Crude oil rose to another record price today, but the long-feared $50-a-barrel prince on oil failed to hold back the resurgent stock market.
Oil futures traded as high as $50.47 then fell back following reports that Saudi Arabia plans to increase oil exports. Though the market weakened during the day, the New York Mercantile Exchange closing price of $49.90 a barrel was still another new record.
There were no new reasons for oil prices to keep climbing today, so traders recited the old ones: U.S. stockpiles are shrinking; U.S. production from the Gulf of Mexico is down because of hurricanes; Nigerian production is threatened by rebel attacks.
While those factors moved the oil market, the oil market seemed to have little effect on stocks for a change.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 89 points to 10077.40.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index gained 10 points to 1869.87.
The Standard & Poors 500 stock index was up almost 7 points at 1110.06.
The day's gains more than made up for Monday's losses, which had driven the Dow below the 10,000 mark for the first time in five weeks.
Traders are expecting an unstable week on Wall Street because the third quarter of the year ends Thursday. Many money managers do a lot of trading during the last few days of the quarter, selling stocks to lock in earnings over the last three months and buying issues they expect to do better in the final quarter of the years.
But while record energy prices did not deter the stock market today, they are threatening economic growth, today's consumer confidence survey suggested.
Confidence fell for the second month in a row, based on the latest poll by the Conference Board, a private industry group. The 500 people who were surveyed cited the weak job market and the relentless climb in energy prices as their chief worries.
Pump prices for fuels, which had been lagging behind the crude oil futures market, now are rapidly catching up, the latest Energy Department survey showed.
Nationwide the average price of regular gas jumped more than a nickel a gallon to $1.917 and diesel fuel climbed a dime to $2.013, an all-time record high, the survey showed.
Gasoline is up 33 cents from a year ago and diesel fuel is up 58 cents, badly pinching truckers, construction firms and other big diesel fuel users.