Crude oil hit $66 a barrel for the first time ever today, but this time the stock market wasn't fazed.
The Dow Jones industrial average scored its biggest gain in more than a month, climbing more than 91 points to 10,685.89.
Other indexes weren't so exuberant but closed substantially higher. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index gained almost 17 points to 2,174.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed up nearly nine points at 1,237.81.
Today's sanguine response to the latest spike in oil prices contrasted with yesterday's petroleum paranoia, which turned an early 100-point gain by the Dow into a 20-point loss.
Crude oil prices climbed after the International Energy Agency cut its world-wide production forecast by about 200,000 barrels a day. That global warning followed a domestic report by the U.S. Energy Department yesterday that showed record gasoline prices have failed to slow American's demand for fuel.
The world-wide assessment brought new forecasts that oil prices will keep climbing. Most oil producers are pumping petroleum at close to their maximum capacity and are unable to increase their output to keep up with demand.
After reaching the previously untouched $66 market today on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude slipped back to $65.80 at the close of trading.
Crude is up 47 percent from a year ago, and premium gasoline prices as high as $2.999 have been seen in the Washington area.
Economists and Wall Street traders fear that sooner or later, the cost of gasoline will begin to cut into consumer spending. But there was no evidence of that today as Target, the nation's number two retailer, reported higher than expected sales.