The stock market gave up early gains today after crude oil prices jumped more than $2 a barrel based on worries that petroleum producers can't keep up with growing demand for diesel fuel and heating oil.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed more than 75 points in the first 90 minutes of trading, then retreated raggedly for the rest of the trading -- closing up just 10 points at 10,522.56.
The pattern was pretty much the same for other measures of the market. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index ended up gaining less than three points to 1,200.82. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index advanced six points to 2,068.96.
The oil market got no relief from comments made in advance of Wednesday's Vienna meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that suggested the oil cartel is preparing to boost production for the second time this year.
Instead the markets marked up crude oil by $2.08 to $55.62 a barrel based on growing world-wide demand for diesel and heating oil -- virtually similar products that are known in the trade as "distillate fuels." Heating oil futures jumped almost 6 cents a gallon, while gasoline rose just a penny.
Diesel is becoming an important fuel in Asia and Europe, where diesel cars are much more popular than in America. Diesel demand is expected to grow in this country as well as new technology brings cleaner-burning engines and fuels that pollute less.
The shift from gasoline to diesel causes problems because refineries are set up to produce gas and they require major modifications to make more diesel fuel.
The market may also have been affected by the continuing rise in long-term interest rates -- which have suddenly started to catch up with the hikes in short-term rates ordered by the Federal Reserve. Rates on 10-year U.S. government bonds jumped to 4.09 percent from 4.05 percent -- their fourth daily increase in a row.
Interest rates -- and the stock market -- are expected to be moved by two upcoming inflation reports. The government's wholesale inflation numbers come out Tuesday followed by the more important consumer price index on Wednesday.