Commodity Corner: Oil Bounces Back

Crude oil for June delivery settled above $100 Monday—$102.55 a barrel, to be exact.

Sensing a buying opportunity after last week's 14.7-percent decline in oil futures, investors helped to give oil a $5.37 day-on-day bounce. Monday's rally stems in part from expectations that the overall supply and demand fundamentals for oil will become less elastic by early 2012.

Oil peaked at $103.40 and bottomed out at $97.42 Monday.

Also surging Monday was the front-month price for gasoline, which gained 17 cents to settle at $3.28 a gallon. Propelling gasoline were fears that an increasingly swollen Mississippi River will curb production from refineries along the waterway. Widespread, potentially record-breaking spring flooding is threatening cities and towns along the river from the Midwest to the Deep South.

June gasoline traded within a range from $3.10 to $3.31.

Natural gas for June delivery lost 8.5 cents to end the day at $4.15 per thousand cubic feet. Gas, which has fallen as temperatures moderate in the Midwest and Northeast, fluctuated from $4.15 to $4.30 Monday.