Oil Update: Crude Jumps, Eyes $70 - TheStreet

Oil Update: Crude Jumps, Eyes $70

Oil futures gains 3.8% as GDP and dollar slides.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- 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:

Today,

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

said

profit fell 71%. But by the end of the day, shares gained $1.77, or 2.6%, to close at $69.47.

Also, France's

Total

(TOT) - Get Report

said its

earnings slumped 54%. ADRs fell off 48 cents, or 0.9%, at $55.65 by the close.

Yesterday,

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

said

it lost 66%, while

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

reported a

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.

Both

Royal Dutch Shell

(RDS.A)

and

BP

(BP) - Get Report

said

profit dived 53%, respectively,

this week.

ADRs for each tracked upward, gaining 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

Even oil refiner

Valero

(VLO) - Get Report

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

Marathon Oil

(MRO) - Get Report

and

Murphy Oil

(MUR) - Get Report

, which each report next week. Today, they gained 1% and 0.2% by closing.

The

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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