Oil spiked briefly to above $45 per barrel Wednesday, Sept. 14, following a better-than-expected crude oil inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, only to come crashing back down below $44 per barrel shortly before 11 a.m.
The report, released at 10:30 a.m., announced crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 600,000 barrels this past week.
The data contrasts a Tuesday report from the American Petroleum Institute, which said inventories built by 1.4 million during the period. Both reports likely come as somewhat of a letdown to investors hoping crude stockpiles have finally felt the impact of the typically higher-demand summer season.
Both sets of data also come after a week in which the EIA reported U.S. reserves fell by 14.5 million barrels, likely a result of Hurricane Hermine's anticipated ravaging of the Gulf of Mexico,
But analysts were calling for as much as a 4-million barrel uptick in reserves this week, possibly leading to the initial shock factor driving oil up briefly.
Now that the commodity has settled lower once again, though, a number of U.S. stocks are suffering as well.
Chief among them was Murphy Oil (MUR) , which was driven out of the red briefly by the EIA's surprise report to just north of its Tuesday close of $26.16 per share, but fell back shortly after.
Murphy's shares had fallen about 3.9% by midday to $25.09 apiece, the greatest lost among companies in the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) .
And oil-levered players on the heels of El Dorado, Ark.-based Murphy included Marathon Oil (MRO) , down about 2.1%; fan-favorite Newfield Exploration (NFX) , down about 1.9%; Hess (HES) , down about 1.8%; and Noble Energy (NBL) , also down about 1.8%.