Oil pares gains

Crude prices settle higher, but down from earlier surge after better-than-expected earnings from Wal-Mart pushed stocks higher.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

v2-cnnmoney-chart1.jpg.mkw.gif
Click the chart for current oil prices.
When do you think the economy will improve?
  • In the next few months
  • In six months to a year
  • In a year or more
  • It's already on the mend

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Oil prices settled slightly higher Thursday, falling from an earlier surge above $71 a barrel after better-than-expected results from retail giant Wal-Mart reinforced hopes for an economic recovery and pushed up stocks.

U.S. light crude for September delivery rose 36 cents to settle at $70.52 a barrel Thursday.

Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) posted better-than-expected earnings on cost cuts, and forecast full year earnings would beat analyst estimates, bolstering hopes that the economic recession in the consumer-driven United States was ending.

Stocks on Wall Street held in positive territory after the report, though gains were limited by U.S. data that showed nationwide retail sales dipped slightly in July and the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week.

Across the Atlantic, gross domestic product in the euro zone's two biggest economies rose by 0.3% each in the second quarter against expectations for a decline of 0.3%.

The unexpectedly bullish news added to sentiment the worst of the deepest financial crisis in decades is over, particularly after the Federal Reserve made its clearest statement yet that it sees the recession nearing an end.

"There's this global good feeling at the moment. It's reverberating through everything, commodity markets equally as well," said CMC Markets analyst James Hughes in London.

Adding some support to oil prices, the National Hurricane Center said on Thursday that the Atlantic may get its first named storm of the year as a tropical wave off West Africa gains strength.

Tropical storms and hurricanes can disrupt operations at offshore platforms and coastal refineries. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
2015 Mustang's asphalt-peeling power goes modern The new Ford Mustang has been upgraded and updated to compete globally - but never fear, it's still a monster. More
15 top executives with $1 salaries Some CEOs and founders agree to salaries of just $1 a year. But once goodies like bonuses and stock options are added in, some of those executives end up taking home many millions of dollars a year. More
Mercedes SL65 AMG: 621 horses of topless power Turn heads as you blow by traffic in this roadster convertible from Mercedes. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Copyright 2009 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.