NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Crude oil futures were moving just higher in the morning after the release of an amalgam of economic data.

On Tuesday, benchmark crude for December delivery was trading just higher by 61 cents at $79.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the price tumbled $1.82 to settle at $78.68, as a strengthening dollar weighed on the front-month contract.

Two economic reports have highlighted the day thus far. On the housing front, the

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index went higher for the third month in a row, rising 1% to 144.5. But the

consumer confidence index showed a surprising drop in October, falling to 47.7.

With stocks somewhat mixed off that and earnings report news in recent trading, American depositary receipts of

BP

(BP) - Get Report

were rising higher by 4.7%, or $2.63, at $58.11 after reporting its own earnings beat. According to the European oil major,

profit fell 34% in the third-quarter, though the total still managed to beat forecasts.

Other major integrated players were moving higher ahead of their own earnings releases this week, with

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

,

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

and

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

adding 2.1% each in the morning.

Among the refiners,

Valero

(VLO) - Get Report

shares were tracking backwards by 4.2%. The nation's largest refiner said it swung to a loss in the third-quarter, as weakening refining margins and down demand blotted the earnings showing.

Elsewhere, shares of refiners

Sunoco

(SUN) - Get Report

and

Frontier Oil

(FTO)

were bidding lower, losing 0.5% and 1.7%, respectively.

-- Written by Sung Moss in New York

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