(Updated with recent stock and crude prices.)

Crude oil prices raced past $71 earlier today following a mix of news, but later pulled back and dipped below $70.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery is currently down 31 cents, coming in at $69.92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, it reached as high as $71.29 and as low as $69.55.

On Thursday, the contract price settled at $70.23 after gaining $1.56 on the day.

Earnings posts from

Lennar

(LEN) - Get Report

and

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

helped juice the major indexes on Thursday. Oil shares soared in-kind as well, but many were falling back just after the opening bell.

Frontier Oil

( FTO) and

Delek U.S. Holdings

(DK) - Get Report

saw shares finish the day up 7.6% and 8.1% respectively yesterday. But both were tracking in the red after the opening bell this morning, down 2% and 3.1%, respectively.

Occidental Petroleum

(OXY) - Get Report

climbed 2.1%, while

Apache

(APA) - Get Report

shares gained 1.8% by the closing bell. But both were giving up those gains in the early going today, down 1.3% and 1%, respectively, so far.

On the other side of the tracks,

Mariner Energy

( ME) and

Forest Oil

(FST)

each dropped 15 cents to land at $12.18 and $15.11 respectively by closing yesterday. Shares for both were doing much of the same in the early going today, as Mariner was tracking down 1.4% and Forest Oil was losing 1.9%.

In supply news, Nigerian militants said they demolished a

Royal Dutch Shell

oil facility in the Niger Delta today. Before that, President Umaru Yar'Adua offered amnesty to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, as well as other groups, in exchange for giving up their weapons.

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