Watch Art Cashin: 'Key factor' in bounce back

Cashin says: Weathering the real storm

Art Cashin said a strong U.S. dollar against Japan's yen is a "key" factor in the Dow's bounce from Thursday morning lows in the wake of weak retail sales.

Cashin, UBS' director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC's Mary Thompson around midday, "There was some slight improvement in Europe and then it moved into the currency markets and the dollar firmed up. The dollar-yen is kind of a "risk off" trade these days and a slightly weaker yen allows them to play back."

Cashin, however, said today's stock sessions needs an "asterisk" because a snowstorm in New York kept trading desks lightly staffed and distracted those who did come to work.