Source: The Associated Press, Dec 3, 2010
A surprising increase in the number of unemployed Americans wasn't enough to stall oil's momentum Friday as it cruised to a 26-month high.
Benchmark oil (CL-FT89.441.441.64%) settled up $1.19 at $89.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It's the second time in less than a month that oil has reached the level where it was in the fall of 2008. There are widespread expectations that the price will hit $90 a barrel by year's end and head toward $100 a barrel by next spring when traders begin looking ahead to the summer driving season.
Oil's increase already has appeared at the pump, where prices are approaching the high for the year. The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline was $2.90 on Friday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That's 3.7 cents higher than a week ago and nearly 27 cents more than a year ago.