The dollar fell as U.S. stocks rose for a third straight day on Thursday, as better numbers in January and February retail sales outweighed another poor report on employment.

Sales ex-autos and gasoline rose 0.5% last month as consumers took advantage of discounts at retailers. January's number was revised up to an increase of 1.8% from the originally estimated gain of 1.0%. But the report on employment was unequivocally bad; the number of people continuing to claim benefits jumped 193,000 to 5,317,000, the highest level since the government started keeping track in 1967.

In recent trade, the DOW was gaining a healthy 1.56%. The broader S&P 500 was up 1.71% and the NASDAQ 1.43%.

The dollar gained in the first 30 minutes of Wall Street trading after the Swiss National Bank said it was intervening to weaken the franc, but the greenback has fallen since then as stocks advanced. For the day, the dollar was gaining 0.38% on the euro, 0.94% on Australia's dollar, 0.80% on the yen and 0.65% on sterling.

Crude for March delivery was trading 3.47% higher on the improved consumer outlook.

April gold was up 1.63%.