Oil ends just shy of $50

Stock market rally helps lift crude in late session trading. Crude futures settle up $1.25 after choppy day of trade.

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)
By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Click on the chart to see the prices of other commodities.
Should Obama let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt?
  • Yes, theyve been given enough chances
  • No, theyre too big to fail
  • Give them one more shot and then think about it
American cars: Red, white and cheap
A bad economy and crumbling auto sales have created absurdly low prices for some truly great American cars.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices ended the session higher on Tuesday, just shy of the $50 a barrel threshold, as a Wall Street rally picked up steam late in the trading day.

Crude for May delivery settled up $1.25 to $49.66 a barrel.

The stock rally came on the final day of the first quarter - a day on which money managers often put funds to work. While the major indexes are down for the quarter, they have risen in the past month; the S&P was up 7% in March going into Tuesday's session.

Stocks rose despite a slew of mixed economic data. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly, while the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 major cities fell at record monthly and annual rates.

Oil prices were supported by the stock rally, since Wall Street serves as a barometer for sentiment about the health of the economy.

The dollar largely slipped Tuesday on the back of stronger global equities. Crude oil is priced in U.S. dollars around the globe, so daily fluctuations in the value of the greenback push the price of crude around.

Excess supply: Excess supply and continued concerns over the ailing U.S. auto industry continued to keep prices in check, however.

Crude oil stocks are expected to have increased by 3.2 million barrels last week, according to a pre-report analyst survey by Platts, a global energy information provider. Meanwhile, gasoline stockpiles are expected to have fallen by 1.8 million barrels.

Oil prices rose as high as $54 a barrel last week, in tandem with a stock rally, as investors cheered Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan to remove toxic assets from the balance sheets of banks. But an analyst said the oil market can not escape the fundamentals of supply and demand.

"Some of the initial exuberance is wearing off and there is a recollection it is going to be a difficult year in 2009, and that is going to have negative impacts for oil and oil products," said Rachel Ziemba, energy analyst at RGE Monitor.

The way the market deals with the excess in crude supply will push oil prices going forward.

"I really think the driver going forward is the cuts of OPEC, whether they are going to be able to whittle away at the supply overhang that we have seen," said Ziemba. Leaders from the worlds largest economies, the G-20, are meeting in London on Thursday to discuss the global economic downturn.

"The G-20 impact on the dollar and the stock market will be the main driver for oil," wrote Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Alaron trading, in his daily energy market report. "Economic uncertainty and big supply are the two competing factors."

Gasoline: As the summer driving season gets underway, the price at the pump has been on the rise. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline held steady at $2.048, even with previous day's price, according to motorist group AAA. This ends thirteen days of consecutive increases. To top of page

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
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. 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

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.