Crude prices climbed past $67 on the same day that the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 9,000. Benchmark crude for delivery in September gained $1.67 at $67.07 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract settled at $65.40 after losing 21 cents. Earlier in the day, the National Association of Realtors said that
sales of existing homes grew by 3.6% in June. Earnings news helped bolster investors, with 3M ( MMM), AT&T ( T), eBay ( EBAY) and Ford ( F) among the companies pacing today's surge in stocks. Shares of energy companies were rising alongside crude prices and the markets today. Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), which beat estimates on declining profit , was up 2.2%, or $1.56, at $71.55. Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Chevron ( CVX) and ConocoPhillips ( COP) were changing hands up 2%, 2.7% and 1.7%, respectively. The NYSE Arca Oil Index was up jumping 2.3% in the afternoon.