Commodity Corner: Oil Loses Momentum

Crude oil failed to score a "threepeat" Friday.

After increasing in value by $5.80 over two straight days, the commodity settled 58 cents lower to $73.97 before the start of the Memorial Day weekend. Renewed concerns about Europe's debt crisis, along with a U.S. Commerce Department report indicating lower consumer spending in April, contributed to the decline. Despite Friday's setback, crude's overall uptrend for the week remains intact with an approximately $4.00 gain from Monday's settlement. Oil traded from $75.72 to $73.18 Friday.

The June futures price for gasoline also settled lower Friday, losing two cents to $2.02. The decline in gasoline prices in recent weeks bucks the conventional wisdom for this time of year, especially when an increasing number of motorists are expected to hit the roads this Memorial Day Weekend. Friday's gasoline price ranged from a high of $2.05 to a low of $2.01.

Natural gas bucked the trend of the two above commodities, settling a nickel higher Friday. The $4.34 settlement price caps off a positive week for natural gas, which settled 30 cents lower on Monday.