NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Oil futures tracked up towards $70 on the same day that both the dollar sank and the Commerce department said that the economy shrank less than expected. Benchmark crude for delivery in September put on another $2.51, or near 4%, to settle at $69.45 per barrel today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Commerce Department said that Gross Domestic Product
slumped by only 1% in the second quarter. That was also far less than the 6.4% contraction in the prior quarter. Many economists estimated that the economy would contract by 1.5% in the quarter. Though the economy is showing signs of recovery, the news wasn't all good. The report also noted that consumer spending fell by 1.2%, casting a small cloud on what bodes for the future as unemployment figures likely grow. This week, major oil-company earnings were in investor's crosshairs and just about all of them reported profit drops on poorer prices and weakened demand. To recap just a few of the earnings slips this week: Today, Chevron ( CVX) said profit fell 71%. But by the end of the day, shares gained $1.77, or 2.6%, to close at $69.47. Also, France's Total ( TOT) said its earnings slumped 54%. ADRs fell off 48 cents, or 0.9%, at $55.65 by the close. Yesterday, Exxon Mobil ( XOM) said it lost 66%, while ConocoPhillips ( COP) reported a 76% earnings dip the day before. Exxon Mobil shares bid down 0.5%, or 33 cents, at $70.39. ConocoPhillips gained 52 cents, or 1.2%, at $43.71 by the end of the day.
Both Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) and BP ( BP) said
profit dived 53%, respectively, this week. ADRs for each tracked upward, gaining 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Even oil refiner Valero ( VLO) swung to a loss in an earnings report this week, as an industry-wide slump in demand for refined products, coupled with thinning refining margins, slashed the company's top-line. Valero shares lost 4 cents, or 0.2%, at $18.00 today. On tap is Marathon Oil ( MRO) and Murphy Oil ( MUR), which each report next week. Today, they gained 1% and 0.2% by closing. The NYSE Arca Oil Index, which includes a collage of oil majors, finished the day up 0.7%. -- Reported by Sung Moss in New York