A weakening in the US dollar and recovery in oil prices are proposing to lift US stocks on the open of trading on Thursday ahead of key US economic data. Retail sales for February are expected to give the latest snapshot of the health of the US consumer and their reaction to lower prices at the pump. The euro dropped to 1.05 to the US dollar overnight but has subsequently rebounded to over 1.06. It has been the sharp surge in the US dollar that has unnerved US stock market investors in recent days. US dollar strength has prompted some capital flows to Europe in which export-orientated companies are expected to gain from the corresponding euro weakness. The price of North American crude oil fell after the EIA reported another higher build in crude oil inventories on Wednesday but closed well off the lows since the decline was not as large as the dramatic build seen last week. Retail sales for February are expected to show a monthly rise following the disappointing decline in January. The retail sales data will take on extra import for stocks given its propensity to move the US dollar index which sits just below twelve year highs. The Apple Watch has gone down like a tonne of bricks (or a gold Apple Watch Edition) with investors who have sold Apple shares down heavily this week. Further declines could be on the cards towards $120 until Apple offer some hard data on the popularity of the divisive wearable device Shares on Intel fought the crowd yesterday rising 2% on the unconfirmed news that its 7360 chip may be included in special editions of the iPhone sold in Asia and Latin America. Futures suggest the: S&P 500 will open 4 points higher at 2,044 with the Dow Jones expected to open 50 points higher at 17,685 and the Nasdaq 100 12 points higher at 4,222.