NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One step forward and two steps back. Or at least that's what oil futures have felt like recently. Today, the price on the front-month contract pulled back alongside slips in equities.

Light, sweet crude for delivery in September slipped $1.15 to settle at $67.23 on the New York Mercantile Exchange today. The price fell for the first time in four days and following Monday's settlement at $68.38 after gaining 33 cents.

Earlier today, the Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell for the second straight month. Several stocks, including Coach ( COH) and Office Depot ( ODP), followed suit after several disappointing earnings reports helped fuel downbeat sentiment.

Tomorrow morning, the Energy Department will offer up its weekly inventory report on petroleum data.

Most of the news on energy stocks centered on refiners and servicers today, and most of that news wasn't great: Valero ( VLO), the largest domestic refiner, reported a net loss .

Drilling servicers National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) and Smith International ( SII), citing cutbacks in oil and gas production and exploration , saw their profits fall in the second quarter.

Valero, National Oilwell and Smith shares were changing hands in negative territory, down 2.8%, 2.9% and 5.5%, respectively.

Most of the major integrated oil and gas shares were also in the red. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) was down 1.4%, or $1.01, to $71.74. Chevron ( CVX) was losing 0.8%, or 55 cents, at $68.30.

ConocoPhillips ( COP), which reports its earnings tomorrow morning, was losing 1.1%, or 50 cents, at $44.75.

--Reported by Sung Moss in New York.
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