Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oil is everything and everything is oil

The stock market slumped 184 points today because:

Crude futures rose amid expectations of greater fuel demand during the summer driving season, and as forecasters warn of hurricane activity in the coming months. A barrel of light crude surged 78 cents to $72.15 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
And because Walmart posted weak sales:

Wal-Mart blamed its modest sales on the impact of rising gasoline and utilities prices on its customers.
And because consumer confidence is down:

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index for May fell to 103.2 from a four-year high of 109.8 the month before, topping estimates of 100.9. But while many on Wall Street have been hoping for a gradual economic slowdown, some fear that persistently high energy prices could trigger a sudden dropoff that leads the economy into a downturn.
But whatever we do, let’s not disturb those caribou in Alaska.

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