We're through the looking glass here people. After the release of some disheartening
consumer confidence figures, and following Chevron's bearish interim update yesterday, the price of crude slipped again today. But today's slide continued past the psychologically resonant $60 mark. Crude for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 52 cents to settle at $59.89 a barrel today. On the whole, oil has fallen a whopping 10% in the week. On Friday, a new demand forecast came from the International Energy Agency. It showed a 1.4 million barrel-a-day uptick in oil demand in 2010. The 1.7% rise to 85.2 million barrels a day will be largely led by developing countries, the Paris-based energy policy adviser reported. Still, the group anticipated no change in 2009 demand, projecting a gloomy 2.5 million barrel a day decline, or 2.9% slump. Also, more disheartening data came out of Reuters/University of Michigan today, showing that consumers' attitudes about the economic environment fell more than expected. The preliminary index tracking consumer confidence dropped to 64.6 from 70.8. It was not only the price of crude, but also energy stocks, that were pummeled on the day. And there was probably no brighter star, or bigger goat, than Chevron ( CVX). Shares of the company tumbled nearly 2.7%, or $1.68, at $61.40 today.
Late Thursday, the country's second-largest oil operation spooked the energy sector and added to anxiety about earnings season overall when it said that its second-quarter numbers would be affected by falling margins in domestic refining and a weaker dollar. But Chevron wasn't the only oil concern to lose today. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) dropped 1.3%. Shares of Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), slid 0.5%, or 28 cents, to come to $60.75 at the closing bell. Marathon Oil ( MRO) lost 1.2%, or 34 cents, to finish at $28.33. ConocoPhillips ( COP) and Murphy Oil ( MUR) also lost ground by the end of the day, each losing 1.5%.