It’s all about oil, as the dollar fell and crude prices shot up to more than $138 a barrel on Friday.
Israel issues comments on the inevitability of an attack on Iran's nuclear program and Morgan Stanley points out that U.S. inventories are down 35 million barrels since March. Not coincidentally, oil is up almost 5 percent on the day, 40 percent for the year...so far.
US Light Sweet Crude .
London Brent Crude .
Jobless Claims Climb
But it’s not just oil that’s driving the markets down. This morning’s unemployment number showed its biggest leap since 1986, to 5.5 percent. Mix that with oil and the result is predictable: the Dow was down 259 points by noon.
Wal-Mart Spreads Its Low-Price Gospel
While the markets were down, Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder/revival meeting was upbeat and gave CEO Lee Scott an opportunity to push the company’s mission of “saving people money so they can live better.” Attendees were treated to an appearance from Queen Latifah as well as country singer Tim McGraw.