Updated from 1:10 p.m. ESTOil backed away from its highest price in a week Friday, as warm weather and refinery recoveries continued. December crude closed down $1.20 to $60.58 a barrel, after rising $2.03 on Thursday. Unleaded gasoline fell 1.88 cents to $1.61 a gallon, while natural gas futures dipped 27.4 cents to $11.42 per million British thermal units. Heating oil fell 3.74 cents to $1.80 per gallon. "It looks like a good time for bear hunting," said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics. "Following yesterday's move, I would expect
Citigroup downgraded Tesoro Petroleum ( TSO) from buy to hold. And Jefferies & Co. downgraded Vintage Petroleum ( VPI) from buy to hold. Houston-based energy company Noble Energy ( NBL) posted third-quarter net income of $177 million, or 99 cents a share, compared with $83.7 million, or 70 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue more than double to $645.2 million, the company said. Independent oil and gas company KCS Energy ( KCS) posted third-quarter earnings of $24.5 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $18.8 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding charges, net income would have been $31.4 million, or 62 a share. Revenue rose to $101.7 million, up from $53 million from a year ago. It was a down day for some of the other big energy market players. ConocoPhillips ( COP) was down $2.16 to $66.01. Chevron ( CVX) was down $1.63 to $57.85. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) was down 62 to $57.95. Burlington Resources ( BR) was down $2.71 to $72.19.