The price of oil rose above $97 a barrel Thursday, as the latest U.S. economic data raised hopes for an increase in gasoline demand but suggested the Federal Reserve can wait to pull back on its current stimulus measures.
Meanwhile, the price of natural gas fell to nearly a 4-month low, and the cost of filling up the family car dropped again as the July Fourth holiday approaches.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000 last week, evidence that the job market is still improving modestly. Steady job gains could help the economy expand later this year, and would mean more people driving to work. [Read more...]