Skip to main content



) -- Oil futures were taking a break on Friday morning and paring gains after a soaring rally found the price topping $78 earlier in the session.

Front-month crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange was sliding in the morning, down 55 cents at $77.03 per barrel. Just before, a report was released showing consumer confidence went lower in September. On Thursday, the November delivery contract surged $2.40 to settle at $77.58 following new weekly government inventory figures.

According to the Energy Department, gasoline stockpiles edged lower by a more-than-expected 5.2 million barrels last week, while oil inventories grew by a smaller-than-forecast 400,000 barrels.

This morning, oil servicer


(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report

reported a

61% drop in its third-quarter earnings, though its top and bottom-lines still beat Wall Street estimates. After the opening bell, Halliburton shares were rising 92 cents at $30.77.

Other servicers weren't fairing as well in the early going, as

Baker Hughes



National-Oilwell Varco

(NOV) - Get NOV Inc. Report

TheStreet Recommends


BJ Services


were slipping 2.4%, 1.4% and 2.4%, respectively.

Among the oil majors, shares of

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report

were sliding 30 cents at $72.64, while


(CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report

shares were off by 32 cents at $76.37.


(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report

shares, though, were bidding higher, up 44 cents at $52.21.

--Written by Sung Moss in New York

Follow on


and become a fan on


Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.