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Wall Street closes lower on falling crude prices

Wall Street closes lower on falling crude prices
Crude prices slide around 3 percent

NEW YORK (AA) - Wall Street closed lower Friday as crude prices fell sharply with rising oil rig count in the U.S.

The Dow Jones fell 119 points to end the day at 17,865. The S&P 500 was down 19 points to close at 2,096, while the Nasdaq lost 64 points to end at 4,894.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.3 percent, but the S&P 500 was down by 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1 percent.

Crude oil prices fell approximately 3 percent Friday on worries U.S. oil production could begin to increase with the rising rig numbers.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell to $48.88 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent crude declined to $50.37 at 1820GMT.

Oil field services company Baker Hughes announced Friday that the number of oil rigs in the U.S. rose by 3 in the past week to reach 328. Last week, the number of oil rigs increased by 9 to 325, ending an almost three-month decline.

The rig count provides an indication on the well-being of the domestic oil sector and signals possible short-term production cuts and increases.

Because of low oil prices, oil rigs are removed and wells are shut down while production declines.

Due to plummeting oil prices, the total number of oil rigs in the U.S. is now almost 80 percent below its highest level of October 2014 when they were at 1,609.

source: News Feed
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