, but maybe somehow the jobless recovery isn’t as bad as people thought,” Kernen said. “Maybe you know, I don’t know, the rest of the world recovers. We got a weaker dollar. The consumer is able to comeback quicker. Who knows what it could be? Maybe we don’t know that there’s better things going on and the market does know.”