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Heating Oil Pops on Weak Dollar: Market Bits

Food and brewing companies were mixed on Thursday. Panera Bread (PNRA) was down 0.2% to $126.53, General Mills (GIS) was 0.1% lower at $36.70 and Boston Beer (SAM) was up 1.4% to $92.43.

(Published at 11:19 a.m. ET)

Natural gas futures were one of the biggest commodity losers Thursday after higher inventories were reported.

Natural gas for May delivery was falling 2.7% to $4.24 per million British thermal units, after popping more than 2% the day before.

Natural gas inventories rose 12 billion cubic feet (Bcf) to 1,624 Bcf last Friday from the previous week, according to Energy Information Administration estimates Thursday. This, as demand waned during a brief reprieve from the cold last week.

Stocks were 12 Bcf less than the same time last year, yet 68 Bcf above the 5-year average of 1,556 Bcf, the EIA said.

Traders were already taking profits in natural gas ahead of the inventory numbers, said PFG Best Senior Research Analyst Phil Flynn.

Natural gas futures soared about 12% over the past month as nuclear energy suffered public relations setbacks amid the Japan crisis, cold weather persisted and President Obama reiterated his support for clean energy fuels such as natural gas during a speech on energy policy at Georgetown University Wednesday.

Natural gas stocks were mostly trading in negative territory Thursday morning.

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