NEW YORK (
) -- Oil futures tracked up towards $70 on the same day that both the dollar sank and the Commerce department said that the economy shrank less than expected.
Benchmark crude for delivery in September put on another $2.51, or near 4%, to settle at $69.45 per barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On Friday, the Commerce Department said that Gross Domestic Product
slumped by only 1% in the second quarter. That was also far less than the 6.4% contraction in the prior quarter. Many economists estimated that the economy would contract by 1.5% in the quarter.
Though the economy is showing signs of recovery, the news wasn't all good. The report also noted that consumer spending fell by 1.2%, casting a small cloud on what bodes for the future as unemployment figures likely grow.
This week, major oil-company earnings were in investor's crosshairs and just about all of them reported profit drops on poorer prices and weakened demand. To recap just a few of the earnings slips this week:
profit fell 71%. But by the end of the day, shares gained $1.77, or 2.6%, to close at $69.47.
earnings slumped 54%. ADRs fell off 48 cents, or 0.9%, at $55.65 by the close.
it lost 66%, while
76% earnings dip the day before.
Exxon Mobil shares bid down 0.5%, or 33 cents, at $70.39. ConocoPhillips gained 52 cents, or 1.2%, at $43.71 by the end of the day.
Royal Dutch Shell
profit dived 53%, respectively,
ADRs for each tracked upward, gaining 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
Even oil refiner
swung to a loss in an earnings report this week, as an industry-wide slump in demand for refined products, coupled with thinning refining margins, slashed the company's top-line. Valero shares lost 4 cents, or 0.2%, at $18.00 today.
On tap is
, which each report next week. Today, they gained 1% and 0.2% by closing.
NYSE Arca Oil Index
, which includes a collage of oil majors, finished the day up 0.7%.
-- Reported by Sung Moss in New York
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