(Updated stock and crude price information. Added Fed announcement.)

Crude oil futures lost some steam on Wednesday morning, after making gains the previous day.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery was down 59 cents to $68.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute issued data showing that crude inventories fell less than expected, while gasoline supplies grew more last week. Later this morning, the Energy Department will issue its own weekly crude stock data, while investors wait for monetary policy news from the Fed in the afternoon.

On Tuesday, the price of the August contract settled at $69.24 after leaping $1.74.

Many of the big oil stocks tracked up alongside gains made in oil futures yesterday.


Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

gained 21 cents to come to $69.16 just after the opening bell.

Murphy Oil

(MUR) - Get Report

saw shares rise by 33 cents to come to $51.84 in the morning.

Valero Energy

(VLO) - Get Report

was changing hands in the red, down 15 cents at $16.41.

After dropping 3.8% yesterday,

Santos Ltd.


, an Australia-based concern, saw its ADRs rise 1.9% in early action.

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Report

was finding itself in positive territory too, gaining 1.6%.

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