NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Crude oil prices suffered punishing losses on Friday as crude dropped to levels nearly 40% lower than over the summer, briefly cratering to a five-year low. Leading economists were left to question just where rock bottom might be for commodities.
"We're going to see this trend probably for the next couple of weeks," said U.S. Bank investment strategist Rob Haworth over the phone, arguing a need for either an uptick in demand or constrained supply. "The biggest declines are likely behind us so we're probably talking about more modest levels of decline [such as] another 10%, 12% or 15% unless something significant changes with supply or demand."
Crude slid 1.7% on Friday to below $66 a barrel after a surprise surge in jobs growth fueled a rally in the U.S. dollar. ""With a stronger dollar, that has been bearish for commodities because oil is denominated in dollars," explained Schaeffer's Investment Research's Todd Salamone. "That makes it more expensive for foreigners to buy."
There certainly have been winners and losers -- such as airlines and oil companies -- as oil prices have declined. Exxon Mobil (XOM) fell 0.58%, Chevron (CVX) tumbled 1.3%, Phillips 66 (PSX) dumped 2.6% and BP (BP) slipped 1%. The Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) slid 1.2%.