Crude slipped again today after rising early following some less than warming economic data. Light crude for delivery in August fell another 17 cents today to settle at $59.52. Earlier today, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries released a monthly report showing that global oil demand would not turn positive until 2010. Even when the turn comes, according to the report, the group projected only a moderate increase of 500,000 barrels per day. For the rest of the year, OPEC maintained expectations that world oil demand would stay in negative territory, losing 1.6 million barrels per day at 83.8 million barrels a day. On Wednesday, more crude demand figures will be released as the Energy Department reveals its weekly oil inventory data.
Retail sales figures , released by the Commerce Department today, showed a 0.6% jump in June, beating estimates. Still, the numbers were a mixed bag after excluding auto and fuel sales. While most of the investing universe was focused on impressive earnings out of Goldman Sachs ( GS), many of the major oil shares were in positive territory. Exxon Mobil ( XOM), which earlier today announced a new $600 million partnership to develop biofuels , finished up 0.8%, or 50 cents, at $66.20 at the close.
Chevron ( CVX) and Occidental Petroleum ( OXY) were also up 0.8% and 2.5% at the closing bell. ConocoPhillips ( COP) lost 0.2%, or 8 cents, to close at $40.54. Marathon Oil ( MRO), which earlier today said that it would take a $100 million tax and foreign currency charge in the second quarter but also raised its oil and natural gas production for sale estimates, gained 1.5%, or 42 cents, at $29.40. Marathon Oil said it expected about 411,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Prior estimates pinned production for sale between 385,000 boepd and 405,000 boepd.