By the Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The price of oil rose Monday after a strong durable goods report in the U.S. Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose sharply in December with gains in volatile aircraft orders, the Commerce Department said. But the number of pending home sales fell last month after hitting a 2 Â½ year high in November. Benchmark oil rose 56 cents to finish at $96.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It's a big week for U.S. economic indicators. In addition to Monday's data, the government will release reports on weekly jobless claims, unemployment and fourth-quarter growth. And the Federal Reserve's policy committee holds a two-day meeting that concludes on Wednesday. At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gas rose over the weekend to $3.35, the highest level since the second week of December. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 20 cents to end at $113.48 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. In other energy futures trading on Nymex: â¿¿ Wholesale gasoline rose 6 cents to finish at $2.94 per gallon. â¿¿ Natural gas fell 16 cents to end at $3.29 per 1,000 cubic feet. â¿¿ Heating oil rose about half a cent to finish at $3.06 a gallon. ___ Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.