The analyst noted that gasoline prices were following the crude markets and that "cooler" heads were prevailing -- for now.

October gasoline futures were trading sideways at $2.801 a gallon.

Oil prices dropped earlier on signs that U.S. economic growth has essentially stalled and on Bernanke's failure to satisfy the markets with an announcement of further monetary easing.

The Commerce Department said on Friday that the U.S. economy grew less than previously thought in the second quarter amid soft inventory and export numbers.

The GDP reading was downwardly revised to growth at an annual rate of 1% from the previous estimate of 1.3%. Economists, on average, thought that GDP growth would be revised to 1.1%.

The U.S., the world's biggest oil importer, grew at a mere 0.4% in the first quarter.

October natural gas futures were flat at $3.931 per million British thermal units following Thursday's in-line storage injection of 73 billion cubic feet.

Platts had said a natural gas build within analysts' expectations would be above both the year ago and five-year average injections.

"Irene has now been downgraded to a category 2 hurricane -- 'only' 110mph now -- and is providing an immediate cooling effect on the Southeast, reducing natural gas demand," Smith had said earlier .

Oil and gas stocks were generally rebounding. Northern Oil & Gas ( NOG) was adding 2.4% to $18.25; Oasis Petroleum ( OAS) was gaining 2% to $24.12; Voyager Oil & Gas ( VOG) was up 0.8% to $2.50; El Paso ( EP) was rising 1.6% to $17.94; Southern Union Company ( SUG) was adding 1.4% to $41.90; Atlas Pipeline Partners ( APL) was rising 1.5% to $28.37; and Triangle Petroleum ( TPLM) was losing 1.6% to $4.87.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.
Copyright 2011 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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