NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were headed for yet another record high Tuesday as oil fell below $75 a barrel driving the S&P 500 Index into record-breaking territory. The benchmark hit an intraday record of 2,054.9, up 0.7% for the day, during the final hour of trading.
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Crude oil prices continued to slide, adding to a 30% drop suffered since summer as supply has far outstripped demand and as OPEC has given little insight as to whether it will cut production. OPEC member countries will meet in Venice next week.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.6% to $74.44 a barrel on Tuesday. Economists hope the falling prices in gasoline will translate to higher consumer spending in other areas of the economy.
"The U.S. consumer is set to benefit from a tailwind of falling commodity prices, a strong dollar and record household wealth," Jefferies analysts wrote in a note. "We would argue that labor markets are tighter than surveys suggest."
Falling commodity prices may also translate into lower wholesale and consumer inflation, Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a research report Tuesday. "This sharp fall will continue to weigh on the energy complex over the next few months and meaningfully dampen both headline producer and consumer prices," analysts said.
For now, though, U.S. producer prices came in higher than expected. The measure increased 0.2% month on month in October and, excluding food and energy, the "core" Producer Price Index rose as high as 0.4%. Forecasts called for a 0.1% decline in overall PPI and a 0.1% increase in "core" prices.