US markets fell on Friday on high oil prices. The S&P 500 fell 5.36 points or 0.40% to 1,328.15. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 29.59 points or 0.24% to 12,379.90.
Brent crude rose to $126/barrel on Friday, its highest level in 32 months, as unrest in the Middle East and Libya combined with the effects of a weak US dollar. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.3%, while the Dow rose 0.03%.
Portugal finally seeks bailout
On Wednesday, Portugal's care-taker government requested a bailout, after the yield on the country's 5-year bonds rose to 10%. It is expected Portugal will need $80 billion euros.
The ECB raised its interest rate by 0.25%, to 1.25%. Some economists are concerned that the rate hike will make it even more difficult for weaker nations like Greece, Ireland and Portugal to finance their debt.
Gold and silver shine
In addition to oil, gold and silver also performed well this week. Gold hit another record high on Friday, reaching $1,474.9/ounce, while silver reached a 31-year high of $40.46/ounce.
Looking ahead to next week
Markets will be taking direction from the start of earnings season on Monday. Better-than-expected earnings and forecast from major corporations could send the market higher, while the opposite will likely result in a pull-back. High oil prices will also weigh on US markets. Brent crude at its current price of $126/barrel is at a level that will weaken US economic growth.