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Oil eased on Wednesday, after an unexpected drawdown in crude oil inventories in top consumer the United States helped the market pare earlier losses.
U.S. oil rose above $72 on Tuesday, and London Brent hit another 11-month high above $76, the 10th straight day of gains that have lifted crude by $6 to within striking distance of its record.
U.S. oil eased on Monday, while London Brent rose to an 11-month high above $76 a barrel, as rising global oil demand and North Sea field maintenance exacerbated supply worries.
Stocks posted the best weekly gains in three weeks, closing Friday near the best levels of the day as new economic data showed moderate jobs growth, easing worries of a slowing economy. "The jobs number was pretty decent, it was probably as good as we could have expected," said Charles Rotblut, market analyst at Zacks.com.
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Oil surged to an 11-month high above $76 a barrel on Friday, closing in on the all-time record as Nigerian disruptions and OPEC output cuts stirred supply concerns amid rising U.S. refinery demand stirred.
Market pros will be looking closely at the tech sector in the upcoming earnings season, but for investors seeking a quick pop, they need look no further than the energy sector as oil prices remain at record levels.
Oil and gasoline prices advanced Thursday after seesawing on a government report that surprised traders with bearish inventory data and bullish refinery utilization rates.
Oil set a 10-month high above $73 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by low U.S. fuel inventories and expectations of strong gasoline demand in the world's top consumer.
Any number of things, from energy prices to Fed policy to geopolitical events, could derail what's expected to be a solid second half.
Oil futures spiked above $70 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since Sept. 1 on a government report that showed gasoline inventories dropped unexpectedly as the summer driving season neared its peak.
Petro-Canada has decided to pull out of Venezuela and has reached an agreement with the state oil company on compensation for its oil investments, the Venezuelan government said.
Crude oil and gasoline prices settled higher on Wednesday after a government inventory report stoked concerns about the nation's gasoline supplies during the summer driving season.
Stock futures point lower this morning after a weak showing in equities markets worldwide. European stocks are trading lower, and Asian markets were mostly down overnight. Volatility will no doubt be the tone of the day, as the Fed starts its two-day meeting. Durable goods fell 2.8%, below expectations. The dollar slid after the report and Treasurys rallied.
Stocks finished lower in a choppy session that was overshadowed by concerns about the housing slowdown and a meltdown in the subprime mortgage industry. "The financials tend to lead the market down and that's what they were doing today," said Robert Albertson, chief strategist at Sandler O'Neill. "I think it goes well beyond subprime. "
U.S. oil giants Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips both left huge crude projects in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt after President Hugo Chavez nationalized them as part of his socialist revolution. Venezuela is the fourth biggest supplier of oil to the United States.
The main challengers to U.S. economic power -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- have overtaken the United States in dominating the global energy industry, according to a new study by Goldman Sachs.
Stocks ended lower as investors were rattled by concerns regarded leveraged mortgage securities held by two Bear Stearns hedge funds. "We will see a splash near term as some of these funds need to unwind positions in paper that really isn't traded too much," said Jack Ablin of Harris Private Bank.
John Kilduff, senior vice president and energy analyst at Man Financial, appeared on CNBC's special "Power Lunch at the Four Seasons" to give his outlook for oil and gasoline -- and to explain why easing tensions in Nigeria haven't made him bearish on either.
Stocks ended the week lower as investors were rattled by rising energy prices and worries about the potential fallout from two struggling mortgage securities funds managed by Bear Stearns.