NEW YORK (AA) – Wall Street opened flat on Friday as the price of crude oil could not sustain above the critical $50 a barrel mark but fell below $49 per barrel.
The Dow Jones was only up 15 points to begin the day at 17,843. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,091, while the Nasdaq could only add 2 points to begin the day at 4,904.
On Thursday, crude oil climbed above $50 a barrel to reach its highest level in the last seven months, but then fell below the critical threshold.
At the opening bell, West Texas Intermediate was down 1.2 percent to $48.90 per barrel while international benchmark Brent crude fell 1.5 percent to $48.91.
The market is now focused on the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday, which may give hints to investors about which direction the bank may take on its decision of a rate hike this summer.
Minutes of the April meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released last week showed that a rate hike "likely would be appropriate" if macroeconomic data in the following weeks suggest economic growth picking up in the second quarter.
After the release of the minutes, U.S. stocks and crude prices declined for two days.