Crude oil jumped another $1 a barrel today, hitting a new record for the fifth day in a row and once again knocking down the stock market.
Trading for as much as $67.10 a barrel, crude closed at $66.80 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where wholesale gasoline futures jumped almost 5 cents a gallon to $1.999, another record.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 86 points to 10,600.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index dropped 7 points to 1,230.39. The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index lost 18 points to 2,156.90.
Besides sending the stock market into a skid, rising energy prices produced a record trade deficit last month and are becoming a major worry for consumers.
The Commerce Department reported today that the high cost of oil imports widened the gap between imports and exports by 6 percent in June to $58.8 billion. So far this year, the trade gap is running at a yearly rate of $686 billion -- 11 percent higher than last year's all-time record.
Two thirds of Americans surveyed in a new poll said they expect energy prices to pinch their family budgets in the months ahead. The poll by the Associated Press and AOL, found worries about the impact on family finances have grown much more widespread since the spring, when barely half of those surveyed expected to be hurt by energy prices.
The pain at the pump is not going to get any better. With today's big jump, wholesale gasoline prices are up almost 10 percent in the last week. Though AAA is reporting record gasoline prices in the Washington region, the latest increases have not yet made it through the pipeline.
Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who was derided earlier this year when he predicted $60 a barrel oil, now forecasts crude will hit $75.