NEW YORK (AA) - Wall Street opened higher Thursday as the price of crude oil climbed above the critical $50 per barrel threshold.
The Dow Jones rose 31 points to begin the day at 17,883 points. The S&P 500 increased 3 points to open at 2,093, while the Nasdaq was up 6 points to begin the day at 4,901.
At the opening bell, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 0.8 percent to $50.05 per barrel -- its highest level since October 2015. The international benchmark Brent crude rose 0.7 percent to $50.15 a barrel -- its highest since the beginning of November last year.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration data revealed that weekly crude oil inventories were more than market expectations, which raised oil prices by more than two percent.
With supply disruptions from Nigeria and Venezuela, and stalled production from Canada's Alberta province, it is uncertain how much prices will continue to rise.
The oil market will focus on OPEC's meeting on June 2, but divisions among its members Saudi Arabia and Iran is likely to prevent any consensus among the cartel.
Meanwhile, initial jobless claims in the U.S. came in at 268,000 last week -- below market expectations of 275,000.
Durable goods orders, which measures the value of new orders for long lasting manufactured goods, rose 3.4 percent in April, against a market expectation of a 0.5 percent increase.