Skip to main content



) -- Not to be outdone

by news that the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

topped 10,000, oil, too, rose to new highs for the year.

Light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose above $75 in the morning and bounded above the mystical mark again in the afternoon, ultimately settling at $75.18 per barrel after gaining $1.03. On Wednesday, it went as high as $75.40, marking its highest level since a year ago.

Propping up crude prices on Wednesday was a round of economic optimism pushed by a rally in equities. Leading the charge higher were


(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report


JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report

, which each reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings showings on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, also reached a year-long low in the morning. Gold, too, rose to an

all-time high in the morning.

TheStreet Recommends

Overhanging the bullish crude run of late, however, are still-elevated oil and fuel stockpiles. Those demand clues will come into better view today and tomorrow, as both the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Department are readying release of their weekly oil inventory figures.

Analysts are expecting data to show a 2.2 million barrel jump in oil inventories, according to a Platts survey.

Several major oil stocks also joined in the equity-rally fun, with Dow stalwarts

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report



(CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report

charging higher, adding 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively.

Marathon Oil

(MRO) - Get Marathon Oil Corporation Report

was also higher by 2.2% in the afternoon.

Around the energy sector, on Tuesday

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Chesapeake Energy Corporation Report

beefed up its natural gas production forecasts for 2009 and 2010 compared to prior estimates, and offered a healthy estimate for 2011. Still, the natural gas player was down nearly 2.7% in the afternoon. But others with hefty natural gas portfolios were holding steady in positive territory, with

Anadarko Petroleum

(APC) - Get Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Report


Devon Energy

(DVN) - Get Devon Energy Corporation Report

moving higher by 2% and 0.2% each.

Refiners were having a mixed afternoon, with

Valero Energy

(VLO) - Get Valero Energy Corporation Report

shares moving lower after an analyst downgrade. Valero was changing hands down 35 cents, or 1.8%, at $18.83 before the closing bell.

-- 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.