Updated to reflect stock prcies after the market open.
NEW YORK (
) -- Monday morning was showing another downward move for oil futures as the front-month contract was trading below $71.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery was down $2.28 to $70.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the price on the contract settled at $72.74 after gaining 25 cents.
Media reports were blaming a host of reasons for the early morning tumble: creeping doubts about a near-term economic recovery, a strengthening dollar and continuing inventory fears, among others. But the morning slide comes nearly a weak after prices tested the $75 threshold.
Elsewhere, in the services realm,
announced plans to buy
$5.5 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.
After the announcement on Monday, BJ Services shares were adding $1.36, or 8.8%, to $16.79 in early morning trading action. Baker Hughes shares had fallen by 6.9%.
Among the oil majors,
was losing another 47 cents at $69.65 before the market open Monday. On Friday, the shares dropped 74 cents to close at $70.12.
Also on Friday,
finished mostly flat after losing 3 cents at $45.70.
closed in the red after losing 32 cents to end at $70.68.
-- Written by Sung Moss in New York
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