Updated with recent stock and futures price information. Investors pushed the price of oil above $61 early, but the price fell below the mentally-telling $60 mark later in the day, a day after watching the price of crude drop yet again. Light, sweet crude for delivery in August waslosing 22 cents on Thursday at $59.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the price on the contract settled at $60.14 after sliding $2.79. Wednesday also brought with it fresh, weekly inventory data from the Energy Information Administration, showing an
unexpected swelling of gasoline inventories. Most of the big oil and energy stocks were holding on to gains in the afternoon. Shares of Chevron ( CVX) jumped 25 cents to $63.03 in the afternoon. ConocoPhillips ( COP) shares, which fell 1.4% Wednesday, were up 2.7%, or $1.08, at $40.52. On the other hand, Exxon Mobil ( XOM), which made gains early in the morning, was losing 16 cents at $66.10 in the afternoon.