Oil settles below $50

Crude prices end lower as the all three major indices fall and a monthly report from the EIA says demand is significantly below last year.

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 prices of other commodities.
To buy or not to buy?
From a 1997 Mercury Cougar to a 2009 Honda Pilot, 8 readers tell us why they decided to buy a new car or keep their old wheels.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil settled below $50 a barrel Tuesday as the selloff on Wall Street picked up steam and investors weighed a glut in supply.

Crude for May delivery ended the session 64 cents lower at $49.41. Earlier in the session, oil dipped as low as $48.85 a barrel and rallied as high as $51.12.

A report from the Commerce Department released Tuesday showed that retail sales fell 1.1% in March, compared with February's revised gain of 0.3%. Economists had been looking for a 0.3% increase.

The surprise decline renewed concerns about a recession - and with it weakening demand for oil. The Dow was down almost 150 points midway through the afternoon session.

The EIA, in its monthly short-term energy outlook released Tuesday, said global demand in 2009 is expected to decline by 1.35 million barrels per day from the prior year. The EIA said it expects west Texas intermediate crude to be $53 a barrel in 2009, down from $100 last year. In 2010, EIA expects oil to average $63 per barrel.

The oil market also braced for Wednesday's weekly supply report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy research firm, expect crude oil stockpiles increased by 2.5 million barrels last week.

"As the May contract comes closer to expiration, the market is finding it harder to ignore the glut of supply that is very possibly ready for delivery," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Alaron Trading, in a daily research note. "This is a reality the market will eventually have to face - despite the fact that the price of oil is being more influenced by the dollar and the stock market."

The May contract expires on April 22.

Retail gas prices dipped Tuesday, according to a daily survey of credit card swipes by motorist group AAA. The national average for a gallon of regular gas dipped one tenth of one percent to $2.050 from $2.051 the day prior. The average price of a gallon of gas is down $2.064 or 50% from the record high price of $4.114 that AAA reported on July 17, 2008.  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.