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.