Crude prices collapsed Friday and nearly fell below $70 a barrel, before recovering later in the day to finish nearly even.
September light sweet crude is down 12 cents to $71.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Reformulated gasoline is unchanged at $1.94 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 2 cents to $1.97 a gallon.
September natural gas jumped 23 cents to $6.82 per million British thermal units.
Oil prices declined in step with U.S. equity markets through most of Friday's trading session. "Continued downward pressure from both equities and the corporate bond markets will eventually undermine commodity prices and not necessarily revive them," wrote Edward Meir, analyst at Man Financial, in a research note.
Crude's Friday slide marks the end of a week that saw a sharp trend reversal for the commodity, which only last week reached an all-time high of $78.19 a barrel.
Meanwhile, energy stocks were mostly lower in the session. The
CBOE Oil Index
was down fractionally at 717.49.
dropped 0.6% to $77.79.
Citigroup upgraded three oil stocks on Friday.
was bumped to hold from sell, lifting its shares 1.8% to $68.77.
was also upgraded to hold from sell, raising it 4.5% to $49.12.
was upgraded to buy from hold, sending its shares 6.1% higher to $52.24.
was upgraded by Credit Suisse to outperform from neutral. Shares of Noble climbed 3.4% to $97.23 on the news.
was downgraded by Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey to reduce from neutral, lowering its shares 7.9% to $34.54.