The price of oil continued its fall, dropping below $62 at points earlier Wednesday. Light, sweet crude for delivery in August fell 77 cents at $62.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the contract price followed days of losses by sliding another $1.12 to settle at $62.93. Several reports are quoting analysts this morning pointing to doubts about a global economic recovery and the strengthening dollar as likely culprits for crude's fall. Demand data began trickling out late Tuesday, as the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry group, reported that crude inventories dropped by only 1.4 million barrels last week. Meanwhile, distillate supplies grew by a surprising 3.4 million barrels. The group also said gasoline stocks jumped by 767,000 barrels. Later Wednesday morning, the Energy Information Administration is set to release its weekly oil inventory report. Stock prices for most of the oil and gas majors slipped Tuesday as well and were mixed in the early going today. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) and Occidental Petroleum ( OXY) dropped 2.3% and nearly 3%, respectively, yesterday. Just after the opening bell today, Exxon Mobil was tracking along the plus/minus line, while Occidental Petroleum was gaining 0.7%. ConocoPhillips ( COP) and Chevron ( CVX) also were in negative territory, losing 2.1% and 2.3% yesterday. This morning, ConocoPhillips was losing 14 cents at $39.85, while Chevron was up 6 cents at $62.76. Hess ( HES) finished Tuesday in positive territory, gaining 0.3%, after a
Barclays analyst upgraded the stock on Tuesday. This morning, shares were continuing the upward trend, gaining 20 cents at $48.94.