Oil futures eased Monday in New York, but still remained within striking distance of their all-time high, while natural gas prices surged ahead.
September light sweet crude was down 20 cents at $76.82 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline slipped 2 cents to $2.09 a gallon, and heating oil was unchanged at $2.07 a gallon.
Meanwhile, natural gas jumped 29 cents to $6.50 per million British thermal units.
As for stocks, energy names were mostly higher. The
CBOE Oil Index
was up 0.6% at 751.72.
advanced 0.8% at $80.45, and
climbed 0.5% to $85.61.
The Norwegian state-run oil conglomerate
announced that its net income increased 11% in the second quarter from the same period a year ago, citing lower taxes and higher sales of natural gas. Shares of Statoil rose 1.5% to $29.10 on the news.
AG Edwards upgraded shares of
Kinder Morgan Partners
to buy from hold. Shares of Exxon were unchanged, while Kinder Morgan fell 0.5% to $52.76.
was upgraded by Bank of America Securities to buy from neutral, lifting the stock 0.3% to $33.90. The firm also upgraded
to neutral from sell, sending its shares up 3.9% to $8.49.
was upgraded by Lehman to equal weight from underweight. The company's stock climbed 1.8% to $53.88.