An Energy Department Energy Information Administration report released Feb. 13 caused global oil futures to rise this week on the back of news that heating oil supplies were greater than expected last week, but that crude oil and gasoline stockpiles grew less than analysts predicted.
Wall Street rallied Feb. 13 after the Commerce Department said retail sales rose unexpectedly last month. Energy investors often view the stock market as a barometer of economic health, worrying that any slowdown in growth will lead to a corresponding slump in energy demand.
"Whenever you get the stock market up, it's another reason to [buy] oil," Alaron Trading Corp. analyst Phil Flynn said.
Investors also were heartened by President Bush's signing of the $168 billion economic stimulus package that will send tax rebate checks to millions of U.S. citizens. Oil prices fell from a January record above $100 per barrel largely on concerns about economic growth and falling demand for oil and gasoline.
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